Vermont Market and Pharmacy, the shuttered storefront on the corner of Sackett and Henry Streets in Carroll Gardens, has long been the source of intense neighborhood curiosity. The space, packed with old newspapers, jars, rusty maple syrup tins, and a coin operated horoscope-and-weight scale, has also inspired plenty of rumors. Neighborhood residents consider Mark Stein, the building’s owner, “a recluse who wears suspenders and prefers walking in the street,” according to a Times article about the mysterious pharmacy, and “a genius with a deep knowledge of homeopathic remedies.”
Stein, who is in fact a homeopath and a licensed pharmacist, was at his store yesterday. For the record, he seemed more interested in the upcoming goat roast than being labeled a reclusive roaming genius.
On June 20 from 2-9 p.m., a group of ambitious young farmers called The Greenhorns will host an event called the Goat Spit Summer Throwdown at the old pharmacy. A lot is planned for the day: a rough cut of Severine von Tscharner Fleming’s Greenhorns documentary will be projected on a wall. The operators of a 6,000-square-foot rooftop garden in Greenpoint will lead a workshop, as will Sam Comfort, whom Greenhorns coordinator Patrick Kiley describes as “the most radical beekeeper in the Hudson Valley, possibly the world.” Mayoral candidate Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping will make a musical appearance. Both the custom sound system and the goat roasting spit will be powered by bicycle, and Captain Lawrence beer will be served. Bitter green salad, light snacks, and espresso, too. Admission is $5 and includes a free beer.
There is more planned for the space. Two of the building’s current tenants have built a thriving rooftop garden, are angling to re-open the pharmacy as a kind of “seltzer apothecary” that will serve egg creams and sodas sweetened with beet sugar and the building's own produce. The tenants, Petey Freeman and Jake Cirell, eventually want to start sell local farm vegetables. And bacon. “I want this to be the number one bacon purveyor in the city,” said Cirell. “The idea we have in mind is like a CSA on demand,” he said, proposing the name Farmacy. “We want to strengthen the connections between farmers and consumers.” Freeman added, "you won't see any ten dollar chocolate bars here, the idea would be to make local food super accessible and cheap."