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Totally Buffalo products will soon be for sale in the Village of Lewiston. Mary Friona and Scott Celani intend to open a fourth location at 467 Center St. (Product photos and logo courtesy of Totally Buffalo)
Totally Buffalo products will soon be for sale in the Village of Lewiston. Mary Friona and Scott Celani intend to open a fourth location at 467 Center St. (Product photos and logo courtesy of Totally Buffalo)

Totally Buffalo totally joining Lewiston's Center Street business district

by jmaloni
Fri, Mar 15th 2024 11:00 am

Store set to open in May

By Joshua Maloni

GM/Managing Editor

Two of Buffalo’s best backers are bringing their business to the Village of Lewiston.

Come May, Mary Friona and Scott Celani plan to open a new Totally Buffalo Store at 467 Center St. – the former home of You & Me boutique.

“We love Lewiston,” Celani said. “We know a lot of people there; we have some very good friends. We know the area very well.

“We were in Niagara Falls until recently. It was actually the Town of Niagara. We decided to change, to go to Lewiston, when this opportunity came up. It's a great fit for what we do. It's far enough away from our other locations.”

Friona added, “Lewiston is just so representative of such a historic, kind of unique section of Western New York, and there's so many wonderful people there.

“You can buy Buffalo stuff in so many different places. I think what makes us different is we're really, truly there to celebrate Western New York, and these artisans, and the people, and sort of just to bring it all together.”

The husband-and-wife duo was well-known – he’s a musician and she’s a former reporter for WRGZ – when starting Totally Buffalo to shine a spotlight on Western New Yorkers.

“We've been doing vendor festivals and events since 2017,” Friona said. “And when COVID happened, we couldn't do our events, which take place at RiverWorks. And so, we just decided to do like a temporary retail store, because retail stores were allowed to be open. So, we were going to do like a three- or four-month temporary store for all of our artisans. And it just ended up really being amazing, and people loved it. And so, we just kind of kept it going. We opened that in the middle of COVID; it was Nov. 13, 2020.”

“When Mary left Channel 2 – when we had our second baby, which was great – she eventually started a blog called Totally Buffalo,” Celani said. “It was originally a blog, and still is – that still exists. That became very popular. The blog was really focusing on positive stories about Buffalo and Western New York. And it got really popular. From that, the festivals grew out of the blog. It was an idea, ‘OK, what can we do to sort of turn this attention into additional business?’ That became the festivals, and then those went to the stores.”

Mary Friona and Scott Celani are bringing their Totally Buffalo Store to 467 Center St. – formerly You & Me.

Totally Buffalo offers an assortment of clothing (including Buffalo- and Buffalo sports-themed hoodies, hats, T-shirts and socks), plus jewelry, candles, handmade soaps, tumblers, books, food, and “anything home décor you could think of,” she said.

Friona explained, “We work with the most incredible artisans in Western New York, hands down. We also really pride ourselves in finding unique items that you can't find in other places, even if it's just a little subtle difference or a big difference. It just kind of stands out. It’s all high-quality. Our prices are very reasonable. And we have a lot of really loyal customers who just keep coming back again and again, and we're so appreciative of that.”

As it pertains to the River Region, “We heard this location was opening up and we contacted the landlord, and he said he received many, many calls on that particular piece of property; and he went through and researched everybody, and he loved what we do, and thought we would be the perfect fit,” Friona said.

She noted the Lewiston location will be “more boutique-style, just because it is a smaller space. Our Amherst location and our Orchard Park location are both at like 4,400 square-feet. This is definitely smaller, so it won’t have as many items – but we will have things also that kind of celebrate the water and the unique parts of Lewiston.”

Celani said, “We're already working on ideas for items that will honor and showcase the Lewiston area.”

In addition to their stores, Friona said, “Our website is always busy with folks who’ve moved away and miss Buffalo and WNY.”

“We are both from Western New York,” she said. “I grew up in Niagara Falls. Scott grew up in the south towns. This is where we live. This is our home. This is where we raise our family. Like Scott said, I started that blog to celebrate all of the wonderful things that Buffalo and Western New York had to offer – especially the people. The people here are amazing. So, we just love this area. We love everything about it.

“I mean, does it have its challenges? Sure. But it's going to take all of us to make a difference here. So, it's not just about, ‘Oh, the Buffalo Bills or the Sabres or the Bisons or the Bandits.’ It's really just about Buffalo and Western New York, and the people here, and the wonderful organizations here, the charities here. It's just kind of everything.”

“And we both lived in other cities, in great places, but – we're not the first ones to notice this, obviously – there's a definitely unique (atmosphere),” Celani said. “The extensive community and civic pride in Western New York – not saying that it doesn't exist anywhere else, but you don't see it very often. It's a very unique situation.”

Totally Buffalo’s pending arrival already has been met with approval.

The Orange Cat Coffee Co. shared, “It’s definitely been a bit darker on Center with the recent closing of Laura Mann Falsetti’s You & Me boutique, but we’re seeing the light with this latest announcement! Welcome to the neighborhood, Totally Buffalo Store! We can’t wait to meet you!”

Falsetti added, “I couldn’t think of better people to take over my baby. They will be a huge asset to the Lewiston community!”

(Product photos and logo courtesy of Totally Buffalo)

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