by Pete Burakowski

Sick of your friend going on and on about how he grabbed his kitchen table at IKEA and found his sweet man bag at the mall?

One-up him by saying you got the same things handmade by a Roycroft master artisan! That’ll teach him!

On June 26 and 27, swing out to East Aurora for the Roycrofters at Large Summer Festival, where you’ll meet dozens of artisans from across the country selling furniture, pottery, paintings, leather goods and more.

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by Susan Braun

Visiting the Broadway Market in preparation for Easter has been a tradition in Western New York for more than 100 years. Although it is open all year round, this is the busiest time of year for the market which extends its hours on the days leading up to Easter. The aisles are filled with throngs of enthusiastic shoppers. Many of the businesses at the Broadway Market are well-known to regular shoppers because they have been owned by the same families who pass them from one generation to the next. Seasonal food and craft vendors are also on the scene at this time of year. Cakes, pastries and other baked goods, candy, meats, fish, butter lambs and prepared Polish foods abound. You can have a cup of coffee, eat a piece of poppy cake and listen to live musical entertainment. Bring your kids to visit the Easter Bunny and see how many marshmallow peeps they can consume in one minute at the second annual Peep Eating Contest at 1:00pm on Saturday March 27th. For more information about the Broadway Market and all the Easter-related events taking place there, visit or call 716-893-0705.

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by Karen Healy

When the big green awning saying “Penzeys” went up at 783 Elmwood Ave. local cooks rejoiced. No more shipping charges, no more internet orders, no more taking chances on spice mixes, now the reknowned spice merchant has a shop in the Elmwood Village and you can buy your Northwoods Seasoning Mix any time you want.

After several months of waiting, breath bated, I was finally able to visit the newly opened store. What fun! The large and cheerful space is well laid out and your herb and spice needs are easy to find. I browsed the collection of salad dressing mixes and barbecue rubs, each mix accompanied by a large jarful just for interested sniffers. Bakers will be happy to see high quality vanilla and vanilla beans, whole star anise, and wonderful baking mixes like pumpkin and apple pie spice. Grillers have rubs galore to choose from. There are chili and taco mixes, barbecue sauce mixes and curries for cooks of all experience levels to try, and everything is sold in jars or in bulk, which is very inexpensive for such high quality spices.

I left clutching my favorite Italian Sausage seasoning and a new chili powder, secure in the thought that I can go back anytime and try the five spice powder without even a second thought.

I have one worry though. If I stop buying through the mail, will I stop getting the catalogue? Those recipes are always really fun to read….must consider sending my sister a regular gift through the mail…

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by Karen Huefner

I’m always in search of a good bargain.  I’m looking for that perfect outfit, in the right size and color that just so happens to be on the clearance rack ready for me to stumble upon it and instantly evoke that feeling of euphoria.  You’d think this blog post would continue on talking about the Galleria or the Outlets in Niagara Falls, but nope, my focus today is on Duty Free Americas.  Yep, Duty Free.  See, it has the word “Free” right in its name so you know it’s gotta be good.

A good friend of mine and her husband were visiting from Canada this past weekend and on her way home, stopped into Duty Free Americas at the Peace Bridge.  Once they cleared Customs, she called immediately to tell me about her fantastic finds!

I’m not sure what made her beam more, was it the 50% off of Anne Klein watches or the assortment of Guess purses marked down 30%?  She even came across a hard-to-find Swarovski crystal figurine to add to her collection.  I think that girl cleaned the store out.  You can tell we’re bargain-hunting best friends, right?  She left Duty Free with a watch, purse, a crystal duck (haha), $10 pashmina scarf, a bottle of the new Paris Hilton cologne and a king-size Toblerone just for fun.

Her husband, on the other hand, didn’t venture far from the liquor section and stocked up on a bottle of Grey Goose and Johnny Black. With two people in the car, he was limited to two bottles otherwise I have a feeling the trunk would’ve been stuffed.  You can’t beat the prices.  It’s just that simple.

Not to mention, before she even left, I handed her a $10 off coupon found right in our Visitor Guide.

Duty Free Savings Compared to U.S. Domestic Prices
(savings may be more when compared to most other country’s domestic prices)

Liquor 25% to 50%
Tobacco 25% to 50%
Fragrances and Cosmetics 15% to 20%
Luxury gifts, Accessories, Watches 10% to 25%
Confection and Other Edibles 10% to 25%

While Duty Free Americas typically sees a majority of Canadian license plates in their parking lot, Americans can shop Duty Free at any of their 3 locations if they intend on leaving the country for more than 48 hours.

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by Susan Braun

Buffalo Niagara Visitor CenterLooking for an unusual place to do some last minute holiday shopping? The Buffalo Niagara Visitor Center is the perfect place find that ideal “Buffalo” gift for the holiday season! You’ll find etched wine glasses, 2010 calendars with scenes of Buffalo, two different style aprons and Frozen Assets, the latest book of photographs by Mark Donnelly. Copies of Mr. Donnelly’s previous book, The Fine Art of Capturing Buffalo are also available. Stop in to watch Buffalo Stories in the Star Theatre. This series of short films cover everything from Architecture to Chicken Wings! Most are no more than 8 to 15 minutes in length and best of all, there is no charge to see them! For a limited time, mention that you read this blog post on and receive 15% off a sale of $7.00 or more! The Buffalo Niagara Visitor Center is located in the Market Arcade Building at 617 Main Street and for more information call 716/852-2356 or go to

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by Carolyn Batt

Growing up in the Buffalo suburb of Williamsville, and having relocated to the city after graduating college, I find myself returning to my roots (if 15 minutes from the city is what you want to call it) often.

The Village of Williamsville has one of the most charming Main Streets in the area that is quickly becoming reminiscent of Elmwood Avenue. New shops, restaurants and cafes are popping up what seems like daily to line the streets of this quaint area.

It’s not hard to spend an entire day along Main Street. Begin with picking up a freshly baked pastry at DiCamillo’s, a Western New York bakery-staple for more than a century, and head across the street to the brand-new Spot Coffee for a unique twist on coffee.

If you’re looking for a great salon, Williamsville is chocked full of at least a dozen hair and spa locations. Capello, voted “Best Salon in Western New York” by Buffalo Spree is right in the heart of Main Street, along with Leon’s, Chez Ann Salon and Excuria, offering a complete spa experience.

For high-end shopping, Tony Walker offers the latest fall fashion with Citizens of Humanity jeans, North Face jackets and Juicy Couture purses. Pizza Plant—home of the pod, is right next door. Try the Wingy Dingy pod, a mix of chicken, ricotta, mozzarella, marinara wing sauce, cayenne and blue cheese for that wing fix if you’re tired of plain old chicken wings.

For dinner, it’s a toss up for two of the best restaurants in the area. Overlook Ellicott Creek and enjoy a gourmet dinner at Creekview, or head to the Eagle House, open since 1827 and a stop along the Underground Railroad.

The Village of Williamsville offers so much to see, eat and shop at, that you may find yourself returning frequently as I do to spend more than a day here.

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by Mark Utzig

christmas_inthecountryOne of my favorite times of year is fast approaching, and I like to kickstart the season by attending the Christmas in the Country craft show at the Hamburg Fairgrounds. I’ve been attending this show for the past three years and am amazed every time of the fantastic artistry and professionalism that is displayed. This event hosts 400 artisans from 25 different states, along with craftsmen from Canada, Great Britain and Germany! The incredible display of hand-crafted Christmas collectibles and antiques makes for a perfect holiday gift. So make your way out to the Hamburg Fairgrounds this weekend, and enjoy a little Christmas spirit in November. Visit their website for ticket information and event times.

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by Matt Steinberg

BidwellFarmersMarketLast Saturday I did a little shopping at Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market, which is located in the park that separates the lanes of Bidwell Parkway, at Elmwood Avenue. Both sides of the park were filled with vendors selling a wide variety of seasonal and artisanal goodness, from raspberries, blueberries and tomatoes to pasta, sorbet and sausage. The weather was perfect for a little morning browsing – 75 and sunny, and a string band was there to entertain the customers while they shopped. Everything was so fresh that it was hard not to spend every dollar I had on fruit, but I managed to limit myself to the aforementioned raspberries and blueberries, plus blackberries and tangerines. The great thing about this market is that it’s producer only – no middlemen allowed – so the fruit I bought on Saturday was still growing on Thursday. Try getting that from the supermarket!

The Market is open 8:00am – 1:00pm each Saturday from mid-May through mid-December. In addition to musical entertainment, there are different demonstrations each week – the next few weeks feature antique creamery equipment and pesto preparation. For more information, go to

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by Doug Sitler

elmwoodfebruaryTwo men stood in front of Elmwood Avenue’s Urban Surf & Snowboard Shop talking about last night’s Buffalo Sabres game. A few storefronts down, students with yoga mats tucked under their arms walk into East Meets West yoga studios, while next door, customers stroll out of the eclectic Globe Market with a delicious take-out order. Across the street at Spot Coffee, two college-age girls eat their lunch on the patio, while a few feet away hipsters soak up the warm sun with lattes in hand. As two joggers glide down the sidewalk, what appear to be long-time friends huddle around a baby carriage to see the new arrival. It’s a Saturday afternoon in February on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, New York. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say, much to the dismay of national critics, that it was 25 degrees outside….and no one seemed to notice.

by Ed Healy

broadwaymarketSpringtime is when Buffalo’s venerable Broadway Market blooms. In the weeks prior to Easter the market is mobbed by shoppers looking for the perfect ham for Easter dinner, perhaps accompanied by a butter lamb and hand-painted eggs from Poland. This mass migration of spring shoppers has been a Buffalo tradition since the inception of the Market in 1888.

Located in Buffalo’s historic Broadway Fillmore neighborhood, the Broadway Market is home to butchers, seafood vendors, bakers, restaurants and retailers selling “I Love Pierogi” T-shirts and other assorted sundries. Although the composition of this traditionally Polish neighborhood has changed in recent years – the nearby population is a mix of people of Eastern European, African and Vietnamese descent – you can still hear Polish spoken in the Market and purchase Polish specialties like pierogi, a dumpling filled with potato, cheese or sauerkraut, and placek, a delicious crumb covered coffeecake.

Stop by the White Eagle Bakery or E.M. Chrusciki for mouth-watering baked goods like paczki, a Polish doughnut. Or visit the Famous Horseradish stall for a heated exchange that will bring tears to your eyes and explain in no uncertain terms why the proprietor chose such an immodest name for his business. You’ll also want to stop by Peter Lupas Meats where you can still find old-fashioned delicacies like pickled pigs feet and oxtails. If you work up an appetite from shopping, visit Perison’s lunch counter where soup and a sandwich won’t set you back an arm and a leg. Other market highlights include the chocolate-dipped strawberries at Strawberry Island and the Southern fried specialties at the Soul Food Shack.

The current Broadway Market is the third such structure to stand at 999 Broadway. The market’s current home has 90,000-square feet of retailing with two levels of free parking for 1,000 cars. The Market is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call 716-893-0705 or visit

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