2011 Business Person of the Year: Shelley Scoggin

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Shelley Scoggin at The Market on Monday.

In the 25 years since The Market opened in Greenport, the health food store and café has become an integral part of the village’s business district.

For her commitment to her customers, the business community and the good health of the community at large, The Market’s owner, Shelley Scoggin, is our Business Person of the Year.

“I love Shelley,” said Greenport Business Improvement District president Peter Clarke, the owner of Clarke’s Garden in the village. “What strikes me is her willingness to take care of each customer’s special needs. If she didn’t have a nutritional supplement in stock, she would go out of her way to get it. She has the best bread in Greenport. It used to be, you couldn’t get a homemade loaf of bread anywhere in the village. She introduced seven grain bread and wonderful health sandwiches that you couldn’t find anywhere else.”

Mr. Clarke is also impressed with Ms. Scoggin’s community spirit.

“She’s always willing to host a meeting or a special event in the shop,” he said. “Last year we had a free concert for the public at Brecknock Hall and she volunteered Christmas cookies. She just went all the way out for us.”

Mr. Clarke said Ms. Scoggin is also a team player within the business district, helping to introduce new small-business owners to longtime shopkeepers.

“She’s always willing to support someone new,” he said.

Anne Howard, who sits on the board of directors of Slow Food East End, which recently held its holiday brunch at The Market, is also a fan.

“It’s great to have a café and market like The Market on the North Fork, wholesome, homemade food in a congenial setting, everything that Slow Food stands for” she said. “I live in Cutchogue and consider it a real treat to have a place like The Market close by.”

Greenport Mayor David Nyce first met Ms. Scoggin when he did some carpentry for her shortly after he moved to Greenport in the late 1990s. Back then, The Market was in a small storefront currently occupied by Sacred Sweets across from the post office, just west of the Front Street location it has occupied for the past five years.

“We used to sit on the porch and have lunch. It was a tiny space. Now it’s much more set up like a full-blown market and grocery,” said Mr. Nyce, whose wife, Jennifer Benton, now works for The Market.

“It is a unique business,” he added. “The strength of the business district is its diversity and she lends diversity to the business district. Most of the stuff she sells you can only find online or up the island.”

“We’re all like a big family with a strong foundation,” said Ms. Benton of her co-workers, who are known in the village as The Market Girls. “It’s a great place of support. We’re women of all ages, a really interesting range of women working together. We learn from each other every day.”

Ms. Benton said Ms. Scoggin delivers meals and groceries to many seniors in town.

“I think it’s more than just delivering. She’s become a companion for older people,” she said.

Ms. Scoggin lives in Cutchogue with her husband, Lindsey. Her two grown daughters, Chelsea and Emily, and her son Austin are now involved in helping run The Market, which expanded in its current location to showcase the café and food service section of the business.

“She probably has quadrupled or quintupled the number of people she can serve,” said Mr. Clarke. “She’s got a very strong following of people who have lunch there every day. She’s open reliably seven days a week, 12 months a year. Even in snowstorms, she’s open. She’s a real fixture in the village. People really depend on her.”

“Her motto is, ‘If 7-Eleven is open, so am I,’ ” said Ms. Benton. “It’s important to her that people notice she is always there. She works really hard. When you own your own business, especially out here, to be successful you have to put 150 percent in every day. She gets as much out as she puts in. Her staff all understand what her mission is.”

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