North Tonawanda


Visited North Tonawanda City Market Saturday. If Niagara Falls can get to be half as cool, it will be a significant achievement.

Planners in the Falls met with merchants last week over plans for the reimagined market to gather input.

This is a major step forward because the last time the market was reimagined, input from farmers was not sought. This is not an imaginary, unfunded hockey rink adjacent to the Seneca Casino but an initiative fully funded by New York State.

$19 million in grant-funded state taxpayer money is in place for food entrepreneurship at the market. Field & Fork Network is already in place running the day-to-day, rebranding the market, redesigning the logo and Website and recruiting new vendors.

The highlight for Beth and me Saturday was a chat with Anastasia Nikolaeva of Anastasia’s Artisan Bread.…

Anastasia makes primo small batch baked goods. She started in her home kitchen in Williamsville and can be found at places like Overwinter Coffee in Williamsville as well as in Kenmore and North Tonawanda.

She’s done now until taking orders in January but she will be back at markets in the spring. If you do catch her, get there early. She regularly sells out. Her goods are made in small batches with premium ingredients.

Sometime in the next several months, Anastasia will be opening brick-and-mortar European-style open concept cafe in the space on Zimmerman Street near Erie Avenue in NT most recently occupied by Vito’s Pizza.

She said the building was in rough shape so acquisition was doable but renovations, including mechanical upgrades and new equipment takes a long time.

“My expensive new oven is coming this week but it does not have electricity” she said. “The trades get things done when they get things done.”

She added that while she can clean, paint ceilings and baseboards and do the simpler grunt work, it’s the things like electrical, plumbing and heating that rest beyond a layperson’s reach.

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