AFI Signs Lease for Amagansett Farmers Market

The Amagansett Farmers' Market.
The Amagansett Farmers' Market.
The Amagansett Farmers’ Market.

On Monday, the Amagansett Food Institute (AFI) announced it has signed a lease with The Peconic Land Trust to operate the iconic Amagansett Farmers’ Market on Main Street in Amagansett. The Institute said it would open the facility on August 1.

According to a press release issued by the Institute, it will operate the Farmers’ Market as “a retail food destination, community hub and gathering place, presenting local produce and other products made by East End and New York State food producers.”

“In keeping with AFI’s and the Trust’s shared goals to support, promote, and advocate for the farmers, vintners, fishers and other food producers and providers on the East End of Long Island, AFI’s offerings in the food market will feature predominantly local produce and locally prepared foods, including many of those from AFI member farms and our commercial incubator kitchen known as South Fork Kitchens,” continues the press release.

South Fork Kitchens is located on the Stony Brook-Southampton campus.

The Institute said it will also use the facility to offer educational programming “tailored towards introducing visitors to seasonality and to a more traditional relationship with food, while addressing issues such as food waste, food insecurity, health and nutrition, and sustainability.”

“We are thrilled to be able to showcase the best of East End produce and food products and look forward to working with the community to bring more awareness of local food and food related issues,” said Kathleen Masters, the Executive Director of AFI.

“We look forward to working with Kathy and her team at the Amagansett Food Institute, as we continue to support our local farming community through diverse programming, including farmland protection and access to farmland for both new and established farm operations through both lease and sale,” said Pam Greene, vice president of the Peconic Land Trust.

The Land Trust announced in January that it was accepting bids for an operator for the Amagansett Farmers’ Market. Eli Zabar had run the market since 2009. Prior to that, the market was run for over 50 years by Pat Struck. In 2008, preservationist Margaret de Cuevas purchased the property from Ms. Struck for $5.5 million, leasing the land to the Peconic Land Trust. At the same time, the development rights of 7.56 acres of the 9.3 acre parcel were purchased by the Town of East Hampton.