Seaport market cuts Fridays with hopes of sunny Saturdays
After only seven weeks of operation, the Fulton Stall Market is cutting its hours in half.
The open-air market on South St. will be open only Saturdays starting this week. Since May 22, the market had been open both Fridays and Saturdays.
“Friday tends to not be as big of a grocery shopping day,” said Sara Weeks Dima, the market manager. “We’re really trying to focus on keeping Saturday strong.”
General Growth Properties, which owns South Street Seaport, opened the market this spring in former Fulton Fish Market stalls, outside the building that houses the Bodies exhibit.
The dozen vendors at the market peddle everything from produce and meat to cupcakes and flowers. The vendors have been doing twice as much business on Saturdays as on Fridays, because most Downtown residents have more time on the weekends, Dima said.
Many residents are out shopping on Sundays as well, but for now Dima is focusing on growing the Saturday business and will not open the market on Sundays.
Consolidating the market to one day will save vendors money, because they will pay less rent on their stalls.
Dima and the vendors are also hoping for drier, sunnier weather. One of the rainiest Junes on record significantly dampened vendors’ sales, and the unseasonable weather also hurt some farmers’ crops, Dima said.
The biggest seller at the market so far, outshining pricier specialty goods, is “produce, produce, produce,” Dima said. “Tomatoes, berries, the stuff that’s really fresh, the stuff that when you buy it at the grocery store it doesn’t taste as good.”
The community has been verbally supportive of the market so far, but Dima said the best way to make a statement is by shopping.
“We can use all the help we can get,” she said. “Now we need them to come out and spend their dollars.”
The market is slated to last through the end of September but Dima said she would likely extend it through November. It is open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.