FREEPORT — The local farmers market will not reopen.
In recent years the market had been held on Friday afternoons at L.L. Bean’s Moose Parking Lot. Angela Streeter, owner of The Craftin’ Scot, who managed the market, said vendors began dropping out last year, amid lagging sales.
“We tried to donate with vouchers for people who use Freeport Community Services, and not even that got used,” Streeter said. “There weren’t enough customers. We had plenty of interest from crafts people, but farmers had more interest in larger Saturday markets.”
She also said that parking is difficult to find on summer days in the L.L. Bean lot, and many people who do find parking are tourists – not the typical farmers market customer.
Streeter said the Freeport Farmers Market had been held outside Town Hall prior to move to the L.L. Bean property.
“It has been tried many times in Freeport and it hasn’t seemed to pan out very well,” she said. “L.L. Bean did its best to help, and the vendors tried.”
Deede Montgomery, co-owner of Bessie’s Farm Goods on Litchfield Road, said she dropped out of the market last year. It fared better at the Town Hall because it was more accessible, with more parking, she said.
“L.L. Bean was wonderful, but everybody knows that L.L. Bean’s parking lot, in the middle of the summer, you just can’t find parking,” Montgomery said. “And the tourists aren’t out to buy perishable stuff.”
Streeter said Freeport residents still have plenty of options when it comes to buying fresh, local produce – including Bessie’s. Bow Street Market, Royal River Natural Foods, Wealdon Farm and Wolfe’s Neck Farm all can meet that demand, she said.