By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — The Derry Farmers Market is open for business.
After weathering a town budget storm last month when officials slashed the market’s budget for next year, market manager Beverly Ferrante is hoping for blue skies ahead as the 2013 market opened for the season on June 19.
The market’s first day was busy, Ferrante said.
This is the fourth year for the market and the second at the Manning Street location.
The market took a big budget hit last month after town councilors voted, 4-3, to cut town support of the market from $21,800 to $5,000 for fiscal year 2014.
For Ferrante, it’s all about staying positive this summer.
Market volunteer John Potucek said he is seeing many new faces and vendors make Derry a part of their summer shopping experience.
Derry needs this market, he said.
“Buying local not only helps the town and everyone in it, but you know where it comes from, when it was picked,” he said. “And everyone here, they become your friends.”
Some vendors are stalwarts, including Sweet Pea Jewelry, Brian Folsom’s maple products and Rig ‘A Tony’s Italian foods and breads.
Some newcomers sold out of products during the market’s first few hours. New products included tea made of chaga mushrooms and kettle corn.
“This is just a sample of what we’re getting this year,” said Nicole Ferrante, market assistant. “We’re here rain or shine; it brings some vibrance to the downtown.”
This summer should bring in about 30 vendors, some coming every week, some only signing on for part of the season.
Debbie Roy brought her two young daughters, Lexie and Hailey, downtown for a stroll. She said the opening day crowd looked like a good one.
“Hopefully, the rest of the year will be good,” she said.
Janie Lavoie, of JL Sweets in Bedford, passed out samples of her snack mix, cookies and other baked goods.
“It’s my first week here in Derry,” she said. “It’s nice. There’s also a lot of stuff kids like.”
Lavoie also liked the location and ample parking for both customers and vendors.
As the season progresses, more vendors will come with locally grown produce, including Derry’s Kittredge Farms.
The market runs on Manning Street every Wednesday from 3 to 7 p.m. through the end of September.
After that, the market’s future is unknown as town officials decide how to move ahead with less money in the budget.
Ferrante said she’s thrilled with this season’s vendor lineup and looks forward to the weeks ahead.
“I’m thrilled with the vendors we have on board. It should be a smooth running market this season,” she said. “It’s fabulous.”