2018-06-07 / News

Farmers market opens at new downtown location Monday


Same day, same time, different place. Two out of three isn’t bad.

The farmers market in Jamestown, which has been at the Fort Getty pavilion since 2013, has moved downtown. Shoppers will be able to browse the new digs for the first time from 4-7 p.m. Monday at the recreation center, 41 Conanicus Ave.

Alex Kent, who is entering her fourth year as co-organizer, is eager for opening day to see if the new location will have an impact. She believes the centralized location will attract more foot traffic, passing cars and ferry passengers, which are uncommon sights at the pavilion.

“You don’t pass Fort Getty by accident,” Kent said. “There has to be reason to go that way.”

According to Kent, the usual suspects will be at the weekly market, although they will be divided between the indoor lobby and outdoor patio. For example, Kent, an acrylic painter, has reserved a spot inside, while Martha Neale from Windmist Farm will hawk her eggs, meats and vegetables while overlooking the Newport Pell Bridge.

The market will feature about 16 vendors weekly, evenly split between artisans and foodies. Edible vendors include Provencal Bakery’s bread and sticky buns; fresh-squeezed-to-order refreshments from Lemons Aid; Center Street chef Brian Halloran’s finishing butters; Marla Romash’s “magic cookies”; and Tim Montville’s popcorn, fudge and cotton candy.

“The kids love him,” Kent said.

Ernie Savastano, the self-described “Duke of Oil,” has moved from his storefront to focus on farmers markets this season. He will offer his Vin Oliva oils and vinegars from around the world.

On the creative side, Kent’s daughter, Nina, 14, will offer her handmade jewelry alongside some of the island’s most prolific artists, including painter Elaine Porter, glass artist Jen Weeden Black, ceramicist Jillian Barber and Shirley Bell, who is introducing her decorative dish towels.

On both sides of the aisle, co-organizer Jan Goodland will offer organic garlic, tomatoes and fingerling tomatoes from her garden while selling functional pottery from her studio that can be serving dishes for those vegetables.

While there will be no food trucks this year, Kent is expecting East Ferry Deli to pack bag lunches for hungry shoppers. Some vendors also will offer baked goods.

This change will be no surprise to the East Ferry commercial district, Kent said. She has spoken with neighboring businesses, including Spinnakers Cafe, All Shore and Grapes & Gourmet, and said they have been supportive. Along with patronizing those shops, she hopes visitors to the farmers market will leak onto the avenue to enjoy dinner at one of its restaurants.

“The location is awesome,” she said. “This could boost the seasonal economy down there.”

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