The Haddonfield farmer’s market marked the opening of its 18th season last weekend with a ribbon cutting at the gazebo and opening remarks from the state’s secretary of agriculture.
“This market complements the quaint atmosphere of this beautiful and historic downtown,” said Secretary Douglas Fisher. “Opening day has become an annual rite of spring and allows residents to interact with farmers and other vendors while supporting those who grow the finest fruits and vegetables and so much more.”
The weekly market at Kings Court is run by volunteers and is a nonprofit separate from the borough. In its 18 years of operation, the event has connected the community with small and local merchants and helped some businesses and entrepreneurs get started.
Market director Ralph Ciallella noted that several of the businesses in town got their start at the market, including Pizza Crime, Mecha Chocolates, Heritage Winery and Kings Road Brewery.
“We created a lot of morning excitement,” he said. “What we’ve noticed is that we’ve created an opportunity for the small entrepreneur to test products and eventually even have it as a store of their own.
“For example, in Haddonfield, we have Kings Road Brewery and Heritage Winery,” Ciallella added. “They were on the verge of getting approval to do retail, but they really wanted to find out what people were looking for and what the positive things about their products were. And they experimented.
“We were fortunate to have those two in the farmer’s market before they opened their stores.”
The market takes place every Saturday rain or shine from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., except when the two-day Haddonfield Crafts and Fine Arts Festival begins on Saturday July 8.
The farmer’s market features a variety of produce and food vendors and homemade goods like candles and soap. Throughout the season, there will also be additional themed events such as chef tastings.
“People that don’t shop at farmer’s markets don’t realize the educational process,” Ciallella pointed out. “You can learn so much from going to a vendor rather than going to a cool supermarket.”
He noted that market vendors work directly with their products and can answer questions that guests wouldn’t get at a grocery store. There is also a misconception that market prices are much higher.
“The funny thing about it is, if they are in season, you’re talking about cents rather than dollars,” Ciallella noted.
Market vendors mostly take cash or use Venmo; some of the larger ones may also take credit cards. Visitors are advised to bring their own bags.
To learn more or become a market sponsor, visit https://haddonfieldfarmersmarket.org/.