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Ocean City's longtime 34th Street Market won't reopen next summer, owner says

34th Street Market in OCNJ won't return next summer, owner says
34th Street Market in OCNJ won't return next summer, owner says 02:33

OCEAN CITY, N.J. (CBS) -- If you spend your summers in Ocean City, you've likely picked up some plants or produce at a small market on 34th Street. It's been open for nearly 50 years.

But on Thursday, the owner said he won't be able to return next summer.

At the corner of 34th Street and West Avenue, the 34th Street Market has been a staple in Ocean City for decades.

And owner Ron Farnath isn't ready to see it go.


"I just feel very sad, I mean, I had planned on being here longer," Ron Farnath, the owner of the 34th Street Market, said.

A chain-linked fence now surrounds the property. And the message on the sign out front says, "Thank you for your support and friendship for 46 years."

"I'll miss all of it," Farnath said. "When you've done something that long in your life, you really become attached to it."

Farnath said he leased the property all these years and the owners recently decided to sell.

"Everybody is going to miss this place," Lori Bradley said. "In the summertime, the alley is full with people coming to rent their bikes."

The corner market first started out as a bike shop.

"It was all marshes, so I went out to Sears and bought a tin shed with 1,000 screws in it and cut down some marshes and that's how the bikes started," Farnath said.

Next came the fruit and produce stand. Then, the garden center. And eventually, the Scoop Box ice cream parlor.

The market was Farnath's entire life.

During the summer, he says he would work about 100 hours per week.

This time of year, he was usually devoted to maintenance, but now he's selling off equipment and cleaning out the business.

Longtime 34th Street Market owner Ron Farnath

"It's sad to go," Joe Cullen said. "My wife got her 'Knock Out' roses there, so it's sad to see it go."

Bradley always stopped in for the Jersey fresh tomatoes.

And right before Thanksgiving, Farnath gave her the last box of apples.

Bradley eventually returned the favor.

"So I'm bringing him a jar of applesauce for his goodbye present I guess," Bradley said.

"Terrific customers and I would say almost all of my customers were friends as well, and I'll miss them greatly," Farnath said.

Farnath says he's not ready for retirement and will look for his next adventure.

Meanwhile, a settlement on the property is set for the end of December. 

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