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November 13, 2014 - 1:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, thebatavian.

We've not done a post like this in a long time, but with the holidays coming on fast, it is important to remind readers of the importance of shopping locally as often as possible.

When you support the businesses that are owned by people in our local or regional community, you are helping to support your local community. As much of 70 percent of every dollar spent at a local business stays in the local community. That has a ripple effect of benefits locally, from employment to donations to local charities to more spending power for everyone.

At The Batavian, supporting local business and family owned business isn't something we do just once in a while as part of an advertising supplement. It's what we do every day. Our home page is a daily reminder to support local businesses.

Please remember not only to shop locally first, but please also be sure to frequent the sponsors of The Batavian and let them know you appreciate their support of independent local news.

Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle
Alberty's Drug Store
Alli's Cones & Dogs
Allstate
American Home Remodeling
Barrett's Batavia Marine and Sporting Supplies
Batavia Country Club
Batavia Downs
Batavia Gold Rush
Batavia Improvement District
Batavia Redemption Center, Eastown Beverages
Batavia Tailors & Cleaners
Beds 'n' Bones Pet Lodge
Belhaven Kennels
Bill Fox and Son Construction & Remodeling
Blue Pearl Yoga
Bob Harris Realty - Robert J. Gerace
Bohn's Restaurant
Bontrager's Real Estate
Bourbon & Burger Co.
Brighton Securities
Bubba's Landscaping
Calling All Dogs
CB Beach Mortuary
Cedar St. Sales and Rentals
Center Street Smokehouse
Chesley's Auto
City Slickers
Classic Optical
Council Opticians
Crazy Cheap Cars
Dan's Tire
Darien Auto Parts
D&R Depot Restaurant
Deep Blue Pool & Spa
Delre's Greenhouse & Garden Center
Derrick Monument Company
Detail Shop (Pellegrino's)
Dougherty Heating Company, Inc.
D'Tangles
Empire Tractor
Falcone Family Funeral & Cremation Service, Inc.
Falleti Motors
Fastec Automotive
Ficarella's Pizzeria
First Choice Travel
Floral Fantasies
Foxprowl Collectibles
Frankly Design
Genesee County Emergency Services
Genesee Dental Group
Genesee Orthopaedics
Geer Farm Services
Gilmartin
GLOW Jobs
Godfrey's Pond
Greens of LeRoy
Hair Studio 25
Hardcor Audio
Harris Wilcox
House of Kolor
Haul-4-Less
H.E. Turner & Co.
High Voltage Tattoo
Humphrey's Electric & Security
Genesee Urgent Care
J. Leonard McAndrew

Jagged Edges Salon
Jay E. Potter & Sons
Jim Saraceni - Prime Lending
John's Service Station
Karen's Yarn Paper Scissors
Ken Barrett
KleenAll
Kreative Design Kitchen & Bath
Larry's Steakhouse
L&L Transmission, Inc.
L.C. Mosman
Lamb Family Medicine
Lambert's Design Jewelers
Le Roy Counseling
Le Roy Hearth & Home
Lucky Ducky Daycare
Main St. Pizza Company
Matteo & Mullen, CPA
Max Pies
Millennium Computer
My Saloon
Nature's Best Hydro-Garden Center
Next Level Fitness
O'Lacy's Irish Pub
Oakfield Fitness
Oliver's Candies
Optique
Parmenter Tire, Auto & Truck Services
Pellegrino Auto Sales
Pembroke Family Medicine
Precision Lawn Care
Pudgie's Lawn & Garden
R&D Outlet
RW Vapors
Radley's Auto Detailing
Ray Station Coal & Stoves
Reed Eye Associates
S.C.O.P.E. of Genesee County
Santino's Pizza
Scooter's Restaurant (Le Roy)
Select Collision
Settler's Restaurant
Sloat's Tire
Smokin' Eagle Brew & BBQ
Southside Deli
Spirits
Stella Collision
Sweet Ecstasy Bakery & Bistro
T.F. Brown's
The Finishing Line
The Insurance Center
The Mane Attraction
The Manor House
The Rack Shack
Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel
Trash Away
Turnbull Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration
Valle Jewelers
Viking Valhalla/Rose Garden Bowl
Vinyl Sticks
WNY Fireplace Outlet
Watch Your Kitty
West Main Wine & Spirits
Western Regional Off Track
William Kent, Inc.
Woody's Deli
YWCA
Yasses Construction
Yngodess Shop
Yume Asian Bistro

 

November 13, 2014 - 1:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Willow Bend Inn.

In Western New York we love our BBQ, so it's not surprising that another Genesee County resident is finding his own success with slow-cooked ribs and his own sauce.

Mike Swiatowy has been running his own catering business for years. About five years ago, he added BBQ and this year, he said, the business has really taken off. So much that his wife, Kristi, gave up her hair and nail business that she's run for 25 years.

Three weeks ago, Swiatowy came into a new location for his ribs, pulled pork, brisket and chicken -- the Willow Bend Inn.

After serving wings and beef on weck at the Polish Falcon's Club for a few years, he wanted to expand and the partnership with the Willow Bend Inn has given him the venue to do that.

"It's worked out great," Swiatowy said. "I think it's a great atmosphere for BBQ."

We tried the ribs, pulled pork and beef brisket with beans, slaw and mac and cheese. We loved the meal. The meat is as it should be -- fall-off-the-bone tender, flavorful and moist. The sauce is both sweet and savory.

Swy's BBQ also offers chicken, pulled chicken, hickory-smoked chicken wings and traditional chicken wings.

There's also a full line of catering available. For more information, visit the Web site. Swy's is also available for fundraisers.

If you can't wait until Wednesday to try the BBQ at Willow Bend, Swy's is participating in the Holiday Festival on Saturday at Batavia High School from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

November 6, 2014 - 8:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, chamber of commerce.

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce unveiled its 2015 Board of Directors at the Chamber’s Annual Membership Meeting at Bohn’s Restaurant Thursday.  

Serving on the Board in 2015 are Steven Beardsley, Bank Of Castile; Tim Call, Empire Tractor; Keith Conway, Z&M Ag and Turf; Dan Harvey, Graham Corporation; Dennis Kohl, Darien Lake Amusement Park; Steve Krna, Genesee Patrons Cooperative Insurance Company; Hiedi Librock, Town of Batavia; Jonathon Mager, Arctic Refrigeration Company of Batavia, Inc.;

Chan Patel, Clarion Hotel; Steve Pies, Max Pies Furniture; Michael R. Rivers, Rybak, Metzler & Grasso, PLLC; Chris Suozzi, Genesee County Economic Development Center; Joseph Teresi, Tompkins Insurance Agencies, Inc.; Eric Wies, Clark Patterson Lee; and Jennifer Zambito, GCASA.

Keynote speaker at the luncheon was Vinnie Esposito, executive director of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Council. Esposito praised Genesee County for being a leader in economic development and predicted a bright future for the county’s business community.

Chamber President Tom Turnbull gave an overview of the past year at the Chamber and outlined plans for 2015 initiatives. According to Turnbull, the Chamber will continue to fulfill its mission to create an environment for business success and improve the quality of life for all citizens of Genesee County.    

November 5, 2014 - 2:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, thebatavian, 13WHAM News.

Press release:

In an effort to enhance awareness of critical issues across the Rochester/Finger Lakes Region, WHAM-TV and WUHF-TV announce the formation of a new partnership with The Batavian and Wyoming County Free Press.

13WHAM News, Rochester’s broadcast news ratings leader, is joining forces with the online news sites The Batavian and Wyoming County Free Press to provide enhanced coverage of Genesee and Wyoming County news. The partnership involves an exchange of news content and other informational resources to better serve the needs of families and businesses in those counties.

“The impact of community coverage is best relayed by the professionals who cover these beats every day,” says Matt Malyn, WHAM and WUHF news director. “It is for that reason we are excited to welcome The Batavian and Wyoming County Free Press to the 13WHAM News team.”

"Since the earliest days of The Batavian, we've enjoyed a strong cooperative relationship with the news team at 13WHAM," said Howard Owens, publisher of The Batavian and the Wyoming County Free Press. "We've shared news tips, exchanged leads and cooperated on stories in a way that has helped both news organizations serve their audiences better. The news team at 13WHAM is one of the best in the WNY region. We're excited to join forces in a more formal arrangement to help improve news coverage for the communities we serve."

Malyn added: “Over the years Howard Owens and his team have proven their commitment to the good people of Genesee County and we’re excited to join his recent efforts to expand his news operation into Wyoming County. Those are both communities that the 13WHAM News team has served for more than five decades.”

The Batavian continues to enjoy a solid news partnership with WBTA AM 1490 radio, which it officially joined forces with more than five years ago.

The Batavian was founded by Howard Owens in 2008 as an experimental project for a national news chain and eight months later, Howard and his wife Billie became sole owners of The Batavian. In six years, Howard and Billie have taken the audience of The Batavian from a few hundred daily readers, to between 10,000 and 14,000 daily readers, and 120,000 monthly, making it the most widely read news source in Genesee County.

The Wyoming County Free Press was launched two months ago and its audience continues to grow. Julia Ferrini is the site's editor.

October 30, 2014 - 12:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business.

Batavia Downs is in the home stretch of a $20 million expansion that includes a new gaming floor, a new sign, new offices, and in the final phase, a new facade and entry on Park Road.

Today, a pair of 7,500-pound escalators are being installed and soon a statue of Fortuna, the goddess of good luck, will arrive from Wisconsin.

With the last major pieces in place, it's just a matter of putting on the finishing touches.

The new gaming floor, now on the first floor, opened last October. The old gaming floor on the second level is now offices for Batavia Downs and Western OTB staff.

The escalator to the second floor will provide access to the clubhouse and grandstands as well as a new OTB inter-track wagering facility, which will move from its current location across the street on Park Road.

The entry way will feature lighted neon and Fortuna will stand through a hole in the ceiling so she can be viewed from ground level or from up above.

"It's just going to look incredible," said Ryan Hasenauer, marketing director for Batavia Downs.

October 28, 2014 - 4:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Health Care.

Insource Urgent Care is now Genesee Urgent Care, and there are other changes in store for the acute healthcare provider that opened in Batavia just last year.

For one, Melissa Marsocci is now the sole owner of the business, located Downtown at 35 Batavia City Centre. (Three other locations were sold earlier this year to urgent care groups in Philadelphia and Auburn.) And as head of the company, Marsocci has "really innovative plans."

"Batavia has always been 'the model' for the characteristics I've wanted," said the 30-year-old lifelong Genesee County resident.

One of those is the expansion of telemedicine. The center has a contract with Genesee Community College to augment its student health services. Marsocci donated desktop telemedicine equipment to the college to enable Genesee Urgent Care to see students as patients virtually, seven days a week.

They are planning to roll out a telemedicine system the week before Thanksgiving. If a student isn't feeling well, he or she could go to the telemedicine area, which would have a nurse on duty, and there a dialog could take place with Genesee Urgent Care about appropriate care.

Marsocci calls this the "hub-spoke model."

She sees it as having global applications.

"We are researching putting in a (telemedicine) clinic to help a Christian missionary in Haiti and the Dominican Republic to provide care for people," Marsocci said.

The company is making a big push into occupational medicine, too, and negotiations are under way with two orthopedic groups.

Genesee wants to partner with a psychiatrist for "telepsychiatry," and to sublease space to an oncology group to see patients on site.

A Downtown daycare center in the building wouldn't be a bad idea either.

"I would like to get support for other medical businesses in the building so we could offer (daycare) as a service to patients," Marsocci said.

Genesee has teamed up with another firm to craft a commonsense healthcare option that would "give employers a means of circumventing Obama Care." Because she wants to trademark the plan, which targets self-funded health plans, she is keeping pretty tight-lipped about it.

Awhile back, she said the company was briefly without a healthcare plan for its employees and the available options were a sorry lot.

"My premiums went up 20 percent," she said. "Employees who were used to paying $20 to $40 deductibles, were now paying for an office visit because of high-deductible plans."

The lawsuit with Health Now, the BlueShield BlueCross franchise for WNY, is settled and Genesee Urgent Care now takes their insurance.

As regards staffing, there's a new medical director. Dr. Tom Malinich has replaced Dr. Magdi Credi, but for the foreseeable future Credi will remain on staff and continue to be a valuable mentor. Dr. Henry Moscicki, DNP, is at the clinic once a week.

"He blends into the hybrid model we've always prided ourselves on," Marsocci said.

There are no other changes to speak of but the center is in hiring mode.

"We still promise to see patients within 15 minutes," Marsocci said. "We have no intention of replacing primary care doctors. But it is important that patients needing acute care be followed."

(The sign currently on the outside of the building in City Centre will soon be replaced. The job is out to bid locally.)

October 28, 2014 - 9:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, bdc.

During Monday's meeting of the Batavia City Council, three local businesses were honored by the Batavia Development Corp.

Each received a plaque in recognition of the owners' successful completion of a loan program that helped them expand or grow their businesses.

Above, Susan Francis, owner of The Color Salon, with the her husband John Zola, receiving a plaque from Ray Chaya, a member of the BDC Board, Council President Brooks Hawley, and BDC VP Gregg Torrey.

CORRECTION: Francis and Zola are not married.

Steve Mullen, owner of Larry's Steakhouse.

Mary Valle, co-owner of Valle Jewelers.

October 27, 2014 - 3:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC, bergen.

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) approved an application for an amended purchase agreement for Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc. (IAA) at its Oct. 27 board meeting.

“Even before IAA has put a shovel in the ground, the company is already expanding its footprint which bodes well for our region in terms of jobs and continued economic development in Genesee County,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO, GCEDC.

In June, the GCEDC board accepted IAA’s offer to purchase 30 acres at Apple Tree Acres. During the company’s due diligence period, IAA’s engineers discovered that more useable acres were required to meet the long-term objectives of the company. The GCEDC and the Town of Bergen worked with IAA to increase the proposed site to 36.2 acres. The Apple Trees Acres Corporate Park is a 119-acre site in the Town of Bergen located on routes 33 and 19.

“IAA is committed to expanding its presence in communities where there is strong customer demand,” said John Kett, CEO and president of IAA. “We look forward to being part of the Bergen community, and thank the GCEDC board for approving this application, which will enable us to better serve our customers and providers in the area.”

Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc., (IAA) is the leading live and live-online North American salvage vehicle auction company with the most auction facilities footprint in North America. The company is committed to providing customers with the highest level of services and has more than 160 auction facilities across the United States and Canada offering towing, financing and titling services. IAA provides registered buyers from around the globe with millions of opportunities to bid on and purchase donated and salvaged vehicles.

October 27, 2014 - 2:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, auction, business, Delavan's Restaurant.

Dozens of people, including a few local business owners, packed into the former Delavan's Restaurant, 107 Evans St., Batavia, this morning for an auction of the building's contents.

Everything sold, except for the kitchen sink and the building it's attached to.

The real estate is still available, so here's your chance to own your own bar and grill, or maybe the ultimate man cave.

The auction was conducted by Bontrager's.

October 24, 2014 - 11:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Pok-A-Dot.

Joe Marone, left in the file photo above, co-owner and co-founder of the Pok-A-Dot, has died, according to a post on the restaurant's Facebook page.

The picture is from the Pok-A-Dot's 60th anniversary party. On the right is co-owner Phil Pastore, with Pok-A-Dot regular James Pero.

October 23, 2014 - 8:41am
posted by Julia Ferrini in batavia, business.

While the final sessions of the summer outdoor training classes are in the books, Tori Ganino, Batavia resident and owner of Calling All Dogs, is now holding classes in an indoor space during the colder months. With the fickle weather of WNY, Ganino decided a space for working with the dogs indoors was needed to continue holding group classes.

“It’s very difficult to find someone willing to rent a space when dogs are involved,” Ganino said.

While the dog days of summer more or less missed its stop in WNY, Ganino was able to secure a space at 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia.

“We were not only looking for a space for the classes, we’d like to hold doggy daycare there as well,” Ganino said.

The Harvester Avenue space is large enough to accommodate group obedience classes and specialty classes. These will be for dogs that are aggressive (reactionary) and fearful. Additionally, doggy daycare was up and running during the week in mid-September with one hour play groups with owners on the weekends. Calling All Dogs specializes in working with fearful and aggressive or reactionary dogs. 

“The course is free for dogs who are in rescue programs, from fosters and shelters,” Ganino said. “We have Open Arms Rescue of WNY regularly attend our classes.”

Open Arms Rescue of WNY pulls dogs out of shelters that are adoptable, but may be euthanized because the shelter just doesn’t have the room. Foster parents or volunteers with animal shelters such as the Genesee County Animal Shelter are also among those who attend the course.

While it's free for the above referenced, only two spots per session are held open for those kinds of dogs. Classes are kept small, six to eight dogs maximum. That way, according to Ganino, it gives more one-on-one focus. 

Classes go over basic obedience, problem behaviors, such as: "come" when called, loose leash walking and "leave it -- this command teaches a dog not to pick up items that they shouldn’t. Ganino also includes exercises toward the Certified Good Dog certificate - a document vouching that one’s dog is not an aggressive or fearful animal.

Private lessons for all obedience concerns, especially fear and aggression issues, are always available. The owner of Calling All Dogs is also looking into starting small group classes -- two to three dogs -- in addition to the private lessons.

“This gives a dog exposure to community settings,” Ganino said.

Free lessons -- whether private lessons or group classes -- are offered to agencies to get dogs ready for adoption. Dogs that know basic obedience are more adoptable, according to Ganino.

The Batavia resident is currently working with a dog that has a bite history. The animal may not be adoptable right now, but it is with a foster family that won’t put it down. Additionally, Calling All Dogs works with animals whose owners are court ordered to show proof that the dog’s disposition has improved; dogs with fear issues to get them use to people, excitable dogs -- to break the habit of jumping up on people in their excitement, and so on.

“With fear and aggression training,” Ganino said. “The training isn’t so society will accept them, it’s for the dogs to get exited about things, that this thing or that thing is okay. The dog goes from being scared where it feels like it’s going to shake or bite, to ‘oh hey, this is okay, this is something to get excited about.'

“The training is also good for owners to understand what the dog is saying through body language. Dogs are always communicating, owners just may not understand what they’re (dogs) are trying to say.”

Ganino is certified by CPDT-KA which certifies proficiency in dog-training knowledge by passing an exam of both written and hands-on work. She is also certified by the Animal Behavior College -- an online and hands-on course in animal behavior. Ganino previously worked with a trainer in Rochester as well as volunteers at the Genesee County Animal Shelter, where she works with dogs.

Part of her training methods rule out old-school equipment such as choke or pinch collars. She relies on techniques that will not hurt the dog physically or mentally.

Group classes are set up to where dogs are sectioned off with barriers and then slowly the barriers are taken down. The end of the classes are off leash play-time.

“If anyone has any questions, call or text anytime,” Ganino said. “I don’t charge. We also do treadmill training. When the weather is too cold or too hot for the dog, we train them to walk on a treadmill, this way, they still get their exercise.”

For all services, reservations must be made to ensure there aren't too many dogs.

Calling All Dogs will still be offering private lessons either at the Harvester Avenue location or in dog owner's home. 

The seven-week outdoor training course will be available again during the warmer months of 2015, "possibly around the latter part of May." The first week is an orientation with the owner or handler to give them an overview of what will be taught during the course. with the remaining classes to be held with owner/handler and dog. While the seven-week course focuses on multiple issues, there is a one hour intensive session of just one type of obedience such as loose leash walking. Group classes are held on Sundays at Batavia Tractor Supply.

For further information check out Calling All Dogs Facebook page, their Web site, by e-mail trainer@CallingAllDogsNY.com; or via phone at 585-455-5387.

October 21, 2014 - 8:50am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, business.

Press release:

Beginning today, Oct. 21, Batavia Radiation Oncology Associates, now part of UR Medicine Wilmot Cancer Institute, will close for several weeks for renovations.

The renovations on the building will include the addition of an outpatient blood draw laboratory, larger clinical examination rooms, as well as space to provide medical oncology and infusion services. Significant information technology upgrades will also be made so that medical records and other information can be shared across the Wilmot Cancer Institute network.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of December.

During the construction, patients undergoing treatment through Batavia Radiation Oncology have been scheduled to be seen at either the Pluta Cancer Center in Henrietta or the Cancer Center at Park Ridge in Greece.

Kevin J. Mudd, M.D., who has been medical director for Batavia Radiation Oncology since 2000, will continue to see patients as a member of the University of Rochester Medical Center faculty.
Throughout the project, Mudd and his staff will be available by telephone at (585) 344-3050.

With the renovated and expanded space, the clinic will provide fully integrated cancer care, incorporating both radiation therapy and chemotherapy, as well as access to clinical trials. The chemotherapy services are expected to be available in Batavia by Spring.

These renovations will allow us to offer more comprehensive care closer to home for our patients from Batavia and neighboring communities” said Jonathan W. Friedberg, M.D., M.M.Sc., director of Wilmot Cancer Institute.

The Wilmot Cancer Institute is the Finger Lakes Region’s leader for cancer care and research. As part of UR Medicine, Wilmot provides specialty cancer services at the University of Rochester Medical Center and at a network of satellite locations. Wilmot Cancer Institute is a component of Strong Memorial Hospital. The Institute also includes a team of scientists who investigate many aspects of cancer, with an emphasis on how best to provide precision cancer care.

October 20, 2014 - 2:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Announcements, business, UMMC.

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center honored the years of service of more than 70 employees at its annual recognition dinner on Oct. 1st at Terry Hills Restaurant in Batavia. Employees were recognized for their years of employment at five-year milestones.

Shirlene Edwards CNA, 2nd Floor Medical/Telemetry Unit; Anna Green RNFA, Surgery; and Patricia Young, Medical Records achieved the 45-year milestone. Patricia Cable RN, Health Educator with Healthy Living was honored for 40 years of dedicated service. Celebrating 35 years were Christine Hall RN, Pre/Post Surgery; Gwendolyn Seweryniak RN, Surgery; Joann Matla and Harold Mitchell of the Laboratory Department.

Honored for 30 years of service included Thomas Finn, RN Quality Assurance; Kathleen Heywood RN, 2nd Floor Medical/Telemetry Unit; Kathleen Porter RN, Pre/Post Surgery; and Deborah Taylor RN, Emergency Department.

Achieving 25 years were Darcia Barone CNA, and Stacy Culver Pre/Post Surgery; Rosanna Butler RN, 3rd Floor Medical/Surgical Unit; Laurel Carney and Darla Dawson-Decker of Radiology; Mary Ells, Switchboard; Sheri Ferris and Renee Long from Food Service, Jean Hutchinson, Medical Records; and Marylou Townsend RN, Hope Haven.

Those celebrating 20 years of service include Patricia Brunner, Food Service; Sonja Gonyea, Human Resources; Michelle Maniace NP, Corporate Health; Lori Schultz, Patient Accounting; Kathlyn Williams, Hope Haven; Charyl Wood, Radiology; and Diane Ziemba RN, 2nd Floor Medical/Telemetry Unit.

There were 50 employees who received recognition for five, 10 and 15 years of service. Each employee received dinner for themselves and a guest, flowers and a gift certificate. Employees with 25 years or more of service were honored individually by their manager and senior leader with a presentation highlighting their contributions.

United Memorial is the largest private employer in Genesee County with approximately 800 employees and an annual payroll and benefit expenditure that exceeded $43.5 million in 2013.

October 18, 2014 - 1:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, chamber of commerce.

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Committee has announced the 2014 Annual Award Ceremony will be held on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at the Clarion Hotel, Park Road, Batavia. This is the County’s premier event that honors businesses and individuals for their achievements in business, community service and volunteerism.

Please note that a brief write up will qualify your nominee for consideration. Nominations are now being accepted for Business of the Year, Entrepreneurial Business of the Year, Agricultural Business of the Year, Innovative Enterprise of the Year, Special Service Recognition & Geneseeans of the Year.

Business Nominees must be a Chamber Member (If unsure of your nominee, call the Chamber to verify).

Nomination forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce office, 210 E. Main St., Batavia, and can also be down loaded from the Chamber Web site at www.geneseeny.com

Nominations MUST BE RECEIVED BY November 7, 2014 to be eligible for consideration.

If you would like more information, feel free to call Kelly J. Bermingham, director of Membership & Special Events at the Chamber office, 343-7440, ext. 26.

October 15, 2014 - 11:31am
posted by Billie Owens in business, yogurt.

Press release:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation making yogurt the official snack of New York, in advance of the second New York State Yogurt Summit being held today. The Summit will bring together industry experts to discuss how to further grow the yogurt business and continue creating new jobs. The Empire State is the top producer of yogurt in the nation, generating 741 million pounds of yogurt in 2013 alone.

"This designation is a fitting recognition of the importance of this state’s yogurt industry, which has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years, making New York the top yogurt producer in the nation,” Governor Cuomo said. “We will continue to work with New York producers and dairy farmers to build upon this progress and further strengthen this critically important industry.”

The tremendous boon in Greek-style yogurt has been the catalyst for the dairy industry's revitalization in New York. The State produced 741 million pounds of yogurt in 2013, up from 695 million pounds in 2012, accounting for 15.7 percent of the total U.S. yogurt production. Additionally, dairy manufacturers in New York employed an estimated 9,478 people with total wages of $513 million in 2013, an increase from 7,749 jobs and $401 million in wages in 2010.

Designating yogurt as the official state snack will continue to raise public awareness of the economic and health benefits of yogurt and the dairy industry. The Yogurt Summit convened in 2012 resulted in a number of initiatives to eliminate barriers to business growth and help manufacturers continue to grow.

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer said, “Yogurt is now the official snack of New York State, and the fourth-graders at Byron-Bergen Elementary School deserve all of the credit. From initially suggesting the idea to traveling to the State Capitol earlier this year, these students deserve high marks for their efforts to get this legislation signed into law. I am pleased that the Governor has signed my bill into law.”

October 14, 2014 - 9:47pm

Alpina Foods today informed 32 employees that their services will no longer be needed.

Each employee received a letter that blamed the layoffs on the cancellation of a contract by a "principle customer" on Oct. 10.

The letter informs employees they are being terminated effective Oct. 19 and tells them they will receive all earned wages and benefits and will be eligible through the Department of Labor for benefits, job training and job search assistance.

The Batavian received a copy of the termination letter from a source and requested confirmation of the layoffs from Alpina.

The following response was attributed to Gustavo Badino, U.S. general manager for Alpina Foods:

Alpina Foods confirms that the company will be reducing the workforce at its Western New York yogurt plant in October, in response to the early termination of one of our principle contracts.

Alpina Foods remains committed to Batavia and Western New York and views this current workforce reduction as a temporary but necessary approach to address mediate business challenges facing the company in the short term.

October 13, 2014 - 4:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Delavan's Restaurant.

It's been nearly two years since Delavan's Restaurant and Tavern, 107 Evans St., closed, and the building and restaurant have been for sale that entire time.

Fans of the restaurant have held out hope that Bill and Patti Cultrara would reopen the popular restaurant, an auction sign now in front the the building is a pretty strong indication that's not going to happen.

October 11, 2014 - 2:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, business, bergen.

The Bergen Business and Civic Association Recognition Dinner is Saturday, Nov. 1, at Bohn's restaurant in the Town of Batavia.

This year’s honorees are Barry Miller, Jim Pascarella, Ken Milner, Alyson Tardy, Fred and Eunice Ely, Triple-O Mechanical and Bergen C Store.

The restaurant is located at 5256 Clinton St. Road. There will be a cash bar starting at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person. You may contact Michele Smith (Bergen town clerk) at 494-1121 or Maria Rowland at 721-7721 for tickets.

There are a limited number of tickets; please purchase by Oct. 24th.

October 10, 2014 - 9:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Bethany, land use.

It ain't nothin' but a party, Frank Stanton told the Genesee County Planning Board on Thursday evening in his second attempt to win approval for a special-use permit to host mudding events on his seven-acre property in Bethany.

"This is not a business," Stanton said. "It's a party. It's just a bunch of people getting together and having fun. That's all it is."

Planners recommended disapproval of his permit and didn't offer much encouragement for him to try again.

After a meeting two weeks ago, where planners were much more receptive to his proposal but told Stanton he needed a more formal plan before they could approve it, a pair of nearby Bethany residents wrote the planning board and raised objections to these mudding events.

Robert Reyes and Elaine Shell contend Stanton operates his mudding events as a business.

There's a Facebook page with 700 likes. The events are listed on at least two mudding event Web sites. They suggest it's not just friends showing up to run their trucks in the mud.

"Whether it's a trick of acoustics, with him being in a 'dip', we don't know, but the noise level at and in our home is awful," the couple wrote. "Most of the trucks running are modified with high revving engines, have no mufflers, and are extremely loud."

While Stanton tried to assure planners that there are never more than a couple hundred people at a time on his property at 9832 Bethany Center Road, Reyes and Shell argued that as many as 400 people might be on the property at one time and are concerned that Stanton wants the events to grow even bigger.

Stanton said they can't get any bigger because he'll never be able to buy adjoining property since it's currently owned by a large and successful dairy operation. He said he doesn't make any money off the events. There are no prizes, no awards, nothing that would make these commercial events.

"This will probably fizzle out in five or six years as my kids get bigger and things change," Stanton said.

The vote recommending disapproval was 6-0.

October 10, 2014 - 9:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Le Roy.

Developers want to bring both a Tim Horton's and a Dunkin' Donuts to Le Roy, and at locations that are so close to each other even E.J. Manuel could accurately toss a football from one drive-thru to the other and hit his intended target.

But that isn't what bothered Genesee County Planning Board members about the proposed Tim Horton's location.

They were concerned about traffic congestion caused by the restaurant drive-thru being so close to gas pumps already on the Mother Goose store property.

While Dunkin' Donuts -- which was only making a sign modification to its previously approved site plan -- got an easy, unanimous approval, the developer of the proposed Tim Horton's walked out of the meeting with no recommendation from the board.

That's better than a recommended disapproval, which raises the bar for the Town of Le Roy Planning Board approval. A no recommendation means the Tim Horton's plan can be approved by the town on a simple majority vote, instead of a majority-plus-one vote.

JFJ Holdings, of North Andover, Ma., is planning to build a Dunkin' Donuts at 125 W. Main St., which is across the street from the Yellow Goose Market and Gas Station.

The market is owned by Dave Tufts, who wants to add a Tim Horton's drive-thru to the west end of his building. Cars would enter from the north and exit to the south.

And at the south end of his property are gas pumps, and that is what concerns planners.

One or two cars queued up for gas could potentially block the drive-thru exit, plus there would be pedestrian traffic going in and out of the store.

Tufts and Dan Blamowski, with Tim Horton's, tried to assure planners that there would be no traffic congestion, but the argument wasn't persuasive enough.

On a night when the planning board was short a couple of members, the 4-2 vote for approval of the plan was one vote shy of the necessary five for approval.

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