Mercedes Wilson went to the West Side Bazaar and received a hard hat tour. She talked with executive director, Carolynn Welch and WEDI co-founders Betsy Mitchell.
Betsy says WEDI was founded in 2006 as a mission of West Minister Presbyterian Church of which she is a member, and says she immediately took to the mission that they were trying to do on the West side. From that mission came the idea of a bazaar, a West Side bazaar, an international market to reflect the community. Betsy says the first bazaar opened in 2011 with one store-front and six vendors. In 2012, with a special grant they were able to move to the Grant Street where they could expand. This was the location that had the fire.
Carolyn Welch says they are in the process of expanding the bazaar and the community has been very supportive. The West Side Bazaar is set to open in 2023. The new location will have expanded seating. Carolyn says the first floor will be like the original bazaar except they will have eight kitchens with eight restaurants cooking. There will also be ten retailers selling retail merchandise. Carolyn tells us the second floor will have an event space area that people can rent out as well a commercial kitchen where you can learn to make your favorite dish and they can have the classes they like to do and also provide an opportunity for the community to learn about the businesses they serve.
Full article can be found here at AM Buffalo.