After last week's Easter rush the Broadway Market in Buffalo was nearly empty on Monday.

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“I don't come as much as I really should, but around Christmas time and around Easter is when I usually come and visit,” said Kathy Graziadei, shopper.

Graziadei drove in to buy some beautiful, hand-painted Polish wooden Easter eggs.

But how do vendors survive the rest of the year after the holiday crowds disappear?

Photo Credit: WKBW-TV
Photo Credit: WKBW-TV

“A lot of the vendors that you see closed have full-time jobs all year long, so they come in on Saturdays only,” explained Pearl Omphalius, vendor.

Omphalius owns and operates We R Nuts New York and KO’s Kettle Popcorn.

It's his sixth year at the market.

“If I had to count on the rest of the year, we would definitely be losing money,” Omphalius replied. “The vendors that are here full time typically have other businesses — places that they go, so they use this spot for production,” remarked Richard Fickhesen, vendor.

Fickhesen owns Buffalo Artisan Food Traders and Kiss by The Sun Spices. He is one of those Saturday-only vendors with his main store in Amherst.

There is an ambitious plan in place to use ‘Buffalo Billion’ funds to redesign the market, changing around the space and making sure there's more diversity among vendors.

“It’s a $50-million plan, but there's only $5-million available, so again, right now, it's talk in my opinion. It would be great if it could happen — maybe it will,” said Fickhesen.

But the state says it could take up to five years to complete and the city of Buffalo and Erie County need to pay for the rest of it.

“I’d like to see it become something more — I think everybody would,” Fickhesen noted.

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