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Merriman & Pfister’s Marketplace

Merriman & Pfister’s Marketplace is an independent, women-owned gift shop that focuses on unique hand-made items and the community in which they opened their doors.

The owner, Kathy Agneta, is a lifelong resident of Delmar. At first, the idea of opening the store seemed far-fetched, but the idea kept floating around in her mind. Agneta felt there was a void in Delmar for a niche gift store, and she ran with that idea. When she had some down time, she began laying the groundwork for her business and started looking at trade shows to attend.

In May of 2015 Merriman & Pfister’s Marketplace officially opened to the public. Merriman and Pfister's offers signature artisan made gifts – every vendor is chosen carefully based on their values and mission, and each one is doing something positive and beneficial for the world. At Merriman & Pfister’s you’re not just “shopping”, but also “supporting”, and that’s something everyone can feel good about.

Some vendors advocate for domestic violence prevention or cancer prevention. Various international vendors stand for fair trade, ethical employment, empowerment of the underserved, and fostering fair economic opportunities. The store showcases approximately 250 artists and vendors, and 80% are New York vendors, including those local to our area. Benefits of supporting handcrafted artisans include the support provided for traditions of skilled work, keeping artisans close to resources and activities of creating, and building community.

The store’s name is as unique as the items offered up inside – it’s made up of the last names of Agneta’s two grandmothers. They both led by example and taught others to live kindly, and they were strong supporters of community.

Agneta strives to honor the legacies of her grandmothers by staying involved in the community and she focuses on the idea of paying it forward. A few times each year, Agneta turns the store into a venue where the community can display items they have created, with an option to sell them. Creators get to keep all of the proceeds!

Part of her success Agneta credits to the Small Business Development Center, SCORE, and the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce. She notes that her business has also benefited from the trend in buying handmade goods and shopping local.

Agneta wants the community to know that so many of the items on her shelves are made by our neighbors. The proceeds of the vendors are different, some proceeds end up at Agricultural Stewardship, Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, various charitable organizations, and others. She hopes to evolve her business and move her shop to a location that feels more like a marketplace. Currently, Merriman & Pfister’s is located in Delmar’s Four Corners neighborhood, tucked away right off of Kenwood Avenue.

The shop offers gift wrapping, a lay-away plan, wish list, and gift emergency sessions (by appointment only). With the holiday season in full swing, it’s the perfect time to visit the store.

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