Ocean Pines Farmers Market Welcomes Thousands on Saturdays, Year-Round
The Worcester County farmers market opened its gates in 2012 and has continued to flourish throughout the years. According to David Bean, market manager, the farmers market offers a total 19 vendor categories, including the traditional farmers market vendor opening, such as farms, orchards, bakers, wineries, seafood and meats, as well as artisans, tradesman and a bazaar category for the sale of used resell merchandise.
In 2015, 153 vendors participated, some as full-time and others as visiting vendors. On a typical summer market day, the market averages of 65 vendors, while the spring, fall and winter markets include 15 to 35 vendors.
“The farmers market is offered as a community amenity that is open to everyone from everywhere. Shopping at the market helps to build the local economy. It’s an opportunity for the shopper to buy directly from the producers, who live and operate their businesses in the local surrounding Delmarva communities.”
Bean says, each season the attendance of the market continues to grow—this past winter season experienced attendance figures that equate to that of the 2012 inaugural years summer market attendance. The summer market last year welcomed an average of 1500 to 2000 visitors on any given Saturday, with higher totals on holiday weekends or during various community events, such as the Artisan & Crafter Festival held by the Pine’eer Craft Club and the Ocean Pines Association each August.
Tom Pfeifer, owner of Eastern Shore Kettle Korn, has been participating in the market for three years. Pfeifer goes as far as saying it is one of the best run markets out there.
“The two Davids do a phenomenal job running the market—they are up early, provide plenty of communication with the vendors, they try to bring in new vendors and they are open to new ideas,” Pfeifer said. “Just being in the park is so enjoyable during the summer. The customers are great and loyal.. I see a lot of people week to week that come to get my kettle corn… people come to talk to me, tell me where my kettle corn has been and where they ship it out to. I’ve gotten to know a lot of them on a first name basis.”
Bean says this year, the Ocean Pines Farmers Market has added a few new attractions. The Market Picnic Grove is a green lawn, home to picnic tables, tucked under the parks large shade trees located at the heart of the farmers market. Bean says the grove is a great place for market goers to relax between shopping adventures and enjoy the ‘picturesque backdrop of the open-air farmers market.’ At the grove, food trucks will offer shoppers beverages and snacks, as well as live entertainment on the “Front Porch Stage.”
Every Saturday the Ocean Pines Farmers Market is held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine. To learn more about the market, visit oceanpines.org/amenities/ocean-pines-farmers-market.