BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Each Monday, we “tell you something good" in our City Shapers segment. We're featuring people or businesses who are proud to call Western New York home.
This week, 2 On Your Side's Kelly Dudzik took us to a business that's been a Buffalo mainstay for 90 years.
Parkside Candy in Buffalo's University Heights neighborhood is celebrating its 90th birthday this year, and inside it looks like it could still be 1927.
Parkside is in the middle of a major restoration project. The company got a matching grant from the Buffalo Billion.
"The inside is done. We redid the floor, the checkerboard floor is new, we put LED lights into the candy cases, our beautiful ceiling has been fixed. We had some water damage, so it had to be re-plastered and repainted," says Annmarie Ranger.
But the feature Annmarie says is getting the most attention is the back booth. It's been reupholstered to look like it did when the store first opened.
"The window frames were painted Parkside green, and our painters decided to take the paint off, and we found the beautiful woodwork, so it's just a nice little cubby to be in," she says.
Annmarie is Parkside Candy's retail manager. Born and raised in Buffalo, she joined the company in 1981 after earning a degree in business administration.
"To see people's reaction to chocolate still amazes me. I've been here 35 years, and for people to come in and, it's as many men as women, which I think sometimes people find surprising, is their reaction to chocolate, and oh my God, I could never work here with all of this chocolate," says Annmarie.
As a member of the University Heights Business Association, Annmarie says now it a great time to start a business in Buffalo.
"I think, you know, all of the renovations we were doing, and like the medical core and the Canalside, I think it's just a plus for Buffalo," she says.
She also hopes growth at the Medical Campus will expand to adjoining neighborhoods and that those neighborhoods will attract people who work downtown.
Parkside is renovating two apartments above its shop.
"I think being on a bus route, you know, you could live in the city, get to work easily without having to take a car. So, I think Buffalo just has a lot going on, and I think it's coming back, and I think those of us that have stayed here and are like liking to see the new changes that are coming. I think Parkside is just another add on to that,” says Annmarie.
Work on the outside of the building will be finished once it gets warmer out.
Kelly is looking for more City Shapers to feature in May and June. If you know someone you'd like her to profile, you can email her.
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