This new year, we’re starting a monthly interview series featuring our Niagara Street neighbors. First up is Todd Salansky speaking about what he and his partners, Jeff Empric and Heather Lucas, are up to at Bootleg Bucha:
What four words describe Bootleg Bucha?
Fresh, Local, Healthy, and Fun
Describe the work you do and the impact you’re trying to make:
We provide a healthy beverage using as many locally-sourced ingredients as possible. Kombucha is a probiotic tea that originated in East Asia over 2,000 years ago and can help with digestion, detoxification, joint care, and energy. We are currently distributing beyond WNY and plan to expand to the northeast.
What brings you to the Niagara Street Corridor?
Before relocating to the Niagara Street Corridor, we looked at numerous locations in the city limits including the East Side, West Side, Allentown, Larkinville, Medical Campus, and Downtown. 1250 Niagara had everything we were looking for: a beautiful brick building, great neighbors, room to grow, a good landlord, and solid infrastructure, all while being easily accessible.
What are you noticing in Buffalo that deserves more attention?
We feel that there is much more collaboration between businesses. There was a time when businesses wouldn’t collaborate for fear of losing a competitive advantage. Today, it’s key for us to all work together and grow, making our whole region stronger. More farmers markets, pop-ups, and friendly competition raises the bar for everyone. Now, we’ve even got new labels coming out featuring the logos of our local suppliers. And we didn’t do it to negotiate cheaper prices, we did it to encourage others to work together.
What’s your favorite number & why?
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