By Emily Meagher
A good breakfast sandwich is a New York staple, and people tend to have strong opinions about their favorites. Does it come on a bagel, English muffin, or a biscuit? Do you top it with bacon, sausage, or no meat at all? Saratoga Farmers’ Market customers can put it to the test: the breakfast sandwich is back.
Returning for their 22nd year, with a one-year hiatus in 2020, M&A Farm’s staff dishes up stacks of breakfast menu items for customers to customize into their favorite sandwich. Served on English muffins, M&A uses local, farm-fresh eggs and meats (sausage and ham – combine them to order a “Manwich”) and provides the option to add a hash brown.
At 85, Arnold Grant continues as the farm owner and the main cook at M&A’s stand, but he has help from a big crew made up of three different generations in the family. The Grant family has owned their farm, located in Durkeetown, NY, between Fort Edward and Argyle, for over 200 years.
“My first memories are of the farm being operated as a dairy farm by my great uncle, and then by my dad, still as a dairy farm,” says Grant. In 1998, he joined the Saratoga Farmers’ Market initially to sell his meats and eggs, and over a decade later the breakfast sandwiches were added. Those took off and eventually became their mainstay. Although the meats and eggs don’t come from the Grant farm anymore, they are still sourced local from their neighbors’ farms.
Over the years, M&A Farm has been a crowd favorite, as well as a Saturday farmers’ market breakfast tradition. Many customers were noticeably excited for their return last weekend as the summer market season officially began.
“It hasn’t seemed right without you,” said a customer named Linda just as we walked up to speak to owner Arnold Grant. At the same time, customers who only recently started shopping at the farmers’ market since last year’s move to the Wilton Mall were pleasantly surprised to see a new ready-to-eat option. “We’re so excited to see egg & cheese sandwiches at the market! Now we know to skip breakfast and come straight here,” noted Bethany, another market-goer.
“We’ve been open for a long time,” says Grant resolutely. “I’m hoping to pass the business on to my granddaughter. At 85, I’m getting ready to retire soon, but I’d like it to stay in the family,” he adds. It sounds like Saratoga Farmers’ Market customers will be able to enjoy the farm-fresh sandwiches for some time to come.
This week’s recipe: Farmers’ Market Frittata