'Farmacy' offers new grocery option in Northern NY

KEESEVILLE, N.Y. (WCAX) If you travel around Keeseville, New York, you might notice something's missing-- a grocery store.

"A giant, empty grocery store that's been closed for, I think, four years this time. Even before that when it was open, it's changed hands multiple times. There's been some issues with the building, so this particular area has had a really hard time with food access for a number of years," said Brittany Christenson, the executive director of AdkAction.

But next door is a newer, fresher spot.

"Bring the energy from the agricultural movement into the downtown," Christenson said.

"I thought it was a little odd at first, but the more that started to come in and the more it started to happen, the more I realized how excited people were and it got me excited," said Jaimee Finnegan of the Keeseville Pharmacy.

No more long drives for the people of Keeseville, now it's just a walk down Front Street.

"You know the vast majority of the food is grown within 5 miles of this very location," Christenson said.

The pharmacy is owned by Dan Boseley. He donates the space and provides the employees so farmers can sell their produce. It's all organized by AdkAction, a nonprofit that aims to address needs in the Adirondack area. It's spent the last year working together to open up the Farmacy

"Pharmacy with an F, as we like to say," Christenson said.

So people would have a place to get fresh produce.

"Paying rent and paying utilities, hiring staff-- all that overhead costs are nonexistent here because Dan and his staff are kind enough to host this experiment out of goodwill," Christenson said.

Garlic, squash, yogurt: you name it, they've got it, or they will when you add it to the wish list.

"I have so many people come up to the register and they're all excited. They all say how happy they are to have it here and they're all very thankful to have a fresh market in town," Finnegan said.

A solution funded by donations from the public.

"This entire project has been paid for by about 35 individual donors," Christenson said.

So before you get ready to serve the table, make sure you stop at your local farmacy.

"We're surrounded by all these awesome local farms," Christenson said. "It's really been this budding new agricultural movement that's happening around this community that spurred this idea in the first place."

Christenson says the farmacy is in it for the long haul and they hope to expand the store as space clears for it.