Couple gets crabby at Bethesda farmers market -- Gazette.Net







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View a slideshow: Faces of the farmers market

This story was corrected on June 30. An explanation follows the story.

Almost 80 years ago, during the Great Depression, a group of women teamed up to form the Montgomery Farm Women's Cooperative Market as a place to sell their wares and make a living for themselves.

It is with a similar spirit that newlyweds Christina and John Howard Payne Jr. decided to open Shells Yes! Crab Cake Company, joining the smorgasbord of faces and flavors inside Bethesda’s bustling three-day-a-week market.

Located in a corner lot of the market building, the Paynes opened their company on Saturday with the hope of building the business and gaining a footing in Bethesda.

“I just try to offer traditional Maryland fare and straightforward cuisine,” John Payne says. “There is nothing fine-dining about it. There is a big Maryland flag in the front and there is beach board everywhere. It’s a crab shack.”

Payne is no stranger to crabs. Before opening Shells Yes! he was a chef at the Wardman Park Marriott in Washington, D.C., and also at a Baltimore restaurant that served thousands of pounds of crab cakes every week.

‘I’ve been around seafood my whole life,” he says.

Payne hopes their fresh seafood will become a hit with the Bethesda lunch crowds who are aching for local crab cakes. He has been handing out flyers, and hopes to offer area delivery soon, as well as expand to other farmers markets.

Just like a farmer could talk to his customer about how his peaches are growing, Payne hopes get feedback from his customers.

“As a chef I would love that,” he said. “It’s a cool connection from farm to table that we need.”

On the menu at Shells Yes! Crab Cake Company this week:

Steamed Shrimp with Old Bay - ½ pound, $8.99

Chesapeake Crab Cake Sandwich - $9.99

Chicken Salad Wrap - $6.99

Maryland Crab Soup - $5.99

The Montgomery Farm Women's Cooperative Market is open Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., 7155 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda. For more information, visit, call 301-652-2291 or email

No matter what you have a taste for there is sure to be a farmers market with something to strike your fancy.

Bethesda Central Farm Market

Elm Street between Wisconsin and Woodmont Avenues in Bethesda

Sundays, April 10 to Nov. 20, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Bethesda Fresh Farm Market

Norfolk Avenue at Veterans Park in Bethesda

Saturdays, May 7 to Oct. 29, 9 am to 1 pm

Briggs Chaney-Greencastle Farmers' Market

3300 Briggs Chaney Road, Silver Spring

Saturdays, May 14 to Nov. 19, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Clarksburg Town Center Farmers' Market

Intersection of Clarksburg Road and Public House Drive

Sundays , June to October, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Crossroads (Takoma Park)

7676 New Hampshire Ave.

Wednesdays , June to October, 3 to 7 p.m.

Damascus High School Farmers' Market

Damascus High School parking lot, 25921 Ridge Road

Thursdays, May 19-October, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Gaithersburg Farmers Market

Fulks Corner Avenue and Maryland Route 355

Thursdays, June 2 to October, 2 to 6 p.m.

Gaithersburg Main Street Farmers Market

301 Main St.

Saturdays, May to November, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Kensington Farmers Market

Kensington Train Station lot on Howard Avenue

Saturdays, Year Round, 8 a.m. to noon

King Farm Farmers' Market-Rockville

Saturdays, May 28-Oct. 29, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park, Pleasant Drive

King Farm Farmers' Market-Rockville

4 rvington Centre, 805 King Farm Blvd.

Wednesdays, May 25 to Oct. 26, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Montgomery Village Farmers' Market

9801 Centerway Road, Montgomery Village

Saturdays, June 4 to Oct. 29, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Olney Farmers and Artists Market

Montgomery General Hospital Corner of Route 108 and Prince Phillip Drive

Sundays, May 8 to Nov. 6, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Potomac Village Farmers Market

Potomac United Methodist Church parking lot, 9908 South Glen Road

Thursdays, May to October, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Rockville Farmers Market

Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m at East Montgomery Avenue at Rockville Town Center

Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Corner of Route 28 and Monroe Street

Shady Grove Farmers' & Artisans' Market

Wednesdays to Nov. 16., 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Johns Hopkins University in Rockville, 9601 Medical Center Drive. Due to construction, enter campus from Broschart Road. The market will be in the back of the Broschart Road lot.

Silver Spring Fresh Farm Market

Ellsworth Drive between Fenton Street and Georgia Avenue

Saturdays, April to Dec, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Silver Spring - General Getty Park

10000 Woodland Drive

Saturdays, mid-May to Nov. 19, 9 a.m. to noon

Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard Farmers Market

18125 Comus Road Dickerson

Saturdays, April 30 to Oct. 8, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Takoma Park Farmers Market

Laurel Avenue between Eastern and Carroll avenues

Sundays, year round, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Wheaton Farmers Market

Reedie Drive between Veirs Mill Road and Georgia Avenue

Sundays, June 6 to Oct. 30, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Correction: The Maryland Crab Soup was incorrectly spelled.