Rumson Market Place has been around for a very long time — a century, to be exact.
It has forever been a convenient, community stop for specialty food shopping that locals consider their own general store.
The small, neat little building on East River Road is a no-miss old-fashioned grocer and butcher for most. You can’t go by without popping in for something unique and fresh.
What’s cookin’ there right now? Off-the-truck fresh items featured are vegetables from none other than the Laurino family farms. That’s a tidbit area people need to know.
In case you were unaware, Laurino farms are very local and the Laurinos are, yes, real farmers.
The family farms all sorts of produce daily in Colts Neck and used to have a farm in Tinton Falls at the corner of Hance and Sycamore Avenues. That farm is now a gated community.
The Laurinos have always been known for having the best corn and strawberries in the area, not to mention tomatoes and every other vegetable you can imagine.
A couple of years ago, on Nov. 10, 2010, Laurino patriarch Robert passed away. “He worked as owner and operator of Laurino Farm in Tinton Falls for over 40 years,” his obituary said. “He was lovingly referred to as 'Farmer Bob' by the thousands of school children who would visit his farm each fall for hay rides and pumpkin picking.”
His son Bobby, who worked side-by-side with his father for more than 30 years, always told stories of how his dad had a hard time letting go of the Tinton Falls farm when the majority of the family of about 13 relatives decided to sell it for roughly $14 million to a developer who built the townhouse community.
Bobby Laurino often said that he swore his dad was still planting when the barns were razed to make way for development and wouldn’t be surprised if some patches of corn, basil or tomatoes popped up on someone’s doorstep years later.
Given the history, it's a local fact the Laurino vegetables are a prime, pesticide-free side or main dish offering that Rumson Market is serving up. And then there are the meat-eaters' dinner and dessert goodies available to go along with the Laurino produce.
An out-of-towner told Patch recently that when he works in town, his day ends with a stop for one of the store’s prime cuts of beef for dinner.
And, prime is the word. Rumson Market carries the best cuts and you can get them steeped in unique, tasty marinades as well.
The market has what its bios refer to as the best butchers around and they’ll give you the best advice and cut to make your night.
When you check out at the register, you really can’t miss the host of homemade sweets, from caramel and chocolate dipped shortbread cookies to homemade banana bread and cotton candy and Twinkies. Yes, cotton candy in a plastic tub and single Twinkies. The shortbread cookie innovation is something you really have to add to the grocery bag.
The stop will make your day and meal complete — Jersey fresh, prime and unique. But, we really have to ask what happened to the collection of retro gums and mints the market carried until very recently. Remember Teaberry gum and Scented Violet gum and mints? They had them there. Bring them back! They do still have Swedish Fish, though. And they have Toblerone chocolate bars.
It’s not just the dessert goodies, everything is very "sweet" at Rumson Market. See ya at the counter!