Sodus Farmers' Market
The Sodus Farmers' Market has been featured in the Upper New York Advocate. Be sure to watch the video at the end!
The Sodus Farmers’ Market was “born” as a result of a chat among friends at the United Third Methodist Church in Sodus village, and consultation with two experienced farmer market vendors: Marie Costello and Olen Youngman. With their guidance, a committee of three was formed to “figure it all out”. In June 2009, we started our market with seven vendors on opening day. The response from the residents of Sodus was explosive, and most of those first vendors were sold out within an hour.
The market grew by leaps and bounds. We added special events, offered businesses a free first time space at the market, and had entertainment when we could find volunteers. From the first, we abided by the rules created by the NYS Agriculture Department in order to be certified by the state to accept WIC and FMNP checks. After the market was accredited, farmers had to take special training for these programs. WIC and FMNP are ongoing, and we also now accept SNAP (electronic food stamps) cards through the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) program. Several vendors also take Credit/Debit cards.
At great expense to the congregation and as a result of much work by our pastor, the parking lot where the market is held was repaved. In 2011, our third year, we had over 20 paid seasonal vendors attending for the whole season. In 2012, we added several new vendors, offering customers a bigger variety of products. Most of the vendor fees go toward mailing, copying, and advertising. Expenses for miscellaneous items such as hand washing stations, canopies, signage, trash barrels, etc. also are paid from vendor fees. No salaries are paid, since our market team of four, and our “Friends of the Market”, have volunteered to do all that is necessary to keep the market operational.
Our Second Best Shop is open every market day. This project helps support church expenses.
For the first four years of the market we were fortunate to have parking space across the street donated by Case Marshall, for which we are most grateful. With the sale of that property and the construction of the Family Dollar store, our parking looked different beginning in 2013. We are most grateful to St. John’s Episcopal Church, Sodus Ambulance Corps, the Family Dollar and Terry Pavone all who have agreed to allow the market customers to park in their parking lots. The Village of Sodus has also approved the reservation of several spaces along Belden Avenue for handicapped parking.
Again during the 2019 season many special events added interest to the market. The season opened on June 12th with music by the SCS Select Choir and the SCS Jazz Band. Cornell Cooperative Extension/ Eat Smart New York participated each market day educating our consumers about good nutrition, providing recipes featuring locally grown fruits and vegetables which could be purchased at the market, and furnishing tasting samples to customers. Activities for the children were provided by the Presbyterian Church, Sodus Community Library, Lions and Lioness Clubs of Sodus, Wayne County Gem & Mineral Club, Mr. Walt Crum with his Balloon Art for kids, Sodus Garden Club with planting activity and Bubble fun with Ms. Bugni. Educational programs were presented by Wayne County Public Health, Wayne CAP, Wayne County Rural Health and more. For animal lovers there were displays by the Humane Society of Wayne County, Cracker Box Palace, Kritter Kris and Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Every week was focused on health and wellness, as consumers gained access to services available: RRH Mobile Mammography Center, Lions Eye Bank, the FAST trailer with physical activities for the kids, CareNet of Wayne County, LAWNY giving out information on SNAP benefits, Zeal Center, and Wegmans Pharmacy. CCE once again held their 6 week FVRX (Fruit and Vegetable RX) program in the church enabling those enrolled to earn FVRX coupons to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. The Market Team appreciates and thanks everyone who enriched the market experience by volunteering their time to present these programs.
The 2019 market year came to a close on October 9th, and we would like to thank everyone that made it a success. A big Thank You to our loyal vendors, customers and MOST APPRECIATED "Friends of the Market" who set up and tore down each and every market day. The market team is now making plans for 2020 to ensure another successful season.
For more information, check out our “Sodus Farmers’ Market” Facebook page.