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New Rochelle Farmers Market Grows

Since mid-June, New Rochelle has hosted the Down to Earth Farmers Market, which will continue through Friday, November 20. Since 2009, the Down to Earth Markets have brought together two kinds of vendors: local farmers and area food makers who source locally, and local food entrepreneurs looking for a venue to sell their products directly to shoppers.

In addition to a wide variety of fresh produce, New Rochelle customers are treated to well-known kosher products. A recent kosher addition to the market has been My Most Favorite Food. Owner Dena Magram explained, “My husband and I live in Larchmont. We were aware of this market and wanted to get into the farmers market. We spoke to Miriam Hoss at Down to Earth and she felt that the New Rochelle Farmers Market would be a good fit for us.”

Magram added, “We are concentrating on our pies, tarts, challah, cookies, loaf cakes, sugar cookies, brownies and gluten-free brownies.” Magram noted that due to the heat and refrigeration requirements, they are limited in what they can bring. For Rosh Hashanah, they plan to add honey cakes and a lot of items with apples. Pre-orders are accepted weekly. “I am so happy we have been so well received.”

John Arlotta, founder of the Arlotta Food Studio, is also a regular at Friday’s market. Arlotta Food Studio started out by sourcing the olives for its oils and tapenades from local olive growers. They have outgrown that channel and now co-own groves in the San Joaquin Valley of Central California. They infuse their kosher, certified organic, extra virgin California oils with unique flavorings. About six years ago, he made the decision to make his organic olive oil line kosher.

Arlotta explained, “To make these products kosher was an easy adjustment to our recipe; olive oil production and pressing remained the same.” When asked if going kosher affected his business, Arlotta enthusiastically responded, “Yes indeed! We got inspired by our customers in Riverdale, New Rochelle and a few others in Long Island, Brooklyn and New York City who asked for kosher products. It helped our market, online and Amazon business to the tune of about 5%.”

Arlotta also noted, “Another attribute of our products is that they fit into seasonal gifting. So we sell hostess gifts in the fall when holidays ramp up.”

Pickle Licious is also a weekly favorite of many New Rochelle residents. “We have been doing farmers markets for over 30 years, so we know all the markets in the area.” explained Robyn Brown-Samra. “Our best sellers in New Rochelle include full sours, olive mixes, peppadews and sweet horseradish chips.” Brown-Samra recommended trying the chili chips, which have both a kick and sweetness, as well as the kosher dills.” They also accept pre-orders.

“My family and I always make sure we stop by the farmers market to pick up kosher dill pickles from Pickle Licious, along with their Mediterranean olives, so we are stocked all weekend long! It’s become a Friday-morning tradition,” explained Jenny Platzman of New Rochelle.

Sarra Lorbert added, “We love the fresh and seasonal vegetables. They are very reasonably priced and come from local farms.” She noted that the highlight of her trip to the farmers market is a stop for fresh pickle products from Pickle Licious and cold brew coffee.

Lorbert expressed, “I have noticed additional kosher products such as My Most Favorite, and I would really love for the Cheese Guy to return to the market.”

Lauren Bochner noted, “I have been noticing more kosher products. I would love to see maybe some kosher artisan breads, The Cheese Guy like they have in Riverdale and any other smaller kosher shops that could represent there.”

The New Rochelle farmers’ market is open Fridays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through November 20. It is located adjacent to the Thomas Paine Cottage Museum on North Avenue. More information for customers and potential vendors can be found at http.downtoearthmarkets.com.

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