New Jersey has some of the best farm markets in the country. If you travel to other states, you might find a few farm markets/produce stands, but no place does it like our Garden State. We are blessed to have so many great ones here, that have been in business for generations.

My favorite is in the next town over from me in Southampton. The Red Top Market was started in 1926 by James and Katherine Conte. James Conte was an Italian immigrant who came to New Jersey in the early part of the last century.

Dennis Malloy / Townsquare Media
Dennis Malloy / Townsquare Media

He and his wife Katherine operated a farm in Southampton off of Route 70 and sold some of their produce to Campbells Soup in nearby Camden.

As the story goes, one year, he had too many strawberries and tomatoes for Campbells to buy so he parked his truck up on Route 70 with a red umbrella and sold his excess produce from the spot where the market is now.

Dennis Malloy / Townsquare Media
Dennis Malloy / Townsquare Media

The township and the state told him he couldn't just sell his stuff there, so he bought the property from the state and built a small, covered structure from which to sell the produce from his farm.

That was in 1926 and ever since his family has operated the Red Top Market. They are now in their fifth generation of the family operating what has become a landmark in the area.

Dennis Malloy / Townsquare Media
Dennis Malloy / Townsquare Media

Generations of travelers to and from the Jersey Shore stop there to grab some fresh produce, refreshments and some warm and friendly service.

The place is run by a woman named Mary who is the hardest-working woman you'll ever meet and a local legend in the area and a wonderful human being.

Dennis Malloy / Townsquare Media
Dennis Malloy / Townsquare Media

I have a special place in my heart for this place. About 20 years ago my dear departed father had too many figs from his backyard trees for his family and friends to eat, so he looked for a farm stand to sell them to.

Mary was more than happy to buy them. For years he and then in later years, I, would take them to the market to sell. They were always happy to take them and it brought him so much joy that someone appreciated the fruits (literally) of his labor.

Dennis Malloy / Townsquare Media
Dennis Malloy / Townsquare Media

To be in business for 20 or 30 years is an accomplishment anywhere, but especially here in New Jersey.

To be closing in on 100 years in business with five generations of the same family is beyond special. If you're ever on Route 70 just off the Red Lion Circle and you see the sign for the Red Top Market, stop in.

It's worth just walking around the place and taking in the atmosphere of a good old-fashioned classic New Jersey farm stand.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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This has to be the best farmers market in New Jersey

If you’re looking for a great farmers market, you have to visit the Summit Farmers Market. This year they have over 50 vendors, offering a large selection of great produce from various local farmers, lots of specialty foods and more. There is also plenty of free parking. My dog and I went for a visit last week and took pictures of what they have to offer.

Vendors Not Pictured:

  • Adventure Kitchen
  • Angel Planet Foods
  • Anita's Baked Wonders
  • Bull 'N Bear Brewery
  • Fit Fed Puppy
  • Foraged Feast
  • Hummus Boss
  • Jana's Jammy
  • Java's Compost
  • Kariba Farms
  • Louis Organics
  • Luxx Chocolat
  • Made with Clay
  • Mangalitsa
  • Our Woods Maple Syrup
  • Roaming Acres Farm
  • Spice Sisters
  • Stefan's Polish Foods
  • Sustainable Haus
  • Valley Shepherd Creamery
  • WoodsEdge Farm

The Summit Farmers Market will be open every Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will last until November 20th. The market is located at Park & Shop Lot #1 on the corner of DeForest Avenue and Woodland Avenue.

Below are photos of some of the local vendors joining the farmers market this season:

Dennis' look inside Royal Farms

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