This past Thursday, Markets of Broome held their first ever “Sweets and Treats Market,” inviting local bakers and business owners to come and participate. The market was held indoors at the barn-like Broome County Farmers Market location on Upper Front Street and ran from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Vendors lined the walls of the building, and there was a seating area with free drinks where attendees could enjoy the baked goods. While some were regular vendors at the weekly markets held in this location on Saturdays, others were making their appearance for the first time.

The market was an opportunity for smaller dessert businesses to reach more people in the Binghamton area. For Amanda Schmidt, owner of Iced NY, 31 of Kirkwood, New York, this was her first time participating in a Markets of Broome event. Schmidt’s dessert spread consisted of unique, beautifully decorated cookies, with the star of the show being a blue blend of three different kinds of cookies called the “Cookie Monster Cookie.”

“Right now we’re a home bakery based in Kirkwood, New York,” Schmidt said. “Eventually, we want to open a brick-and-mortar and introduce iced coffee, so we called it Iced.”

The market was a success for Schmidt. When asked how her day was going, she explained that she could’ve made even more cookies. She also encouraged readers to take the leap and start their own small businesses if they’ve been considering it.

There were weekly vendors present as well. Maria Ort, owner of Ort Family Farms, 61, residing north of Corning, New York, usually attends the weekly market held on Saturdays. Her display mostly consisted of unique teas and jams, with the jam being called “Niagara Grape Jelly,” made from white grapes instead of the traditional red.

“We grow herbs, we grow fruit, we harvest the crops and we use those crops to make our products, which is a line of jams and jellies, herbal seasonings [and] herbal teas,” Ort said. “We also sell potted plants. We have a special nursery where we sell all edible plants and various fruiting plants.”

There was a wide range of baked goods being sold — the most colorful being those from Gabriella’s Cakes & Co, visiting the market from their store location in Johnson City, New York. Gabriella LoPiccolo Gregory, owner of Gabriella’s Cakes & Co and Co, 28, of Binghamton, New York, attended the Sweets and Treats market after being reached out to by the market themselves.

“We’re like a boutique bakery,” LoPiccolo Gregory said. “We have custom cakes, cupcakes, macarons and gourmet cookies. We also take custom orders for sugar cookies and a variety of things. I think we might be the only frosting, super sweet desserts [at the market].”

None of this would have been possible without the work of the Market Manager and Assistant. Taj Robinson, Farmers Market Assistant, ‘21, was pleased to see the market attracting so much attention.

“The market manager came up with this idea, trying to think of ways to really highlight certain vendors that might not be featured every Saturday,” Robinson said. “On Saturdays, it’s mostly about produce, but we have a lot of bakers and other artisan vendors, so we do artisan markets about four times a year. I had a few people already telling me that this is a great idea and that we should do more, so I’m thinking that we probably will do another one later in the year.”

One of the seasonal artisan markets Robinson mentioned will be coming up this March.

“[The Spring Artisan Market] is an annual market that we do with a lot of different artisans,” said Robinson. “We have bakers. We do jewelry. We do things with beeswax. We make handcrafted decorations. Just a lot of different crafters from around Broome County will come out for the Artisan Market.”

The Spring Artisan Market will be held on March 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. located at 840 Upper Front St. and is a great way to experience the community and support small businesses.