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February 9, 2013

As seen in The Journal News and on

Feb 9, 2013 Written by  Ken Valenti

New Rochelle farmers market plans expansion

More will be offered as event switches to Saturdays

NEW ROCHELLE — The farmers market in the park next to the downtown library is expected to expand greatly this summer.

This June, the Downtown Business Improvement District plans a weekly event each Saturday, with many more vendors and tables run by local restaurants, combined with live music, cooking classes, activities for children and other attractions.

Events_Farmers-Market-new.jpg“It’s going to be the New Rochelle Downtown Grand Market,” said BID Executive Director Ralph DiBart. “We’re referring to it as a ‘farmers market plus.’ ”

The new market on the Library Green will move to the weekend, rather than being held each Friday during the summer, as the farmers market was for several years.

Eventually, it could be expanded to a smaller market at the train station — a block and a railway overpass away — on Wednesday evenings for people returning from work, said City Councilman Ivar Hyden, a member of the committee planning the market.

The Saturday market will feature prepared foods and specialties that could include French cheeses and foods from Mexican, Korean, Italian and other cuisines, said Hyden, who owns a gallery across Lawton Street from the green. Outdoor seating will be available for dining, he said.

Monroe College, which had offered occasional cooking demonstrations in the past, is set to offer weekly lessons and to sell “high-end gourmet items like sauces and baked goods,” said Frank Costantino, dean of the school of hospitality management and the culinary arts.

Holding it on the weekend is expected to give more people a chance to visit, then visit downtown restaurants and stores.

“(Friday) was just a totally inappropriate day, and I thought this for a long time,” Hyden said.

To do that, however, the city plans to stop working with Down to Earth, an Ossining-based company formerly known as Community Markets, on the downtown market, said Hyden.

He said the company, which runs a Saturday market in Larchmont, did not want to move the New Rochelle market to the same day.

Events_farmers-market-new3.jpgFrankie Rowland, marketing director for Down to Earth, said that the company had been willing to talk about holding the market on Saturdays and that she was not worried that a weekend New Rochelle market would hurt the Larchmont event.

But she said the New Rochelle organizers wanted to broaden the offerings more than is usually done by Down to Earth, which is “very focused on supporting the local agricultural system.”

City Manager Charles Strome III said city officials have begun talking with Down to Earth about possibly starting a Friday market on the city’s north end.

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