Blue Hill Kitchen and Home has opened on Hertel (see back story), and with it the neighborhood now has something that is found nowhere else in the city. Gone are the days of small boutique kitchen stores, for the most part. Instead we find ourselves roaming the aisles of Target and Walmart in search of the most convenient and inexpensive products. Some people might say that you’d have to be crazy to compete with the likes of the big boxes, but I’d like to think that many Buffalonians are different. We live in a city that has not been taken over by the chains. Small coffee shops still have a fighting chance, as do home decor stores (many that you find along Hertel Avenue). As ‘dgosshilla’ commented on his or her post a couple days back:
I was in Buffalo two weeks ago. I now live in Los Angeles. All I can say is that Buffalo has an incredible frame to build on. I saw a ton of improvements in the city since I lived there (10 years ago) and last visited (3 years ago). I have a local business here in LA so I can’t move as it is geography specific. However when I was there all I could think about was moving back.
Here is what I loved:
-Size – EVEN if you live in the suburbs the size of the city is incredibly manageable.
-Traffic – Doesn’t exist. Even on a Friday during rush hour when it’s raining.
-Waterfront – The area is gorgeous. The waves were pounding the shore.
-The Falls – Nuff said, great park area could be greatly improved.
-Housing – The housing in the city is beautiful. Even the more run down houses are easily fixable, the homes are affordable, the streets are tree lined and the city is, to use my girlfriend’s term, “sooo cute”.
-Local – You can’t find chain food or drink. The local flavor is great.
The same local feeling also applies to the small shops and stores, and Blue Hill is no different. “When we lived in Maine,” shop owner Deanna Myers told me,” there were small country kitchen shops, and when we moved back to Buffalo I wondered why there was not one here.” That’s when Deanna decided to act upon the opportunity and began to formulate her plans on opening a neighborhood business dedicated to the home, but specializing in the kitchen. To take a look around Blue Hill is to see Deanna’s dream come to life. She has accumulated all of her favorite affordable lines into one rather large storefront, and she’s done it without clutter and confusion. The interior is colorfully well-organized with mixers, pots and pans, tea kettles, gadgets, pizza stones, cookbooks, rollers, towels, dishes and just about anything else that you can imagine that someone would need or want for the kitchen.
Deanna tries to keep her prices in line with the big guys, but at the same time she is always on the lookout for products that they don’t carry. For me, I’m happy that I have a place to go that won’t make my head spin from long dizzying aisles with no natural light. I have already picked out three or four items that I am planning on purchasing for the coming holidays. It’s a real treat to have such a unique outfit on Hertel. It also ties in perfectly with all of the other home furnishing stores in the neighborhood.
1374 Hertel Avenue
Buffalo NY 14216