DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Derry

June 5, 2014

Derry Farmers Market returns to downtown

Benson family offers space on Broadway

DERRY — The market is on the move once again.

The Derry Farmers Market begins its summer schedule this month, returning to the downtown after a winter run at Upper Village Hall in East Derry.

The market had planned to move its entire operation to the East Derry hall, but now a downtown opportunity brings the market back to its original roots on Broadway to property owned by local businessman Brad Benson and his family.

The summer market opens Wednesday, June 18, from 3 to 6 p.m., running weekly through Sept. 24.

The market began four years ago, setting up for its inaugural summer season near the Manning Street pocket park and supported with town funds.

That early market plan sprouted from a group of downtown visionaries hoping to upgrade Broadway and offer activities to bring more people downtown.

“We’re back on track this year as far as the original mission for economic development,” market manager Beverly Ferrante said. “It definitely brings a crowd of people.”

The town originally gave financial support to the market, but eventually severed its financial ties.

Ferrante vowed to keep the project going and found a home and new partnership with the East Derry Village Improvement Society that oversees the historic hall, its operation and upkeep.

But Ferrante said she sat down with Benson recently to talk about the market and its future. He offered to let the market return this summer to his property.

She said she thought it would be a good move and accepted Benson’s offer.

Benson demolished an old building on the property, a former gas station, and had no immediate plans to develop the site.

“My brothers and I realized how important it was to have the market downtown,” he said. “We also are aware of how successful it was downtown and wanted to have that success continue.”

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