The recent relocation of the Ithaca Farmers Market’s winter market to the Triphammer Marketplace might provide a bright spot to the coming time.
Previously, the winter market was housed at GreenStar in downtown Ithaca, but since GreenStar is planning on relocating its business elsewhere the market would not have access to the building anymore. Laura Gallup, Marketing & Events Coordinator for the Ithaca Farmers Market, said the committee for the winter market considered several other locations, but the Triphammer Marketplace location was easily the best option.
“We have a winter market committee that was looking for a new spot for a while—I would say for like the past two years,” Gallup said. “Just trying to find the perfect spot to accommodate all of our different vendors, a place with parking, a place to load and unload easily. There were a lot of spots that looked good to us, but just wouldn’t work out. So we settled on Triphammer Marketplace because it checked all of our boxes, and the owners of Triphammer Marketplace were really excited to have us up there. So it was kind of a win-win.”
Jeff Perry, Property Manager at the Triphammer Marketplace, said the winter market partnering with the marketplace was the perfect marriage.
“We have a lot of local shops, and we’re centered around a local theme here, a local tradition, in Ithaca,” Perry said. “A lot of our shops are small local shops, and I thought that could go very well and almost hand-in-hand with the farmers market being held here.”
Market Manager Becca Rimmel said the location of Triphammer Marketplace made the most sense in terms of people’s shopping habits.
“When people are shopping for groceries, they want to incorporate it in with some of their other errands, and making it as simple as possible for people to stop in and pick up some local food direct from farmers,” Rimmel said.
The first winter market of the season was held on Jan. 4 with about 30 vendors setting up shop in the atrium of the marketplace. The space was packed with visitors who had the opportunity to buy a wide assortment of food and products – apples, cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes, winter squash, turnips, beets, pears, shallots, sprouts, sunchokes, kale, baby bok choy, salad mix, Asian radishes, rutabagas, Napa cabbage, garlic, radicchio and chicory. There was also a variety of meats, cheeses, breads, pastries, jelly, honey, cider and eggs, and different types of prepared food.
Perry attended the opening market this past Saturday and said it was a complete success for both the vendors as well as the marketplace as a whole.
“Last Saturday, the parking lot was basically full, and it was very successful, I thought, for everybody,” he said. “I think there were some people talking with the people running the farmers market [and said] they sold out of stuff and they had to leave early. They were selling out and…people were checking out the stores that we had to offer.”
The winter market will only be held on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. from January to March 28. Even though it runs short term, Perry said incorporating a long-term market at the Triphammer Marketplace would be an idea to consider.
“We talked about and wanted maybe a year-round market here,” he said. “We do have one on the outside, but maybe a couple of vendors or a couple of local vendors that would maybe take an empty space that we have…maybe there’s a few of them that could get together to then take a space from us all year.”