Local farmers create pipeline to Boston market

  • Ellen Dumas, owner of Ten Talents at La Bergerie Dumas, talks with Connie Smith, left, and Katie Holten about her products at the opening of the Peterborough Farmers' Market. Dumas and her husband Conrad are members of Grow, Eat, Drink Monadnock and have been thinking about signing up for the Copley Square Market this season. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Ellen Dumas, owner of Ten Talents at La Bergerie Dumas, talks with Connie Smith, left, and Katie Holten about her products at the opening of the Peterborough Farmers' Market. Dumas and her husband Conrad are members of Grow, Eat, Drink Monadnock and have been thinking about signing up for the Copley Square Market this season. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Ellen Dumas, owner of Ten Talents at La Bergerie Dumas, talks with Connie Smith, left, and Katie Holten about her products at the opening of the Peterborough Farmers' Market. Dumas and her husband Conrad are members of Grow, Eat, Drink Monadnock and have been thinking about signing up for the Copley Square Market this season. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/22/2019 9:27:05 PM

The Monadnock Region is becoming well-known for its variety of specialty foods.

And Grow, Eat, Drink, Monadnock is laying a foundation to help promote this corner of New Hampshire and all it has to offer. From gourmet chocolate and plant-based cashew cheese, to artisan goat cheese and gluten-free desserts, the area is a food lover’s dream. Add in restaurant menus that will take you across the globe, a brewery in downtown Peterborough and the many working farms spread throughout the area, and there are all the makings of a can’t-miss travel destination.

While the group, which is a spoke of the Monadnock Economic Ecosystem Hub, is still relatively new, GDEM chair Ciaran Nagle sees no reason why they can’t establish the region as a must-visit in the world of food, beverage and agriculture.

“There are all these dynamic experiences here,” Nagle said. “And people are very passionate about local support and making it sustainable within our local communities.”

It will take time to realize that overarching goal, but one of the necessary steps is beginning to take shape. Thanks to Nagle’s connections in the Boston area through his shared commercial kitchen operations, Foundation Kitchen, in Somerville, Massachusetts, Nagle was able to secure a vendor booth for the Copley Square Farmers Market for the 2019 season. The group is currently looking for farmers and food producers to both sell at the booth and provide products to be sold.

Those who can’t commit to an entire day in Boston don’t  have to go to the market to sell their products. Since it is one-booth area, the plan is to have one or two people acting as the vendor each week, but selling a host of products. Nagle said the dynamics of what products will be sold depends on the interest and the connection between those involved.

“What are the riches we have here, what are the resources,” Nagle said. “It’s one big circle we have to be involved in.”

For instance, Nate Morison, general manager/co-owner of Vicuña Chocolate and market administrator for GEDM, could be the vendor for a specific week. But wanting to have more products than just his chocolate to sell, he might purchase lettuce from one farmer and strawberries from another, or beef and cheese to incorporate variety.

But there’s no substitute for being there.

“If you have a product to sell, you have a story to tell,” Morison said.

“The more dynamic the offering, the better it will be,” Nagle said. “And I want a representation of what the region does best.”

Having more products will not only attract people to the booth, but bring attention to what the region has, and in turn make it a destination for market goers.

“It comes down to how to brand ourselves, how we create opportunities,” Morison said.

The market begins May 14 and runs weekly on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Nov. 19. The list of local businesses, farms and restaurants is growing, but Grow, Eat, Drink Monadnock wants more to be involved. So far, membership includes Ten Talents Farm, Main Street Cheese, Doodle Eats, Nuttin’ Ordinary, Post & Beam Brewery, Vicuña Chocolate and more.

“We want to get that dialogue going,” Nagle said.

Step one is to get folks involved with the Copley Square Market, but also make a big presence at the Peterborough Farmer’s Market.

“In this area, we have all the puzzle pieces, we just need to fit them together,” Morison said. “We have great supply and great demand, so the larger project is to create more opportunities for our local food-focused businesses to grow.”

Nagle will be providing free parking at his Foundation Kitchen location in Somerville for vendors, which is about two miles from the market.

The total overhead cost of the stand for each market day is $80. This may be split between however many vendors wish to participate at the market on any given Tuesday. 


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