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Farmers Market Moves to the Montgomery Municipal Center

The move is expected to bring new life to the township’s recently developed municipal complex.


By Caprice Benifield-Sanchez | Posted February 20, 2024


The Montgomery Friends of Open Space (MFOS) Farmers Market is relocating to the Montgomery Municipal Center at the corner of Orchard Road and Route 206 on Saturday, February 24.


Future winter markets inside the complex will be held on the following Saturdays:  March 30 and April 27 from 10 am to 1 pm. 


Montgomery Municipal Center, NJ

The Montgomery Municipal Center is now home to the Montgomery Friends of Open Space Farmers Market.


For 23 years, the MFOS farmers market was located in the parking lot of Village Shopper II, also known as the Village Shoppes, on Route 206 near Route 518 — behind the Wells Fargo Bank near Mooyah Burgers and Ricky’s Thai. The shopping center is currently under construction, with the development of Village Walk — a new mixed-use community dubbed as “downtown Montgomery” with restaurants, retail shops, office space, and 52 apartments.


“We are so excited to be in our new location in the municipal building on Orchard Road, with lots of space to spread out,” Lorette Pruden, the farmers market manager, told The Montgomery News.


“We operate independently of the township. This recent collaboration is to help support the farmers market because we needed to move, our location was no longer viable. We really needed some room to grow and better amenities.”


Montgomery Farmers Market Manager Lorette Pruden

Montgomery Farmers Market Manager Lorette Pruden in the parking lot at Montgomery Walk/Shoppes — the former market location.


The MFOS farmers market will launch its full-time season on June 1, also at the Montgomery Municipal Center.


“We’ve been in conversation with the township for about six months, about moving to the township complex,” Pruden said. She noted the move is “good for the market and for the community.”


The MFOS farmers market relocation was under the guidance and with support from the Montgomery Economic Development Commission (EDC) and its Township Committee liaison Dennis Ahn. 

Pruden said the farmers market has collaborated with the Somerset County Library branch, located within the municipal center, in the past.


“They [the library folks] have come once a month to the market, brought books, have done presentations, and just handed out library cards at the market,” she said.


Moving the farmers market to the location of the library allows an even closer collaboration around library and township events.  


club pilates at Montgomery Township NJ

For example, the Montgomery Mayors Wellness Campaign and its partners (the Montgomery Health Department, Montgomery Rocky Hill Municipal Alliance, and the Montgomery Parks & Recreation), hosting a “Beat the Winter Blues” event during the first winter market in February.


Mayor Neena Singh says, “We are working with our community partners to coordinate programs [at the market] throughout the year to promote healthy activity among our residents and to bring a focus on various aspects of health and wellness. The farmers market is an important partner in promoting healthy eating and nutrition.”


Winter Market in March to Collaborate with Montgomery Food Bank 

Pruden said there are plans for a future collaboration for the March Winter Market with the Montgomery Food Bank. “So we’re looking for those kinds of opportunities to collaborate, and bring more life to the township complex on the weekends,” she said.


Market Vendors

Vendors of the Montgomery Farmers Market expressed their opinions of the location change.


Backer Farm

Heather Backer from the Backer Farm, said, “The new location has the potential to welcome more customers, advertising opportunities, as well as more space for growth.” 

Backer Farm has been selling ethically-raised beef, poultry, pork, and eggs at the Montgomery Farmers Market since December 2022. The 40-acre family farm is located in Mendham.


Roper’s Way Farm Jams

Jarad Roper, the owner of Roper’s Way Farm based in Princeton, said this is his second year at the market.


“The connections and loyal customer base in Montgomery is what established my company and made me keep going. I think the new venue is great. It will help when the weather is extremely hot, cold, or raining. The parking situation is also ideal for the customers and allows the market to expand in many ways. All in all, I’m looking forward to this year’s farmers market,” Roper said.


Zell’s Farm

Farmers Zell George and Shuhong Wang from Zell’s Farm in Hillsborough are in their sixth year in the farmers market. They grow and sell 12 kinds of mushrooms. They also sell frozen prepared foods made with their mushrooms, such as dumplings and steam buns using locally-sourced meats and vegetables.

“We think the move will be really positive, with better parking for customers, (and) more of a community atmosphere,” George said.


“I am a strong proponent of shopping at local farmers markets as a way to eat healthier (and) reduce our carbon footprint all while supporting local businesses. Having a local market where you can meet the people who are growing your food is a wonderful privilege that we are so lucky to have in this community.”


The Granola Bar 

Advah Zinder, owner of The Granola Bar, sells freshly baked granola cereals and bars made with locally sourced organic oats. She said, “I have been a vendor with the MFOS market since the summer of 2019, so I have seen a lot of changes with the market.”


“The move is very exciting,” she said. “Although the new location is far from the main road [Route 206], it does offer some opportunities to collaborate with the library and township to make the market an integral part of the community.”


More Vendors

Jardineira Garden Co.

Andrea Mathews grows specialty cut-flowers using sustainable practices in her East Amwell, backyard. Visit her at facebook.com/jardineiragardenco.


Orchard Farm Organics

Located in Montgomery, Caroline Phinney grows and sells fresh organic produce from May to November. She offers organic vegetables, preserved fruit & jams, herbal teas, flowers, pesto, farmhouse soups and sauces. Her farm uses biodynamic practices. www.orchardfarmorganics.org.


Princeton Cafe @ Princeton Fitness & Wellness

Located in Montgomery Township, Ed Zimmerman of Rocky Hill is selling breakfast burritos, coffee cake, and cookies at the Montgomery Farmers Market.


Blake’s Chocolates

Located in Hillsborough. Learn more about this company on Facebook at people/Blakes-Chocolates.


Bread Boutique

Owned by Genesis Hospitality Group, headquartered in Hamilton. The company owns more than nine restaurants, bars, bakeries, inns, and boutique hotels in the area. In Princeton, the number includes The Peacock Inn, Chez Alice, Bread Boutique, and Proof Pizza.


Catalina Empanadas 

Chilean Style Empanadas and freshly cut Salsa. Made in Hopewell. Visit them on Facebook @ Catalina Empanadas.


Tript Foods 

Based in the Princeton North Shopping Center located in Montgomery Township, Tript Foods catering service sells Northern Indian-style simmer sauces and foods. Visit triptfoods.us to learn more.


Learn more about the vendors by visiting MontgomeryFriends.org/farmers-market/business-directory.


Montgomery Friends of Open Space (MFOS) is a nonprofit all-volunteer organization formed in March 2002. Its goals are to preserve open land in Montgomery Township, to act as stewards for preserved properties, and to run a farmers’ market to support local agriculture. By working hard to protect remaining open land, we hope to achieve a better balance between growth and preservation.






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