Very few people or businesses have prospered during the pandemic. But that doesn’t mean that there have not been success stories.
Take the Queen City Traveling Market, for example. Born of frustration, as local food makers and purveyors have been left to their own devices, the market is a shining light that could lead the way to countless collaborative ideas and undertakings.
Tara Sasiadek, co-owner of Snowy Owl Kombucha & Tea, is taking one of the lead roles in developing and running the monthly traveling market. She is joined by Rick Fickhesen at Buffalo Artisan Food Traders and Joshua Bowen from FreshFix, who will be helping to orchestrate the monumental pop-up that will make its first appearance at 1500 Clinton Street (Niagara Frontier Food Terminal), which is certainly apropos.
“We already maxed out the space with 35 vendors,” Tara told me. “And we did it in two weeks. We could do double that amount if it weren’t for the pandemic. It’s an indoor market because of the time of year, but we will also be doing outdoor markets when the weather is nice. The space at the (heated) terminal building was built as an indoor supermarket of sorts, so there’s lots of room. In fact, the location for the food terminal to be built was chosen because of the winds that kept away the pollution from Bethlehem Steel back in the day, apparently (a nice little factoid).”
While Tara is excited about the enthusiasm that the market is generating among food makers and purveyors, she told me that she is also very exciting about the collaborations that are being struck up. “For example, we are having a hard time sourcing cans for Snowy Owl Kombucha. If a number of us can source products together, we can all share the benefits. We can also network together, share products, and support each other during this tough time. By traveling monthly to different locations, we can bring people to parts of the city that they might not be familiar with.”
The market will feature rows of baked goods (Blue Eyed Baker, KupKates, Butter Block), meat and seafood (Pacific Cloud Seafoods and Erba Verde Farms), beer, wine, spirits (Community Beer Works, Lakeward Spirits, Chateau Buffalo), produce (FreshFix, Flat #12 Mushrooms, Gro-op), coffees, candles (The Smell of Fear, Divination Station), snacks, flowers, beauty products… the rule of thumb is that vendors have to be local, eclectic, entertaining, and interesting.
“It’s kind of like a market and kind of like a circus,” said Tara [laughing]. “There’s going to be live chalk art, print making demoes… I think we’re going to have llamas next month. We want it to be interactive within reason, considering the pandemic. It will always be changing from month to month, so that people won’t know what to expect (other than great local foods and products).”
Queen City Traveling Market
Saturday, January 30, 2021
10 AM EST – 2 PM EST
1500 Clinton St, Buffalo, NY 14206
For more information, visit this Facebook page
Other vendors include: Kissed by the Sun Spice Company, Vinegars Etc., Spoonfuls Gourmet Nut Butters, Whats Pop-In Gourmet Popcorn, Lewiston Jellies, M&M Pickles, Public Espresso + Coffee, Sugarcane WNY, LaVerdad Café Deli, Yummo Ice Cream, Moneybags Dumplings, Burning Asphalt Sauces
Artists include: Tara Sasiadek, Jules Withaz, Nomel Arts, Jillian Burton, Gretchen Weidner, The Charcoal Annex, Talia Ryan Printmaking, Living Floral Designs