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A market sprouts

A second spring for farmers market in Haddon Heights

The Haddon Heights Farmers Market opened for its second season Sunday, with a dozen vendors in a cozy cluster of booths at Station and East Atlantic avenues.

It may lack the cachet of the Collingswood Farmers Market – which drew thousands to its own annual launch Saturday – but the Heights effort has a homegrown vibe of its own.

And I'd say that even if I didn't live a couple blocks away.

"Everyone's happy," Joe Gentile, aka "The Hot Dog Man," proclaimed from the middle of a modest but steady stream of customers.

Gentile, who grew up on a farm in Waterford Township and is the director of the market, noted that local merchants and civic organizations are essential to the mix. The Sunday hours, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., also offer an alternative to similar markets in nearby communities.

"This is something the town needs," he said.

Brett and Ethel Harrison, owners of the Village Cheese Shop & Bistro, agreed.

"We're excited about it," Ethel said. "Last year it opened with very little publicity, and did well.

"It's a destination for people."