MILLBURN, NJ - Early Friday morning behind the Millburn Town Hall, people were shopping for their fruits and vegetables at the Millburn Farmers Market. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the market in downtown Millburn. It takes place from June 8 through Oct. 19 on Fridays from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Some of the farmers there included Alstede Farms (USDA certified organic grower), E&R Organic (USDA certified organic grower) and Ort Farms and Vacchiano Farms. Vendors included Dr. Pickle, Gina’s Bakery, and Paolo’s Kitchen. Also, the Millburn Township Green Team was on hand to help with the “greening” of the Millburn-Short Hills community and merchants and Wells Fargo Bank were there to help educate people on “green” banking practices.
Over the past year, Paolo’s Kitchen has become one of the most vibrant and successful catering companies in the area. They are located on South Street in New Providence and supply food for many events and attend several farmers markets throughout the state.
“The big draw for our food is we don’t use preservatives and because we are local it’s all fresh,” said Evan Smith of Paolo's Kitchen. “We try for fresh, frozen and friendly.”
Smith said hot food and sandwiches are popular for catering events, but at markets, people snatch up the frozen food. Some popular cold dishes are the eggplant rollaltini, pumpkin ravioli and vegetable lasagna.
“For an Italian caterer, we don’t use that much pasta,” Smith said.
They are also renowned for making gluten-free food, Smith said. Because many people are allergic to gluten, Paolo's tries to cater to people’s needs, he said.
Cindy Topolewski, who has a business in Maplewood, does her shopping at the Millburn market every week. She loves getting her fruits, vegetables and meat there, she said.
“I’d rather get them here than get them in the store,” she said.
Dr. Pickle of Paterson, which has been around since 1902, is one of the largest pickle suppliers in the area for restaurants and delis and they attend four farmers markets a week.
They offer half sour, full sour and new pickles. One of their more popular pickles is the cucumber bread and butter, which is quite sweet, said Christian Worley, who has worked there for a year. Worley, who is a pastry chef on the side, really has a passion for pickles and baking, he said.
“We really do put a lot of effort into the items that we use,” he said.
Estelle Edelson of Mountainside was ecstatic that the farmers market was still open. She and her family spend their summers in the Berkshires and they just returned.
“I haven’t been home all summer, so I was thrilled when I saw they were still open,” Edelson said.
She likes to buy fruits, veggies and pickles, she said. She bought a variety of pickles because she said she can’t get pickles this good unless she goes to the Lower East Side of Manhattan.