HOPATCONG BOROUGH, NJ – Every Sunday, the Hopatcong Borough Hall Parking lot at 111 River Styx Road is transformed into a marketplace. Vendors come rain or shine and open up their large tents for business from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekly.
What sets the Hopatcong Farmers’ Market is it was completely organized by town volunteers, including councilwoman Marie Galate and councilman Mike Francis.
“The markets are great, the vendors are great,” Galate told NJ Inside Scene on our visit to the market on Sunday, August 24.
Galate said that the market was in its third year.
“We do it for the love of the market, and the people in the community support the market,” she said.
One of the highlights of the market is a prize giveaway at about 1:30 p.m. each Sunday. Galate said that vendors supply the prizes, which are very generous. Some past prizes have included honey, and a gift certificate designation to spend at a vendor.
Live music is another specialty, and weekly there is live entertainment, one week an African Drum Circle, and another, violin music.
Other fun events have taken place, including special festivals, the ice bucket challenge last week with Hopatcong Borough Council Members, and upcoming on the last market of the season, is the Christmas in October Event on October 12. That event will be home to Christmas-themed music, and goods for sale. Santa and one of his elves also make a stop to that market.
Some of the vendors this past week included: Top of the Mountain Honey Bee Farm, Ideal Farms, Sparta Mountain Farm, Mo’Pweeze Bakery, Naturally Young Botanicals, Lazy Susan’s Granola, DanaRay Farm, Sabretti’s Featuring “Scones & Truffles by Ruth,” Glenmalure Farm, Lakeside Maple, and High Mountain Foods.
There were some great items to sample and enjoy while there, such as the freshly popped Kettle Corn from the local High Mountain Foods, which also specializes in fresh soups at the markets, pickles and olives, seafood and pasta. Rolled lasagna, eggplant rollatini, and stuffed clams were among the fare that could also be purchased, with owner Vito Lombardo, telling NJ Inside Scene that his prices and quantities that customers walked away with are better than other vendors who sell similar products.
“The food sells itself,” said Lombardo.
Ruth Fouda runs the booth adjacent to Lombardo. Sabretti’s Featuring “Scones & Truffles by Ruth.” Founda features gourmet scones that are an experience. While scones can often be dry in consistency, her varieties are different than others that are sold in stores and shops, and are competitive in price, with a regular scone at $2.00 a piece, and minis at $1.25. Truffles are another one of her specialty, with chocolate, chocolate mint, chocolate raspberry and chocolate orange. Caramels, such as those with sea salt, and rolled in toffee, are other decadent treats she makes. Her chocolate with caramel and sea salt is especially rich and delicious.
Yesterday, one of Fouda and her team’s scones was a sugar free variety, made with zest of the Cara Cara Orange. This pinkish orange paired nicely with cranberries baked within the scone, for a sweet experience without sugar.
NJ Inside Scene ended taking home one of the Peach Scones, some kosher dill and sweet pickles from High Mountain Foods, and organic tomatoes from DanaRay Farm. DanaRay, out of Branchville and also at the Sussex County Farmers’ Market that I featured in my first story (click here to read), specializes in goat milk soaps and lotions, fruit, vegetables, canned goods (jams, jellies, pickles and relishes), raw sauerkraut, fermented pickles, pork, and raw honey.
Other vendors that are often at the Hopatcong Farmers’ Market include: Gemini Crow Sauce, Hummus Boss, Mo Green Juice, Red Barn Crafts, Fontaine de Sante Stone Candles, Forest Acres, Presto Flowers, and Fit to be Tie Dyed.
Click here for the Hopatcong Farmers’ Market Facebook Page.
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