Farmers Market Cooperative to close Aug. 22

Ridgefield’s Farmers Market Cooperative, located at 22 Catoonah Street, will be closing its doors on Tuesday, Aug. 22, owner Sandy Sutila told The Press.

The nonprofit, which sells locally-grown organic produce, will be discontinued due to difficulty finding volunteers to work the store during its hours of operation.

“We had a couple people willing to commit an hour here or there,” Sutila said.  “But many wanted to be paid. Often their expectations about what a co-op could earn were way out of proportion.”

For the market to stay open, Sutila said she needed long-term business associates — one or more partners willing to split the 60 hours of work per week.

“I couldn’t find anybody,” she told The Press Thursday, Aug. 10.

Nonetheless, to save the business, Sutila is willing to hand over the co-op’s keys to an entirely new management for $10,000 — the cost she footed for the shop’s refrigeration and computer systems.

“If someone still wants to take over, I would be happy to help them,” she said.

The co-op opened in October of 2016, and currently has over 300 members — local residents who sign on with monthly or yearly payments for perks like free farm tours and the ability to attend the market’s board meetings.