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How vendors survive at Broadway Market after Easter rush

“I believe in the Broadway Market"
Posted at 4:53 PM, Apr 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 09:04:36-04

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — What a difference just a couple of days make, areas of the Broadway Market in Buffalo nearly empty Monday in contrast to Friday's Easter surge.

Empty areas of the Broadway Market Monday after the big Easter rush.

But for the few shoppers who did show up, they admit, they should stop by more often.

“I don't come as much as I really should, but around Christmas time and around Easter is when I usual come and visit,” said Kathy Graziadei, shopper.

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Kathy Graziadei, shopper.

Graziadei drove in from Swormville to buy some beautiful, hand painted Polish wooden Easter eggs.

But there's always that question, how do vendors survive the rest of the year after the crowds disappear?

“A lot of the vendors that you see closed have full time jobs all year long, so they come in on Saturday’s only,” explained Pearl Omphalius, vendor.

Pearl Omphalius, vendor, owns and operates We R Nuts New York and KO’s Kettle Popcorn.

Omphalius owns and operates We R Nuts New York and KO’s Kettle Popcorn.

There were a few customers buying some items at her location. It's the vendor’s sixth year at the market.

But Omphalius she also rents at the market for production space to make her items to sell at festivals and farmers markets.

Just couple of customers at We are Nuts New York and KO’s Kettle Popcorn Monday.

“If I had to count on the rest of the year, we would definitely be losing money,” Omphalius replied.

“The vendors that are here full time typically have other businesses — places that they go, so they use this spot for production,” remarked Richard Fickhesen, vendor.

Fickhesen owns Buffalo Artisan Food Traders and Kiss by The Sun Spices. He is one of those Saturday only vendors for the last 14 years. He has his main store in Amherst.

Richard Fickhesen, vendor, owns Buffalo Artisan Food Traders and Kiss by the Sun Spices.

“What keeps you here?” asked Buckley. “The money at Easter — I mean it's substantial — when it's good — it's real good,” responded Fickhesen.

There is an ambitious plan in place to use ‘Buffalo Billion’ funds to redesign the market, changing around the space and making sure there's more diversity among vendors.

“It’s a $50-million plan, but there's only $5-million available, so again, right now, it's talk in my opinion. It would be great if it could happen — maybe it will,” said Fickhesen.

But the state says it could take up five years to complete and the city of Buffalo and Erie County need to pay for the rest of it.

A very quiet Broadway Market Monday.

“I’d like to see it become something more — I think everybody would,” Fickhesen noted.

“I came here as a little girl with my grandmother and it's a wonderful place. I don't expect anything is going to go a awry with the Broadway Market,” reflected Grazdiadei.

“I believe in the Broadway Market. I believe that this place is going to come back,” Omphalius declared.