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Canajoharie, NY ,

Joshua Thomas
The outdoor space where the farmers market will be located. In the back is chicken coops, where 100 chickens will soon lay fresh eggs daily. The yellow building will become a general store.

Joshua Thomas
The 150 by 50 foot warehouse for flea market dealers.

Joshua Thomas
A view inside the vast Antique Mall.

Joshua Thomas
A view inside the Antique Mall, which houses a variety of vintage movie posters.

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Antique Mall and Farmers Market opens in Palatine Bridge

Thursday, May 29, 2014 - Updated: 6:28 PM

By JOSHUA THOMAS

C-S-E Editor

PALATINE BRIDGE -- On Saturday, May 24, the Antique Mall and Farmers Market, and near-future home of a weekly antiques auction, at 6014 State Highway 5, opened its doors after well-publicized delays.

While the farmers market offerings were sparse on opening week, with a selection of fresh eggs, maple syrup and baked goods available in the morning, Owner Jesse Quackenbush said that the farmers market has since expanded, and will again, adding Amish strawberries and baked goods this weekend.

The antique mall was well stocked on opening weekend, and has already expanded significantly. On opening weekend, Brotherhood Antiques, of Canajoharie and Kenneth Capece -- with a plethora of Beech-Nut goods -- had spaces set up inside the vast store. Since then, numerous local dealers have been added to the space, including Settler's Block, of Canajoharie and local artist Denise Allen. The space is currently 80 percent full, and Quackenbush explained that three more dealers will be welcomed in this weekend.

Quackenbush also noted that he's currently interested in buying antiques, including through estate sales, encouraging people to bring items for appraisal.

Despite the constant rain on opening day, 130-140 people passed through the doors within the first few hours. Quackenbush said the turnout was "incredibly more people than I expected."

By the end of Memorial Day weekend, 400 people visited the store, with 200 visiting last weekend.

He noted that much of the public was "excited and relieved" that the space is finally open, the original May 9 opening date delayed by friction between Quackenbush, the town Code Enforcement Officer Clifford Dorrough and Zoning Board Chairman Don Mead, Jr., which resulted in Quackenbush temporarily filing a 3.8 million dollar notice of claim against the town.

Quackenbush explained on opening day that "out of the blue" he received a phone call from Attorney Greg Dunn, acting in the capacity of a local citizen, along with resident Rusty Capece, asking, "is there anything we can do to help you get this resolved?"

Dunn and Capece arranged a meeting between Dorrough and Quackenbush, also attended by Supervisor Sara Niccoli, where they engaged in a "gentleman's shake" wherein Quackenbush agreed to let Dorrough do a cursory inspection to prove the building wasn't teeming with mold.

Dorrough issued a temporary occupancy permit, and a permanent one is expected  once Quackenbush turns in the requested architectural plans, which have been completed and are only awaiting an official stamp and review by Dorrough.

At that point, Quackenbush said he'd withdraw his formal notice of claim, stating, "we've called a cease-fire — a truce."

Quackenbush explained that he's very grateful for the intervention of the two private citizens, stating, "We wouldn't be open if they hadn't taken the initiative."

Until the farmers market has built up significantly, Quackenbush noted that he's not charging vendors for space.

This weekend, Quackenbush said he hopes to have new inventory, along with some food concessions. He also noted that in the 150 by 50 foot warehouse out back, auctions will begin June 21 at 9 a.m. The weekly, Saturday, auctions will skew toward antiques, although they will be "wide open" according to Quackenbush.

Bands are already lined up to come and play live music, Quackenbush said, adding that he also has plans to install 100 chickens on premises, which will provide fresh eggs daily.

Quackenbush also hopes to have a general store opened on the farmers market lot sometime this July, which will aim to fill gaps left by missing vendors or instances where vendors don't show up because of poor weather. Though he explained that the store will fill all gaps, its goal will be to not detract from the farmers market vendors. If a vendor has a product available that's also in the general store, that item will be pulled while the unique vendor is on premises.

"The idea with the general store is to make sure we always have products for the farmers market as it progresses," said Quackenbush.

The antique mall will be closed Mondays, and will be open the rest of the week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The farmers market will be open weekends only, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Joshua Thomas - A view inside the vast Antique Mall.

Joshua Thomas - A view inside the vast Antique Mall.

Joshua Thomas - Just some of the unique art currently available at the Antique Mall and Farmers Market.

Joshua Thomas - Beech-Nut items for sale by dealer Kenneth Capece.

Joshua Thomas - Owner Jesse Quackenbush and his wife, Corie Quackenbush.

     

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