Strasburg business aims to open farmers’ market

STRASBURG — A business  is only one permit away from setting up a farmers’ market, a local business owner told Town Council this week.

Janet Heishman, owner of Pot Town Organics, said at Tuesday’s meeting she has some “good news” for the council.

“My husband and I have decided we would like to start a farmers’ market next to Pot Town in the breezeway. We’ve gotten the permitting process started and we’ve already gotten people to sign up for it,” Heishman said.

Thursday afternoon, Heishman said she has six vendors signed up for the market, which will open either in April or May and run to October or November on Saturdays from 8 a.m.  to 2 p.m. She said Pot Town hosting the market is part of the business’s mission.

“You shouldn’t go into business if all you’re trying to do is make a dollar,” Heishman said. “We are here to try to support the farmers’ market and get it re-established.”

Heishman said they intend to set up the market in the breezeway next to their shop until the town completes downtown renovations, when hopefully the market would then be moved behind the Brill building.

She said a lot of the vendors signed up for the market are newcomers.

“We’ve got some new people who [have] never done it before,” Heishman said. “I sold at the farmers’ market in Woodstock years ago, so I want to help get some young people started.”

While most farmers’ markets charge anywhere from $200 to $350 for a booth, Heishman said setting up at the Strasburg market will be free and decisions, such as buying advertisement, will be left up to a board of vendors.

She said the market’s focus would be on food.

“We’ll allow people to sell crafts, but I don’t want it to be a yard sale,” Heishman said. “We want to give vegetable growers an opportunity to see if they can make it or not … I’d also love to see meat being sold as well.”

Heishman said the permitting “hoops” she will have to jump through “aren’t horrible.”

“The hoops are in town,” Heishman said. “The county and the state are all food friendly and they’re there to support you. The town permits aren’t too bad, because they’re mainly to do with traffic and parking.”

Wyatt Pearson, town planning and zoning administrator, agreed that the permitting is “not too extensive.”

“We just want to make sure they got all their bases covered with traffic and parking,” Pearson said. “Once they apply their permit, we’ll come back to them with any conditions we feel that will make a successful and special event.”

Pearson said because the market will be on private property, Heishman only needs to apply for one permit.

“For her case, the permit is primarily for parking,” Pearson said. “I just want her to demonstrate how parking will be handled … I think when Janet comes back with the permit, the only conditions I’ll apply is just time limits for the market.”

He said while the market hasn’t been permitted yet, the “chances of it coming to fruition are pretty high.”

Pot Town Organics is located at 181 West King St. in Strasburg and is opened from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday.

Contact staff writer Henry Culvyhouse at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or hculvyhouse@nvdaily.com