ATLANTIC CITY – The only remaining farmers market in Atlantic City kicked off the summer season Sunday, June 24 at the Bartram Avenue Park, located next to the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
A handful of vendors committed to keeping the market going after the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority pulled funding for the market at the end of last year.
Magilla Gorilla Sweet Treats vendor Mark Bolner, who sells water ice, sodas and other treats, is the market manager who worked during the off season to obtain commitments from the vendors to return this year. He also recruited new vendors and worked with City Council to obtain the right to use the park.
“This is a great location for the market with people coming off the beach and there are restrooms available. We hope to be here throughout summer and then move to a different location in the fall,” he said.
Bolner said Sixth Ward Councilman Jesse O. Kurtz helped him maneuver the permitting process and donated signage.
“This is a great model of how people can step up to fill the gap and run something independently,” Kurtz said in a recent telephone interview.
Bolner said Johnny X of Ducktown Tavern also provided signage and $10 gift cards to his restaurant, which Bolner distributed to early bird shoppers.
Busy Bees owner Gary Schempp has been vending at the Atlantic City market for five years. His distinctive yellow display can be seen at nine South Jersey farmers markets.
Although the Atlantic City market is much smaller than some of the other farmers markets he attends, he is totally committed to making it a success and providing locally-grown and healthy foods to residents and visitors.
“I love it here. It’s refreshing to be by the sea. There’s always a nice breeze, the people are lovely, and we get a lot of repeat customers along with some new friendly faces,” Schempp said. “Like my wife always says, ‘We like to spread honey goodness.’”
Hubert Banas of Atlantic City, who was born in Jaslo, Poland, shops the Busy Bees NJ honey stand several times every year.
“Best stuff ever,” he said. “I use the wildflower honey to make challah bread, and I use some of the other infusions for cooking.”
On Sunday, he tried the garlic infused honey, and another that has a hint of cinnamon.
Schempp said the market also gives him the opportunity to educate the public and share information about honeybees and the importance of pollinators and pollination.
“Other aspects of agriculture, nutrition and many other topics often arise at our tables, such as pollinator declines and what we can do about it,” Schempp said.
New at the market this year is Paris Produce, which is selling bruschetta, salsa and fresh fruit cups.
Morgan Gabriel said all the items are made at the purveyor’s Pleasantville location and served up on a bed of ice to keep everything nicely chilled.
Monteleone Farms is selling Jersey fresh produce, including locally grown blueberries, cucumbers, zucchini and hot house tomatoes until New Jersey’s vine ripened ones are available later this summer.
Denise Falvo of Ladle of Luv in Ventnor was providing small tastings of her gazpacho soup, which pleased one young shopper who encouraged people to try her “delicious” soup.
The market is located next to the World Famous Atlantic City Boardwalk at Bartram Avenue Park and will be open 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday until Labor Day weekend.
For more see Atlantic City (Bartram Ave) Farmers Market on Facebook.