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Douglaston's Green Market Draws Large Crowds

Community leaders say they believe market will assist revitalization of Village's shopping strip.

Northeast Queens residents turned out in droves on Sunday to buy fresh vegetables, breads, meats, cheeses and a variety of other goods at Douglaston’s long-awaited .

Community leaders said they believed the market would be a significant step in revitalizing Douglaston Village’s commercial strip along 41st Avenue and 235th Street.

“It’s alive down here again,” said Dorothy Matinale, president of the Douglaston Village Chamber of Commerce.

The market opened for business at 9 a.m. and was scheduled to remain open until 3 p.m. It will operate during the same hours every Sunday through Nov. 20.

Margaret Hoffman, one of the managers for the Douglaston green market, said the morning turnout for the market’s opening day had been steady.

“So far, so good,” she said. “We’re having a great day. A lot of people seem very enthusiastic.”

A majority of the market’s Sunday morning patrons were Douglaston, Little Neck and Bayside residents, Hoffman said.

The market, which is located in the traffic circle at Douglaston’s Long Island Rail Road station, is operated by GrowNYC, which also runs the massive green market in Union Square as well as a number of other sites across the five boroughs.

The market’s vendors include New Jersey’s DiPaola Turkeys, Suffolk County’s American Seafood, Ulster County’s Bread Alone Bakery, Mercer County’s Cherry Grove Farm, Delaware County’s Lucky Dog Farm, Orange County’s Madura Farms, Hartford County’s Newgate Farm and New Jersey’s Nolasco Farms.

Visitors were able to choose from a variety of goods, such as mushrooms, baked goods, cheeses, lamb, organic vegetables, shellfish and pastries.

Nearly two hours after having opened, Bread Alone Bakery had already sold out of its bread, pastries and organic foods.

Sergio Nolasco, whose farm grows Mexican specialty produce and herbs, said he was pleased by the number of patrons who had visited his booth.

“It’s been pretty busy,” he said around noon, “And right now, we’re getting more of the church crowd coming in.”

Rev. Linden DeBie, pastor of The Community Church of Douglaston, was among that crowd.

“I think this is a charming addition to the community,” he said. “It brings attention to the downtown in a delightful way. The food is extraordinary.”

Douglas Montgomery, the vice president of the neighborhood’s garden club, has been pushing for the market’s creation in the community for two years. He said he thought its debut ran very smoothly.

“People are coming here and shopping for 10 minutes and taking off, so the parking has not been too crowded,” he said. “But we’re getting a ton of people down here. It’s a social event for the neighborhood and the quality of the produce is amazing. It’s been really wonderful.”

Victor Dadras, a local architect, said he believed that hundreds of people had already visited the market during the day’s first half.

“It’s been very steady – some vendors are already running out of food,” he said. “This is a vital step in the revitalization of the Village.”

Dadras said he spent an estimated $75 at the market on everything from cider donuts and strawberry rhubarb pie to scallions and tomatoes. 

For more information, visit the green market’s website.

judi August 14, 2011 at 02:33 AM
We do shop at North Shore Farms. As for the Douglaston market, I went to Diego's every morning since the day it opened. I am very found of Diego and his family and was saddened to see them close. One thing has nothing to do with the other. The Douglaston market was not a farm stand it was a deli. As for loyalty have you noticed the number of fresh direct trucks in the Manor? And yes I'm one of the people receiving it. Just trying to eat healthy.
Debbie Zammit August 14, 2011 at 05:48 PM
Once again, please understand, this is not about being fond of Diego and his family. This is not about a farm stand verses a deli. This is not about eating healthy. Everyone is free to support whatever organization they chose to. Just don’t be fooled into thinking that by supporting the green/farmers market, you are supporting your community. This community gains nothing by allowing outsiders in to sell their products. There might be individuals that will have personal financial gain by advocating for the new market to be placed in the center of one of the most private communities in the borough of Queens. There is no gain for the Douglaston community. Our community leaders were so busy supporting the initiative of the outsiders for two years that they did nothing when a devastating injustice was done to one of our own community vendors, who had always contributed to our community. Please, be careful what you wish for, we must support our local shop owners as they support us.
judi August 14, 2011 at 08:35 PM
I supported the Douglaston market everyday as did many of our neighbors. Perhaps the rent was too high, they were getting a rent increase, or any other factors we are not privy to. It sounds like you think there was a big conspiracy around the Douglaston market closing. Sometimes business just fail. I must end this dialogue, it just keeps going round and round. Most people are thrilled with the change and look forward to the building of new and existing business. Yesterdays fair was a clear example of this.
Debbie Zammit August 14, 2011 at 08:58 PM
Unfortunately, you must have missed the part about the Douglaston Market being anonymously reported after spending time and money on improvements. This was not about a longstanding business just failing. Yesterday’s fair was about community and a clear example of what our wonderful community markets (not the green/farmers market) contribute to both our community and charitable causes. Was the green/farmers market there? You can end your portion of the dialogue and support whoever you like, but be sure that you understand it is not the community you are supporting, it is the outside vendors.
judi August 15, 2011 at 11:30 AM
Unfortunately you've missed the point.

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