In spite of the snowy weather forecast for Saturday morning, there was a steady procession of cars turning into the American Legion Hall for the first Baldwin Winter Farmers Market, produced by G&G Long Island Farmers Market. The parking lot was packed, and some visitors opted to park on neighboring blocks and walk over.
I came alone, walking in behind a couple with a stroller and a toddler in tow. Familiar faces from my block and fellow Plaza parents greeted me, and I ran into neighbors like Jessenia and Stephen Velazquez, from the janitorial service CleanSweep, and their daughter Jalee-Ann.
I wasn’t sure what to expect at the market, but I was pleasantly surprised by the setup. There was a Baldwin Civic Association information table at the door, and nearly a dozen vendors lined the walls of the room with their signage and goods on display. A constant parade of people, young and old, circled the hall and formed lines to purchase and taste.
There was a table with chairs in the center of the room where patrons could sit and sample the wares, or where kids could rest while their parents shopped. The pastas, pickles, vegetables and baked treats stood out to me as I made my first pass around the room, but I was especially enticed by the empanadas at Jessie’s Peruvian Pastries in the back, next to the aromatic soups and stocks table.
The BCA’s David Viana and Paula Reyna cheerfully greeted guests at the door, giving visitors the lay of the land and answering questions about the event and the organization. For a grand opening, this was a grand turnout, and Viana was optimistic that the event would be a success. It is slated to continue every Saturday morning through April 27, and might even move outdoors in the spring. (There is some discussion of adding live entertainment if weather permits and interest remains strong.)