Staten Islanders looking for unique, healthy foods will have a new spot to shop at this winter. NY1's Colleen Hagerty filed the following report.
Maureen Pekarcha is one of the regulars every Saturday at the St. George Greenmarket, purchasing fresh items she says you can't find anywhere else on the Island. But she says it's more than the food that keeps her coming back.
"The environment is so wonderful. Everybody, the customers, the vendors, everybody gets to know each other," said Pekarcha.
For more than two decades, the market, located in the lot behind the St. George Theater, has served Islanders on a seasonal basis. Now, thanks to the strong community support, organizers have decided to keep it running year-round.
"We have a really solid, loyal customer base, and it's just time to take that next step," said Caroline Hiteshew, the Regional coordinator of Brooklyn and Staten Island Greenmarkets.
"We have customers that get our product routinely, and they want their stuff, and they don't stop eating in the winter," said vendor Steven Swarzenturber of Stony Mountain Ranch.
While there will be less produce available in the winter, vendors say they will have plenty of other fresh offerings for shoppers to enjoy.
"All the baked goods are really good, breads, and especially the pies for this season," said Federico Cotic of Francesca's Bakery.
"We'll try and do some new things for the winter. They'll be candles and things getting closer to Christmas," said Dan Torrison from the Rabbit Run stand.
The organizers added that they are ready to handle the winter weather.
"We're prepared to come out and plow the day before if it snows, and we're good at handling that. We're hardy folks," Hiteshew said.
The market will be closed on December 26, returning January 2 with new winter hours of 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday. For more information, go to grownyc.org.