- Despite some jeering from a few local business owners and farmers, the Southampton Village
Board has decided to move forward with its plans to create a summertime farmers' market in the village business district.
"What's the worst that could happen?" Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley
posed at the board's regular meeting on Thursday, May 14. "We try it and it doesn't work."
Southampton Village Trustee Nancy McGann has said that other local villages and hamlets with farmers' markets have seen positive results. Photo by Kelly Carroll
Village Trustees Bonnie Cannon and Nancy McGann
introduced the idea of a farmers' market for the village in March, to which a handful of local business owners balked, citing the declining economy and competition from other non-East End farmers. In response, Cannon held an informational session earlier this month with a panel of farmers' market alumni to address any community apprehension. "Several individuals had concerns," Cannon explained. "The majority of the audience was in favor. It's something that's good for our community. We are promoting healthy eating, promoting agriculture."
Both Cannon and McGann maintain that other local villages and hamlets with farmers' markets have found positive results. According to McGann, officials in Westhampton Beach have said that the farmers' markets have boosted their other businesses. "Its four hours on a Sunday morning," the trustee offered. "We'll never know unless we try."
The board is planning to launch the farmers' market sometime in July, and is currently looking to form a committee to set ground rules and guidelines. The village will also need to identify a manager for the market as well. Initial plans have the market set to be located behind the Parrish Art Museum
on Jobs Lane
. "We have the individuals here to make it happen," Cannon asserted.
"It's tough to make a decision when somebody isn't going to be happy," Trustee Richard Yastrzemski commented. "But we have to do what the majority wants."