The former Swezeys Department Store, where a farmers market is slated to open this spring.
The former Swezeys Department Store, where a farmers market is slated to open in February.

No vegetables grow on the East End’s fields in winter, but livestock farmers and bakers and makers of bottled local goods still have plenty of bounty to share with the community.

Chicken grower Holly Browder of Browders Birds in Mattituck has rounded up a crew of her fellow farmers and purveyors to open up an indoor market at the former Swezey’s Department Store at 117 East Main Street beginning Feb. 1.

Ms. Browder told the Riverhead Town Board at Thursday’s work session that Ginger Goods will be selling donuts, Taste of the North Fork will be selling jams and bottled goods, Kalypso Greek Yogurt will sell yogurt and Mecox Bay Dairy and Goodale Farms will be selling cheese at the market. More than a dozen other vendors are also interested in participating.

“It fits in with the East End promotional tourism idea. Small farmers are working year-round,” she said.

The Sag Harbor Farmers Market had had an indoor winter market in previous years, but they’re not holding one this year, which led Ms. Browder to contact some of the vendors who had participated in that market to see if they want to come to Riverhead.

The project has the support of the Riverhead Business Improvement District and the Riverhead Community Development Agency.

“We had our first meeting last Wednesday and it took off like a freight train,” said CDA director Chris Kempner.

The BID and the CDA are assisting the farmers in negotiating a lease with the building’s owner, Sheldon Gordon, and with upgrades to the heating system.

The market will be open Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. through May 17. More information is available on their Facebook page.


Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at

One thought on “Winter farmers market to open in Riverhead

  1. BEFORE you BUY ask WHY the LONG ISLAND FARM BUREAU is promoting the largest deer slaughter in NY history. BUY HUMANE ONLY……….

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