NORTH COHOCTON — Several local artists were represented at the first Meet the Artist event at the Olde Country Store Saturday, April 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Olde Country Store Owner Jeff Wells said he enjoys helping out the local artists.
“This event is to showcase those artists that sell things in our store,” he said.
The Green Heart of the Finger Lakes has become the stores new logo, and it is getting a lot of love from the whole Finger Lakes area. Now when you walk into the store you will see this logo on all the items made in that region.
Wells called the event a milestone for the store, since it has come a long way since the day they opened.
“This is a milestone in a way,” he said. “We are at the point now where we have so many local wonderful artists. They come into our store and ask to sell their things here. Many of them were giving these items away to family and friends, and now they have a place to sell them.”
Heaven Sent Farm out of Cohocton was represented by the owner's sister Jill Stewart. Stewart said the cheese comes fresh from the Jersey cows on her brother’s farm.
“My brother has his friend make the cheese from the cows on his farm,” she said. “We both grew up on the farm, but my brother loves it.”
They hope to open up the farm to the public sometime in the near future. The cheeses include a dill cheese, spicy cheese, pizza cheese, creamy cheese, and a pepper cheese.
The 4J’s NVR Better BBQ Sauce owner Joseph Hatfield came all the way from Geneva to share his special sauce with the community. About seven years ago Hatfield, a chef at Hobart and William Smith College in Geneva, came up with his own fruit-based barbecue sauces.
“We started off with strawberries and now we do pineapple, raspberry, blueberry, and mango,” he said. “We are a family operated business. We are big on family, so that is what I like about selling my sauces here. This store is run by a family as well.”
The company is named after the initials of all seven of Hatfield’s children; Joey, Justin, Josiah, Joshua, Nes, Vincent, and Robert.
Grandma B’s Baskets are 1800s to 1900s style baskets hand-made by We Wear History member Belinda Schuler.
“I love making baskets,” she said. “It has become my favorite past-time.”
Brenda Yeoman, Schuler’s sister and We Wear History founder, started showing her sister how to make the baskets.
Schuler started out sending her baskets as gifts to family, and now is selling them at the Olde Country Store.
The sisters are looking for new members for We Wear History as well, and can be reached at the E.J. Cottrell Memorial Library in Atlanta Ny.
2 Crock Pots owner Roland Storms, of Cohocton shared his love of pottery and why his wife, Pam and him got into the business.
“I have always enjoyed painting, and over the last 11 years we have done pottery,” he said. “We retired and found a pottery class to take. This is our hobby now.”
The ceramic dishes are all hand-painted by Roland Storms, and are microwaveable and dishwasher safe.
Nature Artist Susan Burley of Atlanta Ny was among the first to be showcased in the Olde Country Store, and has a whole wall dedicated to her hand-painted turkey feathers and leaves.
Burley has crafted these unique works of art for 25 years now, and has been to many shows.
“All of my paintings are originals and never duplicated, so they are one-of-a-kind,” she said. “I like to use nature's canvas.”
All the frames for her artwork are also created by her, and Burley said they come from grape posts, and barn wood.
The Captain Retreat owners Joe and Jennifer Hengy of Cohocton have a family business combining his talent of woodwork, and her talent of painting.
“I do the woodwork, but a lot of the ideas are my wife’s. I am good at making it, and she is good at coming up with the ideas,” Joe Hengy said. “I made the Green Heart of The Finger Lakes for Jeff Wells. He told me he loved them and is selling them downstairs.”
“We are part of the local community,” he continued. “It is important to help keep this store open. A lot of these kinds of stores don’t exist anymore. I told Jeff I would be more than willing to help him anyway I can.”
Jennifer Hengy added that she loves doing watercolors now, and has done the picket fence acrylic paintings for years for the Cohocton Fall Festivals.
Children’s Book author Greer Alexis Bacon of Prattsburg has had several books published recently. All of her books can be found on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
“Amazon is wonderful, because it links your books with reading groups, and my books have been sold all over the world,” she said. “This has become a labor of love for me. I started out writing poetry, and really wanted to write children’s books.”
“Guardian” is the most recent and it is about a WWII plane that is found in a junkyard and gets to fly again. “The Fishing Lure” is the most popular and is about a WWII veteran who teaches his grandson how to fish.
“I never gave up on my dreams,” Bacon said. “I stay positive and love what I do.”
Bacon’s two children, Royce, two, and Honor, three, love her books.
“People love The Fishing Lure, because it is very pro-America. It is about the American Dream,” she said. “This is my favorite, because it is personal. My grandfather was a World War 2 veteran and loved to fish. He actually taught me how to fish. The illustrator of the book is a Vietnam veteran who is wonderful.”
“The Trees With No Leaves” is a twist on an 1800s folk story about a place you can see covered in butterflies if you believe.
Bacon has a lot of compassion for veterans and appreciates what they have sacrificed.
Face Painter Jessica Witherow of Naples was more than happy to come and be part of the fun at the store.
“I started doing this about four years ago,” she said. “I was an art major. “I have done face painting at several other places like the Naples Little Bunch.”
All artists and taste-testers were pleased to be at the store and provide the community with quality hand-crafted work. Jeff Wells added that several new items are in the store, New York Chips, Cohocton Historical Society puzzles, Finger Lake maps, and soon to come German Glass Rods for flowers. Jennifer Wells has been cooking up a storm with different soups, meats, and baked goods.
Old Country Store and More-1849 is located at 2 University Ave. and open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. They can be reached at 585-534-5747.