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July 22. 2014 9:53PM

Some shoppers turn to farmstands


Tom Mitchell of Ledge Top Farm in Lyndeborough weighs cucumbers from his garden for customers. He expects farmer's markets he sells at to be busier with the produce shortage at the local Market Basket in Milford. (KATHLEEN BAGLIO HUMPHREYS/Union Leader Correspondent)

MILFORD — The growing problem of empty shelves at Market Basket that soon followed after the CEO shakeup means that customers will have to shop elsewhere for their produce in the meantime. Just a mile from the Milford Market Basket, Fitch’s Corner Farm Stand has seen an immediate increase in business for vegetables and fruit.

On the corner of North River Road and Center Road, Fitch’s Corner sells seasonal vegetables or fruit, honey, pork, beef and milk.

“It has been really busy, especially for a Monday morning. The tomatoes are flying out the door,” said Amber Martin, Fitch’s Corner employee.

“We’ve seen an increase almost instantly over the weekend,” said David Milton, owner of Fitch’s Corner.

Aside from Fitch’s Corner, there are other alternatives for fresh fruits and vegetables in the area. For instance, from Fitch’s Corner, turn left to Trombly Gardens in Milford or right up the hill a few miles to Ledge Top Farm and Paradise Farms in Lyndeborough.

“Any supermarket is a great convenient place to buy things and people want easiness in their life and farm stands are not easy to visit and I appreciate people who stop by,” said Tom Mitchell, owner of Ledge Top Farm on Center Road in Lyndeborough.

At the Milford Market Basket, Cindy Harrington of Milford was loading her cart with grocery bags. “I usually get produce at Market Basket,” she said. “We do live next to Lull Farm (in Hollis), so we have gone there.”

She expects to shop at Lull or at other grocery stores while the shelves continue to be bare at Market Basket.“I really like the way Market Basket is. People can shop for a reasonable price and they have good products whether you get brand names or the store brand,” added Harrington.

Milford Market Basket customer Susan Boggis of Francestown, who bought her produce at Fitch’s Corner in Milford Monday, said she expects to be visiting other farmstands.

“I was just in Market Basket and not only is it quiet, but the whole energy is different. The customers feel so bad for the employees and the future of the company. I’ll stay away from Market Basket as long as possible and sign the petition because I want to support the old Market Basket and the employees with consumer power,” Boggis said.

Milford Market Basket’s Assistant Manager Mike Needou is a 26-year employee.

“It’s a great company to work for,” he said. “It’s family-owned and family takes care of family. My girlfriend passed away last year and I got a call from Arthur T. (Demoulas) asking if there was anything he could do for me. He’s a family man and has done that for many of his 25,000 employees. People come first in this company,” Needou said.

khumphreys@newstote.com



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