If you had told me, yesterday, that a big part of my day would revolve around a cookie, I would not have believed you. That’s because A) I typically don’t eat cookies, and B) I’m on a spring diet. Regardless, there was a point in my day that I needed to meet up with some people on Niagara Street, and the meeting spot was up in the air. When I saw the sign for “Cookie Buffalo”, I could not resist the temptation to stop in.
Cookie Buffalo is located in the same spot where Rich’s “Red Brick Market” once operated. The business is still under the Rich’s corporate flag, but the operation has changed significantly. First of all, who can resist a business called “Cookie Buffalo”? I already want a t-shirt (or coffee mug). Secondly, the place is eye-catching with its sharp looking sign… and what’s not to like about the gorgeous building?
Upon walking in, I immediately took a gander at the space, which is wide open and sort of corporate-café looking (not in a bad way). There was one single table positioned directly to the left, with three stools. There were some other stools in the front window. Obviously the place was not set up as a neighborhood café. It was more of a setting where one might wait to receive an order that has been placed.
It turns out that Cookie Buffalo is still a bit of ‘work in progress’, but what has come to pass so far is pretty neat. If you’re a fan of cookies, pastries, cakes, cupcakes, tortes, cannoli, pies, cheesecakes, truffles, moussecakes and breads (sourdough, focaccia, sweet bread, cheese bread), then you’re going to like this place. The dessert cases are filled with all sorts of mouth watering delicacies. As I mentioned previously, I’m on a spring diet, and not a huge fan of sweets. But when I came face to face with a sparkly unicorn cookie… well… who can say “no” to that?! Heck, these guys and gals even have Carvel ice cream cakes! I wonder if they can still make a Fudgie the Whale?
After pointing to the unicorn cookie, the young guy behind the counter (dressed in Rich’s white corporate gas attendant-type uniform – like this) grabbed it and placed it on a napkin (instead of the oversized box, which I declined) in front of me. I also asked for a coffee, which I think surprised him because, as I mentioned, this place is set up for orders to go, and not as much of a meeting spot. But hopefully that changes, because there’s a lot of potential to become a neighborhood hot spot if they just make it a little more homey. For example, serve the coffee in mugs, not paper to-go cups, if a customer decides to stick around for a while.
Anyways, this “World Class Patisserie & Bakery” has a lot of potential. Not only because it’s a Rich’s concept, but because it’s a welcome addition to Niagara Street. The street could use a café/bakery of this nature, if they just work on the café end of the operation a little bit. Even the guy behind the counter said that they were still crafting their business routine, which is now heavily geared towards the sweet end of things (and that’s great!). The former market was all over the place and sold a mishmash of varying sorts of Rich’s products, from frozen fish to éclairs. There are still a number of Rich’s non-sugary products available, it’s just that they must either be ordered ahead of time, or brought out from the back of the shop. Just ask, and you shall receive.
For most people new to Rich’s and their offerings, this place would appear to be simply a bakery. And for the most part, that’s what they’re going for apparently. But there’s another side of the business that concentrates on custom wedding cakes. There’s also a third part of the business formula, which is pretty cool. They offer decorating classes in the space, dedicated to the world of food (mostly desserts and such – cakes, cupcakes and cookies). I can see Cookie Buffalo becoming a culinary destination for people looking to learn to bake all sorts of delicious goodies. With the resources that Rich’s has at its disposal, there are endless possibilities at hand.
At this point, I hope that Cookie Buffalo evolves into more of a café concept, but even if it doesn’t, there’s a lot of great stuff going on here. Not only do they have a super professional element working in their favor, they have also managed to bring a delicious hometown scale to this business that warrants a stop-in from anyone who’s on the hunt for a special sugary something or other, whenever the craving hits.
Cookie Buffalo | 1197 Niagara Street | Buffalo NY | 716-878-8821 | CookieBuffalo.com