More than 75 merchants will present their wares in Westminster tomorrow as the permanent Pennsylvania Dutch Farmers Market opens in the Crossroads Square shopping center.
The market in the former Safeway grocery store, which was scheduled to open last week, will feature local vendors and traditional Amish craftsmen from Lancaster County, Pa.
Meats, cheeses, pickles, canned goods, salads and other foods, as well as crafts and gifts, will be offered in the 34,000-square-foot market, said Daniel Esh, the owner.
"We had put off a lot of things to the last minute," he said in explaining the weeklong delay in opening. "So we've had a bunch of people out here working doing the refrigerator hook-ups and a lot of last-minute touch-ups."
The market will be open year-round from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Three other markets in the county operate primarily during the summer.
Mr. Esh said he doesn't feel the markets will be that much competition for each other.
"Ours is different from theirs with crafts and lot more diversity of food," he said.
"I think we can really do favorably with [the other markets] and try to work together. We hope people come to visit our market and then visit others too," he said.
Mr. Esh said he expects to draw customers from a wide area.
"We hope to make this a destination spot, attracting people from Baltimore, Washington and maybe Virginia," he said. "We've been advertising in those areas."
Vendors are not required to sell at the market for a specific period, and a sizable group is waiting to replace the current ones when they leave, Mr. Esh said.
"We have a pretty long waiting list, so we're happy about that," he said.
Mr. Esh, who owns other markets in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and two others in Maryland, said that he found this site while he was driving through the area.
This market is the largest of his four, he said.
"I fell in love with the area," said Mr. Esh. "This is a rural area, a historical area, and there's something very special about Maryland people. We've met a lot of nice people here."