They came to the market
The casual, fun ambiance of the event included live music under the bandshell.

IB/Finnegan

They came to the market

Story By: LIZ FINNEGAN
5/26/2016


BAY SHORE—Only a few hours after the first Bounty by the Bay Farmer’s Market opened in Dr. George S. King Park on Main Street last Friday, almost all of the 20 vendors were sold out. That result both surprised and delighted all involved, including Donna Periconi, president of the Greater Bay Shore Chamber of Commerce, who initiated the event. “To say I’m thrilled is an understatement,” she remarked.

Bay Shore resident Sabrina Rettaliata coordinated the market with Drew Allt of Drew Patrick, a Main Street business. She said they did research by going to various markets and then spent the past six months looking for the right vendors. As the summer progresses, she said more vendors would be added to the lineup. “Our priority is quality, not quantity,” she noted.

A nice selection of items was offered at the market, which ranged from beef jerky to fresh produce and oysters. There were homemade pickles and potatoes—Salty Spuds—imported from Syracuse. “Just add water and boil,” said purveyor T.J. Lofberg, an Islip resident who was manning the stand with his 11-year-old son, Tyler.

Dawn Rotolo, who lives in Bay Shore, owns Dragon’s Nest Baked Goods that specializes in vegan, gluten- and dairy-free goodies. She said she was excited to learn about the market opening so close to home. “It’s a beautiful thing,” she remarked. “And the community has really come out to show their support.”

Papa’s Country Porch in Bohemia had a great day selling their baked items, too. The owner, Paul “Papa” Mendola said, “For the first time we did very well. We had to go back to the store to get more.”

Shoppers maneuvered around the various tents, taking in the ambiance of the market while listening to live music near the bandshell, which was provided by one of the groups that are lined up to entertain shoppers this season. Ken and Diane Hartill of Brightwaters said they were excited about shopping alfresco in their hometown. “It’s wonderful having this in the heart of Bay Shore,” Diane noted.

Melissa Dunstatter of Farm to Table Management is managing this market and several others around Suffolk County. The Rocky Point resident said she has 275 vendors that follow her to other outdoor markets throughout the season. “So many small businesses can’t afford rent,” she explained, adding that’s one of the reasons participation is so great locally. Most of the vendors have their own following of regular customers.

“Out of all the markets, this is the most support I’ve ever seen from a community,” she said. “It’s phenomenal.”

The Bounty by the Bay Farmer’s Market in Bay Shore is open every Friday from 2 to 7 p.m.