A shopper browses the selection at Ewing Farm market Sept. 19, 2012. (Photo by Lynn Robbins.)

When the Ewing Farm market on Parkway Avenue opened its doors Sept. 19, shoppers were not surprised to find aisles of fresh produce. But they were surprised to find a wide variety, well beyond what is available in most supermarkets.

“They’ve got every kind of vegetable you can imagine,” said shopper Ann Clark.

The opening day selection included fall and late summer produce, pumpkins, apples, squash of all kinds, leafy greens and more. There were vegetables from other states that you can’t get from New Jersey: pineapples, avocados, yucca, aloe vera leaf, and oranges to name a few.

The store includes a bakery with fresh bread from Trenton’s European Bakery offering rye; multigrain; sunflower seed, and plain bread. There is also a dairy section and a deli offering Dietz & Watson meats and cheeses, plus a variety of salads.

“I love it,” said Charmaine McDonald from Trenton. “My mom who uses a walker can shop here.”

Two Ewing High School students, Neida Pienda and Roberto Santiago, stopped by to check out the store offerings.

“The food is so fresh. I’m gonna tell my mom about this place,” Pienda said.

The market is owned and run by the Kraus family including Vladimil and his wife Anna from Trenton, and their son Mark and his wife Ingrid from Ewing.

It’s not happenstance that customers are being offered such a variety. Vladimil Kraus, who likes to cook, found that he often couldn’t get what he wanted in supermarkets, and he figured that other people were having the same issue. A local market specializing in fresh produce could solve the problem, he reasoned. Having had experience in opening businesses, he decided to explore the idea of opening a market in Ewing. When the opportunity to set up at store in Ewing Square became available, the family came together, and after planning and hard work, opened Ewing Farm.

Variety and freshness aren’t the only things that matter to the store owners. Mark Kraus wants the customers to have a voice in what the store offers. When customers walk through the door, they will find Kraus and store manager Jose Langer in the aisles, ready to answer questions and listen to suggestions.

“We want the market to be a comfortable environment. We want it to be a good thing for the people in Ewing,” Kraus said.

In the near future, the market plans to offer in-store nutrition classes and demonstrations. They are also exploring the possibility of offering programs for local schools.

The market is the family’s second business in Mercer County. After moving to the U.S. in 1992 from Czechoslovakia, they began plans to open a bakery, and in 2004 opened the European Bakery LLC at 900 Brunswick Avenue, Trenton. Anna Kraus describes their baked goods as “real European style” using more whole grains and less sugar than most mass produced products.

Many of their baked goods are available at the Ewing market, and the family expects to offer a greater selection in the near future.

Opening week was busy, and Mark Kraus expects business to grow.

Shoppers from Ewing, Lawrence, and Trenton were among the early customers who said they were glad to have a farm market close to where they live. Almost everyone said they were pleased that the store was so well stocked, clean and spacious.

“There is a need for a farm market in Ewing. We offer fresh produce every day at reasonable prices,” Kraus said.

Ewing Farm is located at Ewing Square, Parkway Avenue, between Ewing High School and the Home and Health Care Services building. Phone: (609) 844-1200. Hours are Monday through Saturday: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.