The Amish may not be fond of traveling very far, but based on the number of non-Amish visitors that have stopped by the soon-to-open Amish Market in North Wildwood on a recent Saturday - assuming it was already opened - the rest of us are more than willing to drive to them.
During the course of the day Sept. 15, 75 people stopped by The Amish Market of North Wildwood, said its owner Darren Staffieri. He knows this because he kept count with tally marks scribbled on a piece of loose leaf for every time someone attempted to pull open its door.
"It's been a constant thing since were posted our name on the outside of the building," Staffieri said.
The Amish Market of North Wildwood, on the corner of Seventh and New Jersey avenues, was originally planned to open during the summer, but its opening was postponed to meet the city's architecture requirements, he said. It will open in the coming weeks, likely the first week of October, Staffieri said.
Once it's open, the Amish Market will sell baked goods, fresh-baked breads, organic produce, eggs and milk, meats and more, all transported daily from Amish farms in Lancaster County, Pa.
The Amish Market is partnering with Shady Maple Amish Market in Lancaster, Staffieri said. According to Shady Maple Farm Market's website,
shady-maple.com, the market is a family-owned Amish-style market with all items made fresh and from scratch and all meats smoked on-site in its smokehouses.
Staffieri said he purchased a $20,000 Shady Maple delivery truck and hired a handful of Amish employees to help him run his market. There will be an early morning delivery to everyday, he said.
"The doughnuts you buy at
6 a.m. will have been made at
4 a.m. that day," Staffieri said.
Staffieri is a resident of Swedesboro and the partial owner of The Greater Bridgeton Amish Farmers Market, which opened about four months ago and is doing well.
"I'm basically just the landlord there," he said of the Bridgeton market. "It's run by 16 separate Amish vendors."
There's also an Amish-style market place in Vineland, Landis MarketPlace, which opened in May 2011 and is doing very well. Its manager, Gary Holloway, said the Vineland Amish market was created to revitalize Vineland's downtown area by bringing in new visitors. He said it has done this and is a destination for people coming from all over South Jersey.
"The Amish offer quality and freshness," Holloway said. "Our proximity to the Amish in Lancaster makes this sort of partnership appealing."
Staffieri's family has owned property in North Wildwood since 1977. His father, Donald, owns the American Inn, and they also owned the building that houses the Amish Market. It used to be the old Nestor-Rinalli real estate offices, but that closed a few years ago leaving the space vacant.
After witnessing the success of the Bridgeton and Vineland markets, Staffieri decided to open one in North Wildwood. Along with offering traditional Amish items, the Amish Market of North Wildwood will have an on-site butcher, ready-made rotisserie chicken and smoked ribs, a salad bar, ready-made side dishes, such as pasta salads, lasagnas, and potato salad, a smoothie and juice bar and fresh cut flowers.
Staffieri said he's marketing his business as a great place to grab a quick bite to eat any time of day. They will also have both indoor and outdoor seating available.
Once the market opens, he will evaluate what works and what doesn't, take suggestions from the community and make changes as needed.
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