New podcast features Batavia small business owners

Richard Clark, owner of Area Code Audio poses for a photo in his home studio in Batavia.

Batavia residents looking to connect with their community now can tune in to the Area Code: Batavia podcast, which explores what it means to belong in Batavia through the eyes of local small business owners.

Batavia-based podcast company Area Code Audio launched in August 2023 and owner Richard Clark is excited about the release of the first episode of his new podcast.

Clark said each episode will feature one prominent small business owner in Batavia and will explore community ties and what belonging in Batavia looks like and hopefully allow listeners to feel more connected to their neighbors.

The first episode, titled “Limestone Coffee & Tea: A Story of Two Friends (And a Huge Risk)” premiered Feb. 9 and featured an interview with the owners of Limestone Coffee & Tea. New episodes will be released every other week and will be available to stream on most podcasting platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Spotify, Audible and YouTube.

The first trailer for the podcast launched Feb. 1. Visit the Area Code: Batavia website to listen to the trailer and find links to the podcast on streaming platforms.

Area Code Audio is a podcast agency that helps aspiring podcasters craft their product and bring it to market. Clark has been in the podcast business for 10 years and has had a hand in creating hundreds of episodes for more than 30 podcasts.

Since forming Area Code Audio, Clark has helped eight clients launch podcasts in his first six months of business. Clark conducts interviews on location and is available for in-person recording assistance. He does all the production work from his home studio in Batavia.

Richard Clark, owner of Area Code Audio working from his home studio in Batavia.

Clark works with clients of all kinds to take an idea from concept to execution, offering free consultations and assisting with every step of production. Any business or individual interested in Clark’s services can learn more by visiting Area Code Audio’s website.

While Clark spends much of his time working with clients on their projects, he also has projects of his own design such as Podcasting for Humans and Area Code: Batavia, which he produces in his free time.

Podcasting for Humans is a podcast about podcasting for podcasters. It just released its 15th episode featuring an interview with Grammy-nominated Louisville producer and artist “Yons.”

Clark said he is making Area Code: Batavia on his own dime because he loves doing it and because he believes it will help members of the community.

“It honestly flows out of a genuine love for the town that I’m in,” he said.

Clark began working on the project shortly after launching Area Code Audio and so far has completed two episodes and has two more in production.

Clark said Area Code: Batavia is sort of an experimental project and is unique in that it targets a hyper-local audience, which has not proved to be a lucrative business model in podcasting. While he doesn’t know how well it will monetize, Clark had the vision for the podcast for a long time and thinks it has potential as a new approach to local media.

Clark said the podcast is intended to give people an opportunity to feel settled and content in the place they live and to take a deep-dive into their community in a way that isn’t being done anywhere outside of local news outlets.

“These days, people aren’t listening to podcasts about their neighbors,” Clark said. “They’re listening to podcasts about politicians and celebrities and I think that can distort your view of the world you live in sometimes.”

Clark describes himself as a transplant to Batavia and said the podcast was inspired by a feeling he had after moving to town and wanting to belong. He said he wanted to make something for people like him who haven’t lived in Batavia for very long and are looking for a way to establish roots and connections in their community.

Clark said like any great community, Batavia has a lot of longstanding families, but there also are a lot of people who have come to start new families and there is a disconnect between these groups. His goal for Area Code: Batavia is to bridge the gap between neighbors and foster a stronger sense of belonging and kinship to the Batavia community.

“I’m just a person who has a hard time speaking up and getting to know people,” Clark said. “I wanted people like myself to have the opportunity to hear the stories of other community members, especially those who take ownership of the culture of Batavia and maybe find ways to relate or feel invested.”

Clark said while the interview style of Area Code: Batavia is not new to him or different from other podcasts, the business model is different in that it aims to bring one single community, the residents of Batavia, together through shared experiences and connections.

“It’s not about issues. It’s about people,” Clark said. “I think we’ve sort of lost the ability to reckon with the people in our community and this is an on-ramp toward doing that. It’s about showing that there are different types of people out there with different stories and different senses of what it means to belong in Batavia.”

Clark said he doesn’t plan to set a limit to the number of episodes in the podcast’s first season, but rather plans to keep making them every other week for as long as he can. He said small business owners will be the theme for season one, with tentative plans to move on to other community members down the road.

Visit the Area Code: Batavia website to subscribe to the podcast or sign up to receive the newsletter, which will include local events and happenings for residents to connect with their community. Those interested in starting their own podcast can reach out to Clark on the Area Code Audio website.