Medina farmers’ market seeing big increase in traffic so far this year

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 6 August 2021 at 8:39 am

Provided photos: Black Button distillery in Rochester has been a regular at Medina’s Canal Village Farmers’ Market every month all summer.

MEDINA – The Canal Village Farmers’ Market has come a long way since it first opened six years ago.

Like other farmers’ markets everywhere, Medina’s market this week is celebrating National Farmers’ Market Week.

Although struggling through months of uncertainty, farmers’ markets became essential throughout the Covid pandemic, according to Chris Busch, president of the Orleans Renaissance Group, which sponsors the market.

“Now, in 2021, they’re better than ever,” Busch said.

That is the message the Farmers’ Market Federation of New York wants to get out by celebrating National Farmers’ Market Week.

Markets everywhere stayed open throughout the pandemic as an essential source of local, healthy food, and Canal Village Farmers’ Market was no exception, Busch said.  The local market created “meal deals,” which were packages of local products that could be ordered online and picked up via a drive-thru system at the market. Rose and Ken Baker of Baker Farms, along with market manager Gail Miller of Medina, and other CBFM vendors kept the market alive, providing healthy, local food for families’ tables, Busch explained.

“Now that the pandemic restrictions have been lifted, markets are open to all and finding ways to be better than ever,” Busch said.

“People really seem to be grateful for the return of the market,” Miller said. “This year, Canal Village Farmers’ Market has had outstanding vendor participation and record numbers of customers. Our old vendors have returned and new vendors have come on board. While regular and familiar customers have also returned, many new faces are in the mix too – especially young families. It’s been fantastic.”

Dubby’s Wood Fire Pizza made several appearances at Medina’s Canal Village Farmers’ Market this summer. Farmers’ Markets across the country celebrated National Farmers’ Markets Week from Aug. 1 to 7.

After a slow 2019 and 2020, Busch said they are seeing a 65 to 70 percent increase in customer traffic this year.

“Sales are strong with all vendors,” he said. “The increase is tangible and the market is hopping.”

“People are truly enjoying being able to gather Saturday mornings at the market,” Miller said. “Great crowds, outstanding product selection, live music, food trucks, weekly contests for adults an kids are just some of the market events. We absolutely love providing such an outstanding experience for the community every Saturday, and folks seem to be enjoying it.”

New vendors this year include NewHouse Breads, Heartland Organics, HateCuddler Craft Works, HeBrews 5:9 Coffee, Panek’s Pickin’ Patch, Flower Fields Forever, in addition to rotating food trucks, including Dubby’s Wood Fired Pizza, Kaleema’s Creative Foods, Greenlief’s On the Go and El Gran Burrito.

Those who are income-eligible are reminded to get and use SNAP coupons at the market. In addition to those, the market also accepts Double UP Food Bucks, FMNP and Fresh Connect checks. Most of the vendors now accept credit, Venmo and/or PayPal, as well as cash.

The summer market runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday through October. The winter market will return from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays from November through May.

Several new weekly contests have been added this summer, Busch said. “Passport of Prizes” and a kid’s scavenger hunt are two of them.