The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — For years, Sanarak Paper & Popcorn Supplies in North Buffalo has supplied munchies, sweets and concession items, not only through its business at the warehouse, but also through a small, often-overlooked cash-and-carry store at the site.
Now, however, customers have a new location at which to get their popcorn or candy fix — as well as a multitude of other speciality items.
Creekside Gourmet opened several weeks ago at 2855 Sheridan Drive in the Town of Tonawanda. Co-owner Carrie Horhota said the cash-and-carry store “just about ran out of room” and she and her partners had talked about starting a retail store for a while. In the meantime, she created an Etsy store for Creekside Gourmet items and sold products at farmers markets and holiday shows.
“We were working with a lot of distributors around here,” she said. “We kept coming across all these interesting things that we didn’t have room for. We decided in March to go for it.”
The store location, Horhota said, “just fell into our laps.” They specifically looked along the Sheridan Drive coordinator for the location.
“We did some research and this is a highly-traveled area,” she said. “We have many customers from Kenmore, Tonawanda and Amherst. This just makes it more convenient.”
The store opened Oct. 25, and held a grand opening last week. While much merchandise is ready to go, Horhota said a great deal is still on the way.
“It’s a work in progress. There are so many things we’re bringing in,” she said, adding that a Jelly Belly jelly bean display is coming in today.
A Creekside Gourmet website will soon be up and running, although ordering online will take a little more time, she said. Customers can call or stop by if they need something shipped for now.
The store sells a wide variety of items from the sweet to the savory — gumballs and candy in every color of the rainbow (very popular for wedding reception candy buffets) are near concession candy classics and the downright quirky, such as bacon-, pickle- or wasabi-flavored candy canes. Buffalo-oriented items such as Anchor Bar wing sauce are stocked, as are nostalgia-based items such as Jiffy Pop popcorn, Smith Bros. cough drops and gift baskets in every possible theme.
One side of the store is filled with candy-making supplies such as molds, fillings, equipment and a large range of Merken’s chocolate wafers. The store’s concession roots are visible in popcorn-making supplies (including flavorings such as strawberry shortcake), cotton candy supplies and snow-cone supplies.
In addition to those items, the company has an offsite production facility that produces items under its own label, Horhota said. The facility makes jams and jellies from her own recipes, the popular chocolate-laced popcorn, candy-coated popcorn in flavors as cranberry, creamsicle and pomegranate, and their own line of dipping oils, barbecue sauces, hot sauce and mustards.