Trumbull farmers market expands into winter months

Trumbull Farmer's Market at the Nichols Improvement Association's green in Trumbull, Conn., on Thursday June 22, 2017.

Trumbull Farmer's Market at the Nichols Improvement Association's green in Trumbull, Conn., on Thursday June 22, 2017.

Christian Abraham / Hearst Connecticut Media file photo

TRUMBULL — Farmers markets are a well-known go-to for people seeking fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, but they’re also a crucial source of income for small-business owners, including Pam Savoca.

The Milford resident owns the gourmet cookie business Pam’s Cookies, and she depends on farmers markets as a place to sell her wares. So she was happy to hear that one of the markets she relies on — the Trumbull’s Farmers Market — was expanding into the winter.

The market typically runs from May until October, but market master Richard Cerniglia said the market became particularly popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, and organizers decided to give residents, and vendors like Savoca, more opportunities to enjoy it.

“I think everybody’s looking to get out,” said Cerniglia, who is also on the board of the Nichols Improvement Association, which operates and hosts the market. “The farmer’s market is a nice outdoor event. You’re not worried about being indoors with a mask.”

The first market of the new “winter” season will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 22 at the Nichols Improvement Association, 1773 Huntington Turnpike. The market will take place once a month in December, January, February, March and April, and the regular market will resume in May.

Trumbull’s farmers market is one of a growing number in the region that have expanded their operations into the late fall and winter months. Cerniglia said he was particularly inspired by the Shakespeare Market in Stratford, a twice-monthly food and craft market that recently made the decision to go year-round.

The Westport farmers market has been offering a winter market since 2010, and Fairfield and New Haven are among the other communities offering markets in the winter months.

For vendors like Savoca, more markets means more business.

“It gives an opportunity for small businesses that don’t have a storefront,” Savoca said. “Going to these events is the only opportunity I have to get out there face to face. It give me an opportunity get my product out there.”

Cerniglia said Trumbull’s market has already confirmed 15 vendors and three food trucks for the first event, and he expects more vendors to sign on. He said vendors will range from baked good vendors, like Pam’s Cookies, to those selling meat and eggs, to various local artisans.

As the weather gets colder and darkness falls earlier, Ceniglia said the market will make adjustments in keeping with the season.

“We’re going to have fire pits and lighting and create a little bit of ambiance,” he said. “We’re going to make it a real outdoor shopping experience.”

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