Main Street News

Willow Roots Launches New Flea Market Event in Pine Plains

By Published On: August 23rd, 2023

On August 12th, Willow Roots saw the first day of its flea market, which the organization is running every second and fourth Saturday of the month (excepting Sunday, September 10th) until the end of October. On these days, you will find a variety of local vendors and their products at 8 North Main Street, across from the Pine Plains Pharmacy, from 10am-3pm. I spoke with co-founder and president of Willow Roots, Lisa Zayas, to learn more about this new project and the impact she hopes it will have on the community.

Willow Roots first began when Lisa and her husband, Nelson Zayas, incorporated their nonprofit in 2019 to effect greater change in Pine Plains. As the history page of their website explains, they had always been dedicated to helping others through individual action but recognized the power in coming together to combat the socioeconomic disparities they saw. Coordinating with a board of directors, volunteers, donors, pro bono services, and local farms, Willow Roots Food Pantry soon took off. And as their site illustrates, their timing could not have been more crucial: “Willow Roots began feeding families just a few months before the pandemic hit the United States. They quickly grew in services as the needs were many.”

These additional services include the Thrift Shop, which offers free clothing in good to excellent condition; Neighbor Networking, which connects people in the community with larger donated items like furniture; and a Giving Box stocked with free food and snacks for the community, constructed by Stissing Mountain High School students. Willow Roots also collaborates with the Stissing Mountain High School special education department, organizes the Annual Community Holiday Meal, and runs the Holiday Helper program at Pine Plains elementary schools. To learn more about these programs and how you can get involved, visit their website!

Considering all that Willow Roots arranges and supports in the Pine Plains region, it is no surprise that they have launched another event to strengthen the community. Now featuring over 20 vendors, the flea market offers tie-dying, woodworking, quilting, crocheted items, household products, tools, charm bracelets, and local farm goods. Cookies by Mabel and El Guacamole have also provided food for the event. “Just a great array of people. We would love to have someone who does soap, perhaps, even a specialty olive oil table. Just looking for other items to complement and excite the buyers,” Lisa says.

Inspiration for this idea came when two people, on two different occasions, suggested to Lisa that she should launch a flea market. These two interactions transpired a week apart, so when the second person approached her with the idea, Lisa knew it was time to invest in the project. “I realized that someone was definitely tapping me on the shoulder, letting me know that I could do this,” she notes. One of the people who proposed this concept, Lisa Marie Agnelli, was soon brought onto the Willow Roots team as Networking Manager, and as someone who “has been involved in flea markets for several years,” she “was quite adept and eager to take this idea and run with it,” explains Lisa.

Not only does this flea market make use of two empty lots in town, but it gives individuals and families the opportunity to shop and connect with friends, bringing the community together. Lisa continues, “It has been absolutely amazing. People are so positive and excited to have a place to bring their items, whether used or new, antiques and treasures, made or bought. We are just blown away with the outpouring of support.”

In terms of the market’s significance, Lisa hopes that the event will yield more foot traffic through the center of Pine Plains, encouraging more people to shop, eat, and socialize in town. “I believe it will absolutely put us on the map. I think a flea market is a great place to congregate and [to] meet people and to network.”

Lisa greatly appreciates the opportunity to organize this flea market and emphasizes its main goal: to make Pine Plains strong. This is an aim carried through in all of Willow Roots’ pursuits. In the future, Lisa hopes to take this collective event to the next level. “I am just very humbled and honored that the town board has trusted us with this trial period endeavor. […] I believe this is a great chance to bring many people together in a safe and communal environment that will have a positive impact on our local businesses and our community.”

If you’re interested in reserving a spot for your own business, you still can! There are five more weekends for the flea market coming up, with the next on Saturday, August 26th. Vendor spots are $10 per space, or $15 cash the day of the event. Food truck spots are $30 per space. Email for more information and to reserve your space now!