Last-minute Easter preparations underway at Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- It has been a tough year for Reading Terminal Market, but people were out on Friday loading up their tables for Easter weekend.

"Well, I had to come and pick up the last-minute things," said Michelle McCray of Pennsauken.

"It's the only place for me to come," added Sharon Banks of Overbrook.

Jake Riehl, one of the owners of Halteman Family Meats and Riehl Cheese Shop, said his businesses have remained busy. He has noticed a difference from last Easter.

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"People are buying a lot of products, cooking at home. It seems like this year they're getting ready to sit down with family again," Riehl explained.

At Giunta's Prime, you can find a variety of meats, but the Easter choices are pretty consistent.

"Hams and lambs," summarized Robert Passio of Giunta's. "You can feel a different energy when the holidays are coming to town."

This is a welcome change of pace for the Reading Terminal Market, which saw a drastic drop in visitors when the pandemic hit.
Last fall, a GoFundMe campaign was launched to help keep the historic market afloat.

At Downtown Cheese, there's a wide array of options, but Jake Heller points to basket cheese as an especially popular Easter selection.

"It's like a young fresh cheese - like mozzarella, fresh curd flavor to it," Heller described. "We definitely count on these holidays to bring in some foot traffic. It's usually a big time of year. Normally, the flower show would be good for us, but since that's not happening, we're kind of banking on this."

Multiple merchants noted while they still don't see a lot of out-of-towners, more of a local crowd has returned, especially with the mass vaccination center right across the street.

"We have the vaccines across the street at the convention center, which is bringing people into the market for lunch, and kind of just shopping, so we're getting that old feel back at the Reading Terminal Market," shared Passio.

The market is closed on Sunday, so you must get your goodies before then.
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