By Joshua Maloni
Jamie Symmonds and Willow Consulting will return to Academy Park this summer for a second season of the Lewiston Artisan Farmers Market.
“The market focuses on locally grown, locally produced, locally made products, giving our shoppers a taste of what the region has to offer,” Symmonds said. “The Lewiston Artisan Farmers Market is sort of an array of different farmers and artisans and vendors offering different things – whether it's locally grown, locally produced or locally made products. Anything from baked goods to raw honey, maple syrup, fresh flowers, apple cider. I've got handmade wooden products, breweries, sausage, meats – just to name a few.
The rain-or-shine event runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, from June 1 through Oct. 12.
With a laid-back vibe and a picturesque setting, Symmonds’ market was a popular place last summer for Lewiston walkers and out-of-town tourists – not to mention those looking to buy fresh, local foodstuffs and unique gifts.
For year No. 2, Symmonds said, “I made adjustments” to improve the market. “I'd like to think I listened to not only the customers, but the vendors.”
She pushed the start time back one hour, and added a series of new events designed to attract more families, children and would-be gardeners, painters and culinarians.
This summer, the market will offer:
•All-level yoga for adults with Brian Ball at 9 a.m. and Jessica Jakubowski from Embody Health and Wellness at 10 a.m. The cost is $5 per person. Proceeds from the latter will be donation-based, with funds supporting the all-inclusive playground behind the Red Brick Municipal Building.
•“Kids Yoga” with Melissa Morinello from Lil' Yogis of WNY on June 1 and 6, Aug. 3. and Sept. 14. Yoga for preschoolers (ages 2-5) runs from 9-9:30 a.m., while “Yoga For Me” (ages 6-8) takes place from 9:45-10:15 a.m. The fee is $8 per person.
•Certified master preserver Bonnie Myers will provide 20-minute demonstrations on making quick pickles (June 29), preparing salsa (Aug. 17) and preserving and freezing fall vegetables (Sept. 14) at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.
•Kristen Raimondi will present a "Come Paint Like Monet" class at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 10 (during Art Festival weekend). Participants can enjoy the experience of painting a picture, surrounded by the ambiance of the market, shoppers, yoga and nature. The $35 cost covers all supplies.
•Kadi Barns of Jewel Weeds will host a microgreens class at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 21. Barns will give a lesson on the health benefits of microgreens, and a lesson on how to grow them at home. A $7 fee includes the presentation and a small kit to take home.
Symmonds said her main goal is to showcase both her vendors and the Village of Lewiston.
“In general, Lewiston – if you live here, if you come to play here and work here, eat here – it's this little hidden gem, it really is, as far as being a community,” she said. “And it always amazes me, truly, when I go shopping, when I'm walking down the street, when I go out to eat, a sense of community. So, I'm trying to highlight different aspects of Lewiston, and do my best to promote and cross-promote with anything else here in Lewiston.
Symmonds added, “I know, right now, there's such a big push to be shopping online and in ‘big box’ stores. But I made sure everything I did was local. …
“The overall concept with the market is hopefully to make the businesses surrounding the park and Lewiston as a whole successful, and to benefit one another. So that's why I plan on whenever there's another festival going on, or another event going on in Lewiston, I'll do my best to promote that, as well.”
Almost two-dozen Lewiston Artisan Farmers Market vendors will be on hand at the corner of Center and Cayuga streets, including Bake and Supply, Beegotten Farm, Black Rock Board Co., Brickyard Brewing Company, Dana's Desserts, Dispenza's Meat Market, Fleckenstein Farms, For The Love of the Bees Honey Co., Gorge Coffee Roasters, Herbal Acre, JECA Energy Bar Co., Jewel Weeds, Lakeward Spirits, Nanette's Naturals, Senek Farms, Snowy Owl Kombucha, Thyme's Right Organic Farm, Trade Winds Soap and Wandering Gypsy.
“This market is unique for me as a returning vendor, because it focuses on high-quality locally grown produce, as well as regionally made items such as baked goods, beer and crafts,” said Elizabeth Freck, owner of Thyme's Right Organic Farm & Natural Produce in Ransomville. “It is important to shop at your area small businesses as it truly supports the neighboring economy. And that's what makes the Lewiston Market a crucial endeavor for the community – its center of attention is on local! By supporting local farmers, not only is the food is fresher, but you also help keep land as open farmland.
“Lewiston is a vibrant town that provides a great backdrop for the market, because it is friendly and has gorgeous scenery. It has an art and music vibe that lends itself to individuals and families interested in healthy living and fun outdoor activities. The Lewiston Artisan Market fits right into this mold.”
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/lewistonartisanmarket/.
Lewiston Artisan Farmers Market sponsors include Anthony C. Barone Custom Homes, Baker Farms, Chelsea Modern Images, Giusiana Architects & Engineer, The Griffon House and Lewiston Family Dental.