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Josephine Ciffa gets ready to make a nonalcoholic margarita on the porch of the Island Shoppe.
Josephine Ciffa gets ready to make a nonalcoholic margarita on the porch of the Island Shoppe.

Island Shoppe celebrates Cinco de Mayo with vendor fair

Sat, May 11th 2024 07:00 am

Story and Photos by Alice Gerard

Senior Contributing Writer

A nonalcoholic margarita and a cookie or a cupcake were offered to people visiting the Island Shoppe at 1966 Whitehaven Road on May 5. Along with the refreshments were a variety of vendors, selling products that ranged from scented candles to prints of Grand Island, Buffalo and Niagara Falls, as well as Grand Island-themed mugs and cloth bags. In addition, the Venus Greek & Mediterranean food truck was parked in the lot.

Josephine Ciffa, owner of the Island Shoppe, said this vendor fair is the first in a series that will span the year.

“Today, my nonalcoholic beverages … we’re doing margaritas, of course, for Cinco de Mayo, and we have margarita cupcakes out there and cookies for tasting,” she said. “So, for every event, I’ll probably do something fun like that, too. We are going to be doing baked goods out of this store now. We are going to be doing healthier ones, also. We’ll be doing some gluten-free and low-fat and non-sugar. Tess is the one who’s been baking, and she’s amazing.

“This is the kickoff to our summer events. We have a whole line of events coming up this summer. We’re going to do Sunday, June 8, the weekend before Fathers’ Day. On Sunday, June 15, I’m going to do a special for my vendors. It will be half off for them. The Fourth of July, I’ll have them set up for when we do the parade.”

One of the vendors at the May 5 event, Tonya, the owner of Grand Island Roots, said she was inspired by Grand Island to create her products: “I always loved the pork chop shape. I make all my own designs.”

Other vendors at the event included Jim of O’Buffalo Emporium, Laura of Havenwood Candle Company, and Lisa of Verses and Vines.

“My goal is, every month, we bring in more and more vendors. We’ll try to do it at least once a month through the summer months,” Ciffa said. “It’s a nice little afternoon for people to be able to come out. If there’s a food truck, they can have lunch, see what crafts and vendors are here. If they need a birthday gift, whatever. Fun things for the Island.”

Ciffa said she especially enjoys “doing the community event. Having everyone come together in the community. Especially for the vendors. They’re showing off their beautiful products. Lisa (owner of Verses and Vines) is all pink over there. She has all beautiful pink stuff.”

Visitors to the vendor fair at the Island Shoppe could enjoy a nonalcoholic margarita, as well as a margarita-flavored cupcake.

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