Samantha Christmann, The Buffalo News - Page 3 of 71
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Samantha Christmann

I cover retail for the Buffalo News and write the Discount Diva column each Monday.


Sandy Estabrook is a 75-year-old Uber driver who splits his time between Florida and his wife’s hometown of Wilson. He finds driving for Uber and Lyft the perfect hobby for a retired person because it gets him out of the house, he gets to meet new people and he earns a few bucks to boot. He could earn more money if he were more aggressive and worked at night, he said,…

Many Western New Yorkers knew their faces before they ever knew what Sonic tasted like. Years before Sonic Drive-In appeared in the Buffalo Niagara market, the quick-serve chain's TV commercials whipped up robust cravings among Western New Yorkers. This weekend, customers can meet that commercial's stars and personally thank them for their introduction to Cherry Limeaids a…

The bridal gown is the very first thing Amanda Stawarz bought when she got engaged several months ago. Her phone was flooded with messages from friends when news broke Thursday that national bridal retailer Alfred Angelo had closed Thursday night without notice. Her three bridesmaids eked out $190 each for their gowns and have not yet received them from the Niagara F…

Rolly Pollies of Western New York, a children's gym, has expanded to Hertel Avenue. The company offers camps, special-needs play, birthday parties and classes in dance, gym, music, art and practical play. It also has "open play" days where families may walk in without an appointment and children may play on the gym's equipment. The urban version of the fitness and pl…

Macy's will add a furniture department to its Walden Galleria location. The store's first-floor annex, where the store meets the mall corridor, has been renovated to add the new merchandise. The new department's 14,456 square feet will be unveiled at the end of the month. Macy's, whose partnership with Men's Wearhouse is known as the Tuxedo Shop as of last year, anno…

When Mark Sciortino was 9 years old, he sat at the Galbani Italian Heritage Festival in its original Connecticut Street location, peeling onions and chopping peppers for Mineo & Sapio. Today, he is the face of the 50-year-old fest, as well as Galbani-sponsored Italian festivals in nine markets across the country. The Buffalo Italian Festival began in the 1950s at…

Expect lines at the Slurpee machine Tuesday. Every year on July 11, 7-Eleven gives away free Slurpee drinks from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Each customer will receive a free small Slurpee in the flavor of their choice at participating stores while supplies last. Visit 7-eleven.com to find the closest location. The convenience store has also partnered with local law enfor…

Western New Yorkers have had about a week and a half to try out revolutionary ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft. Not everyone is impressed. One Buffalonian paid $31 to take Uber from Chippewa Street to Allentown last Saturday. It would have cost about $3 with a traditional cab. Another paid $54.25 to get from downtown to the airport at 11:30 p.m. A taxi usu…

It's not the end of Talking Leaves, but it's certainly the end of an era. The independent bookstore, which has been a fixture on Main Street since the 1970s, will close its University Heights shop Friday and consolidate into its other location at 951 Elmwood Ave. The store at 3158 Main St. is holding a liquidation sale and plans to be out of the building by the end of t…

CoreLife Eatery, a fast-casual health food chain, will open in Clarence next week. The bulk of the restaurant's menu uses green vegetables, grains or broth. Menu items do not contain trans fats, artificial colors, sweeteners, artificial additives or GMOs. Its sustainably raised meat is free of antibiotics and hormones. The concept serves a growing segment of health-cons…

After a very long wait, ride-hailing services Lyft and Uber have arrived in Western New York. Ride-hailing apps are an awesome innovation for consumers. They have applied technology to the laws of supply and demand to completely transform the transportation industry. That usually means much lower prices and faster pickups than traditional taxi cabs. But it doesn’t …

Independent cab owner Harunur Bhuiyan had been lined up and waiting three hours for fares across the street from the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown on Thursday when he saw a Lyft driver zoom up, pick up a passenger and drive away. After 7 and a half years of driving, he wondered if this was the beginning of the end. Across town, Simon Lissner of Glenwood had just wrapped up…

To the delight of consumers – and the chagrin of taxi cab companies – Uber and Lyft officially opened for business in Western New York at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. Jeff Whacker, of Snyder, was among the first drivers to rove for rides shortly after midnight on Hertel Avenue. It started out slow. He checked out UB South and the airport with little luck. His first request …

As Uber and Lyft open for business in Buffalo Niagara on Thursday, newbie passengers will try ride-hailing services for the first time. It may not be a smooth ride right out of the gate. Passengers may show up late for rides, forget to tip or annoy the driver with loud phone calls. And what they don't know can hurt them. Both Uber and Lyft allow drivers to rate passenge…