Mercado: Western NY's Artisanal Food Market

Help us build a breakthrough food market/restaurant incubator for local artisans, bring a talented chef home, and improve Western NY's culinary diversity.
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Jeremy Horwitz
130 Facebook Friends
Food
Buffalo, New York
United States
1 Team Member

Mercado: One Sentence

A collaboration between leading local food artisans and chefs, the revolutionary food market Mercado will house over 15 dining destinations inside one centrally-located building - a breakthrough concept for Western New York. 

Why Indiegogo: Two Sentences

A public market requires a large building and ample parking, so we need community support to secure a fantastic site close to the majority of our region's population. Our Kickstarter campaign was the second most successful in Buffalo's history, but we set our funding goal too high, and supporters asked us for a chance to get as close as possible - we're not giving up!

What They're Saying About Us

"Brilliant" - Nate Benson, WGRZ-TV

"Visionary" - Step Out Buffalo

"The game changer that the area needs" - Buffalo Vibe

The Mercado Story

Following three years of work on the pioneering Western NY restaurant site Buffalo Chow, Jeremy Horwitz spent the next three years researching ways to improve the local food scene, studying restaurants, markets, and chefs around the world. During his travels, he met Scott Kollig, a Clarence-born chef who trained at the Culinary Institute of America and several of the country's most famous restaurants. Working together, Jeremy and Scott developed a plan to bring Western NY something new and wonderful - a centrally-located artisanal food market and small restaurant incubator. Jeremy named it Mercado.

The concept behind Mercado originates in the artisanal food bazaars of Europe and Asia, where dozens of local vendors operate small, quality-focused restaurants under one roof. Half-restaurant and half-market, these bazaars enable guests to sample snacks from many different cuisines, sit down for a meal at one place, or take home ready-to-eat food. They're fun, exciting, and different every time you visit. Our favorite is the Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid, Spain (shown above).

Major American cities have somewhat similar markets, though they tend to mix pre-made food items, raw produce, arts and crafts - few are laser-focused on fresh, ready-to-eat food. That's one way Western New York's Mercado will be different. Like the famous Union Market in Washington, D.C. (shown above), we're creating a place where people can have their choice of affordable, high-quality, and diverse casual dining experiences. And we're working with top chefs and artisans to make it happen, bringing fantastic local, national, and international cuisines to our area.

What Will Be Inside Mercado?

Mercado starts with new Spanish tapas, Chinese dim sum, and American brunch restaurants by Scott Kollig, who will bring home the skills he learned at the internationally famous minibar by José Andrés, WD-50, and Cafe Boulud. Local artisanal vendors will include Lloyd Taco Truck's long-awaited brick and mortar test kitchen, next-generation frozen treats by Lake Effect Ice Cream, 100% fresh Italian pasta by The Pasta Peddler, authentic Neapolitan pizza by Alan Bedenko, hot glazed snacks from The Bavarian Nut Company, and many more! We'll also host gourmet coffee, fresh fruit juice/soda, and cocktail destinations, plus a pastry shop by Chef Monica Amtower, formerly of The Inn at Little Washington and Cafe Boulud, an edible plant and flower shop, and other great experiences.

By design, Mercado will be affordable - our vendors are both quality-conscious and committed to offering options that everyone can enjoy. We love the idea of "small plate" dining (a meal with a little tapas, a salad, one taco, and some ice cream is great!), but we'll also have big plate options to choose from.

Who Supports Mercado?

Locally, Mercado has been featured on WGRZ-TV 2 and Time Warner Cable News, leading local restaurant review sites Buffalo Eats and Step Out Buffalo, and other local blogs. Mercado has also been profiled in newspapers including ArtVoice, Buffalo Business First, and the Buffalo News. We've been supported by top WNY chefs such as Chef Calvin H. College of the Culinary Institute of Niagara Falls and the American Culinary Federation of Buffalo, as well as the top artisanal providers above, and hundreds of Western New York-based backers. We appreciate all of your support! 

Nationally, Mercado has been praised/supported by culinary superstars including Iron Chef Michael Symon (Lola/Lolita), Chefs José Andrés and Rick Billings (Think Food Group), Chef Katie Button (Cúrate), Chef Francisco Migoya (Hudson Chocolates), and RX Liquid Chef Rob Floyd (Library Bar LA). Our Kickstarter campaign also had the support of acclaimed Chef Kevin Sousa, creator of the most successful Kickstarter restaurant project in history (Superior Motors), and we've been backed by chefs such as Executive Chef Damian Evangelous of Worchester, MA's Armsby Abbey, who understand the power of artisanal food markets to elevate dining options for smaller cities.

Extra Details: Why Indiegogo?

In order to do something great for our community, we're taking on a project that's bigger than us: it's expensive to build a spacious market for leading food artisans and an incubator for chefs from across our region. Because of their large sizes, similar markets in major cities are often publicly owned. We have the vision, the plan, and the vendors lined up to make this market a reality for Western New York in December 2014/January 2015 - all we need is the community support and backing to fund its development. 

Over 400 people backed Mercado's initial Kickstarter campaign, but we set our funding goal too high. Many of our supporters asked us for an extra opportunity to make Mercado happen for Western New York, so we're using Indiegogo, which offers greater funding flexibility. We raised nearly $90,000 on Kickstarter, but we set a lower goal this time so that we can guarantee that we move forward - we don't want to give up on this project. Thank you for your support, prior Kickstarter backers and new Indiegogo backers!

We are committing 100% of the community funds raised by this campaign to our single biggest challenge - securing a centrally-located space that is close to the majority of Western New York's population, and capable of operating morning, noon, and night during all four of our seasons. We have been working with developers and realtors to find a site with enough space, parking, and surrounding population to sustain a bustling artisanal food market. Leading contenders include Buffalo, Buffalo-adjacent Amherst, and Buffalo-adjacent Ken-Ton, with the Village of Williamsville as another possibility. Even if Mercado isn't in your personal back yard, our goal is to have it within 15-20 minutes of hundreds of thousands of people.

How Can I Learn More?

Visit our official web site at Mercadorevolution.com. Our founders are food and drink obsessives who are going above and beyond to deliver an incredible experience for Western New York. Jeremy and Scott were born and raised in this area, both with families here, and have made it their personal life goals to significantly improve the quality of everyone's local food and drink options. We're going to take everything we've learned in our travels and bring the best of those life-changing culinary experiences here.


Find This Campaign On
$71,471USD
raised by 309 people in 11 days
102% funded
0 time left
$70,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on April 16, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $20USD
    Name On The Wall

    Your name on the community wall at Mercado. Plus: Our sincere thanks displayed on the Mercado website. A group thanks on our Facebook page, and a tweet thanking you for your pledge.

    17 claimed

    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $25USD
    Coffee Bar Or 1 Brunch Item

    You choose: either 3 coffee bar drinks of your choice from Mercado's gourmet coffee shop, or 1 breakfast/ lunch item from Scott Kollig's destination inside Mercado. Plus: Your name on the community wall at Mercado. Our sincere thanks displayed on the Mercado website. A group thanks on our Facebook page, and a tweet thanking you for your pledge. (We'll email to confirm your choice.)

    138 claimed

    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $50USD
    Mercado Bag or T-Shirt

    You choose: a beautiful reusable Mercado carrying bag selected by our most bag-loving and eco-conscious founder (Christina), or an awesome, high-quality Mercado T-shirt developed by our graphic design-obsessed founders. Plus: Your name on the community wall at Mercado. Our sincere thanks displayed on the Mercado website. A group thanks on our Facebook page, and a tweet thanking you for your pledge. (We'll email to confirm your choice.)

    52 claimed

    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $75USD
    Beverage Class or Lunch For 1

    You choose: either enjoy a tasting lunch for 1 curated by Scott, or learn the modern and classic theories behind beverage design in this fun introductory class. Plus: Your name on the community wall at Mercado. Our sincere thanks displayed on the Mercado website. A group thanks on our Facebook page, and a tweet thanking you for your pledge. (We'll email to confirm your choice.)

    10 claimed

    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $100USD
    Dinner For 1 or Shirt + Cap

    You choose: an diverse and delicious dinner for 1 at Mercado, or a jet black Mercado T-shirt and embroidered baseball cap. Plus: Your name on the community wall at Mercado. Our sincere thanks displayed on the Mercado website. A group thanks on our Facebook page, and a tweet thanking you for your pledge. (We'll email to confirm your choice.)

    19 claimed

    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $150USD
    Jacket + VIP Tapas Party For 1

    Get a beautiful Mercado black fleece jacket and one ticket to our early VIP tapas party! Plus: Our sincere thanks displayed on the Mercado website. A group thanks on our Facebook page, and a tweet thanking you for your pledge.

    6 claimed

    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $150USD
    Lunch For 2

    Enjoy a Mercado tasting lunch menu for 2 curated by Scott Kollig - the same menu choices we're offering as Lunch For 1, but with an additional guest! Plus: Your name on the community wall at Mercado. Our sincere thanks displayed on the Mercado website. A group thanks on our Facebook page, and a tweet thanking you for your pledge.

    3 claimed

    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $200USD
    2 Beverage Classes + VIP Tapas

    Attend beginner and advanced beverage classes by our sommelier Scott, and get one ticket to our early VIP tapas party! (Pledge $50 more to upgrade to 2 tapas tickets.) Plus: Our sincere thanks displayed on the Mercado website. A group thanks on our Facebook page, and a tweet thanking you for your pledge.

    2 claimed

    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $250USD
    Tasting Menu For 2

    Prepare to swoon over an incredible Mercado-assembled tasting menu for two people, including dinner and drinks curated by Scott Kollig. Plus: Your name on the community wall at Mercado. Our sincere thanks displayed on the Mercado website. A group thanks on our Facebook page, and a tweet thanking you for your pledge.

    31 out of 100 claimed

    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $500USD
    1 Food Class or Grand Tour

    Attend 1 of 2 modernist cooking classes offered by Scott Kollig: Theory or Practice. Class 1 Scott will explain techniques + concepts behind the famous Minibar, WD-50, and other modern restaurants; class 2 will focus on preparing a collection of dishes using modern techniques. Alternately, choose a Grand Tour for 1 of Mercado hosted by Jeremy Horwitz, including a snack at each of our vendors. Plus: your name on our wall and many forms of thanks! (We'll email to confirm your choice.)

    1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: January 2015
  • $600USD
    Tasting Dinner + Tapas for 4

    Prepare to swoon over an incredible Mercado-assembled tasting menu for 4 people, including dinner and drinks curated by Scott Kollig. Also attend our early VIP Tapas Party for 4. Plus: Your name on the community wall at Mercado. Our sincere thanks displayed on the Mercado website. A group thanks on our Facebook page, and a tweet thanking you for your pledge.

    4 claimed

    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $800USD
    2 Food Classes / 2 Grand Tours

    Attend both of two modernist cooking classes offered by Scott Kollig: Theory and Practice. In class 1, Scott will walk you through the techniques and concepts behind the famous Minibar, WD-50, and other famous restaurants; class 2 will focus on preparing a collection of dishes using modern techniques. OR choose a Grand Tour for 2 of Mercado hosted by Jeremy Horwitz, including a snack at each of our vendors. Plus: your name on our wall and many forms of thanks!

    1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: January 2015
  • $1,000USD
    Tasting Dinner for 8

    If you want to host a national-class dinner party, just wait until you try this incredible Mercado-assembled multi-course tasting menu for eight people, including dinner and drinks curated by Scott Kollig. Plus: Your name on the community wall at Mercado. Our sincere thanks displayed on the Mercado website. A group thanks on our Facebook page, and a tweet thanking you for your pledge.

    2 claimed

    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $5,000USD
    Elite Dinner Party For 10

    Ready to go all out? Hosted at Mercado or your local-area home, this premium tasting menu for ten people will include premium international delicacies and special beverage pairings selected by Scott Kollig. Plus: Your name on the community wall at Mercado. Our sincere thanks displayed on the Mercado website. A group thanks on our Facebook page, and a tweet thanking you for your pledge.

    1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $10,000USD
    Private Party

    Use Mercado's entire space and special tasting menus for an invite-only, exclusive event of your choice for up to 30 guests. If you're celebrating a graduation, holiday, birthday, or the "rebirth of WNY," Mercado will help you put on a party tailored to your needs. Provide us with at least 60 days notice, and we'll put it together. Plus: Your name on the community wall at Mercado. Our sincere thanks displayed on the Mercado website. A group thanks on our Facebook page, and a tweet.

    3 claimed

    Estimated delivery: January 2015
  • $10,000USD
    Gold Backer

    Your gold-etched name or color company logo will be placed on the most visible portion of our community wall, as a tribute to your incredible generosity towards Mercado. Plus: Our sincere thanks displayed on the Mercado website. A group thanks on our Facebook page, and a tweet thanking you for your pledge.

    1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: December 2014
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