The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

November 23, 2013

Local farm seeks funding for food hub

The Daily Star

---- — Handsome Brook Farm in Franklin recently broke ground on a new facility designed to host a regional food hub, where the farm will be able to purchase produce and products from local farmers and producers and sell them to grocery chains, restaurant and other wholesale buyers.

“This solution leverages Handsome Brook Farm’s existing vendor relationships and provides the grocery chains with a way to partner with small farms efficiently and effectively,” Betsy Babcock of Handsome Brook Farm explained in a media release.

The farm is seeking crowdsourced funding to support the project. Babcock described the effort as “an old fashioned barn raising — with a Rocket Hub twist!” According to the release, the Babcocks have committed $100,000 to the project and are seeking matching funds to build and equip an energy-efficient barn to receive, pack, store and distribute products, and to build a small commercial kitchen for use by local producers. 

“This project will make a big difference in small farm families throughout New York by enabling them to produce and sell their crops and products,” Babcock said. 

Supporters can visit to learn more about the project and pledge money to support it. The fundraising drive ends Dec. 17. 


Local art and gift shop Artists Off Main has moved to Smithy Center for the Arts at 55 Pioneer St. in Cooperstown, and will kick off a Holiday Market in SCA’s first floor blacksmith shop on Nov. 29, featuring locally created art, gifts, and unique vintage finds.

Artists Off Main features the art of Tracy Helgeson, Susan Jones Kenyon, May Britt Joyce, and Kathy Minnig, knitwear by Mary Dohner, jewelry by Karen Katz, mosaics by Wendy Reich, pottery by Karla Andela and Barbara Murray Sullivan, carved wooden fish by Patrick Franck, vintage images and greeting cards by Linda Metzger, and hand-poured soy candles in vintage glassware by Joy Rhodes.

Karen Katz, a co-founder of the shop, said, “We’d like to be ‘Holiday Headquarters’ for people who are trying to shop locally, especially for locally made and sourced items.”

Mohican Flowers will have freshly made holiday arrangements and wreaths for sale, and other local artists’ work will be displayed during the Holiday Market, which will be open from noon to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays from Nov. 29 to Dec. 21. A variety of vintage pieces, from quilts to decorative objects, will also be available. 

Organizations can post their news of seasonal events on the bulletin board in the Holiday Market, and those who visit the market will be invited to bring a decoration for a live Christmas tree that will be given to a local family chosen by Cooperstown’s Angel Network.

The shop will take a break during January, February and March, and will return in spring on the second floor of SCA.


The Greater Stamford Area Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a holiday pop-up farmers’ market from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Frank W. Cyr Center, the site of the former Rexmere Hotel, located at 159 West Main St. in the village of Stamford. 

More than 35 local vendors will offer farm-fresh food, local beer and wine, maple products, dairy and eggs, baked goods, preserves, pickles, handmade gifts, table decorations, pottery, fresh flowers and cookbooks. 

For a complete list of vendors that will be at the market, visit the GSACC website at


The ACCO Brands Sidney facility honored its 53 military veterans in November with a variety of activities. 

Employee veterans were feted at a barbecue chicken lunch that included a multimedia presentation and a large banner display highlighting photos of veterans and their families. 

ACCO also hosted fundraiser to benefit the Wounded Warrior project, and the site is now manufacturing a line of products in partnership with the Wounded Warrior Project. WWP is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to honor and empower veterans and servicemen and women who are injured in combat. 

“The addition of the WWP products to our manufacturing efforts is a win for our employees and our customers,” general manager Jeff Almasian said in a media release. “Adding these products to the list of items made here ensures that our facility is maximizing the manufacturing assets we have. In addition, customers can feel good that part of the price they pay goes to such a worthy cause.”

The product line manufactured in Sidney includes planners, calendars, desk pads and appointment books featuring snapshots and stories of Wounded Warriors and their families. The nonprofit will receive a portion of the proceeds generated by the sale of these items through the end of 2014. A minimum of $125,000 has been pledged by ACCO Brands and AT-A-GLANCE, with the total donation expected to exceed that amount.


NBT Bank and The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce are hosting a Holiday Open House on Wednesday, Dec. 4, from 5 to 7 p.m. at 1 Wall Street in Oneonta. RSVP in advance to Shelly Giangrant at 432-4500, ext. 207. ... The Utica School of Commerce is now offering an associate’s degree in business administration online. The spring semester begins Jan. 21.