Sunday, May 22, 2016

From Dairy Farming to "Buy Local'

From Empire Farm & Dairy magazine



The outside of Bailiwick Market & Cafe on Route 5, Elbridge
An old rundown farm on Route 5 in Elbridge, Onondaga County, has been rejuvenated into a market and cafe showcasing the hard work of other local farmers.

The Bailiwick Market & Cafe opened in May in the gateway to the Finger Lakes — just six miles north of Skaneateles and a couple of miles west of Elbridge.

A magnificent building with a rustic feel, it measures 40 feet wide and 180 feet long with 24-foot high cathedral ceilings, a wall of windows opening on lush tillable soil and filled with the scents of baked goods, fresh soups, sandwiches, coffees and even homemade ice cream.

Nancy Hourigan, who has been dairy farming in Elbridge with her husband John  for more than 50 years, was given a blank canvas and told to come up with something for it.

Making espresso at Bailiwick Market & Cafe in Elbridge
“We bought this old farm and there were a couple hundred acres for farmland,” Hourigan said. “My husband was going to farm the acres and he said to me ‘see what you can do with the open space in the front.’”

The front was filled with a “broken-down old barn,” rundown house and old silo. Nothing was salvagable except some boards and pieces of wood here and there.

In stepped friend and fellow Elbridge-area farmer Meg Schader. She and her husband Bruce have a dairy with Jersey cows near the village of Jordan where they make their own cheese and yogurt from that higher-butterfat Jersey milk.

“We thought if someone like her could sell her products here at a site on the main road that would be great,” Hourigan said of Schader, whose Wake Robin Farm is a bit off the beaten path instead of on a main highway like Route 5.

Then Hourigan and Schader thought further — what about selling other local products and foods?

The idea snowballed and today more than two-dozen local folks and farmers are involved selling their items at the market and cafe. In addition to foods, there are knitted hats, metal items and other types of art. The coffee is fresh from farmers in Guatamala and Ethiopia and then ground at Kubal Coffee Roaster in Syracuse.

“It’s always fresh,” Hourigan said, noting the ground coffee and beans are never more than two weeks old at the cafe.

According to its website, “Bailiwick Market & Cafe is a community gathering space offering food, art, and fresh air. It is a place for people to connect with their friends, loved ones and the land over fresh food and coffee inspired by local products, artwork by local artists and craft-workers, and events for the whole family.
Enjoy the bounty of CNY at Bailiwick Market & Cafe.”

The site had a soft opening in April and opened with a full menu and ice cream May 1. Its official grand opening was May 15.

Hourigan said chef Susanne “Cookie” Wheeler, formerly of Pumpkin Farm Bistro in Aurora, Cayuga County, is coming up with delectable recipes using all sorts of local vegetables, fruits, grains and meats. As various items come into season, check out the menu for those items.

Ten flavors of homemade ice cream will be sold, made with fresh ingredients. Think strawberry ice cream with locally grown berries. There also will be local fruits and other items for sundae toppings.

Farmers from throughout the area will sell their goods on site during their particular seasons. From maple syrup to asparagus to strawberries to veggies to corn to pumpkins and back again, just about everything fresh and local will be found at Bailiwick Cafe & Market.

No comments:

Post a Comment