Local Matters Guide | A quarterly guide to unique gifts, experiences and adventures – December 2021

Buffalo Rising’s dining and shopping guide, Local Matters, will be published quarterly as a way to introduce and reacquaint readers with special merchants and timely suggestions for those seeking the best local products and experiences.

As the holidays steadfastly approach, we are always looking for new and unique ways to celebrate local businesses. These local businesses offer both unique gift ideas as well as ways to give back to the community. If you are looking for a last minute gift or want to give back, these are some great ideas!

P. Carlino Design

Desk the halls! Unique, high-style solid wood writing desks, hand-crafted locally by Buffalo-born artisan Paul Carlino. Come see his eye-popping display inside Niagara Emporium at the Eastern Hills Mall. What a perfect gift for that remote worker or student. But hurry! Once these one-of-a-kind pieces are gone, they’re gone! He also has hand-made, solid hardwood cutting boards, including Buffalo-themed boards that make great gifts!

Whether you are thinking of sprucing up a room or an decorate an entire house, P. Carlino Furniture Designs can help define any space and make it distinctly yours.

Paul Carlino is a wood artist and owner of P.Carlino Design who has taken the time to practice his craft for over 30 years. By always embracing clean and uncluttered design with belief that his creations are unique yet tasteful and will enhance most any décor. Only the finest hardwoods from around the world go into Paul’s creations.

Without exception, highest priorities are imaginative, creatively designed, coupled with uncompromising, meticulous craftsmanship.

Let Paul create a work of functional art in wood of exceptional design and craftsmanship exclusively for you. By rarely crafting the exact same piece more than once, you are sure to have something that is uniquely yours. The opportunity to work alongside you or your designer from start to finish to provide a work of art that only you will possess is what Paul is all about.

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Western New York Heritage

One of the greatest things about living in Western New York is our incredibly rich history. Capturing and sharing that history is Western New York Heritage, an award-winning quarterly publication and ever-expanding website that provides context and perspective to Buffalo’s ongoing renaissance. Their mission is to foster a pride of place through the knowledge and appreciation of the art, architecture and history of Western New York. Here’s a great example:

“Color and Art at the Pan Am: A Retrospective 120 Years Later”
By Christopher Behrend—includes a downloadable pdf.

For nearly 25 years, Western New York Heritage has been delivering their brand of authoritative, yet accessible, storytelling on a variety of topics including: The Skyway, The Central Wharf, The BPO, the Buffalo Bills, The 1918 Influenza Pandemic, and so much more. Each story comes with lavish illustrations, many of which have not been published before.

In addition to the quarterly magazine and website, Western New York Heritage also publishes a variety of works on other regional topics, from history to architecture to sports—all with the same approach to illustration and readability. Their great selection of books, DVDs and photo reprints will take you on a journey into Buffalo’s fascinating history. If you have a history buff in your life or are hunting for a unique gift idea, a subscription to WNY Heritage magazine or something from their shop is sure to excite and provide hours of enjoyment! Use promo code HOLIDAY21 and get the current issue FREE! (New subscriptions only. Select “1 Yr. New Subscription + Current Issue”)

495 Pine Ridge Heritage Blvd, Cheektowaga, NY 14225 | 716-893-4011
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D&L Bakery



Everyone loves Christmas cookies. With the holidays steadfastly approaching, we don’t always have the time or energy to bake. D&L Bakery in Depew has you covered! They offer a wide range of baked goods that are sure to compliment your holiday table. We can honestly say that their anise cookies are amazing, a definite must have for your next holiday party or to leave for Santa.

In addition to their cookies, they offer a wide variety of baked goods. Their rye bread is absolutely delicious. They have cakes, brownies, placek, Danishes and so much more! Whether you are out and need a quick snack or want to pick up something to bring to your holiday party or something to complete your holiday table, we recommend a visit to D&L Bakery!

5165 Broadway, Depew, NY 14043 | 716-683-4096

Buffalo Community Fridge

The power of purpose should never be discounted. When I think of the potential that each one of us possesses, I think of Jessie Reardon, the person that founded Buffalo Community Fridge. While this concept of ‘public refrigerators to feed the hungry’ is not exactly new, it is new to Buffalo.

The food, Reardon says that it’s “for the community by the community.” Similar to how the Little Free Library concept works, it’s up to the community to make sure that there’s always food in the fridge. “Most of it comes from neighbors,” explains Reardon. “There is one woman who goes to a farm and drops off food on a weekly basis. People feel good about helping others in need. It’s one of the reasons that I became a nurse.”

These fridges are not only there to provide food, they are also there to act as community anchors. The fridge on East Ferry has become a rallying spot for coat drives (and other necessities), and other community events. “We’re having a turkey drive closer to Thanksgiving,” says Reardon. “The fridge is open to everyone – even if you just want to stop by and say hi, it’s all about fostering a caring community.”

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Second Chance Sheltering Network

Second Chance Sheltering Network is a no-kill, all volunteer foster based organization who specializes in stray, orphaned, abandoned and abused cats. All of their rescues are spay/neutered, given all required shots, dewormed, checked for feline leukemia/FIV, and placed in foster homes until they can be showcased at a local adoption center.

All adoption interested applicants are diligently screened for suitability as an adoptive parent. If approved, adopters are given ongoing support for the transitional period of adjustment in the new home.
While there is always the temptation to give a loved one a pet, not everyone is prepared for the responsibility of caring for a cat or dog. Adopting a cat or dog is a huge responsibility that lasts the length of the animal’s life, which can be from 10-20 years. It’s a commitment. Instead of jumping the gun and adopting an animal you might not be ready to care for, why not donate to Second Chance Sheltering Network. The money goes to care for animals in the community and then when you are ready to finally adopt, they can help you find the suitable animal that for you and your family!

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