LAKEWOOD - In addition to being able to visit the numerous shops and restaurants in the Chautauqua Mall, patrons can now find fresh produce for sale every Wednesday.
Beginning in June, the Chautauqua Mall has held a weekly farmers market where several farms have sold local produce. Abers Acres, Steady Plow Farm, Forest Meadow Farm, Little French Bakery, and Roots and Wings Family Farm make up the farms which can be found at the Chautauqua Mall Farmers Market.
"We hope to grow it," said Cynde Breneman, director of marketing and business development at the Chautauqua Mall. "We are looking foward to more vendors - craftsmen, wineries, different type of artisans ... different things like that."
Chelsea Walker works the Abers Acres booth at the Chautauqua Mall Farmers Market on Wednesday.
P-J photo by Mallory Diefenbach
The idea for the farmers market, according to Breneman, came after looking into some locations in towns and villages and seeing the different outcomes and opportunities which came out of them. Breneman said the mall did research over the past couple of years into the requirements to hold the market.
According to Breneman, the mall element provides an atmosphere different from other farmers markets.
"Our mall element is different in what shops they come looking for. There are different places of retail items. We have gaming. We have workout places. We have restaurants. We have that selection here. It adds to another business we are trying to incorporate in supporting local, smaller businesses that cannot be able to be a full-time store, but they are still able to have a piece of what goes on here."
Farm owners who took part in the Chautauqua Mall Farmers Market this past Wednesday told The Post-Journal, the farmers market helped them with their sales.
"It's not too bad," said Chelsea Walker, the niece of the owners of Abers Acres. An official organic farm, Abers Acres sells fruits and vegetables. "It takes people to get really used to (a new farmers market)."
Come August, the mall will be holding different events to go with the market. On Aug. 6 - which lines up with National Farmers Market Week - a reading of "Who Grew My Soup" will begin at 11:30 a.m. Then on Aug. 13 and Aug. 20, Kris Meekins and Will and Sara, respectively, will play live acoustic music from noon-3 p.m.
The Chautauqua Mall Farmers Market will be open every Wednesday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. until Oct. 1. If any vendors are interested in selling their wares at the farmers market, call Breneman at 763-9355 or email her at email@example.com.