Thanks to Local Businesses, Farmers Market Back Downtown

The Derry Farmers Market is coming back home.

Market Director Beverly Ferrante announced this week that thanks to the support of two community partners, Benson’s Lumber and Hardware and Derry Feed and Supply Co., the Market will be back on Broadway this summer.

Ferrante and the Market moved out of the Municipal Center parking lot last fall after the then-Town Council voted to reduce funding for the program to $5,000. The Market refused all town funding and went independent at that time. It met in the parking lot until October as per the arrangement with the town, moved to the parking lot at Derry Feed and Supply for the last month, and then moved to their winter quarters at Upper Village Hall in East Derry, with plans to continue at Upper Village Hall for summer 2014.

Though she appreciates Upper Village Hall and counts its parent organization, the East Derry Village Improvement Society (EDVIS), as her third community partner, Ferrante felt a sense of uneasiness. She kept going back to the Market’s original mission, which was to contribute to the vibrancy of “downtown,” and she knew it couldn’t do that at Upper Village Hall.

“It was supposed to be a destination point, a social hub for the community,” she said.

She decided to visit Brad Benson, a former Councilor and co-owner of Benson’s Lumber and Hardware. When she set foot in the store Benson met her and said, “I need to talk to you.” He told her, Ferrante recalled, that the Market needed to be downtown, out in front on West Broadway. And he offered to let her use a piece of property that was recently freed up after the Bensons tore down a dilapidated gas station.

Bud Evans, owner of Derry Feed and Supply, told her the Market could hook up to his electricity and use whatever vendors needed, Ferrante said.

“I met with the EDVIS and they were fantastic,” Ferrante said of her winter hosts. “This is another way we can all work together.”

She had to run around last week changing the location on her fliers and notifying her 2014 vendors, but it’s all good, Ferrante reported. “They were ecstatic!” she said.

Moving back downtown will give her vendors more exposure and enhance the downtown business community, according to Ferrante.

“This is where it should be,” she said.

Opening date is Wednesday, June 18. The market will run every Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m. through Sept. 24. For more information, call her at 434-8974 and leave a message or visit