CROSS RIVER, N.Y. – Those who came to DeCicco Family Market's food festival this Saturday and Sunday had their pick of flavorful, homegrown treats.
The free sample free-for-all included more than 50 vendors displaying their products at the Cross River grocery store on Route 121, one of eight locations in the family-owned chain.
Shoppers savored samples from their favorite brands and discovered new food companies to enjoy as they trawled aisles of area vendors who offered produce, cheeses, meats, dairy products, coffees and beers for tasting at the store, located in the Orchard Square shopping center.
Dale Schlein of Waccabuc said she was having a great time Sunday and admitted she may have been overdoing it with the free samples.
"It's so propitious that we came here before lunch," said Schlein, helping herself to an iced coffee from Bear Mountain Coffee Roasters. "I've eaten so much I think it includes dinner, too."
While some were from nearby states, many of the vendors who set up inside and in front of the market hailed from just around the corner, including Ryder Farm in North Salem, Captain Lawrence Brewery in Lewisboro and Lola Granola Bar in Croton Falls.
Jonathan Baratz, owner of Yorktown Heights’ Bear Mountain Coffee Roasters, said his company has been supplying freshly roasted coffee to cafes, restaurants and markets for 14 years.
Baratz said he also sells to a range of other venues including John Jay College in Manhattan and local radio station 100.7 WHUD.
"A lot of people think our coffee is the best and I'm not going to disagree with them," he said, laughing.
While their first food festival was held in June at the Brewster location, DeCicco’s has put on fall festivals in the past, a tradition that will continue this year with pumpkins, beer and pumpkin beer, according to store manager Ainsley Brown.
Brown, who managed the Jefferson Valley store for nine years, said Sunday that he heard Martha Stewart came to Saturday’s festival and bought some fresh mozzarella.