The initial talks for what would eventually become Farmers & Artisans began in the winter of 2008. Several producers, who had become acquainted as farmer’s market vendors, began discussing the possibility of a year-round brick and mortar venue. The hope was that it would become a focal point for the local food community, creating connections between producer and consumer, and become a place of education. From these initial discussions, Julie Blackman, David Setzer and Jo El Drajem decided to make the investment, and Farmers & Artisans became a reality.
They located a beautiful, old retail space in the charming village of Williamsville. Farmers & Artisans opened in September of 2009. The initial group of producers consisted of those farmers and food producers in their network of acquaintances. Farmers & Artisans now offers hundreds of locally produced products including pastured meats, farm fresh eggs, dairy items, farmstead cheeses, seasonal produce, dried goods, locally produced grocery items, and tasty prepared foods. The array of flavorful, sustainable, and locally produced foods continues to grow. And it grew enough to require a larger space!
Partnerships change and life throws us challenges. Sadly David passed away in 2013, just prior to a move to the current location on Main Street in Snyder. Today Julie continues to own and operate Farmers & Artisans, appreciating all she learned from David. The new location offers a fresh opportunity to expand both the
bakery and prepared food offerings, as well as provide a growing variety of quality local foods. It is a true neighborhood corner store that takes pride in supporting and showcasing our rural farmers. What a great mix!
Julie is the sixth generation working at her families’ business, Blackman Homestead Farm. Their farm was established in 1852 and continues to be owned and operated by her parents. Julie went back to the farm and gave up her healthcare career to expand the retail opportunities at their farm. She developed a value-added product line including fruit butters, sauces, and juices. She started participating in the summer and winter Elmwood Bidwell Farmers Markets, where the network of farmers and producers was formed. Julie continues to work to connect the community to NY family farms.