Seven Easy Things the Broadway Market can do to be a Year-Round Destination

Bus ad on Metro Bus 1970s/1980s

As the Easter season begins at the Broadway Market today and it becomes the busiest place in Buffalo for the next two weeks, I am going to post a series of seven articles on what the Market can do easily to become a year-round destination for shoppers.

When you shop at the Broadway Market year-round, Easter time is a surreal experience. The place is packed with customers and vendors alike. Then, come in a week after Easter and the market is almost ghost-like. It is that way for most of the rest of the year. I can’t help but to be depressed when I shop while I wonder how can the Broadway Market continue to survive like this?

In my first post, I am going to focus on Saturdays.

Over the years and running quite a few events at the market on Saturdays, my experience has taught me that to build some momentum for the Broadway Market, Saturday is the key.

I point to the recent Polka, Piwo and Pierogi event.  On a usually dead January day at the market, the place was jamming.  Why?  It was a unique food based event that captured the interest of people.  There was nothing really extraordinary about what was going on.  But, the key here is that something was going on to attract people.

This type of programming should be the norm every weekend…programming that will attract a wide variety of  customers.  It gets people thinking of the Broadway Market as part of their what should we do today in Buffalo thought process.  What happens next is that potential vendors will want to be at the market on weekends because there is a customer base waiting to be tapped.  This is also how you build more momentum…adding more vendors will serve to build the Broadway Market’s reputation as a destination for people on the weekends.  Businesses and customers will want to be there.

Once Saturday has been established in making the market a destination for people, the spillover can help prop up the rest of the week by getting businesses to think that they should be there on more than just Saturdays.

As the title of this post suggests, EASY.


10 thoughts on “Seven Easy Things the Broadway Market can do to be a Year-Round Destination”

  1. Great post. When I was in the market a few weeks ago, I couldn’t believe how dead it was. I’m looking forward to the rest in the series.

  2. You are right. The Broadway Market is ghost-like after the holidays. I like the idea of focusing on Saturdays to build business.

  3. Darryl, it’s a chicken and egg thing. What comes first, the traffic or the product ?

    MANY different types of merchants have tried running stands that offered different types of goods other than those with meats, baked goods, vegetables and gifts and failed because there was not enough traffic for them. One needs to do more than just offer different types of goods, because most of those good already exist in supermarket anyway.

    Chris is right. You’ve got to offer unique events that put the Market on people’s minds. Most people do not wake up on a Saturday morning and ask themselves whether they’re going to the Market or Wegmans. They automatically go to Wegmans. The Market is not even on their radar. With special events, it will be.

  4. Pingback: Ten Easy Things the Broadway Market can do to be a Year-Round Destination | In da Buff (Buffalo, New York)

  5. The best thing the market has going for it is it’s good will. Start a “Friends of the Broadway Market” organization. Populate it with volunteers, and start a monthly newsletter. Membership should be cheap, like $10 per year.

    The newsletter can feature old photos and stories that members share about the market from the past 100 years or so. After time, you build up a mailing list of several hundred people, and those are your core people for volunteer efforts, such as repainting or whatever.

    With a committed core group of volunteers, there isn’t anything the market can’t do. Form committees, promote the market around WNY, upgrade the facilities, ask for donations for new equipment, preserve its history, harass politicians, help with market research, etc.

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