MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) — The operators of a decades-old farmer’s market in Bucks County are getting the boot. The Market at Styer Orchard says they’re being forced to leave after the Middletown Township supervisors chose not to renew their lease.
“We’re heartsick,” Sharon Barberides said.READ MORE: 25-Year-Old Woman Robbed After Offering $5 To Suspect Asking For Money In Fairmount, Philadelphia Police Say
The Barberides’s life’s work is in the Market at Styer Orchard in Middletown Township, but that’s coming to an end this month.
“We lose our business, we lose our livelihoods,” David Barberides said.
The two had run the store since 2000. But after a vote this week, Middletown supervisors decided to lease both the store and the orchard that sits behind it to Tim Field.
Field currently runs the farm, which he also grew up on.
“We were real happy for the vote, it’s exciting news. We’re real happy for the opportunity,” Field said.
Township officials say the founder, Walter “Pop” Styer, would have wanted one operator for both the farm and store.
“The best way to set up the Styer property for the future and for future success would be to lease the property to one party so that the orchard and the farm can once again become complementary,” Middletown Township Manager Stephanie Teoli Kuhls said.READ MORE: Thieves Steal ATM From West Philadelphia Laundromat
The township also points out it was unaware items sold in the market don’t even come from the farm, all because of a longstanding feud between them.
“It wasn’t about four or five years ago that I found out it wasn’t working that way,” Middletown Township supervisor Tom Tosti said.
But the store’s current operators say the move essentially kicks them out after they put two decades of sweat into the store.
The Barberides’ business survived the pandemic but it’s not surviving this.
“We just feel helpless,” Sharon said.
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