About Western New Wares:

The Birth of a Buffalo Publishing Firm

Western New York’s longest-tenured regional publishing company will celebrate its 35th anniversary in 2019. It has distributed more than 350,000 copies of books and other regional products.

Think of it this way. If we laid all the books we’ve distributed cover-to-cover in a paper path starting at Canalside in downtown Buffalo, inching our way up Main Street, the trail would snake through Williamsville, pass Batavia and end outside downtown Rochester. Putting it a different way, we’ve distributed about 44 million pages of information about our region.

A pretty impressive path for a company that sprouted its roots in trivial turf.

The year was 1984 and the trivia craze was taking the nation by storm. As award-winning Buffalo journalist Brian Meyer played a popular trivia game with friends in his Parkside-area living room, he envisioned a game that tests players’ knowledge about people and events in their hometown. Western New York Trivia Quotient sold out its first edition in six weeks and established Meyer as an up-and-coming young entrepreneur. A year later, he compiled a book of quotations that chronicled the feisty reign of the late Mayor Jimmy Griffin. Meyer refuses to disclose how many six-packs were consumed while sifting through hundreds of "Griffinisms."

As founder and president of Western New York Wares Inc., Meyer has collaborated with dozens of authors, artists and photographers. By 2018, the region’s premier publisher of local books had published, marketed or distributed more than 200 regional products.

Since 1991, Meyer has been assisted by Michele Ratzel, the company’s business manager. The duo has more than 60 years of combined experience in the regional publishing arena.