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New stands opening at Penn Market

David Weissman
717-505-5431/@DispatchDavid
  • Nana's Oven, a bake stand, opened on March 12, according to its owner.
  • Generations, a seafood and soul food stand, opened March 19, according to its owner.
  • Market manager said Market and Penn Farmers Market could fit another 15-25 vendors.

Fresh-baked sticky buns, crab cakes and Caribbean cuisine are all now available or soon to come at York City's Market and Penn Farmers Market.

Nana's Oven owner Deb Volker, mixes up some buttercream icing Tuesday, March 29, 2016, at Market and Penn Farmers Market. Nana's, along with Generations, are two new booths that have recently opened at the market. Amanda J. Cain photo

Nana's Oven and Generations opened during March, and a booth specializing in Caribbean fare will open in May, according to Jimmy Ilyes, the market's manager.

Deb Volker, owner and sole operator of Nana's Oven, said she was inspired to open her bake stand because of her late grandmother, or Nana.

Volker bakes her cakes, pies and cookies to order, and she starts every workday with sticky buns, which she said have been very popular.

Generations specializes in seafood and soul food, according to Douglass Franklin, who operates the stand with his wife.

Franklin said he had previously worked in the food industry, primarily as a chef, for 30 years, but he wanted to break off and try running his own business.

Franklin is using "fresh twists" on old family recipes, and he said he hopes to eventually expand into Central Market and other markets around the state.

Nana's Oven owner Deb Volker, makes buttercream icing Tuesday, March 29, 2016, at Market and Penn Farmers Market. Nana's, along with Generations, are two new booths that have recently opened at the market. Amanda J. Cain photo

Ilyes said other vendors at the market have been excited to have "new blood" to help push business forward.

The market, at the corner of West Market and Penn streets, recently celebrated its 150th anniversary, but it currently has a lot of unused space.

After 150 years, farmers market seeks renaissance

Ilyes that 15-25 additional vendors could be added to the building depending on how much space each needed.

Previous vendors have failed at the market because they lacked a business plan, which Ilyes said is now a requirement for lessors.

Ilyes said he hasn't seen three businesses "of this quality" move into the market in such a short span of time since he became manager in 2011.

"These three are all ready to go with long-term plans," he said.

Volker said she thinks the new businesses could be the beginning of a "great Renaissance" for the market.

"This is a great coming together of cultures," she said. "I'm hopeful I can use this business to support myself as long as possible."

— Reach David Weissman at dweissman@yorkdispatch.com.