GREENBURGH, N.Y. – Every Tuesday on the east side of the Crossroads Shopping Center's parking lot in Greenburgh, members of Westchester Greenhouse and Farms set up tables to sell lettuce, melons, peaches and cherries to the community.
The farmers market opened in September 2011, roughly six months after the adjacent A&P supermarket closed its doors. As its first anniversary nears, the market's popularity continues to grow.
"It's been great," said co-owner Carol Avila. "It's going nice and smoothly. The community seems to be happy, and we're happy to provide the fresh produce to the community. It's working for us. It's great to work in our community. We bring in locally-grown fruit, and the vegetables are grown right here on the farm."
When the A&P closed last year, some residents were worried about purchasing groceries. At the time, Town Supervisor Paul Feiner said that it was very unfortunate to lose a supermarket in that location as several residents in the surrounding areas walked or took a bus or shuttle to buy food.
According to Avila, the months after the market's opening were slow; however, 2012 has brought many customers. On any given Tuesday, more than 200 people visit the farmers market to purchase berries, test the firmness of tomatoes, and ask questions about a variety of greens.
"The customers are all happy," Avila said. "And they're coming back and they're bringing more people with them. I can tell it's doing well just by the amount of people there are from last year to this year."
Despite the farmers markets popularity, there is still a desire for an all-purpose grocery in the shopping center. If a new grocer moves into the vacant, former A&P spot, Avila said that she will ask the town to find another venue to relocate.
"It does worry us," Avila said, "but if that does happen, I would like to work with the town and find another location close to that area. It seems to be working. If a store does come in there, we can't run that market, [but the town] can start scouting out another area where we can go in Greenburgh."
The Greenburgh Farmers Market is open for another 13 weeks, closing on Nov. 20.
Westchester Greenhouse and Farms runs its seven-days-a-week business at the corner of West Hartsdale Secor Roads. It also runs the White Plains farmers market on Wednesdays, Dobbs Ferry's on Fridays, Hartsdale's on Saturdays, and Tuckahoe's on Sundays.