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November 13, 2015 - 8:53am
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Dunkin Donuts, batavia, business.

The fate of a proposed West Main Street Dunkin’ Donuts is back in the hands of city planners.

The Genesee County Planning Board took “no action” Thursday night, on dramatically revised plans for the project.

The county board voted 3 to 2 on a requested subdivision, special use permit, sign permits and area variances for a new drive-thru restaurant at West Main and River streets.

The city Planning & Development Committee can now vote to approve — or deny — the project by a simple majority vote.

“We’re happy with that,” said Kip Finley, project development manager for Indus Hospitality, told the county board.

Thursday was the fourth time Indus Hospitality has appeared before county planners since June 2014. The county took no action then and once again the following September, before recommending city disapproval this past August.

The city committee voted the project down in September 2014.

On Thursday, Finley told county planners he hoped “the fourth time’s the charm.”

“This time we’re back here because, I think, the city officials took pity on us because we weren’t quite getting it,” he said.

Indus Hospitality revised its plans — particularly for the design of the building — based on input from the city panel, Finley said.

Dunkin’ Donuts would be located on land between Five Star Bank and Barrett’s Batavia Marine. It would be owned by Mike Mikolajczyk, who also owns the Dunkin’ Donuts franchise at East Main Street and Ellicott Avenue.

The revised site plan now calls for a bigger building — enlarged from 1,700 square feet to 2,170 square feet — that is much closer to West Main Street. The entrance has been relocated to the west of the restaurant.

Those changes allow for a longer drive-thru queue off West Main, that would accommodate 12 vehicles instead of seven. A second “bypass lane” immediately adjacent to the west, would allow separate access to restaurant parking and the bank ATM.

That should alleviate concerns about backed-up drive-thru traffic blocking West Main Street during rush hour, Finley said.

Unchanged, is a proposed parking lot exit to the east of Dunkin’ Donuts. Parking and the drive-thru could also be accessed via River Street from existing driveways on either side Five Star Bank.

The restaurant was also redesigned, based on preferences shown by the city Planning & Development Committee, Finley said. It would have a gabled roof, and patio seating facing West Main.

“The architecture is now not at all prototype for Dunkin’,” Finley said. “It’s more fitting in with the residential character of the other buildings (in the neighborhood).”

The addition of landscaping, is intended to block the view of the parking lot from homes on Redfield Parkway.

County Planning Department staff recommended approval of Dunkin’ Donuts requests, with one modification: that a free-standing pylon sign facing West Main Street be replaced with an externally lit monument-style sign.

Finley said a raised sign is necessary for visibility, but said his firm is willing to consider a smaller, or even externally lit pylon sign.

The sign would be illuminated only during hours of operation, which would be from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Planning Board members Robert Bennet, Laraine Caton and Lucine Kauffman voted to approve. Ginny Adams and Tom Schubmehl voted against.

With only five of nine Planning Board members present, a recommendation for approval would have required five votes. A vote to disapprove, would have required a majority-plus-one vote for the city board to overturn the decision.

The city Planning & Development Committee’s Nov. 17 agenda includes a public hearing and possible vote on the Dunkin’ Donuts application.

Neighbors who spoke at Thursday’s meeting, said they have not changed their views on the project.

“I’ve been in favor of the project since the very beginning,” said Nelson Baker, of Redfield Parkway. “I can see the cars in the parking lot at Five Star Bank and they don’t bother me at all.”

But another Redfield Parkway resident, Donald Fryling, insisted the parcel is too small for Dunkin’ Donuts, and another drive-thru is too much for the community.

“I’m concerned about adding traffic to an area that’s already extremely congested and dangerous,” Fryling said. “Does a community our size really need a fourth doughnut shop (and) an 11th drive-thru?

“The community doesn’t want it there,” he said.

Nann Zorn, who lives on River Street, said the new site plan doesn’t change her concerns about traffic.

“Regardless of how beautiful the plans are for the building, none of the aesthetic changes will improve its location,” Zorn said. 

“Nobody’s addressing the overall issue,” she continued. “And the overall issue is the fact that this is the wrong place for this business.”

November 13, 2015 - 8:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, bergen, business.

Press release:

Town and village officials from Le Roy and Bergen, along with the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC), today announced the submission of a community revitalization plan for consideration as part of the second round of America’s Best Communities (ABC) $10 million prize competition.

Le Roy and Bergen are one of 50 communities that have submitted plans intended to stimulate economic revitalization in small towns and cities across the United States. As a quarter-finalist, the Le Roy and Bergen team was awarded $50,000 in June 2015 to develop a plan aimed at accelerating the revival of the local economies and quality of life in both towns and villages.

With the assistance of Saratoga-based firm Camoin Associates, Le Roy and Bergen developed a plan which includes a proposed budget and long-term vision for economic revitalization, highlighting objectives to expand the commercial and industrial base in both towns and villages while sustaining the continued vitality of the agricultural community.

If awarded funding, the plan budgets for the use of funds to: determine gas pipeline capacity infrastructure at the Le Roy Food & Technology Park and Apple Tree Acres Corporate Park in Bergen; conduct a survey of current broadband capabilities for residents and businesses in both municipalities; and identify opportunities to enhance workforce development initiatives. The plan also recognizes the importance of using incentives and existing programs to enhance residential and commercial mixed-use developments in the downtown areas in both villages.

Only 15 communities will be selected for the competition’s semi-finalist round to win $100,000, in which each semi-finalist will make a presentation to a panel of judges about why its community should receive funds to advance its revitalization plan. In addition, three grand prize winners will be selected to win top prizes of $3 million, $2 million and $1 million.

"Through the ABC challenge process, our communities have rediscovered optimism, volunteer spirit and community assets that are highly valued,” said Shelley Stein, Genesee County legislator. “We demonstrate being America's ‘Best Community’ daily in our rural community pride and livability corridors, and have this unique opportunity to improve our shared livelihood by adding basic gas mains and broadband to support our local businesses.”

Anna Marie Barclay, Village of Bergen mayor, said, "The ‘America’s Best Communities’ competition has given the towns and villages of Le Roy and Bergen the opportunity to do what we are committed to: dedicate our time and passion to value and honor our history; enhance the quality of life and sense of place to all who live and work with us; encourage our young people to join us with their families and businesses in our rural environment; support our agricultural resources; and create and maintain economic development in a way that builds on the quality and hometown essence of small town America."

"It has been a great experience working with the ABC team and Bergen and Genesee County officials on this project,” said Stephen Barbeau, Town of Le Roy supervisor. "Community support has been overwhelming and our town board remains very optimistic that we will be able to establish our commercial park, injecting some new, clean commercial growth to our tax base while not detracting from our residential neighborhoods and rural character."

The Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation (GGLDC), an affiliate of GCEDC, is the entity which administered the grant dollars and oversaw the selection of the consultants used in the development of the revitalization plan.

“The submission of the community revitalization plan serves as a monumental step in moving on to the next stage of this prestigious nationwide competition,” said Thomas Felton, GGLDC chairman. “Every official and community leader involved in this process has played a critical role in making sure this plan comprehensively reflects the business and economic development needs of the Bergen and Le Roy communities.”

November 12, 2015 - 2:23pm
posted by Raymond Coniglio in batavia, business, restaurant, El Rincon, Colombia food.

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Marisol Leon, left, who owns El Rincon Colombiano with her husband, Guillermo, is pictured at the Batavia restaurant with waitresses Melinda Amaro, center, and Elena Vega.

Marisol Leon grew up in Colombia, and is happy to share its flavors with Batavia diners.

She and her husband Guillermo opened El Rincon Colombiano Restaurant on Nov. 1 in Valu Plaza.

It’s a second Batavia restaurant for the Leons, who opened their Mexican restaurant, Rancho Viejo, four years ago on Ellicott Street.

Marisol Leon promises “a new experience” for local diners who are not familiar with the South American nation’s food.

“They can try different flavors and learn a little more about another country,” she said.

Marisol and Guillermo — who is from Mexico — originally opened the Valu Plaza location earlier this year as El Burrito Loco. 

The switch from “El Burrito” to “El Rincon,” proves necessity is the mother of invention. After a good start, Marisol said, they had trouble finding a talented Mexican cook.

The solution? “Try Colombian,” Marisol said.

And hire Alberto Rincon, who brings both his name and talents as chef to El Rincon.

Rincon, like Marisol Leon, is a native of Bucaramanga, a city in Colombia’s northeast. He has moved to Batavia with his wife, Anamilde, who is responsible for El Rincon’s homemade baked goods. 

The menu will seem familiar to anyone who enjoys Mexican food. But Mexican and Colombian cooking developed from different regions and traditions — like cousins who have a family resemblance, but very different personalities.

While far from being bland, Colombian food is not as spicy as Mexican, Marisol explained. You also won’t find tortillas or much salsa, and beans are not as prominently featured.

“A lot of steak and seafood,” is how Marisol describes El Rincon’s menu.

Colombian cuisine also features a lot of soups. (“Every day for lunch,” Marisol said.) In addition to a soup of the day, El Rincon serves cazuela de langosta (lobster) and cazuela de mariscos (seafood), creamy soups served with rice, salad and fried plantain slices.

Bandeja paisa, is one of Colombia’s most popular — and most generous — dishes. It includes rice, red beans and ground beef “cooked Colombian style,” along with egg, chorizo (pork sausage), avocado, plantain, arepa (flatbread) and chicharon (fried pork).

“It’s a lot of food,” Marisol said.

El Rincon has a children’s menu, and an “American” menu that includes cheeseburgers and roast beef sandwiches. Take-out is also available.

Marisol said they hope to have a liquor license in place within a month or so, after which the restaurant will serve aguardiente, a sugar cane liqueur; Ron Caldas, a Colombian rum; and Club Colombia beer.

The “flavors” of Colombia, extend also to El Rincon’s ambiance. That includes both the decor and the wait staff, which is outfitted in yellow Colombia National Soccer Team jerseys.

One wall has been painted white, and decorated with bright green and orange shutters and doors. It’s a reflection of the stucco walls and tile roofs of the “Pueblito Paisa,” a popular tourist attraction in Medellin, Colombia.

Marisol said it’s an opportunity to take a trip, without having to travel.

“People don’t need to go to Columbia,” she said. “They can find it here.”

El Rincon Colombiano is located at 4125 W. Main St. (Valu Plaza), Batavia. Winter hours are from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays.

During summer, it will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Fridays.

El Rincon is closed Saturdays. For information call (585) 201-7602.

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Batavia's El Rincon Colombiano Restaurant features Colombian decor, including a hammock and espadrilles -- a kind of slipper. The restaurant opened Nov. 1 in Valu Plaza.

November 11, 2015 - 3:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in bergen, Western New York Tech Academy, business, education.

Press release:

The public is invited to a special event on the campus of the Western New York Tech Academy (WNYTA) at Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School (6917 W. Bergen Road, Bergen) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18th. At this time, a new, no-cost, two-year degree pathway program will be announced for participating school districts in Genesee, Livingston and Wyoming counties.

"Our goal for this event is to reignite the excitement created throughout the region two years ago when we received a $2.5 million State P-TECH grant to serve students within the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership schools," according to WNYTA Principal Tom Schulte.

"Building off Governor Cuomo's visit to Batavia on October 7th to announce the commitment of 1366 Technologies at STAMP (Science-Technology-Advanced Manufacturing Park) in the Town of Alabama, we have plans to tie into our successful high school-to-college-to employment chain with information about a new career pathway."

Schulte credits the coordinated efforts of WNYTA with its partners in government, private industry and public education. He anticipates that elected officials, business leaders, members of boards of education, school superintendents, faculty, parents and students will attend the November 18th program. Following a brief formal presentation, guests will tour the WNYTA facilities and can view student demonstrations and presentations in classrooms.

Refreshments will be served. There is no cost to attend, but registration is requested no later than Friday, Nov. 13th by e-mailing: [email protected]

For more information about WNYTA, go to the Web site: http://www.wnytechacademy.org/

November 11, 2015 - 1:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, agriculture.

Press release from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County:

All those interested in organic dry bean production and marketing are invited to join us Tuesday, December 1, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., at Cornell Cooperative Extension – Ontario County, 480 N. Main St., Canandaigua NY 14424.

Bring a bag lunch; organic beverages will be provided. There is no charge but please pre-register by Tuesday, Nov. 24. Contact Carol MacNeil at [email protected] or 585-313-8796.

We will continue our discussion and networking on the potential opportunities and challenges of increased organic dry bean production in New York State. The demand for organic dry beans continues to increase. While there are a number of growers producing organic dry beans in NY, it is a very small percentage of the total dry bean production in the state.

The interest in this topic is broad based, and includes growers, shippers, processors, brokers, NY Certified Organic, and NOFA-NY.

November 11, 2015 - 1:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, agriculture.

Press release from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County:

2015 Upstate New York Potato Advisory Meeting

Thursday, Dec. 17

9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
CCE Ontario County, 480 N. Main St./Route 332

Canandaigua NY 14424 (south of I-90 exit 44)

The 33rd meeting of the Upstate New York potato advisory meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 17. This is a time for growers, consultants, processors, packers, extension, college and agency personnel to discuss the concerns, needs and opportunities of the Upstate NY potato industry. Preregister by Thursday, Dec. 10, to ensure your lunch ($12):

We will begin with a round table for everyone to share their concerns and interests. Growers are asked to bring ideas for needed research, extension programming, and industry projects. DEC and CCA credits will be available.
 
If you have questions please contact:

David Votypka (585-315-1094 or [email protected] ) or

Carol MacNeil (585-313-8796 or [email protected] ).

If you have questions regarding weather the day of the meeting call Carol MacNeil.

Contact Carol MacNeil at [email protected] or 585-313-8796.

November 11, 2015 - 1:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Milestones, liberty pumps, bergen.

Press release:

Rochester Business Alliance and KPMG, LLP, recently announced the 2015 Rochester Top 100 companies. These companies represent the fastest-growing privately held businesses in our region. Liberty Pumps, placing #24 on the 2015 list, has made the Top 100 list 15 of the last 18 years.

Celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2015, being named to the Top 100 for another year shows how our commitment to producing a highly innovative and quality product truly pays off.

“Liberty Pumps is a good choice for our customers because the product is innovative, it’s high quality and it’s made right here in the U.S.,” said Randall Waldron, vice president of sales and marketing.

During a brief conversation at the Top 100 luncheon with Charlie Cook, Bob Duffy, president and CEO of the Rochester Business Alliance scheduled a visit to tour the plant in Bergen. After a brief conversation and a viewing of the new corporate video, Duffy was given a personal tour with Cook.

“The most important element is how you service the customer, and there is nobody in the industry that is better at it than we are,” Cook said.

(Photo of Charlie Cook, left, and Bob Duffy, courtesy of Liberty Pumps.)

November 11, 2015 - 1:02pm
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Le Roy, business, Dunkin' Donuts.

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It’s almost time to make the doughnuts.

Dunkin’ Donuts will open its newest restaurant at 125 W. Main St. at 5 a.m. Monday, said Joe Bochiechio, multi-unit manager for franchisee Cafua Management Company, LLC.

The restaurant is located at the site of the former Grove Motel, across from the Oatka Podmall. Town planners approved the project in October 2014, and construction has been under way since spring.

Bochiechio said his company has been pleased by the reception.

“It’s been great,” Bochiechio said. “People have been very anxious to have us.”

Twenty-five people have been hired so far — “pretty much all from the Le Roy area,” Bochiechio said — and the location will eventually employ 30.

Hours will be from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

Dunkin’ Donuts has more than 11,300 restaurants worldwide. Methuen, Mass.-based Cafua Management Company is its largest privately owned franchisee, with more than 300 restaurants across the United States.

The company has ambitious plans for the Rochester region. Bochiechio said he has helped open seven or eight new restaurants since 2013, and new locations are planned for Warsaw and next year in Mount Morris.

“We’re continuing to grow,” Bochiechio said.

November 10, 2015 - 6:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in downtown, BID, batavia, Art Ah La Carte, business.

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Kimberly Yasses Argenta has moved Art Ah La Carte from Harvester Avenue to Downtown Batavia, into a storefront on Jackson Street.

She moved the art studio and classroom space because she needed more space, she said, and she thought the location would give her better exposure.

"Already, people have come in off the street, so that's a good thing," Argenta said.

She also thought it would be beneficial to be part of the Business Improvement District and enjoy those promotional opportunities.

This Friday and Saturday she is hosting "Brush Out Cancer," an event to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.

Friday is an art show, vendors' auctions and a 50/50 raffle. On Saturday, from noon to 1:30 p.m., there is Kids Paint. The cost is $30 and pre-registration is required (call (585) 245-1655). And in the evening, starting at 6, Monet and Merlot, which costs $45 and includes refreshments, though if you want wine, you need to bring your own bottle. There will be a wine tasting. Saturday evening's event also includes auctions and a 50/50 raffle.

The fundraisers are in memory of Argenta's mother, Mickey Yasses, who passed away in December, 2013.

November 10, 2015 - 9:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Housing Authority, batavia, 400 Towers, business.

A months-long vacancy in the executive director position for the Batavia Housing Authority has been filled, Brooks Hawley announced during Monday's City Council meeting.

Nathan Varland, most recently the housing director for Community Action of Orleans & Genesee, has accepted the position.

Hawley said Varland was one of four candidates interviewed for the position and the board of directors were impressed with his qualifications.

Varland steps into the role while the board conducts an internal investigation into the death of a 91-year-old resident of 400 Towers, who apparently wandered onto the roof of the building and died of exposure. Batavia PD is still awaiting results of an autopsy report in the death of the resident, who may have suffered from mild dementia. 

Hawley, president of the City Council, also serves on the BHA Board.

November 7, 2015 - 9:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Stafford, business.

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Steve Foster got into the handcrafted gift business when he started making metal sculptures at Adams Welding and Fabrication, and today he expanded the gift business into a space open to other crafters. On the Adams Welding property, 5782 Main Road, Stafford, Foster opened a gift shop filled with crafts of his own creation along with other artisans who have brought items by for him to sell.

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November 5, 2015 - 7:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in House O' Laundry, business, batavia.

houseolaundrynov52015.jpg

Here's an obvious innovation of convenience for a laundromat: automatic sliding doors at the entrance.

"A laundromat is the only retail outlet where your hands are full walking in and walking out," said Mike Houseknecht, owner of the new House O' Laundry in the former Payless Shoe location on West Main Street, Batavia (entrance to Valu Plaza). "A sliding door makes it a lot easier getting in and out."

From the doors to the 60- and 100-pound washing machines (along with standard washing machines), Houseknecht has worked to create what amounts to, if this can truly be said about a laundromat, a first-class operation. Tiled floors, plenty of counter space, soap and soda for sale, a change machine and ATM are among the details Houseknecht made sure to include.

Doing it right, Houseknecht said, was important because the business opportunity in Batavia is for a modern, up-to-date laundry. The other open door of opportunity is the lack of a laundry on the west side of Batavia.

With those big machines, Houseknecht said, "you can do 10 loads of laundry (in one machine), put it in a dryer, and be in and out in an hour."

If that isn't fast enough for you, in-store staff will wash, dry and fold your laundry for you, and you just pick it up when it's done.

House O' Laundry is located at 5142 W. Main St. and is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. Last load allowable is 8:15 p.m.

Pictured with Mike is Ella.

November 5, 2015 - 8:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Brewing Company, downtown, batavia, business, freshLAB, bdc.

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Matt Gray remembers the old J.J. Newberry's Downtown, with its creaky floors, dusty inventory and a lunch counter he would saddle up to next to his grandmother to enjoy a hot dog.

Now he owns that building, but his ambition far exceeds nostalgia. It's about revitalization and doing his part to bring vibrancy and economic growth back to his community.

Gray, along with partners Jon Mager and Matthew Boyd, will be the owners of the anchor tenant in an ambitious project backed by the Batavia Development Corp., Genesee County Economic Development Corporation, and Rural Development/USDA to help aspiring restaurant owners get a start in Downtown.

The partners are creating Batavia Brewing Company, a new microbrewery at 109 Main St., Batavia.

The location will also be known as freshLAB, a restaurant incubator where entrepreneurs with great ideas for unique menu items sourced mostly with local and regional ingredients can see if they can turn their food concepts into thriving businesses.

Mager said the ambition for the project is rooted in the fact that he and Gray grew up in Batavia, are businessmen in this community, are raising families here and want to see their community thrive.

"We wholeheartedly believe Batavia is a great place to live, work, play and raise a family," Mager said. "By joining the ranks of the many great places to eat and drink Downtown, we hope to be part of a complete and full resurgence and revitalization that is attracting people back to Downtown."

Gray said they picked a downtown location because that would generate the greatest economic impact, both for other restaurant and bar owners and for themselves.

"There were a lot of other pluses on a lot of other sites, including parking, but (what) it came down to, is we believe in the clustering effect," Gray said. "There are so many good restaurants and so much good nightlife already down in this area. Adding more to it is only going to make each one of us healthier. By going off on our own, we're going to have to fight uphill to trying to get people to come to us." 

Mager and Gray, who got his start in food business ownership with Matty's Pizzeria and currently own's Alex's Place along with restaurants in Southern states, first started talking about opening a brewery in 2013. In 2013, Mager completed training with the American Brewers Guild. 

At the same time, Julie Pacatte and the BDC board were looking at all this data saying too much restaurant and bar spending by local residents -- some $12 million -- was being spent outside of Batavia. People wanted more food choices locally. And there were a number of people who would come to the BDC for assistance in starting restaurants, but just didn't have the wherewith all to pull it off. So this incubator idea, which has been successful in other markets, started forming.

Pacatte heard about Mager and Gray's ambitions and recognized the possibility of a partnership.

"We want those dollars to say here," Pacatte said. "We want a reason for people to be eating and drinking in Downtown Batavia, more reason to do that. We want to offer a product that really ties our commerce, our downtown businesses to our agriculture community."

In a survey, the vast majority of respondents said they want healthier food choices in Batavia, they want more ethnic food (Millennials especially, marketing data shows, go for Far Eastern cuisines and spicier choices), and diners want more seafood.

"We're hoping that in this concept and in this project, that we're able to draw some of the folks in who can create some of those plates and meals and sandwiches or salads, that will be able to invent those kinds of meals and lunches and dinners and breakfasts here in Batavia," Pacatte said.

Rural Development is kicking in more than $67,000 in grants to provide equipment and furnishings for the "dining hall" element of the facility, that will be a shared space between the brewery and the food vendors. 

Steve Hyde, CEO of GCEDC, praised Gray and Mager for their foresight and willingness to take a risk, as entrepreneurs, to start a new business concept in their own community that will help their own community. Batavia is on the rebound, Hyde said.

"We have the innovation economy in our community now, higher-paying jobs, bigger-paying jobs, so our kids (can) stay here, come back home, and guess what, it makes this place a great place live, work and play and opportunities like this are going to make this happen even more," Hyde said. "It's really a great way to shine up the apple here in the city."

He said Mager and Gray are visionaries.

"It's so rewarding to us to have our local guys step up to the plate, invest in their community, and do what they're good at, 'cause this isn't new news for these guys," Hyde said. "This is right in their wheelhouse and they'll make it a great success."

November 3, 2015 - 5:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Brewing Company, batavia, downtown, business, freshLAB.

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Aspiring restaurant owners are going to get a unique opportunity to start their own businesses in a Downtown Batavia location that will be anchored by a new microbrewery, economic development officials will announce tomorrow.

A press conference is scheduled at 109 Main St., Batavia, at 3:45 p.m. to announce plans for freshLAB and the Batavia Brewing Company.

The freshLAB concept is borrowed from other successful restaurant incubators in larger markets, such as Dallas, Denver and Los Angeles. 

Batavia Brewing will be owned by a current local restaurant owner. Attempts to reach that owner to confirm his participation have been unsuccessful.

The announcement from officials of the press conference, however, makes clear a brewery is part of the plan (the logo included with the announcement is at the top of this post).

The concept of the restaurant incubator will be fully explained tomorrow, but Julie Pacatte, economic development coordinator for Batavia Development Corp. said the idea grew out of what the BDC board has observed for a number of years. The board had to turn down several requests to provide low-interest loans to proposed restaurants because of either undercapitalization or inexperienced aspiring owners.

With the incubator concept, aspiring restaurant owners can get started with a smaller initial investment and there will be advisors available to help them plan their concept, get up and running, manage the operations and hopefully, eventually, expand into a bigger, stand-alone location.

"Opening a restaurant is a big undertaking," Pacatte said, "60 percent fail within the first two to three years. This will provide those owners with a more affordable space and more coaching and guidance."

The location, 109 Main St., is the former Newberry's building. Most recently it was the location of T-Shirts Etc. and the Red Cross. It was previously the location of Main Street Coffee. Previous owner Ken Mistler has sold the building. The new owner will be announced tomorrow.

Also participating in the press conference is the Rural Development division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA will provide grant assistance for the restaurant incubator.

Part of the concept of the incubator is that aspiring restaurant owners must source most of their ingredients from farms from throughout the WNY region. The restaurant/food station concepts must also be unique to Batavia. The menu needs to be a different concept with offerings that vary from what's available in restaurants currently.

Part of the driver for creating the incubator is marketing surveys that show a lot of the entertainment and dining dollars spent by Batavia residents is flowing out of the county. Economic development officials hope to create a stronger cluster of restaurants in Batavia to help keep more of those dollars in the local community.

November 2, 2015 - 4:35pm

Press release:

“Customer Service that Wins Sales” will be the subject of a small business workshop to be hosted the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce on Nov. 17.

“Customer service is still the king even in the age of the Internet and online reviews,” said Tom Turnbull, Chamber president. “In this workshop, participants will learn tips to better serve the customer, how to win new customers with customer service and how to increase loyalty and repeat purchases.”

This workshop will be held at the new p.w. minor, 3 Treadeasy Drive in the Industrial Park, Batavia.  The session will run from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Cost for non-Chamber members is $10 for each attendee. Chamber members may attend free of charge.

This is the last in a series of business workshops for 2015 held in conjunction with the United States Small Business Administration and the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce. A new schedule of workshops for 2016 will be announced at this workshop.

The workshops are open to all Chamber and non-Chamber businesses and their employees and will offer expert advice from experienced business professionals designed to help small businesses succeed and grow.

To reserve a seat in any workshop or for more information, contact Kelly Bermingham at 585-343-7440 or by e-mail at [email protected].

November 1, 2015 - 11:40am
posted by Billie Owens in business, Milestones, michael ranzenhofer, robert friedman.

Today, the law firm of Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC (WNY-Lawyers.com) announced it is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2015.

Founded in 1955, the general practice law firm has grown from one office in Akron to seven Western New York offices. Their other offices are located in Williamsville/Clarence, West Seneca, Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Batavia and Rochester. Michael H. Ranzenhofer and Robert Friedman are the firm’s partners.

October 30, 2015 - 1:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in ARC, Le Roy, business, Milestones.

(Submitted photo of NYS ARC President Laura Kennedy presenting an Employer of the Year Award to Jeremy Smowton, of Bessey Tools in Le Roy.)

Press release:

NYS ARC President Laura Kennedy presented an Employer of the Year Award to Jeremy Smowton of Bessey Tools, last week during NYS ARC’s Fall meeting in Albany.  Bessey Tools was nominated for the award by Genesee ARC to recognize its longtime partnership with the business whose United States headquarters is in Le Roy.

Smowton, vice president of Finance at Bessey Tools, reflected on the company’s association with Genesee ARC.

“We truly appreciate the hard work and effort the team from our local ARC provides for Bessey Tools," Smowton said. "They are a conscientious group that cares about the work they do, which we feel they do very well. At Bessey Tools, we are proud to have the privilege to serve our community through Genesee ARC. We look forward to a long standing future relationship.”

Genesee ARC has had a business relationship with Bessey Tools for the past 15 years and has had an onsite enclave at their factory since January 2013, employing 6 to 10 people daily.

Scott Jones, Genesee ARC director of Employment Services, said individuals work at ten different stations, assembling clamps, operating drill and hydraulic presses, packing and barcoding products.

“When Bessey Tools decided to move an assembly operation from Long Island to Le Roy, they asked Genesee ARC to handle the production because of our quality work and 15-year track record of excellence,” Jones said.

The Award presentation coincided with October’s 70th annual observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, a time to celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.

Genesee ARC is one of 54 Chapters of NYS ARC, the largest provider of services to people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities in the nation, offering supports encompassing all aspects of a person’s life from birth through end-of-life care.

October 30, 2015 - 1:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in tourism, genesee county, darien lake, Milestones, business.

(Submitted photo of Kelly Rapone, with the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, and Amber Ciesiulka, with Darien Lake Theme Park Resort, with their respective awards.)

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce and Darien Lake Amusement Park Resort both received awards recently for Excellence in Tourism Marketing from the New York State Tourism Industry Association.

The New York State Tourism Industry Association (NYSTIA) has recognized leaders in New York State’s tourism industry who have achieved a high level of excellence and accomplishment at the 2015 Tourism Excellence Awards. The winning individuals or organizations were selected on the basis of demonstrated commitment, leadership, and accomplishment in travel and tourism.

Genesee County Chamber of Commerce earned the “Excellence in Tourism Marketing -- Statewide” for its Haunted History Trail of New York State program. Created by Genesee County Chamber of Commerce in 2013, it is the only statewide haunted tourism trail in the country. The program includes partnership with 30 tourism promotion agencies and promotes over 60 haunted inns, hotels, museums and more across New York State and was developed to draw tourists who have an interest in ghosts.

Darien Lake Amusement Park was recognized for “Excellence in Tourism Marketing -- Private Sector ” for their 2015 overall marketing program which focused on delivering an exceptional value and experience to season pass holders, daily visitors and overnight guests. Darien Lake Amusement Park Resort is New York State’s largest amusement park resort featuring over 50 rides and attractions including a 10-acre waterpark and a variety of overnight options including a hotel, cabins and a campground.

The organizations received their awards at the NYSTIA Tourism Excellence Awards Dinner on Thursday, Oct. 22, at The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown. Kelly Rapone and Taylor White, Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, and Amber Ciesiulka, Darien Lake Theme Park Resort, accepted the awards at the event.

October 30, 2015 - 11:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Wilmot Cancer Institute Batavia, batavia, health, business.

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Photos provided by our news partner, WBTA.

Press release from UR Medicine:

Patients in Genesee and surrounding counties can now access a full range of cancer treatment services in one location at Wilmot Cancer Institute Batavia.

The office at 262 Bank St. is the former Batavia Radiation Oncology, which joined UR Medicine’s Wilmot Cancer Institute in 2014. With renovated and expanded space, the office features larger clinical examination rooms, and it has added medical oncology, hematology, and an infusion center.

Kevin J. Mudd, M.D., who has been Batavia’s radiation oncologist for more than 14 years, continues to see patients at Wilmot Cancer Institute Batavia. He is joined by Nayana Kamath, M.D., of Interlakes Oncology and Hematology, who provides the medical oncology and hematology services at the office.

“It’s exciting to continue providing high-quality, comprehensive cancer care here in this community and to see our services growing with our integration with URMC and Wilmot Cancer Institute,” Mudd said.

Services for patients who need medical oncology, hematology and chemotherapy/infusion began in July. The office’s new infusion center was designed with patient comfort in mind.

“Our new infusion center is bright and open,” Kamath said. “While that might not sound significant, it can make a real difference for patients who need to be here for three or four hours at a time. ”

As part of Wilmot Cancer Institute, the Batavia office provides access to clinical trials, which are available for a variety of cancers at different stages and help lead to the next generation of therapies, and to advanced diagnostic testing for certain cancers, which helps physicians to tailor treatments more precisely to a patient’s needs.

“Cancer care is more complex than it has ever been before, and it requires a coordinated team with expertise in many disciplines to identify the best course of treatment for each individual patient,” said Jonathan W. Friedberg, M.D., M.M.Sc., director of Wilmot Cancer Institute. “Our office here in Batavia brings Wilmot Cancer Institute’s precision medicine approach closer to home for patients and families who might otherwise have to travel an hour or more for care.” 

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