Greenmarket goes inside for winter

Proctors bustles as vendors set up indoor quarters

Sunday, November 3, 2013
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Folks shop local produce from Buhrmaster of Glenville at the Schenectady Greenmarket in Proctors. The market moved indoors this weekend for the winter season.
Folks shop local produce from Buhrmaster of Glenville at the Schenectady Greenmarket in Proctors. The market moved indoors this weekend for the winter season.

— Schenectady Greenmarket is right back where it started five years ago.

The one-stop shop for groceries, take-away meals and artisan items returned to Proctors on Sunday morning, where it will stay until April. The market that sometimes features upward of 70 vendors moved from its spring and summer spot outside City Hall back indoors, just in time for the temperature to plunge into the low 40s.

The annual move didn’t do much to diminish interest in the market. Hundreds of shoppers coursed through the bi-level site, which features everything from wine to soap to yarn — all produced locally.

“The amazing thing is there is so much you can still buy in the middle of winter,” said Betsy Henry, chairwoman of the market’s board of directors and a founding member.

Now celebrating its fifth anniversary, Schenectady Greenmarket started its first year of existence indoors at Proctors. Henry said there were some initial concerns about starting out at a time when the weather turned cold — a time some consumers don’t associate with farmers markets

“It was a bit of a gamble,” she recalled.

But those worries quickly were allayed.

The new market generated a buzz in the city and started generating foot traffic that was noticed even at surrounding businesses.

And the market’s first Sunday indoors this season was no different. With only an hour left until close, the theater was still bustling with activity.

“It’s been great,” Henry said. “It’s been quite busy.”

The positive allure of winter markets like the one in Schenectady have the farmers seeking ways they can extend their offerings. Some, like Quincy’s Farm in the Washington County town of Easton, are investing in temporary enclosures and storage areas that allow them to extend the growing season well through the fall.

“A lot of us have done what we can to have a diverse array of vegetables for winter market,” said Cara Quincy, one of the farm’s operators.

Quincy said the laid-back pace of the winter markets also allows vendors to grow their client base. She said the indoor market gives her more time to converse with customers, which in turn helps her build clientele.

“The atmosphere here lends itself to a certain sense of community,” she said.

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November 4, 2013
6:44 a.m.
gina99 says...

A great success for Downtown Schenectady. An example of people working together without City government "help". The more functions that can be taken out of dysfunctional City Hall the better.

November 4, 2013
5:07 p.m.
irene58 says...

Too bad there's so much construction right now. Visited Villa Italia from the west a couple of weeks ago, took me 45 minutes to get there once I crossed the bridge into Schenectady. Advise anyone else from points west to take 890 to Route 7, take the back way as if you're going to the mall, and head back down. What a nightmare.

November 4, 2013
5:08 p.m.
irene58 says...

Also would have been nice to include hours/days of operation in the article, for those unfamiliar.

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