When Maggie Trujillo was asked to take over the Rowayton Farmers Market, it was a sparsely attended affair stuck in an out-of-the-way part of town. "It needed something to punch it up, give it more visibility," she said. Her solution? Move it to Pinkney Park on Rowayton Avenue, the main thoroughfare in the seaside community. The change was a hit, with the number of vendors reaching two-dozen and several hundred customers visiting each Friday from June through October.
"Word of mouth is the best publicity," said Trujillo, noting that more people from out of town have been making the trip to the market.
Some of the vendors make a long drive to sell their wares, too. Trevor Stotenberg of Horman's Best Pickles comes from Glen Cove, Long Island, N.Y., to the banks of the Five Mile River for the market.
"It's worth the drive," he said. "Not many markets are, but this is an amazing location, and the people are so friendly." He spoke as he was spooning pickles into containers for Katie Mitchell of Darien, who said her favorites are the New Dill and Red Flannel, Horman's version of the classic bread-and-butter pickles.
The market has an eclectic mix of items for sale, including bread, fruits, vegetables, cheese and handicrafts. One of the unique vendors is Roses for Autism, the last working rose farm on the East Coast, which trains and hires autistic people as workers.
"I'd love to bring in a really great fish seller," said Trujillo, hinting at plans for next year.
The market will continue for the next several Fridays before striking its tents for the winter. "We'll go to the end of October if the weather cooperates," she said.
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