Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Support pours in for West Side Bazaar



By Danielle Graham

            Crowds gathered around, filled with laughter, support, love and gratitude at the Taste of West Side Bazaar fundraiser on Nov. 3 at the Lexus Club at KeyBank Center.

            Then located at 25 Grant St., a fire forced the Bazaar to close on Sept. 20. The West Side Bazaar plans to open a new location next fall at 1432 Niagara St., and is now working diligently to help business owners affected by the fire receive temporary spaces to work and provide for their families before the move.

            “First, we are helping everyone sort through all their insurance documents. We are helping everyone get through the insurance process. We are also helping everyone figure out what they need to do moving forward in terms of insurance and where to have the business,” Erin Kelly, director of external relations at WEDI, said.

            The West Side Bazaar has received multiple donations from other businesses, charities, organizations and individuals since the fire. The fundraiser, which was hosted by Delaware North and the Buffalo Sabres, was held to help bring the Bazaar back to normal operations. It was also to thank those who supported the organization during a time of need.

            Kelly said that some of the donations received were from different cities and states that from people who heard about the organization and wanted to offer support. Some donations received by the West Side Bazaar were from West Side organizations that wanted to show their support too. The fundraiser included food from some Bazaar chefs,live painting with Bianca L. McGraw, and guests were able to do a coloring of Patti Thomas’s “Choose Love” mural.

            Kelly was not allowed to say the number of donations they received from the West Side Bazaar fundraiser, however, WEDI is highly grateful to receive subsidies to help the organization.

            The new Bazaar will be five times larger than the old space – from 3,200 square feet to 16,000 square feet– including a second floor that would be an available rental space for customers who want to host special events.

            We are going to have special event space that is affordable, which is a problem to get in the city,” Kelly said.

            Chef Akec Aguer said that he is excited to open his business in the new space with more amenities, which would bring him more opportunities. He and his family are very grateful to the West Side Bazaar for giving him an opportunity after being on the waitlist for five years.