In an up and coming creative community like Buffalo, having physical spaces to connect with and support independent creators and artists is pretty important for shoppers/fashionistas/local business supporters. And, that’s just what you’ll find at Fred Handmade Wares + Gifts. The newly opened Allentown hot shop on the corner of Franklin and Edward Streets, showcases a collection of handmade, local, sustainable, and eco-friendly items, all of which you’ll probably love and *have* to have.
A Shop With a Story
What started as a dream to open a waffle cafe, turned into a completely new adventure. In November of 2016, Katie Toth opened Fred Handmade Wares + Gifts in the heart of Allentown with 15 vendors to start. (Pro tip: the name Fred came from combining the names of the streets – Franklin and Edward, in case you were wondering.)
Katie grew up in the Buffalo area, studied public communication at Buffalo State College, and worked in digital marketing for six years. During that time, she also designed recycled skateboard jewelry for her line called Trebird Skateboard Jewelry.
Somewhere along the way, she came up with the idea of opening a cafe that doubled as a studio space. While plans changed and the vision for the shop went in a new direction, the final result came together very beautifully. Fred features a quaint coffee counter at the front of the store for easy access to caffeine during your shopping spree. They serve Glen Edith Coffee for $2.50 per cup as well as biscotti by Biscotti for Everybotti.
Who You’ll Find
Since opening, the shop has grown to support over 55 independent creators and artists, 90% which are from right here in Buffalo. Creators include Niland Candle Co., Handcrafted by Design, EvenOdd, Allison Fretheim Ceramics, Chicory Kin, Revolver Records, and Buffalo Bannon– to name a few.
Talent is plentiful at Fred. Many of the creators use re-purposed materials to make their products. Every item in the shop is at least one of four things: handmade, local, sustainable, and eco-friendly.
Katie discovers many of the featured creators from word-of-mouth and social media. Interested vendors can also apply on Fred’s website. All vendors must meet the shop’s requirements to be included.
There’s a wide selection at Fred, including a handful of Buffalo-themed items as well as some that are not. Fred is a cool spot to find unique gifts for someone special or to keep for yourself. The collection changes, but you may find items such as vinyl records, soy-candles, handmade furniture, custom jewelry, bicycle tire bags and wallets, tea sets, cutting boards, home decor, and more!
In addition to featuring local creators, the shop has its own pour-over coffee bar serving Glen Edith Coffee from Rochester, NY in compostable coffee cups and Biscotti for Everybotti.
More to Come
Looking forward, Fred Handmade Wares + Gifts hopes to host workshops, and participate in sip and shop events, as well as Allentown First Fridays. Coffee lovers can look forward to canned iced coffee from Glen Edith coming to the shop this summer.
Shopping at Fred supports local artists, so the next time you shop– think local! For more info on Fred Handmade Wares visit fredhandmadewares.com or check out the shop on Facebook and Instagram.
Fred Handmade Wares + Gifts
385 Franklin St. Buffalo, New York 14202
Closed on Sundays & Mondays, Tuesday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. & Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.