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Potsdam Farmer’s Market new indoor location yields increase in sales


POTSDAM — The Potsdam Farmers Market winter location is bigger than ever, and so far the move has been a definite success, according to manager Marie L. Cook.

“It has been really phenomenal, even to my surprise,” she said.

When the weather turned cold and the market could no longer be held outdoors in Ives Park, 20 vendors moved to Cheel Arena on Clarkson University’s campus.

The first indoor market was held Nov. 2, and has been held from 8:30 a.m. to noon every Saturday since.

This is the market’s second year with indoor winter hours, but Cheel marks a major upgrade from the cramped Potsdam Veterans of Foreign Wars building that hosted five vendors in early 2013.

“It was OK, but not great. This year, because we did it as an extension of the outdoor market and because we put it in Clarkson, which is much easier access, much bigger, it is just unbelievably good,” Ms. Cook said.

The market’s 20 vendors sell winter vegetables, meat, baked goods and crafts. It sees about 200 customers a week. Many of them are regulars from the normal season, but there are plenty of new faces as well.

“We’re seeing a lot of new customers,” Ms. Cook said, attributing the growth to the larger space and the market’s new ties with Clarkson.

“Because of the farmers market, it opens up that two-way street in terms of the local community and the campus community,” she said.

Last year, the market stayed outdoors until late November and didn’t open at its indoor location for almost two months afterward, a less-than-ideal experience for both customers and vendors, Ms. Cook said.

She does not yet know how long the market will remain open in Cheel.

“I’m not sure how long many of the vendors want to go,” she said.

It is possible that the market will continue to open weekly until May, when it moves back outdoors, she said, although some vendors may drop out earlier.

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