Saturday, June 22, 2013

Farmer Leaves Reading Terminal Market

Steve Bowes, the organic farmer who occupied space in the piano court for the past few years, has left the Reading Terminal Market. Instead he's concentrating on wholesaling to local restaurants and his Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Among his wholesale customers, and headquarters for his CSA in Philadelphia, is Russet Restaurant on Spruce Street.

Bowes started out at the market three years ago when it briefly, and unsuccessfully, partnered with Farm to City to operate a traditional farmers' market across 12th Street. After that effort failed, Bowes elected to sell directly inside the market, using day tables set up in the piano court opposite Metropolitan Bakery. Bowes filled a gap in the market's offerings when Livengood Family left center court.

Paul Steinke, general manager of the Reading Terminal Market, said there's no active search for a replacement. Instead, market shoppers will have to rely on local produce sold by eisting produce vendors:
  • Fair Food Farmstand sells the widest variety of local produce, from some of the same growers who populate the city's farmers' markets, as well as items from coops.
  • Kauffman's Lancaster County Produce, operated by Benuel Kauffman, gets most of his fruits and vegetables from the Leola Produce Auction or his neighbors, though some items occasionally come from his wife's garden.
  • L. Halteman Family primarily sells meats, but also offers seasonal local produce, frequently at the best prices you'll see.
  • Iovine Brothers Produce has been displaying local produce prominently in recent years. Most of the local items are vegetables, particularly greens from larger growers in Maryland and South Jersey, but they also work with smaller farmers like Shady Brook in Bucks County, which supplies corn in addition to other items. 
  • OK Lee will feature local produce, though not as extensively as Iovine's.

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