The corner of Love Lane and the Main Road could be the home to a new farmers market this spring.
Danielle LaScala, who owns the Mattituck Florist, is teaming up with farmers Gene and Maryann Krupski of Mar-Gene Farms on Soundview Avenue in Mattituck to create a Friday afternoon market beginning May 9. They pitched the project to the Southold Town Board at their work session Tuesday morning.
Town Special Projects Coordinator Phillip Beltz said the florist sits at an ideal location that is both along the S92 bus route and a block from the town senior center on Old Sound Avenue. It is also next door to the large, often ill-used parking lot behind Love Lane.
A corridor study of Mattituck several years ago had also recommended that the one-way end of Old Sound Avenue between the florist and the Mattituck Presbyterian Church be closed off to traffic and turned into a village green, but that recommendation was never acted upon.
Farmers who participate will also be able to sell their vegetables to seniors and women with young children who receive support checks from the state Farmers Market Nutrition Program.
Southold has been hesitant in the past to support farmer’s markets because the town’s agricultural advisory committee has been concerned that they are unfair competition to farmers who have farm stands nearby.
Councilman Bill Ruland, who serves as the town board liaison to the agriculture advisory committee, said they approve of this market, which is in a commercial center.
“Their only concern is that it be a bona fide farmers market and not morph into a flea market,” he said.
The market would be held from 3 to 6 p.m. on Fridays beginning May 9, said Ms. Krupski, who added that she hopes it helps to breathe life into Love Lane at a time of day the small business district usually begins to shut down. The florist parking lot could house a maximum of 11 vendor tents.
Town Attorney Martin Finnegan, called “Johnny Raincloud” by Town Supervisor Scott Russell, said he is concerned about whether they will need special event permits throughout the season.
Councilman Jim Dinizio said he is concerned because he was on the town Zoning Board when the Love Lane business community came out in opposition to a weekend flea market at The Iron Skillet at the opposite end of Love Lane.
“They had a lot of vendors, a lot more than 12, and no parking,” he said. “People who were coming were not following the parking rules.”
Mr. Finnegan pointed out that the concerns might be different because the flea market was at the residential end of the street, but this market would be at the commercial end.
Ms. LaScala said she spoke with neighboring businesses, who are in support of the market.
Originally, Mr. Krupski said, 16 vendors were interested in participating, but six of them have already bowed out and agreed to join other Friday afternoon markets, and they will need to move quickly to ensure that their remaining vendors don’t commit to other markets.
The town board agreed to work out the details this week.
Mattituck isn’t the only location where a new farmers market is sprouting up this spring. The Church of St. Mary on Ponquogue Avenue in Hampton Bays plans to hold a market on Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., May 24 through Aug. 30, and the downtown Riverhead farmers market, which has been running all winter in the old Swezey’s building on Main Street, will move to the riverfront beginning May 24. They’ll continue to run through Nov. 1.