Tag Archives: Buffalo Business

#BuffCashMob To Village Beer Merchant

11 Aug

You voted, we listened and the winner of this week’s #BuffCashMob is The Village Beer Merchant! If you have no idea what the Buffalo Cash Mob is, click here to find out and then click here to see how the first Cash Mob went last week at City Wine Merchant. Or read the story in The Buffalo News.

 

Located at 547 Elmwood Avenue, Village Beer Merchant (VBM) is the most unique and complete gourmet food and specialty beer one stop-shopping store in the City of Buffalo.

You can buy the beer in bottles, make your own six-pack, or fill up a growler of beer from their wall of taps.

While VBM offers more than 1,200 craft and import beers, it is much more than just a beer store. VBM’s extensive selection of gourmet products and foods, from Stonewall kitchen products to Belgian chocolates, will help you liven up any meal and inspire new culinary ideas. At VBM you can also find fine cheeses, assorted imported meats and olives, along with toppings, spreads and crackers.

Join us this Friday between 5-7PM to show the love to a local business that made an investment in our community by spending a minimum of $10 on their products. Lets keep it local and support our entrepreneurs!

OVER 1200 CRAFT AND IMPORTS!!!   20 GROWLER FILLING STATIONS

Beers On Tap are always being replaced once a keg is finished. Please call ahead to insure availability of your favorite beer On Tap.
While we hope to have the below selections available when you arrive at The Village Beer Merchant, we cannot promise that a keg won’t run dry before you get here.  We rarely put the same beer on tap once a keg has kicked. We apologize if one of the listed beers is gone when you get here.  Be sure to call and double check for current listings!

Beers On Tap as of Saturday 08.06.11

01. Sierra Nevada Summerfest
02. 3 Heads Ontario Coast IPA
03. Flying Bison ESB
04. DeKoninck Belgian Amber
05. Ellicottville Black Hops
06. Flying Bison Buffalo Lager
07. Wolavers Wildflower Wheat
08. Abita Satsuma Wit
09. Original Sin Vermont Cider
10. Sam Adams Latitude 48 (Simcoe single-hop version)
11. Great Divide Hercules Double IPA
12. Otter Creek Summer Pale Ale
13. Victory Sunrise Weisse
14. Sam Adams Imperial White
15. Lake Placid Ubu Ale
16. Southern Tier Farmer’s Tan Imperial Lager
17. Southern Tier Hop Sun
18. Sam Adams East/West Kolsch
19. Flying Bison Aviator Red
20. Flying Bison Cascade Hop Lemonade (N/A)

The Village Beer Merchant on Beer Advocate

Village Beer Merchant on Yelp

Village Beer Merchant on BuffaloBarfly

Click here for directions to the Village Beer Merchant.

FRIDAY 5-7PM! SHOW THE LOVE!

#BuffCashMob Nominations Now Open

9 Aug

Last week, we held the first Buffalo Cash Mob at the City Wine Merchant. You may have read about it here, on Twitter, Facebook or seen the story in The Buffalo News. Here’s a recap of last week’s event.

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Last week, we brought about 60 people into City Wine Merchant and they spent a little over $2,000. So, we made a big difference for a valued member of our local small business community. Want to do it again? Maybe bigger and better this time? Before we get to that, let me give the backstory for the new readers.

Do you want to make a difference in your community? Do you like social media? Are you someone who digs doing cool stuff with cool people? Do you love supporting local small business? Well, welcome to the hastily formed #BuffCashMob! This is a tough economy and many small businesses in Buffalo and WNY are looking for ways to increase cash flow.

That’s where we, the organized social media denizens of Western New York, come in. Rather than do the slacktivist thing, posting links to businesses we like and writing on their Facebook pages, let’s get out, en masse, and show them some straight up cash love. Buy their goods, pay for their services, patronize their establishments. And have a great fucking time doing it! The goal will be to get 100 people to “flash mob” a local establishment to spend $10-$20 each on the goods and services offered. No discounts, no coupons, no special deals. Just spend $10 in their business.

We’ll take nominations for businesses who will get a visit from the #BuffCashMob on the WNYMedia website . We’ll also keep our eyes on Twitter to check for other nominations there as well, but make sure you use the #BuffCashMob hashtag so we’ll know to look for it. Your nomination should tell us something about the business, what they sell and why they deserve some #BuffCashMob love. Lets show local businesses that social media isn’t just about nerds talking about “branding”, that it’s about bringing people in the door to spend some cash.

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#BuffCashMob To City Wine Merchant

4 Aug

We asked you to nominate a local business to receive a visit from the inaugural Buffalo Cash Mob and you’ve chosen in overwhelming numbers…the City Wine Merchant.

If this is the first article you’ve seen about the Buffalo Cash Mob, here’s a refresher.

Do you want to make a difference in your community? Do you like social media? Are you someone who digs doing cool stuff with cool people? Do you love supporting local small business? Well, welcome to the hastily formed #BuffCashMob!

This is a tough economy and many small businesses in Buffalo and WNY are looking for ways to increase cash flow. That’s where we, the organized social media denizens of Western New York, come in.

Rather than do the slacktivist thing, posting links to businesses we like and writing on their Facebook pages, let’s get out, en masse, and show them some straight up cash love. Buy their goods, pay for their services, patronize their establishments. And have a great fucking time doing it!

The goal will be to get 100 people to “flash mob” a local establishment to spend $10-$20 each on the goods and services offered. No discounts, no coupons, no special deals. Just spend $10 in their business.

You nominate the business and whichever garners the most votes, will receive a visit from the mob.

We received over 300 nominations for the first BuffCashMob visit, but City Wine Merchant received almost double the votes of any other retail establishment. So, clearly, there is some real love for this store at 715 Main Street (Click for map and directions) which has been open since 2009. As owner Eric Genau told Buffalo Rising when he first opened,

Years ago I lived at the corner of Chippewa and Main,” Eric told me. “And there was nothing happening down here. Now we have the Medical Campus and the lofts… there’s the Washington Market. I see young professionals, a hip artistic crowd and an entrepreneurial spirit… that wasn’t here five years ago. We’ve even raised the City of Buffalo flag on the building.

This is a quality, locally owned business that cares about its community and its product,

When you walk into the City Wine Merchant remember that you are not walking into a mega Walmart-sized wine warehouse. Rather, you are stepping into a wine boutique where every single label has been hand selected by the owner. Whether a bottle of wine is $8 or $80, Eric assures his customers that they are getting the best value when it comes to quality.

City Wine Merchant offers wines at all price points from $9 to $90 and offers a full line of glassware and wine accessories.

So, please join us in supporting an entrepreneur who took a risk and opened his business in the theater district. Support locally owned businesses operated by individuals who love their city and have a passion for the product they sell.

Join us between the hours of 4-7PM tomorrow and spend $10 or more at City Wine Merchant, tell them the #BuffCashMob sent you.

Follow @BuffCashMob on Twitter or Follow the #BuffCashMob hashtag for updates on what’s next or like us on Facebook.

Leadership Crisis

12 Jan

There are hundreds of ways to define leadership in organizations, groups, communities, corporations, and social groups.  Each valid in its own way, but mostly, the process of defining the criteria of leadership and cultivating leaders is a bit of a scam.  An entrepreneurial opportunity for those who wish to sell a service or methodology.

I’ve worked in small companies, large corporations, run my own company, worked as a consultant, served on boards, volunteered and organized campaigns and I’d like to think I’ve learned a thing or two about being a leader.  Simply stated, you’re either a leader or you aren’t.  You either have “it” or you don’t.  That doesn’t mean leaders don’t learn and grow over time, it means you either have the capacity for leadership or you don’t.  You can buy all the books, attend all the seminars or sign up for programs, but you aren’t going to “learn” how to be a leader.

The core of leadership?  The capability to make people give a shit about accomplishing a collectively defined set of stated goals and working with those people to accomplish the goals.  Being courageous enough to take criticism and not being afraid to fail.  That’s the essence of it.

I’ve given a lot of thought to the leadership crisis in Buffalo, Erie County and Western New York.  Taking stock of our “leaders” in the public, private and non-profit sectors and wondering who amongst them might step up and be the region-wide leader we so desperately crave.  Is there someone among us who can lead on a large regional scale rather than lead a small constituency?  Someone who has the natural charisma and courage required to fix a failboat as large as this region?

In a region in which unemployed middle-aged hipsters can be touted as “visionaries”, are we even capable of discerning leadership and vision from meandering ideas or idle stop motion dreams of would-be success?

We are at a critical juncture in the history of our fair region.  While the state and nation are mired in crisis, our comparative stability and assets provide an opportunity if managed properly.  We need leader(s) who will step forward, eschew the politics of crumb hoarding and design a strategy for regional ascendancy.

The time for small minded thinking, power politics and the philosophy of “me first” needs to end.  Else, we may find ourselves in a hole from which we cannot dig out.  A hole which gets deeper each day while the Hedley Lamar and William J. Lepetomane of WNY are our County Executive and Mayor, respectively.  A hole which gets indescribably deeper as long as a man like Steve Pigeon is afforded access to shovels and an army of weak-willed yes-men willing to do the digging.  A hole at which our business leaders collectively stand and simply complain about the price of the shovels chosen by others, yet doing little to stop the digging while incongruously asking for different, more expensive shovels.

Is there someone out there?  Someone who has a big picture view, sees the need for strategic vision and has the charisma to rally the public around his/her ideas?  A politician who isn’t interested in incremental procedural reform, service delivery improvements or an alderman like satisfaction of citizens?  A business leader who sees the need to create entrepreneurial leaders and not simply look for back office job handouts to satiate the huddled masses?

At different points in the past, the cities of Boston, New York City, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Columbus, and others were mired in downward failure spirals.  There are dozens of other cities which stopped their downward spiral, both larger and smaller than Buffalo.  Each city had a breaking point and a leader emerged to help realign the priorities and implement a strategy for success.  Are we at our breaking point?  Do we have any potential leaders on the horizon?

What needs to happen in order for such a person to ascend to a position in which he/she can exercise their leadership skills?

Things You Don’t Hear About Buffalo Everyday

11 Sep

I’ve been fascinated following the “Yahoo Comes to WNY” story as it has developed this summer because the whole thing seems so improbable. This is not a typical WNY “win.” Fargenkugel’s from Germany is not expanding in West Seneca to make brakes for air balloons, employing 10 people. GM is not announcing a new 7-piston truck engine for the Tonawanda plant, that will be unneeded before its designed and obsolete before its fielded. No, Yahoo is a real New Economy company, that will pay real wages, and make $100M’s in investments. Its the kind of thing that normally happens in Virginia, or North Carolina, or Tennessee.

One item of interest of mine, as the economy recovers, is seeing which cities and industries win. Jobs will eventually come back – the question is where, and in what areas of the economy. In this regard, Buffalo, initially, seems to be doing surprisingly well. AIG, the insurance giant, falls. Smaller insurance companies expand into the vacuum. GEICO then moves new jobs to Buffalo in sectors new to that company. Green energy companies Globe Metallurgical and Sunworks Solar pledge 500 and 175 jobs, respectively, to manufacture solar cells and arrays. Banks fail around the country, but M&T and First Niagara scoop up the remains, creating hundreds of new jobs in the process. And finally, Yahoo, an emblem of the IT future, brings their new east coast data center.

All of which is why I particularly enjoyed today’s story in the Buffalo News. Christina Page, a Yahoo exec, spoke to the BNE yesterday. She said things you don’t normally hear:

‘We’ve been delighted with the cooperation we’ve received here,” said Page.

“We found that you were all willing to work with us to meet our mission-critical criteria. That was a game-changer for us.”

“You probably don’t hear this very often, but we love your weather,” Page joked. “One of the things that caused us to favor you was your climate.”

Ha ha, yes, the obligatory weather joke. Yes, we get it. We do live here. But there is more.

“I can’t overstate the amount of work and cooperation that went into this to answer our questions,” Page said. “We know we’re demanding. We’re from Silicon Valley. We want everything and we want it yesterday. The tenacity was an important part of this.”

And she praised the “town pride” and collaboration among more than 30 public and private entities locally. “There’s a huge ability to cooperate here, across entities, that was very impressive,” she said. “You don’t experience that everywhere and it was very important to us.”

Yahoo

How often do you hear the words “tenacity, “town pride” (related to business, not hockey), and “cooperate” used to describe the political and business culture of Buffalo.

If they came out of the mouth of the standard NYS politician, or the BNE itself, I would discount it immediately. But they came from Yahoo, and they really are coming here. They already got the major tax breaks – why kiss our ass now?

So, what if these things are actually true? I have believed in the past that the reason things move so slowly in Buffalo is there is not enough $$$ being lost through inaction. In the booming southwest, new builds go up in half the time of around here (anecdotally). Why renovate a warehouse into lofts quickly when I’m not making much on the rents anyway? In contrast, in Phoenix, I’m losing too much money every minute a project is not done. Things happen fast.

But we were clearly fast enough, and tenacious enough, this time. And if we can’t consolidate those 30 IDA’s and jurisdictions into 5, the next best thing is to have them all cooperate effectively, and read off the same sheet of music.

Now, I’m not so naive as to not understand the tax breaks had a lot to do with it. But even there, NY has always been far behind ($600M for Tennessee to build a car plant for Volkswagen, anyone?). Even in our high-tax environment, could some cheap power and sales tax breaks be competitive? Perhaps other states can not be as generous as they once were. Perhaps the pyramid schemes (based upon rising real estate values) that powered the budgets of many a sun-belt and southern state have finally come back down to earth.

So maybe, just maybe, New York really does have a competitive combination of speed, tax breaks and natural resources. Say it ain’t so.

Buffalo First 2008 Coupon Book

10 Nov

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Buffalo First is getting out the word to local businesses that there’s still time to get a free coupon in its “Where the Buffalo Roam” local coupon book.

The coupon book is supported by the City of Buffalo and business associations from neighborhoods such as Allentown, Connecticut Street, Clarence, Elmwood, Hertel Jefferson and South Buffalo. To view the book cover and download an application go to http://buffalofirst.org, e-mail info@buffalofirst.org or call 716-913-1990.

The Coupon Books will be out in time for national Buy Local Week, which begins December 1st, and cost $10, loaded with thousands of dollars’ worth of specials at some of Buffalo’s best homegrown retailers, restaurants, and service providers.