NISKAYUNA -- Dave and Patti van Leeuwen were happy to support the debut of the Niskayuna Farmers Market.
"It's very nice," said Dave, of the small outdoor market that opened Saturday in the side parking lot at the Niskayuna Co-op market on Nott Street. "We're happy to support the local vendors. We're looking forward to later in the year when they have more produce."
"It's fun seeing our neighbors," added Patti.
Early reviews from shoppers and town officials were positive.
"It's a great collaboration between town government, local business and community residents to make something really nice," said town Councilwoman Lisa Weber, who chairs the town's Community Programs Committee.
Weber also said additional vendors will be part of future markets.
Councilwoman Denise Murphy McGraw also worked on the market project and visited shortly after tables opened for business.
"It's a fantastic first time out for this, we're all very, very excited," she said. "We look forward to what this can bring to our community."
Town officials began discussing a farmers market last year and considered several different days and places for the outdoor store before the 2018 plan was scrapped. A survey later was conducted to give residents a voice about the project.
This past spring, the co-op was chosen as the market space; two other Saturday markets will be held, on Aug. 10 and Sept. 14.
Nine shops were part of the first fair. Sale items included baked goods from Sandye's Cafe; fruits, vegetables and pies from Lansing's Farm Market; jewelry from Paparazzi Accessories; fresh coffee from Chris' Coffee; bags of ground coffee from Electric City Roasters; and handmade, all-natural, vegan-friendly soaps from Farm Momma.
"We just wanted to try it out," said Salvatore Martin, staffing the Sandye's table with his sister Marisa. "We thought it would be a good way to get our name out there. It's really just an experiment for us."
Both work at the Nott Street cafe owned by their mother, Sandye Friedman.
Stephanie Dosiek toured the market with daughter Evelyn, 5 1/2 and son Teddy, 4.
"I like it," Dosiek said. "It's exciting to have all this stuff so close where we can walk to it."
Mother and children shopped at Sandye's first. "Now we're going to look at the veggies," Dosiek said.
Kyle Jewell, director of marketing for Chris' Coffee, believes the market offers both sales and public relations opportunities. "It's good to support our entire community," he said. "We service almost all the restaurants in the Capital District and have since 1975."
There were no complaints.
"I think it's a great idea and I hope Niskayuna continues in the tradition of farm markets," said Ani Shahinian.
Town Supervisor Yasmine Syed, like her colleagues on the Town Board, liked the market's first Saturday.
"I think it's very successful so far," she said. "I've been making the rounds, talking to the residents who are here and they're commenting it's such a wonderful event, it brings the community together."
Contact Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 518-395-3124 or at [email protected]