Geneseo Farmers Market vendors upstart community growth

Every week from June to October, the Geneseo Farmers Market brings a host of fresh, locally-grown foods to the Village of Geneseo; offerings at the market include fresh fruits and vegetables, handmade cheese, homemade ice cream and more, provided by 15 local vendors and farmers. Now in its second year, the market also includes live music and free raffles. According to its website, the market works to “support local farmers and growers, strengthen our community and promote healthy eating.”

Genesee Valley Apiaries

Located in Perry, N.Y., Genesee Valley Apiaries is a third-generation family-owned business that produces its own honey products. “My father is the main beekeeper,” said Steve Chasey, who worked at his family’s stand. “My mother and I just sort of help out with everything.” Chasey said all of the farm’s honey is natural and pure. “It’s just strained to make sure there [are] no insect arms or anything like that in it,” Chasey said. In addition to the natural honey and honeycomb, Genesee Valley Apiaries also sells beeswax candles decorated with intricate designs.

Little Green Market 

Free Soil Farm’s Little Green Market produces organic and chemical-free vegetables from its location on Avon Road. Little Green Market owner Corrin Strong, who also owns Genesee Volley Tennis Club and a printing business called Genesee Graphics, said he farms as a hobby. In the early fall season, the farm grows and sells items such as tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and cucumbers. The Little Green Market is open seven days a week at the Avon Road location.

Genesee Valley Coffee Company 

For about nine years, the Genesee Valley Coffee Company from Avon, N.Y. has distributed coffee beans and other hot and cold beverages to the Geneseo area. The company’s award-winning coffee roaster is its best-kept secret. The roaster harvests coffee beans mainly from Central and South America and blends the coffee that Genesee Valley Coffee Co. distributes. The company refuses to limit itself to coffee, however: “Many offices we were selling to wanted tea and hot cocoa, so we brought that in,” said Genesee Valley Coffee Co. owner Bob Austen. “We sell about equal amounts of coffee and tea.”

Papa Jay’s Cafe

Papa Jay’s is a family-owned restaurant on South Street that produces homemade ice cream for sale at the farmers market. This year is its first year participating in the market. Papa Jay’s owner Jay Phillips said that the cafe’s use of local ingredients makes its ice cream special, as opposed to store-bought brands. “[Making ice cream] is very time consuming,” said Phillips. “Each batch takes half an hour to make, then it has to be chilled overnight and frozen the next day. I have to start two days ahead.” Despite all this work, Phillips said the result is a fresher, “more wholesome” ice cream with few artificial ingredients.

The Geneseo Farmers Market is open 3-6 p.m. every Thursday on the corner of Main and Center Streets. The market will finish its 2012 season on Oct. 18.