A Day at the Market
Behind the scenes at the Bethesda Central Farm Market
The market’s schmoozer-in-chief, founder and co-owner Mitch Berliner (center) likes to walk around and talk to patrons and vendors. He’s always ready with a joke or anecdote. One of his favorites is that when kids who attend Bethesda Elementary are asked where they go to school, they sometimes say “at the farmers market.” Berliner started his long food career in the 1970s selling soups, cakes, pies and more at the Montgomery Farm Women’s Cooperative Market in Bethesda, while running four farm stands in Montgomery County. He now spends long hours co-running the Central Farm Markets. He says he’ll never retire. At the market, “the kids come up and hug me,” he says. “It’s worth it for that.”
Potomac resident and market regular Diane Berinstein (left) brings Christine Ilich, the owner of Heirloom Kitchen in Front Royal, Virginia, some berries from Westmoreland Berry Farm. Berinstein sometimes snags items that sell out quickly and takes them to sellers who can’t leave their stalls. She also totes around drinks from Baltimore-based Zeke’s Coffee, offering them to new vendors, sellers who are having a slow day, or to the farmers she patronizes. Berinstein says she simply wants the vendors to know that they’re appreciated.