We started the market at River Bluffs on July 29, 2017 as a perk for the residents of River Bluffs. It rained that day as I recall, and, we have been there every Saturday since, with the lone exception of last Saturday when we closed for a wedding at the Porches Cafe venue. My friends from Feast for the Gods, Betsy and Alexis Fouros, were the first to join us in the Fall of 2017, and they convinced us to make it a year ‘round market. Recently, River Bluffs has pushed the market more aggressively to the general public and we have been delighted to bring in some of our friends from other markets like The Farmer’s Market at Poplar Grove, and the Wilmington Farmer’s Market at Tidal Creek. After our one and only closed Saturday last week, we are doing a re-opening of sorts with a greatly expanded vendor list. Moving forward, we will have more vendors, cooking demonstrations, and maybe even a little live music from time to time. Come see our expanded offerings this Saturday from 10am to 2pm, as always, on the veranda beside Porches Café – 1030 CHAIR ROAD, CASTLE HAYNE NC 28429. Here’s a bit of info about our new vendors for this Saturday.
Feast for the Gods – Alexis and Betsy Fouros are the chef owners of Feast for the Gods (The Creative Market Place, Inc.) While Alexis is the big-name chef of the two, Betsy creates fantastic dishes as well, usually with a Southern flair. Full disclosure, the Fouros’s are very close friends of mine, but they are also just truly fascinating people, both individually and as a couple. Betsy is a Southern girl originally from Wilson, North Carolina. She’s as sweet as her desserts, but as sharp as her chef’s knife when it comes to business, having studied Business Economics at Marymount Manhattan College and Columbia University. When she’s not creating fabulous prepared foods for clients and the farmers markets, she does business consulting on the side – often pro bono. Alexis was born on Lefkas, a small Greek island in the Ionian Sea, not far from Corfu. After stints in the Royal Greek Navy and culinary studies in both France and Quebec, he moved to New York and opened two highly acclaimed restaurants, Theodoro’s and Hydra. For the River Bluffs Farm Market, they have fabulous prepared take-out baklava, spanakopita, awesome Mediterranean sausages, spice rubs, and as always, Alexis’s terrific cookbook.
Noni Bacca Winery – Ken and Toni Invorvaia both come from long lines of family wine-makers: Toni of Bulgarian descent, and Ken of Sicilian. Their award-winning traditional European blends are exceptional, and the winery is just off Eastwood Road on the way to Wrightsville Beach. Noni Bacca imports their stock juices from Italy and California and blend their creations right here in Wilmington. The winery itself is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Wilmington area. Come try their offerings at our market on Saturday and be sure to stop by the winery itself – a local treasure right here under our noses. It’s an honor to have them at our market, not to mention it’s nice to take a unique and exceptional bottle of wine home every Saturday after the market.
N.SEA Oyster Co – Now this is just cool – oyster farmers! Started by an impressive young U.N.C.W. graduate, Conor MacNair, the N.SEA Oyster Company is one of only thirty small companies in the state that is licensed to grow oysters. Their oyster seeding and trellising methods, shown here, are very much like the way we grow tomatoes. There is no wonder that they are called oyster farmers. With a commercial seafood license as well, Conor brings us whatever is fresh from the local Carolina waters. For this Saturday market, he will have oysters (some of the most beautiful, cleanest oysters I’ve ever seen) and fresh shrimp. Please come see his unique offerings.
Nature’s Way – James Perryman, another smart young entrepreneur, operates a beautiful small farm right off Virginia Creek (Topsail area.) He sells some exceptional goat cheese as well as vegetables, greens, and seafood as well.
Dandy Andy’s Organics – Andrew and Jenn Smith are growers and purveyors of hemp and hemp products, cbd oils and ointments, and much more. Andrew works closely with Turner Family Farms at the River Bluffs location and it’s nice to have him and Jenn at the market. We can personally attest to the efficacy of the products we have tried. The cbd roll-on balm in particular has worked wonders on farmer-grade aches and pains, and oddly enough, fire ant bites. Andrew and Jenn have been at the River Bluffs market a few times before and have received rave reviews from our customers there.