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Open-air farmers market proposed for West Seneca municipal site

A resident who wants to establish a seasonal, open-air farmers market adjacent to West Seneca Town Hall got the green light from lawmakers Monday to sell potential vendors on the concept.

Joe Kirchmyer, owner of Kirchmyer Media, envisions something akin to the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market in Buffalo, for which he handles marketing and promotions. He is similarly involved with the Winter Market at Horsefeathers that debuted this past winter.

“It’s just something, as a West Seneca resident, I see the need for,” Kirchmyer said in an earlier interview with The Buffalo News. “I want to bring something new and exciting to the town.”

Kirchmyer has given himself a Dec. 31 deadline to get commitments from 20 “quality” vendors or else the proposal would be scrapped. Meanwhile, Town Attorney Shawn P. Martin is reviewing the five-page proposal that was submitted.

“Conceptually, I think it’s a terrific idea. I’m not sure about the location,” said Councilman John M. Rusinski, who was concerned about the wear and tear on the proposed location for the market – the grassy slope on Main Street and Union Road, in front of Town Hall.

Kirchmyer said the location mimics the Elmwood-Bidwell market. “The location is just as important as picking the right vendors,” he told lawmakers.

Desirable vendors would include local farmers, bakeries, butchers, cheese makers and wineries.

The market would be open from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, between May 15 and Sept. 4.

Kirchmyer said he was waiting for the Town Board’s approval before seriously pursuing vendors.

“I put it out to about a dozen people,” said Kirchmyer, whose clients include food-related businesses and restaurants. “The response has been very receptive.”

“I think it’s going to be no issue whatsoever getting participation from the right type of vendors,” he said.

Holding the market on Thursdays could help attract vendors who are in demand at weekend venues, he said, plus capitalize on crowds of people attending athletic events or concerts on the municipal campus. “There’s a lot of activity and I think we would all benefit each other,” Kirchmyer said.