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Indoor farmers market taking off, organizer says

PLATTSBURGH - The weather may be getting colder outside, but inside, things are just warming up.

The weekly indoor farmers market at the City Recreation Center on the PARC Oval has been doing well since it first opened Nov. 18, said organizer Beth Spaugh, far exceeding her expectations, she said.

"October farmers markets around here have tended to be pretty quiet, even on Saturdays, so we didn't know if folks would come to an indoor market on a weekday afternoon," said Spaugh, who also hosts a booth with her business, Rehoboth Homestead in Peru. "The first week, customers started coming in a soon as we put signs out, and we were swamped with customers as soon as we opened. People were so enthusiastic and encouraging."

Last week, the market was held on a Wednesday due to Thanksgiving, resulting in a smaller crowd. However, out-of-towners visiting friends and family for the holiday turned out, helping with sales, said Spaugh. This week, Spaugh expected the numbers to pick up once again as buzz of the market increases.

"I thought most people would want to avoid shopping on fall afternoons and evenings and would prefer to pre-order and just quickly pick their orders up, but we have many more walk-in customers so far," she said.

The best part of the market, said Spaugh, has been how producers support and encourage each other and how enthusiastic customers have been. The fact the market features cheese producers, maple producers, apple growers and winemakers adds to just what one can walk away with from a day at the market, said Spaugh.

"We actually have a really good range of products," she said.

The support of the vendors has been a pleasant surprise to Spaugh, who recognizes markets in the winter don't always fly with growers and producers.

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