NORTH COHOCTON — An olde fashion German Christmas seems like something out of a classic novel when the idea of community was strong.
The Olde Country Store and More and Green Heart of the Finger Lakes put together the German and American Christmas traditions on Dec. 2.
There was a German Christmas Market feel upstairs as several local vendors came to share in the spirit of the holiday.
Jeff Wells, Olde Country Store and Green Heart of the Finger Lakes owner, said that there are several new items that showcase the store and logo.
There will be mugs, prints, and postcards of Darryl Abraham’s Olde Country Store image for the 170th Anniversary next year.
The Green Heart of the Finger Lakes has really taken off in the last year with several new items and businesses embracing it. The newest being Green Heart of the Finger Lakes Gourmet Chocolate Bars, Green Heart of the Finger Lakes Soap, Green Heart of the Finger Lakes Lip Balm, and Green Heart of the Finger Lakes Pendants.
“I am super happy with how well everything has gone this year,” Wells said. “We are getting more and more businesses interested in the Green Heart of the Finger Lakes. We have more vendors for German Christmas this year. We are seeing people all over from Rochester to Elmira who are interested in what we have.”
Some new vendors this year included Old Fashion Gourmet Fudge, German Galleria, and Darryl Abraham.
Kara Flugel, Old Fashion Gourmet Fudge owner, said that she loved the opportunity to share her family fudge with everyone.
“I have been making fudge as a gift for my family and friends for a long time, but I just decided to start selling it,” she said. “This has been my mother’s family recipe for over a hundred years. It came all the way from Sicily, Italy.”
Flugel is part Italian and part Mohawk and she has always embraced the traditions of both sides.
“The old fashioned fudge has been passed down for four generations on my mother’s side, and on my father’s side our tradition is fry bread and corn bean and squash stew,” she said. “We all embrace family traditions, especially around the holidays. It has always been important to honor our ancestors.”
Flugel said she couldn’t believe how many people have been interested in buying her family’s fudge over the past year.
“This is a special skill that not a lot of people have,” she said. “Not many can make fudge like this. I also make ribbon candy, truffles, and bonbons.”
The Wells Family, Jeff, Denise, and Jenny have all bonded with Flugel over the last few months as they taught her son, Alex Flugel, his German heritage.
“I really love this store. I used to come here as a kid for candy and ice cream,” she said. “Once I met the girls I wanted them to teach my son about German traditions. My son’s father is German.”
Flugel said she has always really loved the German traditions, and enjoys seeing it come to life at the store.
Flugel does customized orders for her Old Fashion Gourmet Fudge. Flavors include Butterscotch, Cappuccino swirl, Cookies and Cream, Caramel Nut, Dark Chocolate Peppermint, White Chocolate Peppermint, Salted Caramel, Kit Kat Krunch, Funfetti Cake Batter, Red Velvet, Snickers, Mexican Hot Cocoa, or customize your own flavor. To make and order and inquire about prices email her at email@example.com
Bridgette Yaxley, German Galleria owner, said that she is glad to have a place that celebrates German culture in our area.
“Once I heard about the German Christmas I knew it was going to be a beautiful event,” she said. “I do a lot of German festivals all over the place, so I was really excited to come here. I have a lot of German culture items that make great stocking stuffers and Christmas gifts.”
Yaxley said that all of the items she offers for people are family-friendly and sell really well at all festivals.
“It is a great way to celebrate the German culture, and understand that a lot of us have it in our blood,” she said. “They are the largest community in our country, so pretty much everyone has some German heritage.”
Yaxley teaches German Folklore at a college level, and is always fascinated to learn more and more about where we come from.
“It is important to preserve the culture and the history,” she said. “The Wells Family has been so great to me. I love that they are keeping that heritage alive.”
For information on German-American themed gifts email Yaxley at GermanGalleria@gmail.com
Darryl Abraham has showcased his watercolor artwork all over the area.
“I have always been fascinated by farms, churches and streams,” he said. “I have been drawing and doing watercolors for over 50 years. When I lived in Israel for four years I did a lot of watercolors over there of their churches.”
Abraham has always done mixed media work as well, and he showcased a big 3D piece of a farm at the event.
“It is really relaxing for me to sit down and do one of these images,” he said. “I take things that mean something to me out there, and I put my own interpretation into my work. A lot of my work is at the Oxford Gallery in Rochester.”
Abraham has shared his talent with customized work for several businesses such as Olde Country Store and More, Naples Bank, Naples Central School, Glenn Curtiss Museum, and much more.
For more information about Abraham’s artwork go to http://www.darrylabraham.com
The Olde Country Store and More is located at 2 University Avenue in North Cohocton.