The Daily Meal has again named the Delmar Farmers Market to their yearly list of the 101 Best Farmers Markets in America.
Each year, the food website lists community farmers markets from throughout the nation. Listed at No. 73, the Delmar Farmers Market was placed within the ranks of the country’s most prestigious farmers markets.
Mark Warford, President of the Board of the Delmar Farmers Market, was grateful for receiving the honor, saying that the recognition shows that “what we are doing works.”
After opening in June of 2009, the Delmar Farmers Market has seen a great deal of expansion in recent years. Starting as a 20-vendor project, the farmers market has now become a social fixture of life in Delmar, which draws more than 70 vendors and crowds between 1,500 and 2,000 people.
And while the market was created to supply the town with the fresh organic fruits and vegetables it craved, it has become a bona-fide business tree of its own, sprouting independent businesses under its branches.
Paul Tick, the market manager of the Delmar Farmers Market, says that about a dozen craft and prepared food vendors have been able to open stores following the success they’ve had at the farmers market, including The Cheese Traveler and Llama Empanada restaurants in Albany. This spirit of local business growth can even be seen with the free live music the farmers market plays every week, as many of these performances have led to job offers for the local musicians playing.
“At its core, the farmers market is about supporting local businesses,” said Tick.
At the heart of this endeavor is the local farmers who rely on the market for their businesses.
According to Tick, “These farmers, especially the beginning farmers just starting their businesses, would have seen financial collapse without the Delmar Farmers Market. Now that they are selling directly to the public, they are making significantly more than they would have selling their produce to wholesalers who then sell to grocery stores. ”
The impact that this support has had on the community is huge. With more and more people going to the Delmar Farmers Market, and more and more restaurants coming to the farmers market to get their ingredients, the entire area is becoming increasingly locally-focused and health-conscious.
This year marks the third time the Delmar Farmer’s Market has made The Daily Meal’s list. It is one of only four New York State farmers markets to make list, including the New York City Union Square Farmers Market, which took the top spot.
Tick says the market is “especially appreciative of the support we get from the school and the many local businesses that have given contributions to help the farmers market grow.”
The Delmar Farmers Market is held every Saturday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Bethlehem Central Middle School on Kenwood Avenue in Delmar.