BUFFALO, N.Y. -- This week, 2 On Your Side's Kelly Dudzik takes us to Buffalo's West Side where a unique business encourages its employees to become its owners.
"You can go to work every day, and be happy, and provide food for people, really delicious food for people, and I love that," says Breadhive co-owner Valerie Rettberg-Smith.
Rettberg-Smith and Elizabeth Dashnaw are just two of Breadhive Bakery and Cafe's owners.
Both started as employees, and since Breadhive is a worker cooperative, they became co-owners who played key roles in expanding the company from a wholesale bakery on Baynes Street, where they still bake the bread, to a cafe on Connecticut Street.
"We opened here in June of last year, so it's been almost a year that we've been open, and it's been really crazy, and we've been expanding," says Dashnaw.
There is room for about twenty people to sit inside, but it's been so packed that the owners have decided to open a patio sometime this summer.
Breadhive is open for breakfast and lunch and is known for collaborating with other locally owned businesses.
"When we were developing the menu here, we kept a lot of our favorite products and businesses in mind. So what comes to mind for me definitely is Barrel and Brine, so if you look at our menu, it kind of looks like we have a little bit of a crush on them, which I mean, we do. We feature like a ton of their products," says Dashnaw.
"It's really great to have that connection and that relationship with other small local businesses that are trying to do that same things that we are, and trying to just, you know, make a living doing the things that we love to do," says Rettberg-Smith.
They've also gotten a lot of support from their West Side neighbors.
"Even Mineo and Sapio, who've been at that spot for a long time, when we first started opening here, they came over almost daily to see how we were doing and that was just really great to have that sense of community," says Rettberg-Smith.
"Buffalo itself a really supportive community, and once people get a sense of what you're doing and they love it, they will support you and love you, and that makes it worth it to see people come in, and see them happy that we're doing it," says Dashnaw.
Breadhive is open late on Tuesdays until 6 p.m. Valerie and Elizabeth expect to have extended hours once the patio opens.