The Beach Times

The Top 5 Local Markets in Dennis
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, July 8, 2019

Cape Cod is full of local, mom, and pop markets that provide the region with character and stimulate the economy. While other parts of the country have been taken over by big box stores, the Cape has stayed true to its roots, and these small shops provide a great source of income for those who live here.

In Dennis, you'll find various types of local markets, each of which has unique offerings that you can use on your vacation. If you're in the Dennis area, visit a few of these shops and see what they have to offer.


1) Sapori d'Italia

Taking a trip into Dennis Village brings you to Sapori d'Italia, an Italian market featuring high-end cheese, pasta, oil, bread, and meat, in addition to artisanal items. Heading to this local market gives you access to everything you'll need for a great Italian dinner, and you can even pick out a bottle of wine that you'd struggle to find anywhere else on the Cape.

Perhaps the best thing about this market, which sits on Main Street, around the corner from the Cape Playhouse, Cape Cinema, and Cape Cod Museum of Art, is that the staff import most items from Tuscany.  There are two owners at Sapori d'Italia, Lynne and her daughter Hilary. Hilary lives in Tuscany and hand-selects most of the items for sale at the market. Her passion for Italian cuisine and culture give this venue an authentic feel that will keep you coming back every time you visit Cape Cod.


2) Dennis Public Market

Known locally as DPM, the Dennis Public Market dates back to 1907 and guarantees that every product it sells is fresh, and never frozen. The market was also the first shop in Massachusetts to be named a Market of Distinction by Boars Head Provisions, making it one of only 33 in the entire country. Whether you're looking for fruit, vegetables, meat, or dairy, DPM has you covered.

Over the years, DPM, which sits on Main Street in Dennis Village, has gone through 15 renovations and numerous owners, but its commitment to serving the best possible local goods has remained the same. The market is currently owned by the Crosby family, as it has been since 1990, and the store is now employing its third generation of Crosby family members.


3) Swan River Fish Market

Swan River Fish Market sits in the banks of Swan Pond River in Dennisport, a short distance from where it empties into Nantucket Sound. There are actually two buildings on this site, a restaurant, and a market. The market has been around since 1954, and proudly supplies fish, clams, lobsters, and other seafood caught in local waters. Everything here is incredibly fresh, which is one reason why it is so popular with residents.

The Burns family owns both the restaurant and the market and strives to keep the quality the same as it has been for nearly 70 years. The market is also open seven days per week, so you know you can head down Lower Country Road whenever you wish to pick up some of the freshest seafood available anywhere on Cape Cod.


4) Dennisport Lobster Company

If you find the Dennisport Lobster Company challenging to find, look for the giant Benny's sign on Main Street because the fish market is just a couple of doors down from it. This seafood market is known for its wide selection of fresh products, including live crab and lobster. You'll also find shrimp, cod, tuna, swordfish, bass, scallops, oysters, clams, and mussels here, all of which are caught in the surrounding area.

Mark Leach, a local fisherman with three lobster boats, owns Dennisport Lobster Company. He opened the market to help sell the lobsters he was trapping, but it has taken off and now offers seafood from other local anglers. Sustainable fishing practices are critical to Dennisport Lobster Company, as most of the fish they sell are caught using hook and line techniques.


5) The Merc

The Mercantile, affectionately referred to as The Merc by locals, is a sandwich shop, deli, and bakery located on the same block as Sapori d'Italia. The Merc opens early for breakfast and stays open for lunch. The market also has a selection of take-out dinners in stock, so if you don't feel like cooking, stop by before they close to pick something up.

This market operated as a community store between 1978 and 2000 when Jim and Katie Hempel bought the business and expanded it into a cafe. Eventually, the Hempel's daughter, Meagan, took over the family business, and she continues to run it to this day with her husband, Mark.


Keep it Local

Stop by some of these outstanding local markets in Dennis on your Cape Cod vacation to not only experience shops that you won’t find anywhere else in the country, but to also support the Cape’s small businesses.

Cape Cod residents own all five of these markets, helping them to provide a level of service that you are sure to appreciate.

Dennis Dennis Port Lobster Company Dennis Public Market Sapori Ditalia Swan River Market The Merc

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