BERLIN - When Marjorie Aguzzi and Jane Georgini took over the Berlin Farmer’s Market three years ago, they were just a couple of weeks from opening and needed one more thing - a location to host the market.
That’s when Hungerford Park stepped up and “It was like a god send,” said Arguzzi who called the arrangement a win-win for both parties.
Since that first year, the market, under the helm of the Berlin natives, has featured a diversified group of vendors selling vegetables, bread, pizza, books as well as activities for dogs, kids and music lovers. It has an average attendance of 300 patrons weekly.
“This year we’re really happy because we’re growing in the area of fresh vegetables,” said Arguzzi, acknowledging that fresh vegetables are what typically comprise a farmers market and saying the number of such vendors has grown to three, from the usual and lone Berger Nursery & Garden.
In addition to the typical vegetable vendor, the market features, fresh eggs, local honey, - which sells “crazy” fast, Arguzzi said - cupcakes, jewelry, candles, face painting and woodworking.
“It’s really has a nice, small town vibe to it,” Arguzzi added. “A lot of new ones but very often we have repeat patrons. They come every week, they’re very loyal.”
Returning this year are also the about seven different types of bread from Sanremo Bakery - a wholesale bakery - and The Bakery on the Avenue, which brings deli meats, sandwiches, salads, Italian pies and the like.
“People can really stay, stick around, hear some music, walk through Hungerford park, take their dog on the trails,” said Arguzzi, adding there’s a pavilion with picnic tables, where soda, water and juice can be purchased, on the 26-acre lot. “It’s got that aspect to it that other markets on a parking lot just don’t have.”
Also returning is a dog bar - a station set up with water bowls where dogs can get treats - and will feature a board showcasing all the dog patrons faces and names, Arguzzi said.
Adding to the communal spirit, Arguzzi said, the market will also feature a vendor station from Good Cause Gifts in town, which employs mentally challenged people who will run the booth. “They have a blast,” she said.
A tent is also set up, where vendors bring used books of all kinds, Arguzzi said, sell them whit the proceeds going to Hungerford Park.
The market is scheduled to run from June 10 to Sept. 23 on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hungerford Park, 191 Farming Ave., Berlin. The retired Arguzzi, who had a career in marketing for about 39 years, and Georgini, who worked at Kensington Garden Center, arrive at 6 a.m. and stay until about 3 p.m. to setup and take down everything, with help of four volunteers this year. The two have typically had only two helpers in the past, and are looking to purchase new market T-shirts for the team this year.
With the market at Hungerford park, Arguzzi added no street parking is necessary, as the park has plenty of parking to accommodate patrons who will come and leave throughout the day.
A fee for vendors is $20 a week, however, Arguzzi explained being a repeat vendor can reduce the cost to $10 a week. All proceeds go directly to the organization of the market..
“It’s a great place for people to bring their kids,” Arguzzi said. “It’s so nice to have a farmers market that is not on asphalt. This is a very country like setting.”
Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or email@example.com