2011 ‘Buy Local’ Holiday Shopping: Day 11 – Urban Roots

If you or anyone you know likes to garden, Urban Roots is a must-see. What started as an idea to develop a cooperative garden center on the West Side, Urban Roots opened its doors in 2007 to provide quality products for gardening within the City of Buffalo, while being an active and enriching member of the community. Community owned and operated year-round, Urban Roots is the premier place in the city for gardeners to buy plants and seeds, soil and mulch, as well as a number of organic products, and garden accessories. The store also offers events and workshops for members of the community to engage and learn more about various aspects of gardening, including hosting regular plant swaps.

This holiday, Urban Roots is offering a Living Tree Donation Program. That is, instead of having a cut tree in your home for the holidays, you can buy a locally grown living tree from Urban Roots
to take home and enjoy. Rather than throwing the tree out when the holidays are over, you can either plant it yourself or bring it back to Urban Roots and select a local organization to donate the tree to, which will then plant it
come springtime. Urban Roots will care for the tree during the winter months and will be responsible for getting it to the organization of your choosing.
Participating organizations include Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo, Olmsted Parks and Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER. Urban Roots started the season with 40 trees for
sale–ranging from $65-70–and have only 13 remaining of these varieties: Serbian
Spruce, Norway Spruce, Canaan Fir, Balsam Fir, Fraser Fir, Concolor Fir, and
Douglas Fir. It doesn’t cost you anything to bring your tree back to the store
for donation, and is considered a tax write-off. Moreover, purchasing one of
these living trees and putting it to use once the holidays are over both keep
“used” trees from filling up landfills, while keeping our city green. This is a
really fantastic program with many benefits to it.

Best Seller:

One of the shop’s best sellers are the
specialty garden mixes from Potting Shed Creations, which supply seeds for
growing Herbal Tea gardens, Edible Flower gardens, Chocolate Flower gardens (which
include flowers with varying brown hues), Gourmet Salad garden, and a Growing Wishes
collection, which offer different plant and herb seeds that inspire either
“Joy” or “Cheer.” You can plant the seeds indoors come February
or March, and then transfer to an outdoor garden once the weather turns. To
accompany your seeds, the shop offers a few books, titled “Herbal Tea Gardens”
and “Herbal Remedy Gardens,” that highlight different plans for your gardens to
encourage health, enjoyment and well being. The Potting Shed Creation seeds
range from $15.99 to $19.99, and the books are $16.95.


Unique Gift Idea:

Viz Art Glass creations are garden
accessories inspired by
Chihuly glass art. These different creations range from a fountain,
to twists and spirals–which are solar powered–and twiddles and flowers. All of
these products are made to withstand the harsh winters as year-round art for
your garden. The twists, spirals, twiddles and flowers cost between $36.95 and
$59, and the glass fountain is $369.


Urban Roots
428 Rhode Island
Buffalo, NY 14213
(716) 362-8982

What To Do While You’re There:

Many may be familiar with the
deliciousness that Five Points Bakery exudes from its ovens, but I bet there is
one thing you may not know about this beloved West Side bakery: they now double as a Toast Cafe. What is a Toast Cafe? Well, it’s simple: this bakery makes
outstanding fresh bread, and outstanding bread usually makes the best toast.
Why not have some toast accompanied by some of the fresh, organic, locally made
butter, goat cheese, egg salad or chicken salad that Five Points offers? You
can certainly purchase any of these items individually, but the idea here is
why not try it before you bring it home? Or, if you’re only going to buy the
bread, how about having a taste of it with some of the bakery’s fresh butter
instead of the store-bought kind that’s in your fridge? The bread will probably
taste a whole lot different–and better–once you do. And you may end up wanting
that fresh butter and ditching the stuff sitting in your fridge.


The egg salad is made from local eggs
with the bakery’s own homemade mayo, and their chicken salad is made with
organic, free-range chickens from GrassLand farms. You can have your toast with
one of these heartier salads, or have it with a simple spread, including
butter, goat cheese, peanut butter, raw honey, cinnamon sugar, and jam. Enjoy
this toast for $2/slice with butter, or $3 for 2 slices of the same bread. For
those who would love to give someone else the gift of fresh baked goods and
locally made food products, Five Points now has gift cards available.

Five Points Bakery
426 Rhode Island Street
Buffalo, NY 14213
(716) 884-8888

And if you’re in the mood for a bakery,
there is one more West Side bakery I want to point out:

For those who love Latin food, you may
or may not have already had the pleasure of tasting some of the culture’s baked
goods and desserts. I stopped into this bakery for the first time yesterday and
was beyond excited to realize I could get my beloved, mouth-watering quesitos
(flakey, glazed pastry filled with cheese) right here in Buffalo, rather than
waiting for my next trip to Puerto Rico. 


Buffalo Rising covered La Panaderia last December, and if you haven’t been yet,
you should give it a try – you will not be disappointed in their offerings. And
If you’re in the mood for some lunch, La Panaderia also offers a few
traditional Latin food options you can pick up to go or eat in.

La Panaderia
394 West Ferry
Buffalo NY 14213
(716) 884-0716

Bonus Stop:
Today at 5 p.m., Buffalo Gay Men’s
is performing a holiday concert–Make the Yuletide Gay–at Unitarian
Universalist Church of Buffalo on Elmwood Avenue at West Ferry Street. Tickets
are available at the door for $20 General Admission, and $18 for seniors,
students or disabled. Tonight’s performance will be interpreted for the hearing

Photo credits: Katie Krawczyk

Gift Suggestions #10 – Parker Pharmacy
Gift Suggestions #9 - Burning Books
Gift Suggestions #8 - New Buffalo Graphics
Gift Suggestions #7 - Lotions and Potions
Gift Suggestions #6 - Blue Hill Kitchen and Home
Gift Suggestions #4 - San Bor Sports
Gift Suggestions #3 - reimagine
Gift suggestions #2 - The Buffalo Scooter Shop
Gift Suggestions #1 - Homeward Bound


About the author  ⁄ Katie Krawczyk

Katie Krawczyk is a freelance writer who has contributed to Buffalo Rising since 2009. A Buffalo re-pat, Katie moved back to the city in 2006 after living in Washington, DC, The Netherlands and Indiana. In addition to being a writer, Katie is a business owner, PR specialist, philanthropist, world traveler, and self-proclaimed life enthusiast. She loves her hometown as much as she loves chocolate and peanut butter.

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