There’s more big news for the Broadway Market. Mayor Brown has announced that the operator for new $464,000 Kitchen @ The Market is Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI). The reason this is such great news is that WEDI is the organization that has done such a terrific job with the West Side Bazaar. Having a WEDI presence of this nature at The Broadway Market is simply fantastic – it’s the perfect fit. WEDI will bring new life to the market, and will be able to provide various entrepreneurial culinary parties a modern food production space, which will assuredly help to further elevate Buffalo’s already thriving food scene.
“This significant investment at the historic Broadway Market is a key part of my Administration’s plan to ensure the market remains healthy and vibrant for all of us, now and into the future. This new commercial kitchen will provide a venue for our City’s next generation of food entrepreneurs, and add a unique new element to the iconic market,” Mayor Brown said.
The Kitchen @ The Market will be ideal for food entrepreneurs who have essentially outgrown their kitchens, and are looking for a modern culinary facility to amplify their businesses. The professional commissary kitchen will also provide the latest tools, equipment, and storage required to operate successful food production, whether it’s for food trucks, pop-ups, or fledgling purveyors.
“This kitchen will be a wonderful small business development tool because it will allow small food entrepreneurs to make their products in a licenses kitchen and sell to the public. It also gives us a new element for public programming on Saturdays, such as visiting chef demonstrations and healthy cooking demonstrations,” said Broadway Market Manager Kathy Peterson.
The 800-square-foot kitchen is outfitted with:
- Commercial stoves and ovens
- Cooler and freezers
- Abundant prep space to accommodate more than one entrepreneur at a time
The City and the Friends of the Broadway Market selected WEDI to operate the new enterprise because of its success at handling the kitchens at The West Side Bazaar. WEDI also has strong ties with the refugee community, which is always looking for additional resources when it comes to supporting culinary enterprises. Currently, WEDI has a pipeline of over 100 prospective foodservice or commercial food production businesses. The continued smooth operation of the bazaar on the West Side, bodes well for this new East Side venture. The West Side Bazaar has been so successful in fact, that it is currently looking for new space to expand its own operation.
“Through the West Side Bazaar and its business support programming, including microlending, WEDI has established strong relationships with nascent food entrepreneurs and looks forward to the exciting potential of this new commissary kitchen. Community members from all over the City are now able to access not only a commissary kitchen, but also WEDI’s wraparound support in scaling their businesses,” Benjamin Bissell, Executive Director of WEDI said.
Right off the bat, WEDI will be hiring a part-time manager. Funding for the project will come from a $60,000, two-year grant the Friends of the Broadway Market District received in 2018 from the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County. The grant came from a partnership between the United Way and the General Mills Foundation to improve the food climate of Buffalo, from access, quality, and affordability, as well as employment, ownership, and entrepreneurship opportunities in communities that are presently underserved.
The Kitchen @ The Market will join 40 full-time retailers, and more during the holidays. The City has invested more than $2.6 million at the Broadway Market since 2009, as it pushes the historic landmark to stay competitive in an ever-changing market place. The City is also investing $550,000 into a new police sub-station at The Broadway Market. Finally, and thankfully, The City is putting up $1.1 million for a new facade reconstruction. This could be the most important element to date, because anyone will tell you that The Broadway Market is not that inviting, especially compared to what it once looked like. With the coming of the new facade, and the addition of The Kitchen @ The Market, there’s a lot to be excited about these days.
The Kitchen @ The Market is expected to open in March.