Skip to content

On Our Radar

Faces, places, treasures, and trends that caught our attention

Big Rock Market: Keeping It Local
March 27, 2024

Steadfastly Supporting Our Area’s Food Producers
By ML Ball

Photos by Sabrina Eberhard

 You rock but do you Big Rock?

Pull into the driveway of the big yellow house in Stanfordville that is home to Big Rock Market and you’ll be greeted by a chalkboard posing this question. So what does it mean to Big Rock? Step inside and you’ll see.

Meticulously sourced local produce, dairy, meat, baked goods, and pantry items, many of them organic, fill the shelves and refrigerators. Labels identify the farms and businesses that grew or produced them, and where they are located.

“We’re not necessarily an organic store,” says Alex Tibbetts, General Manager. “We focus on good quality items with ingredients sourced ethically and the right way. We only want to work with people who care about what they’re doing, have good farming and manufacturing practices, and produce high quality products.”

Owners Soo and Carolina Kim, once weekenders from Manhattan and now full-time Dutchess County residents, were devoted customers of the original Big Rock Market, a roadside farmstand operated by Mark Burdick. They helped Burdick purchase the current location, then eventually bought the business, with a mission “to bring local and seasonal products to our community,” explains Carolina. “We were so disappointed to escape the city on the weekends only to be able to buy non-local grocery items. It has always been important to me to eat local and seasonal food as much as possible and Big Rock provides that.”

As well as a resource for locally-produced food, Big Rock Market represents the mutually beneficial relationship that can form between farmers and store owners. “We truly wouldn’t exist without the local farmers’ support and flexibility, so our dedication to them is our highest priority,” Carolina asserts. “Sometimes customers ask for specific non-local grocery items and we go out of our way to help them replace that with something we can get locally. Our area has some of the best cheese, bread, vegetables, ice cream, meat, coffee, dairy, and much more, in the world!”

Echoes Tibbetts, “Anytime someone wants something, we always look into it and try to carry it if we can. Plus, we make sure you can pick up all the ingredients for a full, complete meal here instead of having to shop in multiple different places.”

Whatever produce doesn’t sell, including pastries, gets composted or goes to feed animals. “Thunderhill Farm down the road takes a lot of it,” Tibbetts says. “People come in and take apples for horses. No food goes into a trash can unless it is beyond edible. Everything goes back into the food chain, into making more food.” 

Local producers whose goods are carried at Big Rock Market include Sun Sprout Farm in Chester, Obercreek Farm in Wappingers Falls, Highland Farm in Germantown, 1841 Farm in Rhinebeck, MX Morningstar Farm in Hudson, Hepworth Farms in Milton, Markristo Farm in Hillsdale, and Link Farm (the Kim’s farm) in Stanfordville. “Realistically, if there’s a farm in the area, we’re going to try and work with them,” Tibbetts states. That’s how you Big Rock. —