Need some fresh vegetables or other produce? Another venue to provide those products opened Thursday in the city of Dunkirk.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony shortly after noon officially marked the opening of the Lark Street site for a farmers' market. Located between Third and Fourth streets, market outlets included Fred Farms, Someday Maybe Farms, a Spanish food vendor and a vendor selling waffles.
Greg Krauza is the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Director of Member Development and spearheaded the project along with Chamber intern Kevin Lowther. The Community Chamber Development Corporation, an affiliate of the county Chamber, is the entity the city dealt with in setting up the market.
OBSERVER Photo by Gib Snyder
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Thursday to mark the opening of a new farmers’ market in the city of Dunkirk. Pictured from left are: Greg Krauza, William J. Rivera, Steve Neratko, Megan Woloszyn, Mayor Anthony J. Dolce, Richard Swanson Jr., Stacy Szukala, Adelino Gonzalez, Lacy Lawrence and Kevin Lowther.
After a brief welcome and ribbon cutting, Krauza said there was more to come.
"We want to make it into an event every Thursday. We're going to have wine tastings, we're going to have music, we're going to have crafters," he explained. "The artists are going to start coming in with their art, so it's going to be a real fun event. We just hope everybody comes down and participates."
Krauza said the goal was to get it started.
"Our immediate goal was to get a basic farmers' market up and running, establish a site and start to establish the day and time in the minds of all the community and then grow it to a bigger, stronger market next year; as well as perhaps another site," he stated. "We've got to do a little efficiency work for the next few weeks, but we expect there to be a lineup off of Tony's and a lineup off of Someday. ... We've got room for quite a few and we've got that whole common area."
Mayor Anthony J. Dolce wielded the ceremonial scissors at the ribbon cutting.
"We look for today to just be the start of a long and successful endeavor," Dolce said later. "This is a city-owned parking lot and we did a lot to clean it up and put blacktop down to make it more presentable and more attractive for a farmers' market."
Krauza also thanked the presenting sponsor, D & F Travel.
"They stepped up and feel it's important for downtown Dunkirk to make it as vibrant as they can, they're a longtime downtown business so we thank them," he said. "Our other sponsors, the city of Dunkirk, Univera Healthcare and the Resource Center, also came in big. P&G Foods has been not only cooperative but they also sponsored as well."
Dawn Espersen, an employee of Someday Maybe Farms, was on the job at the farm's stand in Dunkirk. She was asked what brought the all natural farm to market at the city site.
"We do the Fredonia Farmers' Market on Saturdays and we've had an excellent response over the last four years. We want to expand our customer base," she explained, adding the Chamber made its pitch about three weeks ago. "They approached us and asked if we would be interested. I talked it over with my boss and we thought it would be a good outlook for our product. I generally have just about everything with me at the markets."
The market is scheduled to be in operation on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Oct. 4. with EBT availability.
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