BRO is featuring a series of interviews that will help to tell the stories of the people who have opened businesses at the West Side Bazaar. The objective of the series is to highlight the compelling journeys that each shop owner made, so that we may become familiar with the owners and their businesses.
Name: Martha Sosa
Country of Origin: Peru
Languages Spoken: Spanish, English
My Journey to Buffalo:
I arrived in Buffalo by accident in January of 2008. It was very cold and the first time in my life seeing snow. I planned to move to Canada because I have Peruvian friends living in Toronto. I needed a change in my life so I left Peru, but I never actually made it to Toronto. My friends told me to stop in Buffalo enroute; little did I know that my stop would be for good. When I attempted to go over the border to get into Canada, I was not allowed in because I only had a visa for the US. My English was very poor, so I could not understand what the people at the border were trying to say to me. I spent the night in a bus stop because there was no one I knew in Buffalo. I ended up falling in love with the people of Buffalo. Now I feel like a Buffalonian myself. As for the weather, I am slowly getting used to it. Everyday is different here, where in my country the weather is the same everyday.
My Store in the West Side Bazaar:
At my shop in the West Side Bazaar, I serve Peruvian cuisine. I am proud to say I am the only restaurant in Buffalo serving strictly Peruvian. My customers can find ceviche, or they can snack on Peruvian stuffed potatoes. The potatoes are filled with olives, raisins, egg and a choice of beef or soya. My Lomo Saltado is also a big hit; it consists of beef, chicken or tofu with fried potatoes, tomatoes, and Peruvian spices. All of my food can be made vegetarian by using tofu or soya. I also make a delicious Peruvian drink called Chicha Morada. This is made with purple corn, cinnamon, pineapple, apple, and lemon…it’s delicious!
I am beginning to hold cooking classes at my home, and will also holding them at the client’s home if preferred. I am also holding $25.00 Peruvian buffets every month at my home, which is 466 Amherst Street. These include home cooked food and drinks. My long-term goal is to open a Peruvian bar/restaurant with a souvenir shop in it called Pure Peru, an expansion of my current business.
The West Side Bazaar | 25 Grant Street | Buffalo NY 14213