PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Reading Terminal Market is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the arrival of the Pennsylvania Dutch to its stable of standholders.
If it hadn’t been for Jeff Algatt (right), a real-estate rep for the old Reading Company railroad operator (which owned the Reading Terminal Market), the Amish may not be selling their wares there today.
Algatt, who came back to take part in ceremonies on Thursday at the market, says he took a trip to a farmers’ market out in Booth’s Corner (Delaware County), Pa. more than 30 years ago to try to entice them to come to center city:
“City boy meets Amish culture! And fortunately, we were all very open and honest about things because they would have smelled any dishonesty.”
“Deli meats, that’s what we still have. We added sandwiches a few years later knowing that we’re catering to a lot of office people and center city people.”
Esh says there are 10 Amish or Mennonite-controlled stands in the market, and many of them are now being run or handed over to children and even grandchildren of the original owners.
Reported by Mark Abrams, KYW Newsradio.
Photos by Mark Abrams