Market Managers Penni and Andy Starer were busy with the city’s first farmers market of the season, Friday, May 26, 2023.


VENTNOR – Whether it was the perfect weather, free parking, or perhaps the early season Jersey Fresh produce, shoppers turned out in record numbers Friday morning to welcome the summer season at the Ventnor City Farmers Market.

More than 65 vendors were selling everything from fresh greens and garden plants to fabric baskets and dog biscuits and bones. Market Managers Penni and Andy Starer were busy helping vendors with their attractive displays, while Market Manager  Maria Gatta of The Red Room Café was at her booth making gnocchi and selling “homemades.” A few tents over, a vendor was selling exotic mushrooms next to a chiropractor giving adjustments.

Little Johnny, a 10-week-old Boston terrier, attended his first farmers market in Ventnor.

Year-round Ventnor residents Brittany Hiller and Walt Forrest brought their 10-week-old Boston terrier, named Johnny, to the market.

“We’ve been coming ever since it started seven years ago,” Hiller said. “Our favorites are Tony Baloney’s pizza and fresh made mozzarella, and Far and Away Flower Farm is always nice.”

Mari and Dan Hinds of Philadelphia, who own a property in Ventnor where they spend weekends and at least a week a month during the summer season, said they love the variety at the market.

“There’s always new things, and the kids like the donuts,” Mari Hinds said. “We like to pick up fresh fruits and veggies to take to the beach.”

Although it was a little chilly, she said the kids don’t even notice.

“We plan on going later today,” she said.

Clint Hunter sells his handmade pottery pieces.

Sue Van Duyne Hunter, who is the director of the Ventnor City Cultural Arts Center, was helping her husband Clint Hunter sell his handmade pottery.

“It’s our first time doing the market as a vendor,” Van Duyne Hunter said. “We are grateful for the nice weather, and seeing people we haven’t seen for the last six months.”

And, sales were brisk, she said.

The Old Coots were out in force giving free advice.

A few tents down the row, the Old Coots were dispensing their treasured advice to those who asked.

“We had a lot of young people asking for advice today,” Old Coot Pat O’Brien said.

Woman-about-town Marsha Galespie was wearing her signature orange colors to entice people into the tent.

“Marsha is our shill,” O’Brien joked. “She gets them in our tent.”

A young woman barely out of her teens plopped down into a chair asking for advice about “life.”

“I want to know how I can find a good man,” she asked.

To which O’Brien replied, “To get a good man, you have to be a good woman.”

The other coots nodded, “That’s good advice.”

The market will be held 8:30 to noon weekly until Labor Day in the parking lot at St. James Church, Atlantic and Newport avenues. Some free parking is available in the surrounding area during market hours.

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Categories: Ventnor

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.