"Buying Local" in Syracuse for The Holidays?

Nov 29, 2013

Not every holiday shopper wants to compete with everyone else for gifts during annual Black Friday sales at malls.  There are plenty of people who are experiencing a leisurely pace this weekend, walking from store to store at Armory Square in Downtown Syracuse.  The secret shoppers we spoke with are searching for those special gifts such as Greg (yes, a man who actually shops early) from the city.

Mars Jewelry in Eastwood is offering specials to reel-in holiday shoppers
Credit John Smith / WAER News

“Something like this (Eureka Crafts) that doesn’t seem to be open.” Reporter: “I think the door just opened.” Greg: “There ya go.  But… for unique gifts.  I’m looking for something distinctive, unique.  Something that you don’t get in a chain store.”  

Outside Eureka Crafts in Armory Square.
Credit John Smith / WAER News


A big national initiative every year continues to be ”Buy Local Saturday.”  Syracuse has a wide array of shops and some aren’t all in the heart of downtown.  If you take a drive down James Street to the Village of Eastwood, you’ll find bookstores and antiques.  The front of Mars Jewelry is all decked out in holiday splendor.  Co-Owner Bill Marsallo is hoping the sale signs out front will also catch some new customers.  He says there’s also advantages when buying from a local jeweler.

“A lot of places will charge an extra fee for a quick turn-around but, we don’t.  We’ve done our own work for over 20 years now and we have some really experienced people here.  The other thing too is that we pick the jewelry ourselves; we buy it ourselves.  Just about every piece is hand picked.  So, you’re gonna find a little more unique jewelry here than you would at most places.  Especially your cookie cutter places.  You won’t see the same things over and over, again.  That’s what we try to avoid.”

Mars Jewelry in Eastwood Co-Owner Bill Marsallo
Credit John Smith / WAER News



With all that holiday shopping, why you’re liable to work up an appetite.  Pavone’s Pizza on Warren Street in Downtown Syracuse didn’t have their usual customer base as of lunchtime on Black Friday.  But Manager Vinny Randazzo says a local business at AXA Tower One stepped up.

“Unfortunately, they had to work Black Friday.  So, there bosses felt obligated to treat them and they treated them by ordering 22 different types of pizzas which made our morning.  And that’s an example of one local business helping another.  Cause if we didn’t have that order today on this Black Friday, downtown… we wouldn’t have much to do.  That made our day !”

Downtown Syracuse Pavone's Pizza employees Christopher Yanchik (left) and Manager Vinny Randazzo (right).
Credit John Smith / WAER News


Randazzo says by supporting one another, it also creates jobs and keeps the money in Syracuse... our piece of the pie, perhaps !