Easton Farmers Market Booming A Decade After Hitting Bottom

Skyline of Easton, PA from Lafayette College

Skyline of Easton, PA from Lafayette College (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Easton, PA – On any given Saturday from May to November, you can race zucchini, chow on hot peppers and glory in the goodness of the tomato at the Easton Farmers Market.

This year the 260-year-old market boasts 45 vendors, 20 more on a waiting list and will draw more than 50,000 people into the city’s Centre Square. It’s hard to imagine that 10 years ago its lone vendor, Gloria Raub, passed away and almost took the market with her.

“When Raub died,” said state Rep. Bob Freeman D-Northampton. “I was deeply concerned that the market would just disappear.”

Instead of vanishing, the market bloomed as its backers found the right niche and a formula that attracted producers and consumers back to Centre Square – it also didn’t hurt that a movement toward localiy-grown food gained momentum at the same time.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/easton/mc-easton-farmers-market-260th-year-20120503,0,34342.story

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Project OK’d For Pittsburgh’s North Shore

PNC Park nighttime panoramic picture

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After months of controversy, the city’s Stadium Authority cleared the way Friday for the latest development between Heinz Field and PNC Park — a $20 million retail and office project next to Stage AE.

Stadium Authority board members unanimously approved conceptual plans for the development and voted to sell the 1.3 acres needed for the project to North Shore Developers L.P. for $900,000, the appraised value.

The project is the first one advanced by developer Continental Real Estate Companies and the Steelers and the Pirates since the board voted last fall to amend a 9-year-old option agreement with the teams and extend the deadlines they had missed for developing land between the stadiums.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/project-okd-for-north-shore-467897/

Off the Avenue Cafe Opens Shop In Downtown Reading

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

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When Keith B. Rhein opened Off the Avenue Cafe in West Lawn in 2007, he never meant to create a trendy spot for dinner.

His focus was to create a great cafe for breakfast and lunch.

But because there was a greater demand for dinner, Rhein gave the customers what they wanted.

Rhein is trying the breakfast and lunch idea once again, opening a second location: Off the Avenue Cafe Downtown.

The new cafe is on the first floor of the M&T Building, which is owned by developer Alan Shuman, president of Shuman Development Group.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=362284

Historic Columbia, PA Market House Rededicated

A large crowd was on hand Thursday for the rededication of the Historic Columbia Market House, which recently underwent improvements to its roof, exterior and heating and electrical systems.
 
Speakers included Mayor Leo Lutz, Borough Manager Norm Meiskey, Borough Council President Mary Wickenheiser, Columbia Historic Market House Trust Chairman Dave Rupp, Turkey Hill Vice President John Cox and Lancaster County Commissioner Craig Leaman.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/487213_Columbia-market-rededicated.html#ixzz1c5nVI23Q

Shady Maple Complex – Regional Destination And Economic Powerhouse

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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Rural East Earl Township in Lancaster County is home to Shady Maple Smorgasbord, Shady Maple Farm Market, Good’s Store, Country Home Furniture and Martin’s Trailside Express.  This cluster of businesses provides a huge economic boost to East Earl Township while preserving the character of it surroundings, which adds to the appeal/experience.

Shady Maple Smorgasbord seats 1200, Shady Maple Farm Market is 124,000 square feet and Good’s Store just added a 20,000-square-foot addition.  This complex features some very large stores/restaurants, however, it “fits into the rural surrounding” and has become a regional destination.  You could literally spend the day eating and shopping there.

Read this very interesting article from the Central Penn Business Journal: http://www.centralpennbusiness.com/article/20110826/CPBJ01/110829896/Hometown-draw

Souderton’s Broad Theater To Get $5 Million Renovation

Location of Souderton in Montgomery County

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Some great economic development/revitalization news out of Souderton.  The Broad Theater space is 20,000-square-feet.  Plans call for second-run movies to be shown and a variety of food options at reasonable prices.

The theater will have a concession stand and a cafe.  The building will also house Bogart’s casual family dining restaurant and the Broadway Prime restaurant specializing in steaks.

To read the entire article, click here:

http://www.thereporteronline.com/articles/2011/07/22/news/doc4e2a1ffb41333653374205.txt?viewmode=fullstory

Wellsboro’s Laurel Festival Crowd Tops 20,000

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Tioga County

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Another example of working with what you have – Wellsboro has had a Laurel Festival as long as I can certainly remember.  This small town of 3,300 people is the county seat of Tioga County.  Tioga County is home to the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon and borders New York State.  Tioga County has a land area of 1,134 square miles with a population of 41,000.  The county is 84% rural. 

One thing rural Tioga County has plenty of is mountain laurel, which is the state flower of Pennsylvania.  Wellsboro has a beautiful main street, with a grass median, lined with tall, black gaslights.  Very picturesque!  A great setting for a big parade.

This year’s Laurel Festival included the annual two-hour parade, a juried crafts show and street of foods, and the Firemen’s Carnival, held across town on the annex grounds.  The parade had 65 units, including eight floats carrying 28 queen candidates, 17 bands, five fire companies, five community floats and various vehicles.

Imagine what an influx of 20,000+ people into Wellsboro for a Saturday does for the local economy.  Some people make a weekend of it.  Not bad for a town with less than 3,500 people!  This is not the only large event Wellsboro hosts but we are focusing on this one today.