If you’re still in need of gifts for a holiday party host or just in need of a break from cooking around the holidays, Bigg Playdate in Scotch Plains is holding a winter market featuring a variety of vendors.
Although summer may be a distant thought, the idea of a Farmer’s Market is still achievable in a cozier setting at Bigg Playdate.
Owner of Bigg Playdate, Lisa Schiller said the idea for the market came to her after the hurricane.
“It was kind of like the world stopped for 2 and a half weeks,” she said.
Schiller has always wanted to incorporate some type of pop-up shop or market into her business, but originally she thought it would be more fashion based, such as a pop-up jewelry shop.
After the storm, she felt like doing something with food would help bring residents together and after recalling how successful the farmer’s market in Scotch Plains was, she reached out to Lisa Mohn of the Scotch Plains Business and Professional Association.
Mohn introduced Schiller to Caryn Feldman of Gourmet Nuts and Dried Fruits LLC and Feldman was able to gather some businesses she knew of from working so many farmer’s markets over the years.
Bigg’s winter market features many favorites from the Scotch Plains Farmer’s Market, along with some new faces.
The New Providence business Paolo’s Kitchen has a table at Bigg’s winter market, the business offers pre-cooked Italian favorites and over 85 percent of them are available in a gluten-free option.
In addition, to the easily reheated meals, Paolo’s Kitchen also provides an extensive catering menu.
Lenny Ojeda of Paolo’s added that it’s not too late to order from their catering menu for the holidays, they are able to take orders even the day before an event.
The most popular dish at Paolo’s is the eggplant rollantini, which is pan-fried not deep-fried. However, Paolo’s Kitchen serves extra large rice balls just like you’re in Southern Italy made with risotto rice.
Also on the menu is a crispy signature salad, called Paolo’s Salad, covered in strawberries, blueberries, sun dried cranberries and goat cheese. This salad goes perfect paired with their creamy balsamic vinaigrette made with balsamic vinegar ages 25 years.
Paolo’s storefront is located on South Street in New Providence, but the business delivers and ships all over the country. Ojeda mentioned that just yesterday they sent a catering order to California and another to Florida.
For a full look at Paolo’s Kitchen menu, visit their website paoloskitchen.com.
If you’re looking to pick up a sweeter treat from the Winter Market, visit Gourmet Nuts and Dried Fruit.
The business offers a variety of nut and fruit mixes as well as chocolate covered nuts and fruits and delicious butter toffee flavored nut varieties.
Caryn Feldman of Gourmet Nuts and Dried Fruit also displayed gift trays and gift tins, all of which are customizable to the type of nut or fruit you would like to add.
Feldman noted that the dried cherries are wonderful and that the company likes to add variety to their premade mixes, all of which come at an affordable price.
In addition to these two market veterans, some of the other businesses will be at the Winter Market include Dessert Lady, Krakos Polish Deli, Pickle Licious and Pappy’s Kettle Corn.
Owner of Bigg Playdate Lisa Schiller said wind, rain, or snow. Pappy’s Kettle Korn is outside of her shop with his giant machine and tent stirring up all types of popcorn. Last weekend, she said he was standing outside in the rain.
Schiller said she is hoping more people will come out and see what the market has to offer.
“This is definitely not something Scotch Plains has right now,” she said.
The market is held at Bigg Playdate located at 1730 East Second Street at the corner of Willow Avenue.
Hours are Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 8a.m. to 2p.m.
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