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Lewiston Artisan Farmers Market photos by Chelsea Sears, Chelsea Modern Images // Jamie Symmonds
Lewiston Artisan Farmers Market photos by Chelsea Sears, Chelsea Modern Images // Jamie Symmonds

Lewiston Artisan Farmers Market returns with local produce, space to build community, connections

by jmaloni
Fri, May 19th 2023 09:00 am

By Joshua Maloni

GM/Managing Editor

When the coronavirus caused most of the world to shutter in the spring of 2020, the Lewiston Artisan Farmers Market was open – deemed an “essential business” because it sold fresh foods.

In the years that followed, the venue has kept that “essential” title – but for different reasons.

Aurora Schul Schunk, owner of Schul Farmstead in Cambria, said, “We decided to become a part of the Lewiston Farmers Market to meet new customers in the Niagara County community. As a new farm, we think it's important to get to know our neighbors who value locally grown, in-season agricultural products.”

She added, “Our experience at the market has been incredible – which is why we are coming back as a full-time vendor for the second year! The Lewiston Farmers Market is in a welcoming and accessible location. It's always bustling, but in a way that's not overwhelming to patrons, where you’re able to shop without feeling rushed, and free to ask questions or have conversations with the vendors – which is one of my favorite parts – being able to speak with customers, answer their questions about growing practices, or recipe suggestions, or how to use a vegetable they may be unfamiliar with.”

Danielle MacKenzie and her family are regular visitors to the village venue. She said, “Saturday mornings at the Lewiston Farmers Market has become a bit of a summertime family ritual. Each week, my family will meet up at Academy Park in the Village of Lewiston – four generations of us – to enjoy our time, as a family, at our local farmers market.

“The farmers market is something we look forward to each summer. The park is a perfect location for the market, and they offer a great variety of vendors and products.

“Our family members range in age from a toddler all the way up to great-grandparents. Everyone enjoys their time at the market, because there is something for each of us – which makes it a great way to share something weekly with your family, that you can all enjoy. We love getting our breakfast sandwiches and coffee before we begin to shop; walking around to see all the different things that are being offered that week, based on seasonal fruits and vegetables, to different artisans in attendance. It is a great reason for us to all spend time together each week as a family.”

The Lewiston Artisan Farmers Market operates from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday on the Portage Road side of Academy Park. Opening day for the 2023 season is June 3.

Lewiston Artisan Farmers Market photos by Chelsea Sears, Chelsea Modern Images // Jamie Symmonds


Organizer Jamie Symmonds of Willow Consulting said, “This year, we're expecting some great new full-time vendors; and, of course, a lot of our regulars.

“Some things I'm truly excited about this year: We've got some new farmers and sort of a new variety of products this year that we haven't had in the past, or we had maybe early on in the beginning of the market. There's some exciting things coming.”

For those who might be visiting for the first time, Symmonds said, “Of course, when you think of a farmers market, you have your standard farmers that do the fruits and the vegetables, a large variation and variety of that. And we've got some amazing farmers that come and bring some really great products that typically come into full swing by mid- to end of June with their fruits and vegetables.

“But other things you can look for at the market: We've got garlic, honey products, fresh loaves of bread, eggs, meat. And this year, we're welcoming, actually, a mushroom vendor who’s coming from Buffalo.

“And then, for those of you who maybe are also looking to branch out beyond the food products, there's a lot of artisans that are in attendance typically – anywhere from photography, handmade jewelry, soaps, wood decor, candles, and so much more. We have a dog treats vendor, so it's not just for the people – it's for our four-legged friends, too.”

Two main highlights of the Lewiston Artisan Farmers Market:

•The fresh produce – Symmonds said, “You get face time with the people who are actually growing your food. We have farmers that use organic products in their fields. They can tell you what's going to be in season, the good crops. And basically, having comfort of knowing not just where you're getting your food from, but how it's grown and produced.

“And then you're also supporting local businesses in your area, which is always, in my opinion, an important thing – especially farmers. They work very hard. I’ve never met people who work harder than a farmer.”

•The famous breakfast sandwiches – Symmonds said, “From day one, that's one of the big draws of our market.”

She said, “This year, we are welcoming back Wandering Gypsy. They're going to be joining us again this year, making the breakfast sandwiches.”

While the vendors and patrons credit Symmonds with the market’s success, she is quick to praise the location.

“I'd like to think it's not just our market, but the backdrop,” she said. “So, being in the Village of Lewiston, in Academy Park, it's kind of an ideal situation for the market. I've heard people comment that it is a sense of community when they're there – not just the vendors, but also the shoppers. I've also heard from local businesses that, when people come to the farmers market, they then stop and frequent the restaurants and the other shops up and down Center Street, as well.

“I see it as a community event. It's for everybody, and everybody seems to enjoy that sense of, when they all come together on a Saturday, you see your friends, you see your neighbors – and there's something to be said for that.”

Jennifer Raymond, owner of Wandering Gypsy Brewing Co., in Ransomville, said, “The Lewiston Farmers Market is filled with a lovely variety of farmers and other local businesses. The 2023 season will be WGBCo’s third season participating as a full-time vendor serving breakfast sandwiches, and we’ll have canned beer available this year.

“We especially love all of the customers we see week after week, and the relationships we are able to form with them. It really is a lovely community to be a part of.”

Lewiston Artisan Farmers Market photos by Chelsea Sears, Chelsea Modern Images // Jamie Symmonds

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