BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Among the more vibrant offerings at Golden Hour Treats & Things is the mangonada, a sweet and spicy smoothie that's popular in Mexico.
"It's just something different for our neighborhood here. We were trying to bring something new," said co-owner and manager Hakim Mukhtar.
The mangonada is just one of the drinks on the "Golden Foreigners" section of the menu. Just as the title suggests, the dessert shop is home to flavors that reflect the diverse Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood it lives in.
"We made sure that whatever you have back home, we have here too," said Mukhtar.
Golden Hour Treats & Things, located in the so-called Lucky Plaza on Sycamore Avenue near Herman Street, has been open almost a year. The owners - a Somali family - wanted to create a place unlike anything else in the area.
It's that kind of bold investment that's breathing new life into this often overlooked neighborhood.
"I think finally this hearty neighborhood is finally starting to see everything that it deserves. And it deserves the best," said Fillmore District Council Member Mitch Nowakowski.
In addition to Golden Hour, Nowakowski points to a number of new investments in the area, including the $10 million award from New York Statethat will be distributed across a number of development projects.
But Nowakowski does not shy away from the dreary, uninviting parts of the district. He says there are far too many vacant lots after decades of demolition. He also says slumlords are too often taking advantage of people living in poverty. According to the Partnership for Public Good, nearly 62 percent of households in the Fillmore District have an income less than $35,000, and over 40 percent of Fillmore's population live below the poverty line.
To those who doubt Broadway-Fillmore's ability to make a comeback, Nowakowski says "some of the people who live in Broadway-Fillmore are some of the most beautiful that they will ever meet in the city of Buffalo. Broadway-Fillmore is resilient and was built on strength and is a hearty neighborhood. It will come back."
Nowakowski calls businesses like Golden Hour Treats & Things the "catalyst" for a new generation of investment in Broadway-Fillmore.
For Mukhtar and his family, ambition is not limited to the neighborhood in which they're currently serving. They plan to expand to other locations across Western New York and, eventually, across the country.