BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Empire State Development is investing $2 million in hopes of bringing customers from across Western New York to the market not just at Easter time, but all year long.
It released a survey and held several meetings to find out what people want to see. Popular responses to the survey include more fresh foods, foods from different cultures, and a more appealing interior. When asked if they wanted to see a major ethnic grocery store come to the market, 78% of respondents answered yes. Nearly one-quarter of respondents prioritized interior improvements.
Many respondents stated that they loved the market, and that parking was not an issue.
Empire State Development is investing $2 million into the Broadway Market. It's held meetings and sent out a survey to find out what improvements would bring people to the Broadway Market. What changes do you want to see? @WKBW— Gilat Melamed (@gilat_melamed) October 2, 2020
Tiara Wright goes to Broadway Market at least once a month to buy meat, and said she enjoys the environment and the people, but if she had to change one thing she would add more vendors.
"You see the same things over and over again, so maybe if they switch up their merchandise or their stands every now and then, that'll keep me coming back," she said.
Vendor We R Nuts is in its fifth year at Broadway Market. Its president Pearl Omphalius said the location is struggling, all the money is made outside the market at various different pop ups
Saturday marks halfway to Dyngus Day, a key part of Omphalius' business, but COVID-19 had a crippling effect on the Easter season this year.
“The only reason I did stay here in the past was because of an Easter season," she said.
If the market was revitalized, nearly 40% of Broadway-Fillmore survey respondents said they'd go weekly, and 99% of Western New Yorkers said they'd go at least seasonally. There were 692 responses.
Empire State Development said it's looking at other markets across the country, and internationally for inspiration. It will deliver its final report on recommendations to revitalize the market in January 2021.