The farm stand on Rt. 25A in Setauket is a little brighter this year, with a more varied assortment of fresh flowers and produce than customers say they have been used to at the site in past years.
“I am so happy about this. ... This is real local food. The quality is exceptional,” said Anne Byrnes of Setauket about the change in management at the location.
Davis Peach Farm now occupies the stand that used to be Detmer Farms, across from the Setauket post office. Customers shopping there said the change has been noticed in more than the name.
“It’s much more upscale. The customer service is better. It’s comparable to similar stores out east,” said Peter Newsham of Stony Brook, who said he has returned to shopping at the site after being unimpressed with the quality and variety of flowers available in recent years.
“We never came here. We kind of gave up,” he said of the previous stand. “We referred friends who tried it last year and thought it was bad. They’re all pleased with the new place.”
Newsham, who described himself and his wife as avid gardeners, said the new stand is convenient for when he needs fill-ins to complement the plants he buys from wholesalers. He said the selection is tastefully displayed and fresh, the service is knowledgeable and “very accommodating,” and thinks that the pies offered are a great idea.
“A lot of people are very happy with the pies,” said Juan Pantaleon, one of the farm stand’s new owners. Pantaleon, of Bay Shore, had worked at the site while it was under the previous management. When they decided to close up shop, Pantaleon approached his other employers, David and Christine Davis, who since 1988 have had an orchard and farm stand in Wading River, where he had been working winters.
“He asked us to be a partner. He didn’t want for there not to be a farm stand there anymore,” said Christine Davis, who said her family has been growing peaches on Long Island for 101 years. Pantaleon and the Davis’ leased six acres from the owners of the Detmer property and filled the stand with filled the stand with their own brand of produce and plantings.
“We’re very happy with the response,” said Davis. “Everyone seems to be happy there’s a real farm there.”
MaryAnn Deriso is the owner of Ann Marie’s Farm Stand, Setauket’s other source for fresh, locally grown produce. She said the new place hasn’t seemed to have much of an impact on her business, as many of her customers are regulars.
“There hasn’t been much of a difference either way,” she said. “There’s always been a farm stand there.”
For some local residents looking to get their food fresh, though, the new place is a welcome change. Christine Davis said she has recognized many faces there from her other location.
“I didn’t realize how many people were driving from that area all the way to my Wading River store,” she said.