Farm markets merging in Batavia

Jan 19, 2016

The Daily News

BATAVIA — Summer produce shopping is getting a boost with the merger of two area farm markets.

The Downtown Batavia Public Market and Genesee County Farmer’s Market are consolidating into a single entity, the Batavia Business Improvement District announced Tuesday in a news release.

The joint venture will be downtown at the corner of Bank Street and Alva Place. It will keep the name “Downtown Batavia Public Market” and would be run by the Genesee Country Farmer’s Market board, in which the BID’s executive director, Laurie Oltramari, has been named as a member.

With the city’s approval, the market would expand its operations to be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. After visiting surrounding businesses to get their feedback, the enhanced operations were well-received by area businesses which enjoy utilizing the market for fresh fruits, vegetables, and more.

The markets merger allows the City of Batavia’s “highly distressed” census tracts to have access to essential goods for healthy living.

The public market is located with the City of Batavia’s Brownfield Opportunity Area plan, and with the City in its process of updating its Comprehensive Plan — which is focused on smart growth and sustainable practices — the merger was a well-timed collaboration, BID officials said in a news release.

The downtown has had a walkability audit to determine the needs of both walkers and drivers. Within the immediate vicinity of the downtown public market is senior housing, healthcare facilities, the historic downtown core, and the bordering neighborhoods. With this mix, it lends itself to the greater success of the Downtown Batavia Public Market.

The BID envisions the market to grow and is excited to have the Genesee Country Farmer’s Market ready and able to take on the new venture.

The Genesee Country Farmer’s Market enjoyed being at the Batavia Downs parking lot and thanked the latter for its support through the years. But the new move will reinforce the sustainable model for the farmers and tap into the trending desire to be located in downtowns.

If you are interested in volunteering or being a vendor at the Downtown Batavia Public Market, write Bob Austen at RobertAusten@frontiernet.net.