In 2003, Buffalo China was shut down abruptly because of competition overseas. A couple years after, Kevin Callahan, Managing Partner of Hayes Place Management Group, purchased the former factory with a vision to restore it to what it once was.
"It was hard walking around because peoples' lives were here and I was the only one in here. And it was eerie, you know there was generations of people that had worked here and it just stopped in an instant," he said. "I'd like to see people use it and be here, it's exciting to see hundred or a thousand people here on an individual day using the building. It's been here since 1903 and I'd like to bring as much life back to it as possible."
The 285,000 square foot building is already being used by five local companies, including Callahan's company, 716 China, which sells off the 350,000 plates that was left behind. Some products are original while others are printed with a special roaming buffalo design.
In addition, there's also Buffalo Curling Club, a cryptocurrency mine, hydroponics farming and a women operated distillery. Some of the businesses even teaming up with their products. Yoga Pants Distillery using the wheatgrass grown on site from Growtech to make their vodka.
"The distillery was really a result of growing microgreens and the wheatgrass in the containers outside. And you know, what're you gonna do with this product. And we were going to do either one of two things we were gonna make doggie biscuits or we were gonna make booze," Callahan said.
He said people in the area are excited to have something exciting happening near them.
"This side of town doesn't get a lot of attention for the development so yeah they're super excited especially a lot of former employees and people that grew up with their parents or grandparents working here, they come in and they go to the curling club or come into the store, and it just brings back a lot of memories for people."