Made in WNY: Camellia Foods

March 3, 2014 Updated Mar 3, 2014 at 9:16 AM EDT

By Elizabeth Carey

March 3, 2014 Updated Mar 3, 2014 at 9:16 AM EDT

A local company with historic ties to Buffalo's East Side is gearing up for a busy Easter season.

Camellia Foods is now carrying on not one, but two long time Buffalo traditions.

Over the past 79 years, Camellia Foods has become known for its meats. "The top seller really is our smoked sausages and during holidays, it is the ham," said Adam Cichocki, Camellia's retail manager. "Outside of that, it's a lot of different things. All of our Camellia products sell. That's why were still making them."

The products are proudly displayed at Camellia's new retail store at 1333 Genesse Street, which just opened months ago. Some items can also be found at larger supermarkets. "Tops; Wegmans carries some of our stuff. Dash's Markets; a lot of mom and pop stores carry our stuff in Western New York," Cichocki said.

He is carrying on his family's tradition. Cichocki is 4th generation, working in the family business that his great grandfather started in 1935, with traditional recipes straight from Poland.

In recent years, Camellia also took on another longtime tradition making butter lambs after taking over that business at Buffalo's Broadway Market. "Dorothy Malczewski, who recently passed away last year, she started it in Buffalo with her own twist on the butter lamb that just took off," Cichocki explained, noting that more retailers are looking to carry the lambs.

"There's a large batch going to Detroit this year," he said. "So a lot of these larger supermarkets are still interested in this technically small tradition."

Cichocki says orders are ready for local retailers like Tops and Wegmans. The butter lambs will also be sold at the Broadway Market, where Camellia will run two stands, one for meats and one for the butter lambs, this Easter season.

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