The resident peacock, who earlier entertained delighted visitors with a full feather display, surveyed the view from his perch on the bakery roof, while the Milleridge’s cat trotted in between the booths, much to the delight of the children.
Vendor Scott Evers was there with his specially mixed spice company called Sabba’s Spicery.
“I’ve been mixing spices for 35 years so I can tolerate my own cooking,” he laughed. “Spices are the chemistry set of the cook, once you have a good set to work with everything is easy.”
He even had a special spice blend of catnip, which included cayenne, to help his cat with a sore back.
There were a variety of other vendors, too — some with glass, quilts, homemade soaps and candles.
Jennifer Avallone, the organizer of the farmers market, discussed how this all first began.
“I was approached two years ago by Bernadette Smith, the wife of the owner of the Milleridge Inn, to see if there was a way to bring new business into the village,” said Avallone. “We thought a craft fair would be a good addition. I am a vendor myself of JGA Creations, and by going to different markets I got to know a lot of people already, so we hand-picked everybody.”
The focus of the market is all Long Island-made products.
“It’s got to be handmade artisan’s food from Long Island,” said Avallone. “We usually have a farmers’ market but it’s a little early in the season because of the cold weather.
The market, which runs every Sunday from 11a.m. to 5 p.m. in June features all Long Island vendors and their products.
“We usually have between 10 and 20 vendors and we also have special events,” said Avallone. “We will be doing a kid’s day the first week in June where we will have a children’s author coming in to read.”
The event will include children’s vendors as well as the market’s regular vendors.
“We will do special events like that all during the market season,” said Avallone. “We are scheduled until June 29 and will take July and August off because it’s too hot, and return September through November.”
While shoppers roamed through the courtyard of quaint stores admiring the crafts and tasting the food, a musical combo serenaded the group.
Four year old Chloe was having her face painted while mom, Christine Patino from Oyster Bay, looked on.
“We come here for the music, the nice outdoor weather, and the food,” she said.
Last year, Patino says she came to the market to buy artwork and pickles.
Vendor Kelly Blydenburgh of Levittown, who owns the Country Crab, was there with her husband, James.
“I make fabric and paper treasures including gift tags, bunting, party and home décor items,” she said. “I’ve been doing this for a long time but I turned it into a business two years ago.”
Blydenburgh explained how she named her company. “The Country Crab came about because I was born under the sun sign cancer and I love the summers on Long Island and would love to live in the country someday.”
Lisa Jeran, a recovery nurse with her company Peck’s of Maine, was at Milleridge to sell artisanal jams and jellies.
“Our business philosophy includes buying all of our products local, the fruits and vegetables from the North Fork,” she said. “We do get the wild blueberries from Maine because they are organic. We work with Ace hardware to get all of our jars and recycle them. When a customer returns it we give them 50 cents per jar.”
They have come to the Milleridge event many times and the delicious jams are such a hit that they are now sold at the Milleridge Village Bakery.
After tasting all of the samples, some folks decided it was time to work off those calories. Susan Carlough and her friend Lauren each bought a hula hoop and shared why they came to the craft show.
“It’s a beautiful day and we wanted to do something outside and we couldn’t resist buying a hula hoop today,” she said. With that they both started to demonstrate to the crowd their expertise when someone in the back shouted out, “Hey you, Vinnie from the 1950s called, he wants his hula hoops back!”