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August 21, 2017 - 12:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in freshLAB, batavia, business, news.

Press release:

Are you a foodie who loves to cook and aims to learn more about this craft? Under the aegis of freshLAB, Batavia Development Corporation is co-hosting a Foodie Challenge with the Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23.

Deemed the official start to recruiting aspiring restaurateurs for freshLAB, this one-day challenge will offer kitchen access and chef mentoring by Chef Tracy Burgio, the certified Culinary Arts Instructor at the Batavia CTE Center.

The Foodie Challenge is limited to 25 participants from seasoned cooks to homemakers who are encouraged to share sweet and savory flavors.

During the competition, a Selection Committee will taste all flavors in order to offer top competitors free tuition to an upcoming restaurant ownership Boot Camp that will take place at the freshLAB facility in Batavia. This boot camp will offer a series of restaurant ownership workshops taught by industry experts, which includes two more juried tastings. The boot camp is set to begin in October and will run until January.

“I challenge students and feel this awesome project is an extension of our approach in the classroom,” said Chef Burgio.

Interested in participating in the Foodie Challenge? A few notable twists add interest to the challenge:

1. You must be a “Spirited Foodie” -- which is defined as a courageous person who seeks new food experiences.

2. The Spirited Foodie must source at least one ingredient regionally to prepare the recipe.

No professional cooking experience necessary, only a good recipe and a $25 entry fee. Bring your own ingredients; any necessary cooking equipment will be provided along with chef guidance. Register online at www.freshLABBatavia.com

The deadline to enter is Sept. 9. Each Food Challenge entry will be provided one free guest admission to the ticketed tasting evening event on Sept. 23. Tickets to this event are $20 per person and may be purchased at www.freshLABBatavia.com

All recipes must be prepared at Batavia CTE Center commercial kitchen on Sept. 23. Student porters will be enlisted to help navigate the kitchen efficiently. Foodie Challenge entrants must prepare 150 two- to four-ounce samples.

A ticketed tasting event will cap off the evening. Proceeds will benefit the Batavia CTE Center Culinary Arts Club. Ticketed guests will cast their votes for his/her favorite sweet or savory sample, which will be granted the People’s Choice Award.

This event will take place at the Batavia CTE Center from 5-7 p.m. following the competition. Tickets to this event are $20 per person and may be purchased at www.freshLABBatavia.com.

“Creative business ideas set companies apart,” commented Steve Pies, board director for Batavia Development Corporation. “We’re looking for flavors not available in Batavia. There’s a huge opportunity for the right concept.”

Pies is referencing the Clue Group market research indicating Genesseeans spend $12,400,000 to eat and drink outside the area every year. freshLAB was conceived to tap that immense market potential, strengthening the local industry to keep dining dollars local. The Foodie Challenge is what the business world would call “ideation,” a way to churn unique ideas.

The Foodie Challenge is a collaborative effort of the Batavia Development Corporation, Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center, Batavia Business Improvement District and the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

Questions regarding the Foodie Challenge may be directed to Julie Pacatte at the Batavia Development Corporation at (585) 345-6380. Registration form available online at www.freshLabBatavia.com.

August 19, 2017 - 12:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Foxprowl, batavia, business.

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It was Foxprowl Night at the Batavia Muckdogs game at Dwyer Stadium last night. Foxprowl co-Owner Bill Hume threw out the first pitch.

Above, Wade Webster as Deadpool and Brenden Gillard as Starlord.

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Joy Hume with ET and Alexa Myers, director of marketing for Dolce Panepinto, which also had a booth set up at the game.

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August 16, 2017 - 1:21pm

Press release:

Tompkins Insurance Agencies and The Selective Insurance Group Foundation joined forces to support the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation.

The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation was established in 2007 in memory of Michael C. Napoleone, the 8-year-old son of Mark and Laurie Napoleone from Batavia, who died from Burkitts Lymphoma/Leukemia, an aggressive form of blood cancer.

During Michael's illness, the community rallied around the family to assist with food, gas, medical bills and other necessities. The not-for-profit foundation was created to give back to those who cared, to give forward to those in need, and to support research efforts in finding a cure for childhood cancer.

“The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation is a special organization, and its commitment to supporting those in need in our community is inspiring,” said David S. Boyce, president and CEO, Tompkins Insurance Agencies. “We are privileged to show our support through this donation.” 

The $300 donation from Tompkins Insurance Agencies was matched by a $300 grant from The Selective Insurance Group Foundation. The Selective Insurance Group Foundation is a philanthropic affiliate of Selective Insurance Group, Inc.

“At Selective, Response is everything®… and this includes responding to the communities where we live and work to give back and help those in need. Together with Tompkins Insurance Agencies, we are proud to support the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation and its efforts to make a difference in the community,” said Chuck Musilli, senior vice president, Distribution Strategies, Selective.

August 15, 2017 - 7:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in freshLAB, batavia, business.

Press release:

 A volunteer committee led by the Batavia Development Corporation created a website (www.freshLabBatavia.com ) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/FreshLab-Batavia-157039621534443/ ) to inform the community about the project, construction progress and recruitment to lease two more start-up restaurant spaces.

“We understand residents are chomping at the bit to learn more about the project,” said Barb Shine, Batavia Development Corporation director and co-captain of the marketing efforts. “It’s an enormous undertaking, pretty complex, with a lot of moving parts. We hope the website helps break it into bite-sized pieces.”

Jon Mager, future master brewer of the anchor eatery, Eli Fish Brewing Company, formerly known as Batavia Brewing Company, has agreed to take the lead on social media construction updates. Beth Kemp, executive director of the Downtown Business Improvement District, has guided the creative direction, technical setup and will post periodic updates in addition to the Batavia Development Corporation.

“We’re getting more and more excited about this project. Programming at freshLAB will benefit all of our downtown businesses,” added Kemp. “Complementing our solid restaurant core, freshLAB will help reshape downtown into a dining and entertainment destination.”

August 11, 2017 - 6:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Gateway II, GCEDC, county planning, land use, batavia, business.

A Rochester-based company is working on plans to build five structures in the industrial park bounded by Oak Orchard Road and West Saile Drive, known as Gateway II, that investors hope will attract new business and jobs to the area.

The Genesee County Planning Board was asked to review the site plan for five buildings that will be a mix of warehouse and office space on an 18.8-acres lot and last night the board recommended approval.

Dave Cuirzynski, representing Gateway LS LLC, a subsidiary of Gallina Development Corp., said the company plans to start with one structure, find a tenant and use that to attract more tenants for the other four structures.

"This gives us some added space for companies to come in and attract more businesses," Cuirzynski said. "We can start developing Gateway so it can do what it was intended to do."

Gateway II is a shovel-ready industrial park developed by the Genesee County Economic Development Center. It is 57 acres and includes facilities for Ashley Furniture and Milton Caterpillar.

Gallina is planning a $2.625 million investment in the project, leading to the construction of 25,000 square feet of building that a potential tenant can modify to meet any business need, from office space to warehouse to light industrial.

The other four buildings could be as large as 27,000 square feet.

According to GCEDC officials, the agency regularly received requests for proposals for ready-to-use space, but it often isn't available locally. This new construction will help fill that gap.

The company is seeking sales and property tax exemptions of approximately $140,000. A public hearing on the request will be held on a date yet to be announced.

August 10, 2017 - 1:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, lawley insurance.

Press release:

Through organic growth and partnerships, Lawley has moved closer to a top 50 ranking, coming in at 54 on the Business Insurance rankings of the Top 100 largest insurance brokers in the United States, based on 2016 brokerage revenues of U.S. clients. Lawley ended the year posting more than 5-percent growth across the organization, which helped the regional firm move up three spots.

“We continue to work hard to offer personalized customer service and insurance options that fit our client’s specific needs. We take pride being an independent broker and only having to answer to our customers, not outside shareholders,” stated Bill Lawley, Jr., managing partner of Lawley.

“Lawley will continue to supplement all of our current offerings by adding resources and specialists to deliver the customized insurance, risk management and employee benefits solutions that our customers desire.”

Lawley has consistently appeared on the Top 100 list, having been recognized as one of the top one percent of insurance brokers for over 25 years. Headquartered in Buffalo, Lawley has offices in Amherst; Batavia; Fredonia; Melville; Purchase; Rochester; Florham Park, N.J.; Darien, C.T., and now Mahopac, which joined the Lawley family through a partnership in 2017. The agency continues to grow, employing over 375 associates across the entire footprint and continues to add new talent.

To read the list of Independent Insurance Brokers from 50-100, click here.

About Lawley

Lawley is a privately-owned, independent regional insurance firm specializing in property, casualty and personal insurance, employee benefits and risk management consulting and ranked among the 100 Largest Insurance Brokers in the United States, according to Business Insurance magazine.

For over 60 years, Lawley’s team of more than 350 associates have developed customized property, casualty, surety and benefits insurance programs for businesses and municipalities of all sizes along with personalized protection for individuals and their families. Lawley is recognized as one of the Best Places to Work nationally by Business InsuranceandBuffalo Business First along with being named a Top Workplace by the RochesterDemocrat and Chronicle.

Headquartered in Buffalo, Lawley has branch offices across New York in Amherst, Batavia, Fredonia, Mahopac, Melville, Purchase and Rochester along with Darien, Connecticut and Florham Park, New Jersey. To find out more, visit lawleyinsurance.com.

August 10, 2017 - 1:28pm

Press release:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced more than $1 million has been awarded to three municipalities in the Finger Lakes to help local businesses expand and create 67 jobs in the area.

The award comes from the federally funded Community Development Block Grants program, which provides financial assistance to eligible counties, cities, towns and villages to help develop viable communities by providing decent affordable housing and attracting, retaining, and spurring job creation.

Today's announcement complements Finger Lakes Forward -- the successful initiative that is driving economic growth in the region.

"With this funding, we are investing in New Yorkers while fostering partnerships with local businesses across the region," Governor Cuomo. "The Finger Lakes has seen economic growth and resurgence in recent years and by investing in these businesses, we remove barriers and offer them the support they need to succeed in this state."

The Town of Batavia was awarded $465,000 to assist Freightliner & Western Star, Genesee County was awarded $225,000 to assist in the expansion of Resurgence Brewery in the City of Batavia, and the Town of Lima was awarded $315,000 to help Bristol ID Technologies expand its production facility.

Funds will be used to purchase machinery and equipment. Awards announced today include:

$465,000 to the Town of Batavia in Genesee County to assist Freightliner & Western Star of Batavia in constructing a 45,000-square-foot truck service and education facility

·         This expansion will create 31 full-time jobs over two years, with 18 to benefit low - moderate income persons. Freightliner & Western Star is an affiliate of Fleet Maintenance Inc. of West Seneca and a certified Women's Business Enterprise. The facility will consist of service bays, a warehouse, and a classroom and service bay to accommodate up to 20 students as part of the BOCES vocational diesel technician training program. The service operation will serve local businesses as well as truckers using the New York State Thruway, which is adjacent to the project site. The project will link Genesee Valley BOCES with hands-on technical training to students in a workplace environment, and inject more than $8.1 million into the local economy.

$225,000 to Genesee County to assist Resurgence Brewery in expanding their facilities and creating the Resurgence Powerhouse and Beer Garden

·         This funding will help create 15 full-time jobs over two years, with 13 to benefit low - moderate income persons. Resurgence Brewery, located in the City of Batavia is a wild beer fermentation and production brewery for specialty or craft beers. The expansion is part of downtown Batavia's Ellicott Station development project, and furthers Governor Cuomo's Craft Brew initiative, designed to increase tourism and economic development. The proposed project will inject $790,000 into the economy. Empire State Development also provided $145,000 for the project.

$315,000 to the Town of Lima to assist in the expansion of Bristol ID Technologies

·         Bristol is a leading card manufacturer known for innovative advances in card technology within many markets including ID/Security, Gift/Loyalty, Promotional & Print, and Hospitality. The project will involve the acquisition of the company's current facility, construction of an 8,000-square-foot building expansion, and the acquisition of high volume machinery and equipment that will allow for improved efficiency and a substantial increase in capacity and output. The project will create 21 full-time jobs over two years, with 17 to benefit low - moderate income persons, and inject more than $5.3 million into the local economy.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "Craft beverage production in New York is thriving under Governor Cuomo, who has worked hard to cultivate and promote the industry. The expansion of Resurgence Brewery will generate economic activity and support the growing momentum of the Finger Lakes region."

RuthAnne Visnauskas, commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal said, "The awards announced today are yet another example of the Community Development Block Grant program at work creating jobs and stimulating local economies. The program is an invaluable tool in the economic development tool box and will allow businesses to purchase the machinery and equipment they need to grow and meet demands. HCR is proud to be part of the Governor's investments and commitment to move the Finger Lakes forward."

Assemblymember Stephen Hawley said, "I am very pleased with the distribution of two Community Development Block Grant awards to businesses within my district. Supporting local economic growth and encouraging a broad range of jobs is of central importance to any community. By helping these local businesses expand their markets and create economic confidence, we can encourage job growth and more opportunities for citizens of Western New York to chase dreams of owning their own business."

Raymond Cianfrini, chair of the Genesee County Legislature, said, "Resurgence Brewery will be a welcome addition to Batavia and will add to the continued boom we are seeing in this area. Governor Cuomo has made the renaissance of the Finger Lakes and the growth of the craft beverage industry important priorities and we are happy to be part of the excitement."

Gregory Post, supervisor of the Town of Batavia, said, "This is an exciting opportunity for the Town of Batavia and the entire county. Freightliner & Western Star's expansion will provide jobs for area families, valuable education, and training for students, and help grow our local economy. I'm very happy to see the progress we're making in Batavia and throughout the region thanks to Governor Cuomo's commitment to strategic economic development investments that move the Finger Lakes forward."

Jeff Ware, owner of Resurgence Brewing Company, said, "The state's award to Genesee County will go a long way towards the upfront costs of opening our doors and helping to bring Batavia back to life. We are seeing this entire region grow thanks to the Governor's commitment to the Finger Lakes economy, and we are proud to be part of this area's exciting future."

Deborah Gawron, president of Freightliner & Western Star, said, "We are thrilled to be expanding Freightliner & Western Star into the Finger Lakes and adding to the economic growth that is taking place throughout the region. It's wonderful to have the support of Governor Cuomo and New York State and to be part of the effort to move the Finger Lakes forward. We look forward to offering good jobs and future opportunities to local residents, as well as top-notch truck service to area businesses."

August 10, 2017 - 10:08am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in Bethany, business, news, arts.

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In the end of July, Terry Weber opened a new art gallery and antique shop in the Old General Store in East Bethany on Route 63, where she displays and sells her artwork, and sells antiques.

Bethany Arts is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon until 5 p.m., and whenever there is an open flag hanging outside of the store.

"I sell to a lot of antique dealers because my prices are quite low," Weber said. "There is no middleman, I go out and find the stuff myself."

Weber was an art major in college and taught art for most of her life. She started playing around with the idea of opening an art gallery and selling antiques a year and a half ago.

She has been doing watercolor painting for 12 years and has recently started alcohol ink painting on tiles, but has used other media, including oils, acrylics, needle felt and wool.

“I've always drawn," Weber said. "When I closed the grocery store, I started painting and didn't stop."

Weber will begin holding art classes on request with four or five people in each. Those interested, can contact her at 993-0509.

"If you want to have an evening class in needle felting, alcohol ink painting, or even regular painting we could do that," Weber said. "I've got enough easels and tables and everything else."

The facebook page is located here and Weber just created a website located here.

The building Bethany Arts is located in was a grocery store owned by Weber when she bought the building in 1988. She closed the grocery store in 2005, and it became her art studio.

The profits from the antiques and her art, are going toward restoring the building, which was built in 1835, as a store.

"I want to hopefully make enough money to finish restoring the building," Weber said. "I would like to put the front porch back on it. I would like to do the roof and I have a lot of brick repairs."

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August 9, 2017 - 12:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in domino's, batavia, business, pizza.

Press release:

When you think of quality pizza and customer service, think of your local Batavia Domino’s store. Domino’s, located at 563 E. Main St., was recently recognized for its outstanding operation, perfect pizza making and quality of customer service as part of Domino’s Operations Evaluations Report (OER) program.

“We’re committed to maintaining the highest standards of store operation and customer satisfaction,” said Allan Erwin, Batavia Domino’s franchise owner. “Our goal is to make great-tasting, quality pizza without taking shortcuts. It is very exciting for our Batavia team to be recognized by Domino’s.”

The store was evaluated under Domino’s OER program, designed to ensure customers the highest level of quality and service. To assure flawless operation, the rating system provides comprehensive feedback to franchisees and Domino’s.

“Maintaining high standards within Domino’s involves running the finest stores in the pizza industry and delivering the best product to every consumer who orders from one of our stores,” said Scott Hinshaw, Domino’s executive vice president of franchise operations.

August 8, 2017 - 3:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Newberry Building, Eli Fish Brewing Company.

Press release:

Three Batavia natives are giving a nod to the city’s past with an exciting plan they hope will be a cornerstone of Batavia’s future.

Eli Fish Brewing Company will be the official name of a microbrewery currently under construction in the former JJ Newberry Building at 109 Main Street, the brewery’s owners announced today. The name is in honor of Eli Fish, who operated Fish’s Malt House, a brewery located on the corner of Elm and Main Streets in the 1800s. The brewery, which reportedly had the capacity to produce 16,000 barrels of beer annually in 1883, burned many times during Fish’s ownership, with Fish rebuilding it each time at the same location.

Eli Fish Brewing Company is led by Batavia natives Matthew Gray, owner of Alex’s Place in Batavia, as well as Buffalo Brothers Pizza and Wing Co. in North Carolina, Jon Mager, a third-generation owner in Arctic Refrigeration in Batavia, and Matthew Boyd, a partner in both Alex’s and Buffalo Brothers Pizza and Wing Co., who oversees Buffalo Brothers’ five North Carolina locations. The owners expect to open Eli Fish Brewing Company by the end of the year.

“Eli Fish was a renaissance man who played an important role in the development and growth of early Batavia, and his entrepreneurial and rebuilding spirit really spoke to us,” Mager said of the decision to name the microbrewery. “That’s the same spirit and vision we want to bring to this project and bring people back to Main Street.”

The brewery will house 20 taps, featuring ten beers brewed in-house and ten rotating beers from around New York State. Along with New York beers, the bar will also pour craft cocktails and fine wines, all sourced from New York State wineries and distilleries. The brewery operation will be a seven-barrel system, with all brewing performed on site, using locally-sourced ingredients.

Eli Fish Brewing Company will be the cornerstone of a $2.8 million renovation of the Newberry building into a mixed-use development with a restaurant incubator, known as FreshLAB, joining the brewery on the first floor and apartments planned for the second and third floors.

“Newberry’s was a destination for generations of Batavia residents,” Gray said, recalling the store’s lunch counter and creaky wooden floors. “We want to make this building, and the Main Street corridor, a destination again. Jon, Matt and I were all born here. Our families saw the decline of the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, and we want to be part of Batavia’s next renaissance.”

The FreshLAB restaurant incubator will feature three commercial kitchens, with Eli Fish Brewing Company operating the largest kitchen and serving a menu of locally-sourced seasonal fare, including gourmet salads, sandwiches, soups, platters and bread. The other two kitchens will be available to start-up restaurateurs to develop and grow more dining concepts within Genesee County. The vision is to have tenants occupy the turnkey kitchens for short-term leases of approximately 18-24 months, sharing the food hall dining room during which time they can focus on unique menu offerings, sourcing local ingredients and honing their operational systems, such as ordering product and paying their bills.

“The idea is to help other restaurateurs and entrepreneurs develop their businesses without the financial burden of outfitting their own locations right off the bat,” explained Boyd. “Once they have perfected their operation and their lease matures, the vision is that they will then plant their roots and continue their operations in Genesee County, creating an opportunity for a new eatery to locate at FreshLAB.”

The incubator concept was fueled, in part, by statistics that show local residents spend more than $13 million annually on dining and nightlife outside of Genesee County.

“People want a choice,” added Gray, who labels himself a “serial restaurateur.” “Every eatery at FreshLAB should bring a fresh perspective and their own culinary vision to the kitchens. We’re looking to provide a culinary experience you can’t enjoy elsewhere in the area.”

The partners’ development vision for the Newberry building is being supported by the City of Batavia, Batavia Development Corp., Genesee County Economic Development Corporation, USDA Rural Development, National Grid and New York Main Street.

The announcement of the Eli Fish Brewing Company name comes as beer lovers from throughout the region prepare to celebrate the Beertavia craft beer festival on Saturday, August 12 from 3-6 p.m. at the corner of Bank Street and Alva Place. The event, presented by Alex’s Place, will feature offerings from more than 20 breweries and cideries, as well as live music. Information is available at www.downtownbataviany.com

August 5, 2017 - 2:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in business.

Press release:

A recent classified ad Thermory USA placed in the local news was pretty specific and called the attention to exactly who the company was looking for. The heading read: One Amazing Human Being.   

Thermory USA is the American subsidiary of a European manufacturer. The company specializes in thermal modification of hard and softwoods for any application, but ideally decking and cladding. Thermal modification is an all-natural, chemical free process that produces an environmentally responsible hardwood product with unrivaled luxury, which out-preforms the finest tropical woods. The raw material is harvested from sustainable hardwood forests in Canada, United States and Europe. 

The Batavia-based company, run by Principal Kevin DeMars, is located in Jackson Square with a partner branch, run by Principal Mark Challinor in Wilmette, Ill. It has been steadily growing since its inception in 2012. With growth in sales, came the need for growth in staffing. Joining the company are two Genesee County residents, Amber Reese, of Oakfield, and Lauren Humphrey, of Le Roy.

“Amber and Lauren would both agree that our interview style was…unconventional," DeMars said. "Well, we do not look for conventional people. We want people that thrive when given the opportunity to make decisions, contribute immediately to the direction of our company and not be afraid of making mistakes. It’s amazing what great people can do when given the latitude to get outside the fence of mundane corporate protocol."

Some may say that Reese, Thermory USA’s newest senior service specialist, has lived a nomadic life, having resided in seven different states over the last 30 years. She graduated from high school in Ohio, earned her bachelor’s degree in Tennessee, and cultivated her employment experiences at jobs from Florida to Massachusetts.

When life shifted and offered new and interesting adventures, she was open to the opportunity. This ability to embrace change really came into play when Thermory USA entered the scene.

“When I read the description for the position with Thermory, I knew this wasn’t your typical run-of-the-mill company. I was intrigued, to say the least! It has been incredibly energizing to be a part of a growing team where my opinions, ideas and concerns truly do matter,” Reese said.

Coming most recently from a seven year banking career as an assistant branch manager, Thermory USA could have been perceived as quite a change in paths; however, it couldn’t be a more perfect fit. Reese has always had a passion for helping others, whether it be teaching elementary kids and coaching sports or managing a bank branch of tellers and customer service representatives.

That passion has a place to grow with Thermory USA by being part of providing excellent relationship service and knowledge to customers who are interested in a phenomenal product. 

Humphrey, a graduate of the Le Roy Central Schools, attended the education program at Genesee Community College. During this time she was employed full time as a teaching assistant. It wasn’t until her bachelor's program at SUNY Geneseo that she decided teaching wasn’t the proper path for her.  

Purchasing a home and settling down with a husband and three young children were good reasons to take a brief career pause and be a stay-at-home mom. Volunteerism had always been a major part of her life so it was no surprise that she decided to “plug-in” and become even more involved in her community during this time.

Through the volunteer work she realized a knack for marketing which likely stemmed from her younger years – watching her father run a small business on his own. She began freelance marketing for several local organizations and businesses while still being able to stay home with her young children. 

After several years as a stay-at-home mom, community volunteer, and small business owner, Humphrey decided it was a good time to re-enter the workforce. Earning the position as tourism marketing assistant at the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, she was able to further develop her skills. After 15 months at the Chamber of Commerce, Humphrey was approached about a marketing position at Thermory USA and knew it was a perfect fit.

“I’m energized by the team atmosphere and excited about the opportunity to work for a company that is making waves in an industry,” Humphrey said.

As a wife, mother of three, member of the Rotary Club of Le Roy, chairperson of Le Roy’s Annual Oatka Festival as well as a class member in Leadership Genesee 2017 Lauren is a busy individual, but as they say: “If you want the job done, give it to the busiest person.” 

In five years the company has managed to create a specific market segment for modified wood products in the building industry.

“We did this by creating an environment where creativity, mistakes, fun, hard work are all rewarded when every one of us in our team plays a part in the process. Changing an industry is fun and to be included in that process - every part of that process, brings out the best traits in amazing people that care about their work.” says DeMars.

“In just the first few weeks, Lauren and Amber are making a difference -- they probably don’t realize it yet, but they are. Creative, kind, intuitive, fun loving, hardworking…amazing human beings can do great things -- just let ‘em.“  

To learn more about Thermory USA and their team, visit ThermoryUSA.com or find them on social media.

August 4, 2017 - 12:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, Ellicott Station, Gateway II, batavia, news, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) approved incentives for the $17.6 million Ellicott Station project by Savarino Companies in the City of Batavia at the agency’s Aug. 3 board meeting. The GCEDC Board also accepted an application for assistance from Gateway GS LLC, which is proposing to invest $2.625 million for a phase one development of a 25,000-square-foot spec structure in the Gateway II Corporate Park.

The $17.6 million development by Savarino is anticipated to create approximately 60 new jobs. It was recently announced that the first tenant for the site will be the Resurgence Brewing Company. This project would contribute to the Batavia Pathway to Prosperity (BP2) redevelopment fund and be eligible to draw funds out of the fund to support the project investment related to infrastructure and related improvements in and around the site which offers a “public benefit.”

As a part of the project, the Batavia Development Corporation (BDC) will submit a “certificate of consistency” and infrastructure development plan, which is a requirement to enable funding to flow from the BP2 redevelopment fund.

Savarino is receiving approximately $1.5 million in sales and mortgage tax and property tax exemptions. For every dollar of public benefit, the company is investing $21 into the local economy.​

A Rochester area developer has created an LLC and is planning to invest $2.625 million to build a 25,000-square-foot “shell” spec building at Gateway II in the Town of Batavia. The building allows potential customers the flexibility in final design while reducing construction lead time. The master plan will build out in four or five phases of 27,000-square-foot facilities, each on 10 acres.

The GCEDC receives several RFPs annually from companies looking for “ready to go” warehouse, distribution, light manufacturing, technology and office space tenants. This has been a market opportunity that the agency has been unable to pursue in the past.

The company is seeking sales and property tax exemptions of approximately $140,000. Since the incentives being sought are more than $100,000 a public hearing will be held at a date and time to be determined.

“We are anxious to see work get started at Ellicott Station as this is a major investment in the City of Batavia under the B2P program,” said GCEDC Board Chair Paul Battaglia. “The spec building being proposed at Gateway aligns with our success in taking the ‘build it and they will come approach’ at our various business parks which has proven to be a successful business model.”

August 3, 2017 - 1:46pm

Press release:

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer yesterday (Aug. 2) called Canadian Ambassador Nominee Kelly Knight-Craft and strongly urged her to work with Canadian officials to persuade them to reverse the protectionist and restrictive trade policies that are currently harming the Upstate New York milk industry and farmers.

Schumer explained that the Province of Ontario and Canada’s federal government have adopted restrictive measures on the importation of milk products. These measures will cost tens of millions in U.S. dairy contracts. Producers like O-AT-KA Milk in Genesee County, Cayuga Milk Ingredients in Cayuga County and Ideal Dairy Farm in Washington County have all been harmed, he says.

Schumer said these policies are blatant violations of existing fair trade agreements with Canada. Schumer said this is an affront to current U.S.-Canadian trade agreements, and therefore urged Ms. Craft to push Canada reverse these unfair policies and work with the United States to keep current dairy trade agreements strong. 

“Canada’s restrictive dairy trade and pricing policies are blatantly violating our trade agreements signed by the U.S. and Canada, and they are hurting New York’s dairy producers who simply want to deal fairly with our Canadian partners," Schumer said. "That’s why I called the Canadian Ambassador Nominee and I urged her to push Canada to end these unfair policies and work with the U.S. to keep both of our dairy industries strong.

"These kinds of policies put our dairy farmers in grave jeopardy. Our New York dairy producers work hard every day to provide for their families and export quality products to the world – and they deserve to know that everyone’s competing on a level playing field.”

Schumer has long fought to protect the Upstate NY dairy industry and milk producers across the state. In September, Schumer urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Secretary Vilsack and the U.S. Ambassador to Canada, Bruce Heyman, to continue to pressure Canada to end these unfair policies.

The senator said it is critical that the federal government protects the Upstate NY dairy industry, and that these protectionist trade policies should not be allowed to continually impair the value of fair trade provisions the U.S. previously secured under our prior trade agreements.

In the Spring of 2016, Schumer visited O-AT-KA Milk, Cayuga Milk Ingredients and Ideal Farm as he urged the USDA and the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), Michael Froman, to protect Upstate New York’s dairy sector from the then-proposed barriers to trade. Following that push, Schumer again urged these two federal agencies to ramp up all available resources to investigate new Canadian dairy trade policies that could hurt dairy farmers in Upstate NY.

The Canadian province of Ontario has already imposed limitations on American imports and recently Canada’s national government put out a proposal to expand these restrictions nationwide.

Schumer said that the Province of Ontario and Canada’s federal pricing policies, are designed to crowd out New York’s dairy sales and discourage Canadian cheesemakers from using imported ultra-filtered milk from the United States in their products. These new pricing policies essentially set the price of Canada’s products below that of New York’s ultra-filtered milk imports, which hurts O-AT-KA and Cayuga’s more efficiently produced ultra-filtered milk.

Schumer explained that Canada’s National Ingredients Strategy for dairy takes a similar approach to Ontario’s new Class VI pricing policy by incentivizing Canadian processors to shift away from using dairy imports from the U.S. Upstate New York producers have invested millions in order to be able to export to Canada because they have long enjoyed duty-free access for this specific product under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Schumer said these Canadian trade barriers have already started to hinder development and growth of the Upstate NY dairy industry. Companies like O-AT-KA and Cayuga Milk Ingredients, along with Ideal Dairy Farm, rely on trade with Canada for a significant percentage – millions of dollars – of their revenue.

As the country’s third largest milk producing state, a significant impact on New York’s ability to tap into key foreign markets could also impact farmers in surrounding states. Therefore, Schumer said, any reductions in export sales could impact NY dairy manufacturers and their supplying farms, which are already struggling with depressed milk prices.

August 3, 2017 - 10:25am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in corfu, Three T's Family Diner, news, restaurants, business.

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A few members of the Toy family, from left to right, Coby, Tracy, Wade and Tyler.

Wade and Tracy Toy have five kids and know the struggle of getting a good meal for a large family, without breaking the wallets.

That’s why they opened Three T’s Family Diner, located at 2 Corfu Plaza in Corfu. While they live in Cheektowaga, the travel time is worth it, Tracy said.

“It seemed like the small town didn’t have much going for it,” Tracy said. “We figured if we do this, maybe other things would pick up and the town would be back to where it was years ago.”

Wade and Tracy found the Corfu location on Craigslist and thought the place had potential.

They started renovating the location in January and finished in May. Wade said they stripped everything right down to the firewalls.

Wade used to drive a truck and Tracy was a railroad clerk, up until the beginning of this year.

“We both quit our jobs to put our time and effort into the diner,” Tracy said.

Tracy said they plan to leave the diner to their kids, Jessica, 23, Joshua, 21, Jacob, 19, Tyler, 15, and Coby 13.

“We also have a 4-year-old grandson that comes here,” Tracy said. “He gives out the menus and straws.”

The hope is that further down the road, Wade and Tracy will pass the diner along to their kids, while they go mobile and purchase a food truck for events and parties.

For locals, if they have ideas for what should be on the menu, Tracy and Wade are open to suggestions.

“We’ll try it out,” Tracy said. “Even if we don’t know what it is, we will look it up and figure it out.”

Wade said one customer requested chipped beef and gravy last week, which has been added to the specials. Tracy said they hope to receive a lot of feedback from customers.

The diner is open every day of the week, except Wednesday, from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., and accepts cash only.

They just started with takeout and delivery only to local businesses.

Tracy said they hope to expand to dinner hours in the near future.

“People can come here with their families and have a good, decent meal,” Tracy said. “Then, they can leave with money in their wallet and still be able to take their kids out.” 

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The diner is located behind the carwash in the Corfu Plaza, next to the American Family Market.

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July 27, 2017 - 6:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Dunkin' Donuts, batavia, business, news.

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At the new Dunkin' Donuts on West Main Street, Batavia, you can get a free charge, if you have an electric car, to go with your morning jolt of coffee.

This is apparently a trend for Dunkin' Donuts with a few popping up around the country.

The charging station is listed on PlugShare -- a listing that might encourage drivers of electric cars to exit the Thruway in Batavia if they're a little low on energy.

July 27, 2017 - 12:42pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Syngenta, agriculture, business.

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Farmers in New York State are being advised to take legal action against a Swiss agrochemical company that is being accused of mishandling the marketing of its genetically modified corn seed.

“New York farmers have been ripped off,” said attorney M. Scott Barrett, an Albion native who is a partner in Barrett Wylie LLC of Bloomington, Ind.

Barrett and Albion lawyer Conrad Cropsey are part of a four-attorney team available to represent New York corn growers who may have been affected by circumstances surrounding the 2010 rollout of the Agisure Viptera corn seed developed by Syngenta AG.

Ken Walsh of Mount Kisco and John Jernigan of Brewton, Ala., are the other lawyers handling New York cases.

Litigation against Syngenta, which was acquired by China National Chemical Corp. in June for $43 billion, began in 2014 – four years after Syngenta began marketing the corn seed.

The problem, Barrett said, was that Syngenta failed to get Chinese approval of the seed, which contained the MIR 162 GMO seed trait.

“China ultimately detected MIR 162 in U.S. corn shipments in November 2013 and, as a result, China, then the third-largest U.S. corn export market, embargoed all U.S. corn -- thereby driving down corn prices and damaging American corn producers,” Barrett said.

“The U.S. corn market has yet to fully recover, nor is it likely to do so anytime soon because after the U.S. corn ban in 2013, China entered into long-term contracts with a number of South American producers.”

Syngenta’s inability to obtain approval by China and alleged misleading statements about when the seed would be approved prompted farmers to file a class action suit in Kansas City, Kan.

Since then, a federal judge dismissed the suit, leaving farmers in all but nine states -- Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and South Dakota – without a national class action protecting their legal rights. The nine states mentioned can proceed via state law class actions.

Cropsey said farmers in other states, such as New York, have the right to file individual cases.

“We are working principally in the GLOW region and have a couple of signed clients in Suffolk County and Niagara County,” Cropsey said. “Farmers only need to sign a contract. We will handle all the paperwork and file their cases in Williamson County, Illinois court.”

Cropsey said the opportunity to file individual cases is open to all New York corn producers who grew and sold corn for market at any time after 2012.

“It makes no difference whether they purchased Syngenta seed or a competing brand such as Pioneer or DeKalb,” he said. “All of them have been damaged no matter what brand(s) of seed they purchased.  Nor does it matter whether the corn was sweet corn or field corn.”

Barrett recounted the litigation against Syngenta in three phases:

-- The one-count national class action, based on the federal statute known as the Lanham Act (which since has been denied);
-- A Minnesota state class action filed in state court in Minnesota;
-- Thousands of individual, non-class cases filed in both the Kansas and Minnesota courts as well as a state court in Williamson County.

“The three judges from Kansas, Minnesota, and Illinois have appointed a Special Master to work with the parties towards settlement on a parallel track with 48 test-case trials selected by the federal court in Kansas. This is being done to establish liability and damages parameters that will inform the settlement discussions,” Barrett said.

In an encouraging sign for farmers, the first Kansas test case trial last month ended with a jury verdict of $217 million in favor of the certified class of Kansas corn farmers.

“The Kansas class asked for $217 million in actual damages and that is exactly what they received -- no punitive damages were awarded,” said Barrett, adding that it took the jury less than a day to render its verdict.

A second test case trial, this one involving a single Nebraska plaintiff, was set to start on July 10 in Minneapolis, but a confidential settlement was reached four days earlier.

The third test case trial, this one involving the certified class of Minnesota corn farmers, is scheduled for mid-August in Minneapolis. The certified class of Minnesota corn farmers is seeking actual damages in the range of $600 million.

According to published reports, Syngenta lawyers are disputing the farmers’ claims of damages and are denying the company did anything wrong – noting that the seed wasn’t sold until U.S. approval was obtained and that it didn’t need China’s approval.

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For more information about the litigation, contact Cropsey (photo above) at 585-589-9400.

July 27, 2017 - 8:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tompkins Bank of Castile, business.

Press release:

Proving that a minute can matter, Tompkins Bank of Castile is launching the fourth and final round of the quarterly Community Minute Challenge. Each quarterly winner is awarded $2,500; by the end of the contest, a total of $10,000 will have been provided in much-needed funds to local not-for-profit organizations.

“In each of the first three rounds, the support for the Community Minute Challenge has been impressive, with thousands of votes cast for the participating organizations,” said John McKenna, bank president and CEO.

“As proud members of the communities where we operate, we’re thankful for the important services that are provided by non-for-profit organizations in our area. We’re thrilled to be able to bring attention to their positive work through the Community Minute Challenge.”

The fourth round started on July 24 and runs through Aug. 7. The winning organization is determined by public voting on the Bank of Castile Facebook page, where visitors can watch the one-minute videos produced by participating nonprofits and then vote for their favorite. Each video explains how the non-profit would use the awarded funds. The six organizations competing in this round are:

  • Delphi Drug and Alcohol Council Inc. (Monroe County)
  • Friends of Letchworth State Park (Wyoming County)
  • Friends of the Richmond Memorial Library (Genesee County)
  • Genesee Cancer Assistance (Genesee County)
  • Geneseo Parish Outreach Center (Livingston County)
  • Gilda's Club Rochester (Monroe County)

To show support for the initiative and cast a vote, participants should “like” the Tompkins Bank of Castile Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TompkinsBankofCastile and click on the Community Minute Challenge app. They can then select their favorite nonprofit after watching the one-minute videos. Individuals can vote once per day during the contest period.

Launched in August 2016, the Community Minute Challenge has awarded $7,500 to date. The first-round winner was Going to the Dogs Rescue in Wyoming County, an organization dedicated to helping homeless pets find loving forever homes. The second-round winner was ARC of Genesee Orleans, a resource of choice for people with disabilities and their families in both Genesee and Orleans counties. The third-round winner was Community Action for Wyoming County, an organization that seeks to improve the quality of life of all people they serve by focusing on their needs, and encouraging them to realize their goals and become self-sufficient.

July 27, 2017 - 8:30am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in Job Bureau, business, news.

July 31 is the last chance for youths, ages 14 to 19, to apply for summer jobs through the Genesee County Career Center in Batavia.

This state-funded program offers 42 positions for youths to work 100 hours, approximately 20 hours a week, for minimum wage.

Lisa Smith, the employment and training counselor, said this is a great opportunity to get job experience.

“This gets them out into the community and building relationships,” Smith said.

Each youth will attend a three-day training, where they learn about how to interview, how to create a resume and cover letter, and how to interact with coworkers.

The Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union came to the last training, Smith said.

“They taught them how to balance a checkbook, how to write a check, and how to start saving money,” Smith said.

Once each person is placed, Smith visits once a week to check on the employee and employer.

This program has been around since 1980, serving Genesee County youths. They have worked at places such as the Oakfield-Alabama Central School District, rec programs, the Genesee County Animal Shelter, and public libraries in the area.

For those interested, they can contact Smith at 344-2042, ext. 4237, or by email at [email protected], or stop by the Genesee County Career Center located at 587 E. Main St., Suite 100.

July 24, 2017 - 3:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Muller Quaker, HP Hood, batavia, business.

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Press release:

State-of-the-art production equipment from the former Muller/Quaker Dairy greek yogurt plant in Batavia, New York, will be offered at auction Sept. 13 by Harry Davis & Company.

Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) this week announced the facility — originally constructed by Muller-Quaker to process yogurt via a joint venture formed in 2011 between PepsiCo’s Quaker Oats Co. unit and Germany’s Theo Müller Group — has been purchased by HP Hood LLC. HP Hood will invest more than $200 million over several years to repurpose the 363,000-square-foot, currently idle processing facility to produce extended shelf-life beverages.

Meanwhile, the remaining state-of-the-art production equipment is being offered at auction by Harry Davis & Company.

Leonard Davis, president and senior appraiser for Harry Davis & Company, says this is a rare opportunity for processors to purchase equipment from 2012 or newer that was used for only 18 months of production time.

“This is a virtual showroom of equipment,” he says. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for the dairy world to purchase this equipment.”

He notes in particular the equipment available for production of Greek yogurt, which has soared in popularity at retail.

In addition to getting ultra-modern equipment at significant savings, Davis says it’s a rare opportunity to get equipment of this quality so quickly.

“Typically, if you wanted to get one of these filling machines, you’re looking at 18-24 months of lead time,” he says. “This is an opportunity to acquire like-new equipment well below new cost and have it installed and running in a matter of weeks.”

Some of the featured equipment, valued at $200 million, includes: • Aseptic S/S Silos & Tanks
• Pasteurization, Homogenization & Culture Injection
• Finnah Horizontal Form, Fill & Seal Packaging Lines
• Hamba/Oystar A+F Filling Line
• Kasag Fruit Batch Cooking Plant.

Since the former yogurt plant added fruit to some of its varieties, state-of-the-art fruit processing equipment also is available, including a fruit receiving, sorting and cutting system, Davis notes.

“There’s a complete fruit production sub-facility within this plant,” he says. “It’s highly desirable not only for other yogurt manufacturers, but also those involved in jam and other fruit manufacturing.”

Additional general plant and spare parts also are available.

Harry Davis & Company is seeking buyers from North America, South America and Europe. Interested parties can access the auction online at http://bit.ly/MullerHDC. The auction will be held at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time Sept. 13. 

Photos provided. (click here for more photos)

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July 21, 2017 - 1:19pm

Press release:

As the proud sponsor the 11th annual Genesee County Mega Blood Drive, Tompkins Bank of Castile is calling on all eligible donors to give blood on Tuesday, Aug. 1 from noon to 7 p.m. at the Quality Inn & Suites in Batavia. It is located at 8200 Park Road.

“Tompkins Bank of Castile has been a proud sponsor and supporter of the annual blood drive in Batavia for years,” said Gregg McAllister, VP, Marketing Communications, Tompkins Bank Of Castile. “This year’s blood drive comes at a time when the Red Cross is facing a critical blood shortage, which makes donations more important than ever.

"This is an opportunity for everyone in our community who is able to do so, to make a blood donation so patients can continue to receive the lifesaving treatments they need.”

According to the Red Cross, the shortage of blood donations may lead to delays in urgent medical care to vulnerable patients. Blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, and more donations are needed now to replenish the blood supply. According to the Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood, and approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day nationwide.

The blood drive will also honor the area’s everyday heroes with the second annual “Battle of the Badges” competition for first responders such as Mercy EMS, Batavia City Fire Department, Town of Batavia Fire Department, State Troopers, Batavia City Police and the Sheriff’s Office.

However, donors don’t need to be a first responder to participate in the blood drive on Aug. 1, and walk-ins are welcome. All those who donate can do so to honor our local first responders, and all participants will receive a Target e-gift card.

To make an appointment to donate to the blood drive, please call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org.

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