Chamber Gears up for 2017 Farmers Market

Kylie Peck

Mark your calendar on May 24 as the Greater Watertown Farm & Craft Market prepares for its 40th consecutive year. As we are busy securing vendors for this year’s market, it is important to recognize the history and benefits surrounding this annual event.

    Farmer’s markets have been a part of the national landscape since the mid-1700s and have since become woven into our culture, increasing in number and popularity. Year after year these markets continue to be a welcomed event, encouraging healthy shopping selections, social opportunities and increased business visibility.

    A farmer’s market acts as a source of fresh, nutritious foods from local producers. With farm- fresh options, the farmers are adept at providing an abundance of items at reasonable pricing to local consumers. Partnering with nutrition programs can increase the health and wellness of these area residents by offering the Farmers Market Nutrition Program, Farmers Market Wireless EBT Program and Nutrition Education, resulting in fresh options available to everyone.

    There is a growing trend among consumers to support local farmers and local economies. A farmer’s market is a perfect venue for this trend. Bringing these options to the center of our downtown creates a direct connection with the growers of the foods and creates the opportunity for consumers to ask questions, learn about how their food is produced and get to know the people who are providing the food they feed their families. This centers conversation on healthy cooking options and interest in fresh foods.

    Each week the Farm & Craft Market draws thousands of local shoppers and community members to downtown Watertown with a broad mix of diverse cultural backgrounds, a variety of ages and all levels of economic scale.  Throughout the season, local organizations use the market as a venue to educate the public about their mission, publicize their services and highlight opportunities to become involved.

    Hosting a farmers market also helps build the local economy. Not only does this provide an opportunity for farmers, crafters and food vendors to highlight their offerings and skills, it is also a benefit for local businesses. Customers spill into the surrounding area, bringing foot traffic and sales to downtown shops and eateries. Business owners are encouraged to create incentives to draw customers in to generate commerce in the local community.

    Creating an atmosphere with local entertainment, educational opportunities and local food and product sources transforms our downtown into a vibrant public space, which nurtures the sense of community among residents and visitors alike. Adding local shops to the mix creates the ideal opportunity for downtown visitors to make the most of their outing and truly get a sense of what the city of Watertown has to offer.

    With the opening of the market comes excitement and anticipation that summer is truly on its way and we are able to celebrate the offerings of our local farmers and crafters. Year after year we bring 50 to 60 local producers, crafters and food vendors to the community, creating a unique opportunity in Watertown that is met with much anticipation. If you are a farm or craft vendor, please contact our office to learn more about getting involved in our market. We encourage downtown business owners to get in contact with our team to learn more about getting the most out of our downtown market days.

    The Watertown Farm & Craft Market is held every Wednesday between May 24 and October 4 on Washington Street in downtown Watertown. For more information on the market or to learn about the GWNC Chamber of Commerce, please visit our website, watertownny.com or call us at (315) 788-4400.

Kylie peck is the president and CEO of the Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce. She lives in Clayton with her husband and two young boys. Contact her at kpeck@watertownny.com or 315-788-4400.

Winter Film Festival Success

STEPHEN SWOFFORD / NNY BUSINESS
The board of directors for the Snowtown Film Festival (from left) Marc Knapp, President, Steve Hunt, Member, Kylie Peck, Treasurer, Jason Maurer, Vice President, and Terry Brennen, Secretary.

Snowtown Film Festival sells record number of tickets drawing large crowds to downtown Watertown

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Watertown chamber celebrates homecoming and grand reopening

JUSTIN SORENSEN n WATERTOWN DAILY TIMES The Greater Watertown North Country Chamber of Commerce hosts an open house at its Coffeen Street Office, which it will move back into this spring.  (Wolf)

JUSTIN SORENSEN n WATERTOWN DAILY TIMES
The Greater Watertown North Country Chamber of Commerce hosts an open house at its Coffeen Street Office, which it will move back into this spring. (Wolf)

Board members, business owners and city council members cheered for the Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce and its return to Coffeen Street as President and CEO Kylie S. Peck and Board Chairwoman Jill Parker cut the ribbon at the chamber’s open house and grand reopening Thursday afternoon.

Chamber staff welcomed both business members and interested residents to their renovated office space and offered discounts for advertising and memberships. Everyone gathered in the welcome area to talk business and celebrate the chamber’s homecoming.

“It feels so amazing and exciting to be back home,” Ms. Peck said.

The chamber officially moved back to its former office, 1241 Coffeen St., on Sept. 1, and several staff members said that walk-ins and requests for chamber services have increased.

Amber Stevens, who manages the chamber’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center, said she receives about five walk-ins each week. John “Jason” J. Ryder, director of marketing, said that more members have contacted him for market services.

“The old location is dark and gloomy and hard to find,” Mr. Ryder said. “I love being in this building.”

JUSTIN SORENSEN n WATERTOWN DAILY TIMES The Greater Watertown North Country Chamber of Commerce hosts an open house at its Coffeen Street Office, which it will move back into this spring.  (Wolf)

JUSTIN SORENSEN n WATERTOWN DAILY TIMES
The Greater Watertown North Country Chamber of Commerce hosts an open house at its Coffeen Street Office, which it will move back into this spring. (Wolf)

Both business owners and city council members complimented the chamber’s decision to move back to its former office from the Bruce M. Wright Memorial Conference Center.

Lynn E. Krafft of Krafft Cleaning Service Inc. said he liked the office because it was located along the “main drag.” City Council members Stephen A. Jennings and Teresa R. Macaluso said that the chamber will be able to provide more promotion for Watertown businesses with its increased visibility.

“It provides an opportunity to showcase what Watertown has to offer,” Mr. Jennings said.

April 2016: Nonprofits Today

Working for north country businesses

Editor’s note: The following information was presented March 3 during the Business of the Year Awards given by the Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce. The United Way of Northern New York was named the Small Nonprofit of the Year at the event.

Bob Gorman

Bob Gorman

Every day the Watertown Daily Times prints the names of people charged with driving under the influence. It’s easy to dismiss the names as representing the dregs of society.

But if you are in management around here long enough, one day one of those names will belong to one of your employees, a person who is crucial to the success of your business. [Read more…]

March 2016: Commerce Corner

North country women ahead of the curve

Kylie Peck

Kylie Peck

Women have been a part of the working class for decades. Today they represent almost 47 percent of the labor force in the United States, according the U.S. Department of Labor. Historically, women have served as secretaries, administrative assistants and receptionists, as well as nurses and teachers, but there has been a radical change in how women in the workplace are perceived. [Read more…]

Business of the Year award recipients honored by Watertown chamber

Krafft Cleaning services’ Lynn E. Krafft, left, and Justin Krafft receive the For Profit, Fifty or Fewer Employees Business of the Year Award Thursday from Kylie Peck, president of Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce at Savory Downtown. Photo by Justin Sorensen, Watertown Daily Times.

Krafft Cleaning Services’ Lynn E. Krafft, left, and Justin Krafft receive the For Profit, Fifty or Fewer Employees Business of the Year Award Thursday from Kylie Peck, president of Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce at Savory Downtown. Photo by Justin Sorensen, Watertown Daily Times.

With roots in the city that go back to 1915, RBC Wealth Management was among the 2015 Business of the Year award recipients honored Thursday by the Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce. [Read more…]