After 100 Years In Village, Iconic Oriskany Market To Close
An era in Oriskany's history is about to come to an end as an iconic market gets ready to close its doors for good.
The Village Market in Oriskany has been quietly wrapping up business for weeks. When you step inside the building located at 810 Utica Street has been home to some kind of market for 100 years, according to current owner Ray Kahler. Soon, the market will be empty - holding only memories and the remnants of a time gone by.
Ray Kahler, who retired from the Utica Fire Department 18 years ago, has run the Village Market for over 38 years. He says lack of support from the community, capped by the recent opening of a Dollar General close by.
(Author's note: If you haven't taken the time to visit the market, do it. I had the pleasure of talking with Mr. Kahler for nearly 30 minutes as he shared his memories of Oriskany, the Utica Fire Department, and time past. He's truly one of a kind.)
On Facebook Marcus Zwierecki expressed his regrets over the news:
Another hit to local business. I just came from Village market on Utica street in Oriskany. I have gone here for almost 10 yrs for greens, sausage and other home made delights. The owner tells me and a couple of customers he is closing. It's because of Dollar general. He made a point. There are 1400 ppl in Oriskany, if each spent a dollar a day in his store he would be on easy street. Please understand when these places close that's it no more small town feeling. Please support local business before big box stores. I will miss my butcher paper products.
Kahler looked back over the years spent operating the market with fondness: "I made all my own soups from scratch. I made subs, people would ask 'How do you do it?' because they were so good."
He says the world has changed, recalling when he and his friends got together to stage soap box races for the neighborhood and how they worked together to build the gazebo in the village green. Now, he enjoys talking with his regular customers, and spending time with his grandchildren. "I don't want to close, but that's all I can do."
For now, Ray says the Village Market will remain open until he's sold out of his current inventory, including lottery tickets. Marcus says he plans to stop in to buy a candy bar every single day until the store closes. As a final goodbye to an iconic Oriskany establishment, and a "thank you" to Ray Kahler for his years of service to the village, you might want to do the same.