Special to The Herald
NEW BRITAIN - The annual New Britain Farmers Market opened with a goodx number of shoppers and vendors on hand Wednesday in Central Park.
The market will run every Wednesday through the end of October from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and offers more than just fresh produce.
Live entertainment, including the band Memphis Soul Spectacular, which played on Wednesday, and food trucks such as the vegan truck Gmonkey Farm 2 Street will also be regularly featured at the market.
Memphis Soul Spectacular plays cover versions of classic songs by notable artists associated with Memphis, band member Tony Cafiero of Guilford said, including Elvis Presley, Otis Redding, Etta James and Candi Staton.
Another member of the group, John Smayda of Southington, showed off his love of the music by wearing a bowling shirt with little golden saxophones stitched into two long, black stripes.
The owner of the Gmonkey truck, Ami Beach, said this was her first time at the New Britain Farmers Market. There is also a restaurant connected to the Gmonkey brand in Branford, called G-Zen. Gmonkey and G-Zen have won many awards, including being named one of the top five vegan food trucks by PETA, and winning a New Haven Living Readers’ Poll in the category of Vegetarian or Vegan, Beach said.
“There are no other organic restaurants in the area, and a lot of people from out of town are coming to experience the organic options,” Beach said. The ingredients are grown on an organic farm in Durham,.
Alberto Cabrera was manning a stand selling a variety of fruits, pies, pickles, preserves and other foods.
Customers could pay directly with cash or use their credit and debit cards by visiting the service tent and running the cards there to receive “Bee Bucks,” $1 and $5 tokens, according to Ashley Santana, who helped Cabrera run the stand.
Fresh vegetables including cauliflower, edamame peas and cucumbers could be found at the Berger Farms stand, run by Matt Mercier.
This is Mercier’s second year at the Farmers Market, and he plans to set up his stand every Wednesday until September.
The New Britain Senior Center’s Arnold Schwartz Greenhouse Garden Club set up a tent with plants from the club’s garden for sale.
Plants ranged from red lettuce to flowers in hanging baskets. Nancy Durkin, Lynn Karwoski and Donald Misiorski also made sure to mention to customers that they were selling cookbooks and arts and crafts, too.
With mostly sunny skies and warm temperatures, Central Park was full of people mingling, listening to music and browsing.
First-time visitor Samantha Prybeck of New Britain said she had been driving to the New Britain Public Library when the market caught her eye.
Tracy Sandeul of New Britain said she came for the music, adding, “I’ve been coming here for years. The market brings the community together.”