Vendor Spotlight: Ayelada

ayelada-vendor-spotlightAyelada is a new vendor this winter season. They produce fresh, local frozen yogurt daily at their two locations in Latham, NY and Pittsfield, MA. Unfortunately, they won’t be moving outside with us, so make sure to stop by and visit them on their last market THIS Sunday (which is also our last indoor market).

How did you get started?

By accident! We happened to be in Northampton MA on a regular basis from 2011 to 2013 and came across a store called GoBerry. GoBerry does what we do in that they make their frozen yogurt each day with skim milk and low fat yogurt from small local independent farms with real ingredients and flavors. They helped us to open our first store in Pittsfield MA in April 2013.

What is your favorite product of yours?

We only make frozen yogurt but if I had to pick a go to flavor it would Original. It’s our base flavor and is really what we are all about in being Fresh, Local and Real. Fresh Dairy and Real Flavors come together in Original. From that we can add any flavor we like. For example Raspberry is Original with real raspberry puree. There is nothing artificial-ever.

What do you feel makes you unique?

Other than GoBerry and maybe a few others (none in the Capital District) no one makes frozen yogurt from scratch each day like we do. Everyone else uses a prepackaged mix. Aside from working with local farms we also work with local artisans for flavors and toppings. See our website under Farmers and Partners.

What does the Schenectady Greenmarket mean to you?

Two things – it allows us to expand our reach and brand as well as meet locally-minded people who are looking for good-quality, locally-produced food. Plus, we are meeting new artisans for flavors and toppings.

What do you love most about what you do?

To be honest we love our business. We are lucky to have a cool group of employees, customers, farmers, and suppliers. We also find looking for new flavors and artisans is also enjoyable.

Vendor Spotlight: Hope Valley Farm

Hope Valley FarmThis coming Sunday is the last week that one of our produce vendors, Hope Valley Farm, will be at the market until the spring. To kick off our new series of blog posts spotlighting vendors, our intern Jenna spoke with the owner, Rich Rugen. Here is their conversation:

How did you get started?

“We started Hope Valley Farm 25 years ago as a result of a desire to move from Long Island to the Adirondack mountains and do something positive to make a living.  We found out people would buy flowers readily and we put up a greenhouse.  Then we added another and another until we got to eight.  And we kept adding to our open field production of vegetables.”

What is your favorite product?

“We have several favorite products including 6 varieties of Garlic, Tomatoes, Lettuce, and of course, the Annual and Perennial flowers!”

What do you feel makes you unique?

“Our “Uniqueness” is centered around our vegetables being “Certified Naturally Grown” and free of “GMO” contamination. We are also the only flower and vegetable farm located in Hamilton County.”

What does the Schenectady Greenmarket mean to you?

“The Schenectady Greenmarket is our favorite market because of its great diversity and the extensive interest of the attendees in the way we grow and in our ecological principles.  The loyalty of so many faithful customers week in and week out is especially gratifying!  Also, the market has a policy that doesn’t allow vendors to “buy in” products from other sources, so that makes Schenectady Greenmarket a pretty honest farmers market.”

What do you love most about what you do?
   
“Aside from treading lightly upon the earth and growing food without the use of chemical pesticides or chemical fertilizers, we love interacting with our customers about how we produce their food and how to use those veggies.  We are particularly proud to say that we do NOT grow any of our vegetables using genetically modified seed or seed treated with chemical fungicides.  No foolin!”

Thanks Jenna & Rich. Make sure you check out their awesome produce (they’re located under the stairs on the lower level of Proctors) and say hello THIS Sunday!

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