Discovering Dryden: Dryden full of local gift options


If you missed the Holiday Craft Fair on Dec. 1, held at the Dryden Agway, have no fears. There is still time to shop and there are local artists, bakers, and even candle-stick makers from which you can buy presents for your loved ones this holiday season.

Kelly Ritter, driven by her desire to work for herself, her love for the store and its customers, bought the Dryden Agway four years ago this coming January, after working there for 15 years. Ritter explained that since they’ve bought it, it’s been expanded in a variety of ways. They’ve added a garden room where all the gardening products are displayed. This has allowed them to also expand their plumbing, electrical, and even add gourmet foods to the variety of products you can buy at the Dryden Agway.

Expanding the store has also allowed Ritter to carry more local products, but frankly, there’s just not enough space for everyone. That brings us to the Holiday Craft Fair, its inception rooted in Ritter’s love of craft fairs, and the desire to help local artisans and business-owners showcase their stuff. In case you missed the fair, there are several local vendors from which you can shop, support your community, and make someone very happy.

Mayor Potencial was founded in 2013 by Nancy Bell, whose roots lie in El Rodeito, Honduras. Mayor Potencial, meaning “greatest potential,” is a nonprofit organization that supports improving education in rural parts of Latin America, helping small agricultural business owners to expand, and providing learning opportunities to the students at Bell’s alma mater, Cornell University. To shop for all-natural loofahs, soaps, and other goods by Mayor Potencial, visit the Etsy page at To learn more about Mayor Potencial and the reach of your dollar when you support them, visit

Daisy Hollow Farm is a family owned and operated farm just outside of Dryden. All products are made on the premise. Shop for skin care, honey, syrups, granola, and much more. Products by Daisy Hollow Farm can be bought locally at Arnold’s Flower Shop, Clark’s Food Mart, Dryden Agway, and many other local locations, which you can search at You can shop their products from their Etsy store at or even from Amazon. Best yet, you can visit the Daisy Hollow Farm Country Store, open Wednesday through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Daisy Hollow Farm is located at 830 Daisy Hollow Road in Dryden.

Maryhill Clayworks Studio and Store was founded in 2003 by Jacques Schickel. You may have seen his work before in the Southworth Library: The Bronze Relief of Abraham Lincoln Reading to His Son is displayed from behind the library check-out counter. Shop vases, ornaments, tableware, and sculpture by Schickel on his website at Open studio dates are often scheduled and available on his website as well.

AltasOrnamentation was founded by Joan Shroyer-Keno. “Up Cycled Elegance From My Hands To Your Home,” as described on Keno’s Etsy store page is a perfect description of her lovely and whimsical creations. Shop wind chimes, teapot chimes, pendants and jewelry from her Etsy page at

Woodworx was founded by Gene Ritter. Ritter creates beautiful custom woodwork. Among his creations are drying racks, wine stoppers, custom furniture, cutting boards, garden gates, and even wooden jewelry. You can bring your idea to life by calling Gene Ritter at (607) 229-6000 or emailing him at

Shop local, support your neighbors and delight your loved ones with heartfelt, homemade gifts this year.

Music in Dryden
Elizabeth “Lizzie” DeGroff joined the Dryden High School music team as the long-term sub for band director, Robert Oldroyd, in October of this year. DeGroff, a triplet, was adopted along with her sisters from Vietnam and raised in the Syracuse area. Both parents were band directors, giving each of their daughters the opportunity to play an instrument and love music, a legacy that lives on in DeGroff’s life. In August 2013, she attended Ithaca College and graduated with a Bachelors in Music Education, with a concentration in French Horn, in 2017. From there, DeGroff spent a year teaching general music and choral music in Binghamton. “I really enjoyed the students and the community,” she explained of Binghamton, “but my passion lies in instrumental music, band specifically.” The long-term sub opportunity at Dryden High School brought DeGroff back to her passion, teaching band, and in a place that she’s come to love during her college years. She enjoys the diversity of her Dryden students. “Your students come first before the music,” DeGroff said. With her big heart for kids and her love of band music, she is a wonderful addition to the Dryden High School Music Department, and the community of Dryden. Don’t miss the upcoming concert at Dryden High School.

On Dec. 12, 7 p.m., DeGroff will be directing the High School Concert Band, the Brass Choir, the Clarinet Choir, and the Jazz Band. Austin Matson, choral director for the Dryden Middle and High School will be directing Beyond Measure (a cappella group), the Girls Treble Choir, and the Mixed Chorus. Don’t miss this opportunity to welcome DeGroff to the Dryden community, to support Dryden students, and to enjoy an evening of great music.


No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment