As if having a Wednesday evening concert series wasn’t enough, Larkinville has managed to fill what appears to be all of its market stands, which are open during the events. Some of the stands are also open for business at various other hours during the week, but if you want to catch most of the entrepreneurs selling their wares as a market community, then plan a visit for Live at Larkin.
What impressed me the most about these stands was the diversity of products. There were farm stands selling fruits and vegetables, a dessert and sweet stand… we saw jewelry and Buffalo books and Buffalo-made products. Not only was the selection good, it appeared that sales were fairly brisk at most of the stalls. While many people came down to catch some live music, others wanted to explore the unfamiliar surroundings. To come across a well-organized community of shops was an unexpected surprise for many. What’s especially nice about these stands, is that so often people don’t have a chance to shop while at work. These small businesses (some of which are satellites of established local shops) provide the opportunity for people to buy food and gifts at their leisure.
Hopefully people will begin to count on these types of amenities at Larkin Square, and the businesses will be able to expand their hours of operation accordingly. If you think about it, this type of commercial success would transfer well to the Inner Harbor where visitors are always looking to browse and shop. We’re not talking about millions of dollars here after all. The concept is fast and efficient. The businesses can come and go as they please (for the most part), don’t have to sign major leases, can operate seasonally, don’t need huge inventory, can skip paying big utility bills… the benefits are endless. The stands are perfect for both incubator businesses and established shops. We need not over-think things too much for the short term. These types of initiatives make it possible to create success stories here and now.