Red Bank Farmers’ Market now 26 years old
RED BANK — Founded by Elaine Sourlis and her late husband, Galleria real estate developer Ted Sourlis, the Red Bank Farmers’ Market is one of the oldest running farmers markets in the state. The market is open Sundays from Mother’s Day to the end of the growing season each year.
Currently managed and owned by brothers George and Jim Sourlis and their mother Elaine, John Hauser of Hauser Hill Farms in Old Bridge got involved here about 20 years ago. Other participating farms include Jeff’s Organic Produce, Brookville Farms, Stonybrook Meadows and Valley Shepherd Creamery. The last Sunday in July, as temperatures climbed to near 90 degrees by mid-morning in the spacious parking lot of the Galleria, a mixed-use redevelopment projected completed by [the late real estate broker-developer ] Ted Sourlis, New Jersey Farmer spoke with the market’s general manager, Ted Whitehouse. Whitehouse was raised on a horse farm in Ringoes, in West Jersey not far from the Delaware River.
“First and foremost, this is a farmers’ market,” Whitehouse stressed a few parking spaces away from the Galleria building, a former uniform factory, the Eisner Building, that was converted to office space, retail space and a number of restaurants in 1983 by the late Sourlis and his sons.
The Galleria building is at the corner of West Front, Shrewsbury Avenue and Bridge Streets in Red Bank, not far from the New Jersey Transit railroad tracks and Red Bank train station. Unlike parts of Red Bank, parking is not an issue here on Sunday mornings.
“We have seven farmers involved here and then we have some bread makers, cheese makers and hand crafters involved as well,” Whitehouse said, noting “they are actual handcrafters, not people who buy and re-sell.”
Value-added products that can be found at the Red Bank Farmers’ market include farm fresh milk and cheeses, goat’s milk, eggs, pastas, sauces, guacamole, ice cream and a number of vegan food vendors.
“Everybody here pretty much does their own thing, we don’t have a lot of people all selling the same things,” he said, “it’s not a flea market and we try not to go that route.” Whitehouse has about 45 vendors signed up for 2019 and typically anywhere from 36 to 40 show up each week, he said. “If it rains, the farmers rather like the rain, it draws out more people who aren’t going to the beach. It’s a good community event , we’re here every season and we very much enjoy doing it.”
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