Cindy Palmer Dean

Food & Family

When you browse the produce section at Palmer’s, it’s clear that the fruits and veggies—sourced locally from places like Sherwood Farms in Easton—are truly fresh. So are the lamb and beef from New England family farms, and the creative prepared foods, such as lemon-caper artichoke salad, mushroom risotto, Korean barbecue chicken and dozens of other dishes cooked daily by a team of chefs. But it takes more than fresh food to enable a business to thrive for nearly a century. It’s all about fresh ideas. “My father would say, ‘Any idea you’ve got, just do it, dream big,’” says Cindy Palmer Dean, co-owner and creative director. “It’s exciting that we’re in our fifth generation and we’re actually growing.” With her family’s entrepreneurial spirit, Cindy and her brother, Greg, and her daughter, Megan, have expanded the business to include a Parisian-style bakery, event planning and catering, and gourmet gift baskets. The offices adjacent to the market are currently under construction because the Palmers have been hiring many new employees, including a person dedicated to those unique gift baskets, each custom-made with high-end edibles and accessories sold in store and sourced from a number of small companies. As the holiday season approaches, Palmers has been gearing up to provide for local family feasts. On the menu are pies, cookies and cakes, including one made using a traditional recipe from Cindy’s Aunt Clara.  264 Heights Road, Darien, 203-655-2077;



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