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Jul 3, 2018 11:29 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Balsam Farms Opens A Storefront In Montauk

A street view of the new Balsam Farms store in Monatuk, in the space previously used by Antique Lumber Co.       BEN KAVA
Jul 3, 2018 1:18 PM

Balsam Farms opened a new storefront in Montauk last week, bringing a permanent store entirely devoted to fresh produce to the hamlet for the first time since the 1980s.

The store, complete with wooden shelves of locally grown vegetables and stacks of freshly baked goods, is located at 662 Montauk Highway, in the space formerly occupied by Antique Lumber Company, just east of the IGA supermarket.

The store will be open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m., throughout the summer season, and will likely remain open through Christmas.

“Our vision for winter is a little bit different,” said store manager Dennis Doherty, who has worked for the Amagansett-based company for six weeks but has been in the farming industry, including growing and selling the harvest, for seven years. When the weather changes, the store will begin selling frozen and prepared foods.

Until then, it will continue to sell produce grown on Balsam Farms’ three East End locations—farms in Amagansett, East Hampton and Wainscott—which together cover more than 100 acres, according to Mr. Doherty. Though some fruit will not be in prime season until later in the summer, the store will keep its shelves filled with locally produced veggies such as squash and varieties of lettuce.

“Montauk needed this desperately,” said Mr. Doherty, speaking of a produce market in general. “We brought the farm to Montauk.”

With its handwritten prices, the scent of fresh dirt from the fields and warm employee smiles, the store has a distinct aura that seems to affirm Mr. Doherty’s sentiments.

“Nobody else has as much [fresh produce] as we do,” he said, holding his arms out to show the bounty.

“This is my new living room,” he said, “and the veggies are keeping me company.”

At least one Montauk local was also enthusiastic about the store’s opening, which was on Wednesday, June 27. “I’ve been here for 25 years,” Jan McKeon told Mr. Doherty on Monday. “When you opened, I just said, ‘Wow!’”

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