In anticipation of Small Business Saturday, shop local‘s answer to Black Friday, my mother-in-law and I decided to head downtown to scope out The Market Arcade. We were especially excited to check out Maison Le Caer Crêperie Patisserie (Pastry by Camille), which officially opened this morning inside the Market, with street presence on the Washington Street side of the building.
While we were happy to be served up a free cup of coffee from Public Espresso + Coffee, and a free sweet crêpe by the Crêperie (part of the Free Downtown Breakfast Kick-Off), I was especially psyched to try one of the savory crêpes, which was made to order – the Bonjour Paris: turkey, mushrooms, béchamel sauce, and side salad ($9.50).
I can’t remember the last time that I ate a savory crêpe of this nature, but I will tell you this: I will be back to try a few more varieties because it was delicious. It was sumptuous, with just the right amount of ingredients, cooked to perfection on a profession griddle. Half the fun was eating the delicious crêpe. The other half was watching it be expertly made. It’s a real show, which can be viewed from a shop window right inside the Arcade. If you’re in downtown Buffalo over the holidays, be sure to stop in for a crêpe, and don’t forget to snap up some of the brilliant looking macarons while you’re there. Maison Le Caer Crêperie Patisserie | 617 Main Street | 716-551-0500
Another incredible business that we came across, that I was relatively unfamiliar with, was Spruce Up Soap Company – a skin care apothecary that prides itself on only using the best organic ingredients.
Not only are all of the ingredients sourced responsibly, they are working on eliminating as much packaging as possible, and when there is packaging, it’s the greenest that they can find. The shop specializes in body lotions, face scrubs, soap bars, toners, moisturizers, cleansers, body wash, shave creams, tattoo care, shampoos and conditioners, and even an all natural dog shampoo. SUSC | 716-301-5455
The trip to the Market Arcade was extremely fruitful. We both picked up a couple of pairs of sunglasses at Sai One. My mother-in-law purchased a necklace at Sasmita Boutique. She purchased a coffee mug at Rust Belt Love Paperie & Wedding Shop, and a jacket-shawl at the Queen City Pop-Up.
We were both very excited to meet the youngest entrepreneur at the pop-up shop – 11 year old Sheldon Gibbs who owns Classic Knot, a business that sells custom classic bow ties. I bought a fun pair of socks from him – I already own one of his bowties. Meeting Sheldon was another highlight of the visit – talk about a great kid, with a good head on his shoulders. We also met Sheldon’s mother, who has done a fine job raising such a smart, expressive, business-minded lad.
Our Market Arcade adventure led me to pay a visit to photographer Michael Mulley (Queen City Gallery) who is just now launching a new 2019 calendar (“We Love You, Goodnight” – A Concert History of Buffalo) that is mainly based on significant bands that have played in Buffalo. The calendar dates depict when iconic bands playing in Buffalo, and where (along with photos). The front cover is a montage of epic concert tickets.
We also window shopped, passed by, and/or browsed Buffalo Barkery Pet Boutique, CEPA’s Flux Gallery, She Shall Be Lashed, and Buffalo Barber Co., before heading over to EXPO Market to take a look around. All-in-all, I would have to say that our trip to The Market Arcade was beyond all expectations – it was completely smashing!
This is a trip that I will continue to take, because I’m completely sold on the Maison Le Caer Crêperie Patisserie experience. And there’s always a good excuse to purchase another pair of fun sunglasses (or two). Best of all, The Market Arcade building is about as architecturally soul-filling as it gets. I wish there were a couple more buildings like this, where shopping takes place under one inspirational historic roof (Ellicott Square Building is another example). I hope that someday, Sinatra & Company Real Estate extends the retail experience to the upper floors of the Market Arcade. Now that the first floor is fully occupied with retail, it would be great to see that same success repeated by rippling upwards.