The farmers had moved to Clinton Square while contractors performed
sustainable construction and repairs on the market’s original spot. “We
went to Clinton Square temporarily, but everybody that talked to me
loved it,” said McFadden, the Downtown Committee’s director of
operations. After conferring with the mayor’s office, McFadden
discovered that city administrators wanted to make the relocation
Noting that it wasn’t the Downtown Committee’s original intention to
move the 35-year-old market to Clinton Square, McFadden said the new
location gives shoppers more room to navigate and possesses a nicer
ambiance. “It’s so much better than being stuck in a blacktop parking
lot,” he added.
On a recent muggy Tuesday, a gray sky hung over the city, unsure if
it wanted to shed a shower of tears or let the sun loose. The
possibility of impending showers didn’t convince customers to abandon
shopping or paint frowns on vendors’ faces, however. Instead, packs of
children and groups of office workers perused a market full of pepper
plants, pansies, tomatoes, fudge and much more.
Like McFadden, Bob Adams prefers the market’s new spot. “This is
conducive to a farmers market,” he said. “Over there, we were selling
from a parking lot. There’s no comparison.” Adams owns Grama &
Grampa’s Kettle Corn and Lemon Blizzard Affair, and sold at the
market’s old location for nine years. In its new location, Adams mused
that the market reminds him of the sort of farmers market you’ll find
in big cities; think Ottawa’s By-Ward Market.
After helping a customer, Lorraine Highers, Adams’ niece, praised
the new location as well. “We love it. When we saw it, we thought it
was nice as long as the customers found us. And they did,” she said.
Looking at the fountain spewing streams of water above the reflecting
pool, Adams joked that his nieces could take a dip in the water to cool
The Downtown Farmers Market shares its goods every Tuesday through
Oct. 12, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., in Clinton Square. For information, visit
www.downtownsyracuse.com or call 422-8284.
Care for a flute of Merlot? How about a waffle cone full of cherry ice cream? With wine ice cream from Mercer’s Dairy, it’s possible to satisfy both cravings at once.
According to Roxaina Hurlburt, Mercer’s director of
marketing, the inspiration for the tasty duo uncorked in 2006. She said
Mercer’s had been partnering with different wine vendors while
attending food festivals to create a unique treat. “We were pouring
wine with the ice cream to make floats,” Hurlburt said. “Then we
thought, ‘Why not put it in the ice cream?’” After concocting a palate
of flavors and taste-testing different wine vendors, Mercer’s Wine Ice Cream hit the freezer case in 2008.
Mercer’s Dairy, based in Boonville, selected Brotherhood Winery—America’s
oldest winery, located in downstate Washingtonville—to provide the wine
to complete the dairy’s treat. The award-winning ice cream, dubbed the
World Wine Ice Cream Champion in 2008, contains 5 percent alcohol and
ingredients made in New York state. It’s distributed nationally and
internationally and sold in select Wegmans stores in pints
So far, Mercer’s boasts six flavors of the alcoholic ice cream: Ala
Port, Cherry Merlot, Chocolate Cabernet, Peach White Zinfandel, Red
Raspberry Chardonnay and Royal White Riesling. Although Hurlburt said
no new flavors are in the works, the range of creative treats surely
provides wine connoisseurs uncharted adventures for their taste buds.
To get a bigger scoop on Mercer’s wine ice cream, call (866) 637-2377 or visit www.mercersdairy.com.