29°F
Sponsored by

How's Business in Downtown Utica?

Efforts to entice businesses to downtown Utica has been in the works for years and in the last few months, stores have both opened and closed their doors.
Efforts to entice businesses to downtown Utica has been in the works for years and in the last few months, stores have both opened and closed their doors.
Christopher Giruzzi makes his jarred food products in Barneveld, but when it came to finding a storefront to sell them, there was never any question where he'd choose.
"My family is from East Utica anyways, my father when he was born he lived in the building upstairs so it was just kind of to get back into the area," he said.
And so far his fresh Italian treats and produce from more than twenty local farms has been flying off the shelves.
"The response from the public has been absolutely incredible, we're far busier than I had expected," he said.
He's even having trouble keeping some products stocked, and that he says, means the once bustling, now somewhat quiet downtown, is back on the road to success.
"People's misconception of downtown Utica not being the greatest, there's definitely a resurgence happening," he said.
But right next to another new business, Utica Classic Guitars, is one that's been around for eight years, and is now shutting it's doors.
"MeMe's Formals is a bridal and formal wear shop," said owner Wende Maliani.
Despite a loyal customer base, she can't afford to keep doing what she loves.
"Everybody is buying online so lots of times they come in here and they try dresses on and then go on their computers and buy them online," she said.
Her business was part of the original revitalization campaign in downtown Utica.
"Mayor Julian and the Police Chief at the time said I would be safe, and I enjoyed being part of the revitalization of Utica because I really want it to come back," she said.
She's sad to leave the area, but says a different type of business would attract more shoppers and foot traffic than hers.
"I really think the ideal thing for downtown would be outlets, T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, we just don't have the income for all these high-end ideas like myself," she said.
The shop will stay open until much of its inventory is sold.
Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus