NT Market in running for 'best market' contest

Aug. 30—The North Tonawanda City Market is in the running to become the top Farmers Market in the Northeast Region and still has a chance to earn the distinction of the best market in the United States.

Market operators announced Wednesday that they are looking for the community's help in supporting the market in the 15th annual America's Farmers Market Celebration (AFMC), sponsored by the American Farmland Trust. the contest showcases farmers markets across the nation that make difference for farmers, ranchers and communities.

Last year, the NT City Market finished second in contest voting and was ranked the 13th best market in the United States.

NT market manager Chris Delprince said, as of Wednesday, the market needs just seven more votes to take over the top spot in the contest for the best market in the northeast region.

In the nationwide contest, Delprince said the NT market has climbed from 79th to 60th position. He noted that residents still have time to cast votes in favor of the NT market. Voting in the contest closes on Sept. 19.

Contest winners share in a total of $15,000 in awards that can be used for market promotions. The top prize is $5,000.

"We would like people to vote to help support our market and shed more light and hopefully win the prize to bring more marketing dollars to our market. It's just a fun thing for the community and Western New York to be on the same stage as of all of the markets across the United States," Delprince said.

The NT Market, located at the corner of Payne Avenue and Robinson Street in the city, started in 1908. It has in recent years become a top destination for customers seeking fresh produce and other items.

In the wake of the pandemic, Delprince and other supporters have worked to raise funds for various improvement projects, including painting of the main market building, the addition of a mural on the side of the building and the creation of a wall honoring veterans.

Delprince noted that the NT market recently enjoyed a successful corn festival and plans are in the works for a fall festival at the market this October.

"We're just creating that synergy for the community," Delprince said.

In the coming weeks, farmers and vendors at the farmers market will be distributing cards with QR codes on them to customers as part of an effort to boost voting before the Sept. 19 contest deadline.

Delprince said the owners of the North Tonawanda grocery store Market in the Square will also be supporting the "get-out-the-vote" effort.

"It's shedding a light on North Tonawanda. It's just something fun for the community, something to take pride in," Delprince said.

People who are interested in casting a vote in favor of the NT market can do so by visiting https://markets.farmland.org/market/north-tonawanda-city-market/.