Vidler's, an old-fashioned five and dime store, is one of East Aurora's most beloved landmarks. You'll find it by looking for the red and white-striped awnings along the village's historic Main Street. The 15,000-square-foot store, located in four 1890s-era buildings, has original hardwood floors and brass cash registers. It was opened by Robert Vidler Sr. during the Great Depression in the 1930s and continues to be family-owned and operated. You can find pretty much anything here, including unique, hard-to-find items. Choose from old-fashioned penny candy, yarn fabric, craft supplies, house wares, books, toys, books, cards and much more.
This family-operated candy shop and ice cream parlor has a large selection of premium chocolates and other candy treats. Named after owner dean Tassy’s grandmother who was a candy maker in Greece, the shop features candy handmade in their chocolate factory behind the shop. Some of the featured confections include sponge candy, a treat unique to western New York. It consists of a candy "sponge" made from sugar water, corn syrup and baking soda covered in chocolate. Alethea’s also has a variety of dark chocolates, light chocolates, truffles, chocolate drizzled popcorn, and more. You can even custom order personalized gifts for weddings and other occasions. Their ice cream parlor across the foyer from the candy shop has treats like classic sundaes and cones. -Christine A. Smyczynski
This family-owned toy store is stocked with a variety of toys that will spark imaginative play, such as toy soldiers, puzzles, and board games. One thing you won't find here are video games, as the shop's owners want to encourage creative play. The shop is also jam-packed with an ever-expanding collection of over 10,000 models of cars, trucks, planes, fire engines, tractors and construction vehicles. In fact, they have the world's largest selection of construction vehicle models, including bulldozers, cranes, backhoes, and dump trucks. Each year, they host the International Model Construction and Truck Show. - Christine A. Smyczynski
This quaint shop, located in a large, two-story former village residence along Lewiston's historic Center street, is filled to the brim with all sorts of new and antique items. Choose from antique furniture, glassware, vintage jewelry, primitives and country décor items, new and old giftware items, and much more. Items are displayed all over the house, including on the front porch. Gardening items are displayed outdoors in the garden. They have a huge selection of new and vintage garden furniture, including patio sets, Adirondack chairs, wrought iron furniture, and outdoor lounge chairs. One could spend an hour or more browsing this collection of merchandise. -Christine A. Smyczynski
If you're going to visit Niagara Falls, you probably want to bring back a souvenir of your trip. Be sure to check out Souvenir City, which offers the largest selection of gift items in the area. This 15,000-square-foot (1394 square meter) complex is comprised for several distinct area. The First Nation Craft Store offers a variety of Native-Canadian crafts, while the Niagara Artistic Glassblowing Studio features glass blowing demonstrations and items for purchase. Indulge your sweet tooth in the varieties of chocolates available at 1,800 square feet (167 square meters) of chocolate and chocolate-related items in Chocolate World. You can grab a bite to eat or buy locally-made food items in The Marketplace.
A wonderful antique store in the city, Old Emporium stocks a good collection of interesting items that are sure to brighten up the forgotten corners of your house. The collection includes weird and wonderful artifacts like Harley Davidson merchandise , Theodore Ziegler's artwork and other exhibits of celebrities.
This unique store/gallery promotes printing and book-related art. They carry bookbinding supplies, paper for letter press printing and decorative art stationery that comes from all over the world. They also carry a selection of books, cards, and posters. Lectures and workshops about printmaking, papermaking, illustration, design, writing, and binding are also on offer. Participation in the International Edible Book Festival, which is held around April 1, is an annual event at this shop. Artists create an edible book that's judged on appearance as well as taste; one can literally eat their words! The April 1 date is not an April Fool's joke, it actually was chosen to commemorate the birthday of Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826), a French gastronome who wrote the book, Physiologie du Gout. -Christine A. Smyczynski
Born of a profound ritual in the Eucharist that signifies the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, this winsome lamb shaped from butter is a celebrated Easter staple. Immortalized by Dorothy Malczewski, a Buffalo native, this butter-molded lamb is typically studded with black peppercorns, and dressed in a scarlet flag and ribbon. Also known as the Malczewski Butter Lamb, while this adorable icon originally belongs to Russian, Slovenian and Polish communities, it finds itself the cynosure of all eyes during Easter celebrations in the city. A host of grocery stores across the United States sell this butter sculpture. However, the original found at Buffalo's Broadway Market is the one that evokes memories of a holiday custom that began out of a modest home decades ago.
Enjoy sampling (and purchasing) olive oils and vinegars from around the world at this unique cooking supply store that stocks over 50 varieties of olive oils and balsamics, along with Mediterranean cooking accessories. You won't find oils and vinegars as fresh as these at your local grocery store. Their most popular olive oil is Tuscan herb, which is great for bread dipping. Their blood orange flavored olive oil is terrific paired with chocolate. Their balsamic vinegars, which come in both white and dark, are imported from Italy. Gift baskets are available, because vinegars and oils make the perfect hostess gift. -Christine A. Smyczynski
You'll fall head over heels in love with this unique boutique located along East Aurora's historic Main Street. They have a large selection of shoes, purses, and accessories displayed in an elegant yet funky store. You'll find shoes to go with every outfit in you closet, along with matching bags, scarves, jewelry, and other accessories. Be sure to allow enough time to browse, as they have quite a bit of items to choose from. The average woman has about 17 pairs of shoes in her closet; after visiting this store you'll definitely have more than average. -Christine A. Smyczynski