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August 5, 2022 - 5:54pm
posted by Press Release in Ivy Village Corp, GCEDC, Le Roy, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors approved incentives for a $3.72 million financial investment by Ivy Village Corp. that would create 20 units of market-rate senior housing in the village of Le Roy at its board meeting on Thursday, August 4, 2022.

The GCEDC board also accepted an initial application for a proposed project by Nexgistics to construct a $17.6 million warehouse distribution center and on 30 acres of land on Vision Parkway in the town of Pembroke.  The 140,000 sq. ft. facility also would serve as national headquarters for the company.

Nexgistics is a third-party logistics provider specializing in consumer electronics, sporting and outdoor goods, e-bikes and related products with operations in New York and Nevada.  The project enables Nexgistics to retain 21 full-time positions and create three new jobs.

Nexgistics has requested sales tax exemptions estimated at $812,000, a property tax abatement estimated at $1,116,360, and a mortgage tax exemption estimated at $154,650.  For every $1 of public benefit the company is investing $7 into the local economy.

“Nexgistics provides another example of how Genesee County and the Buffalo-Rochester Tech Corridor provide the ideal location for industries that need shovel-ready sites, a trained workforce and a strong logistics network,” said Steve Hyde, Genesee County Economic Development Center president and CEO.

Ivy Village Corp. plans to build market rate residential units in three phases with each phase calling for the construction of 10 duplex residences.  The development is located on 16 acres off Lake Street with easy access to village amenities and is a twenty-minute drive to downtown Rochester. Ivy Village Corp. has requested approximately $805,000 in mortgage, property and sales tax incentives. The project's fiscal impacts (indirect payroll and tax revenues) are estimated at over $3.5 million over the PILOT's term, with $6 of local benefits from the project for every $1 of public investment.

“Housing at all levels is a critical need across Genesee County,” Hyde continued.  “This project while providing new housing options to our senior population, opens up existing housing stock for the next generation of homeowners.”

A public hearing will be scheduled for Nexgistic’s proposed financial assistance.

August 5, 2022 - 5:39pm
posted by Press Release in Brighton Securities, batavia, business.

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Press release:

Brighton Securities, a Rochester, NY headquartered Financial Services firm, today announced the formation of The Hicks Wealth Management team at Brighton Securities. The Hicks Wealth Management team is an internal Brighton Securities team lead by Steve Hicks, our Batavia Branch Manager and Senior Vice President; Michael Restivo, Financial Advisor, and Amy Sherman, Client Service Associate.

With over 15 years of experience servicing the GLOW region, Steve Hicks founded The Hicks Wealth Management team at Brighton Securities, which is based at our Brighton Securities Batavia Branch location and serves clients in the GLOW region and specifically Batavia, Albion, Buffalo and Rochester.

“I am incredibly proud of the work we have done throughout my 15-year tenure at Brighton Securities to help our clients not simply meet their financial goals and objectives, but hopefully live more fulfilled lives. The relationships I have shared and developed with all my clients have made this as rewarding a career as I could have ever imagined. And to continue with that dedication, I have partnered with Mike Restivo and have founded Hicks Wealth Management.”  “At Hicks Wealth Management at Brighton Securities, our mission is to be a trusted partner that our clients can rely on for the years ahead,” said Steve Hicks. Hicks Wealth Management at Brighton Securities is committed to providing solutions and guidance that positively impact the financial well-being of our clients and their families. “We know that each client is different, and each situation is different.” Said Steve Hicks. “Someone in Batavia or Albion may have different questions and concerns than someone in Rochester. We understand that, and we want to help guide our clients through those challenges, whatever they might be.”

“The investment in continuing to grow our team in Batavia demonstrates our continued commitment to serve our clients and our communities better.  Mike’s addition to the team reflects Brighton Securities focused efforts in growing our firm organically, attracting top talent and competitively elevating our team as a best-in-class financial firm.” Said Melissa Hawryschuk, CEO.  Hicks Wealth Management has a strong foundation of excellent client care to build on that will enable Brighton Securities’ ability to meet the financial needs of our clients continually.  “I look forward to this group’s strategic growth strategy and look forward to broadening our firm’s community outreach and enriching our depth of dedicated service to our clients.”

August 4, 2022 - 4:18pm
posted by Press Release in Tompkins Financial, business.

Press release:

Enhancing its enterprise risk management (ERM) abilities,  Tompkins Community Bank announced this week that Adam P. Krick has been appointed as director of enterprise risk management. Krick will lead bank-wide efforts to develop Tompkins’ ERM function while building upon existing risk management strategies in his new role. 

“Adam is an exceptional leader with extensive experience in managing enterprise risk for financial corporations,” said Alyssa Fontaine, EVP, general counsel, and chief risk officer. “We’re thrilled to have him join our team and lead our efforts to grow and enhance our ERM program.” 

A 20-year financial industry veteran, Krick previously served as VP, deputy director of enterprise risk management at Customers Bank. He received his M.B.A. from Alvernia University and his B.S. in finance from the Pennsylvania State University. Krick is a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors and the Risk Management Association, as well as the American Bankers Association, through which he is currently participating in the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at The Wharton School. He holds designations as a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and a Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA), as well as a Certificate in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA). Krick resides in Berks County, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Teresa, and their two children.  

August 2, 2022 - 11:59pm
posted by Press Release in GCEDC, news, Le Roy, Ivy Village Corp, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors will consider final approval for a $3.72 million financial investment by Ivy Village Corp. that would create 20 units of market-rate senior housing in the village of Le Roy at its board meeting on Thursday, August 4, 2022.

The GCEDC board also will consider an initial application for a proposed $17.6 million project by Nexgistics to construct a 140,000 sq. ft. warehouse distribution center and national headquarters on 30 acres of land on Vision Parkway in the town of Pembroke.

Nexgistics is a fast-growing third-party logistics provider specializing in consumer electronics, sporting, and outdoor goods, e-bikes, and related products with operations in New York and Nevada.  Nexgistics currently leases buildings at two locations in western New York and is seeking to build a centrally located facility that will enable the company to retain 21 full-time positions and create three new jobs.

Nexgistics has requested sales tax exemptions estimated at $812,000, a property tax abatement estimated at $1,116,360, and a mortgage tax exemption estimated at $154,650.  For every $1 of public benefit, the company invests $7 into the local economy.

Ivy Village Corp. proposes to build market-rate residential units in three phases, each calling for the construction of 10 duplex residences.  The development is located on 16 acres off Lake Street with easy access to village amenities and is a twenty-minute drive to downtown Rochester. 

Ivy Village Corp. has requested approximately $805,000 in mortgage, property, and sales tax incentives. The project's fiscal impacts (indirect payroll and tax revenues) are estimated at over $3.5 million over the PILOT's term, with $6 of local benefits from the project for every $1 of public investment.

The Aug. 4 GCEDC Board meeting will be held at 3 p.m. at the MedTech Center’s Innovation Zone, 99 MedTech Drive across the street from Genesee Community College.  On-demand recording of the meeting also will be available at www.gcedc.com.

August 1, 2022 - 10:08pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, business, batavia, notify.

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With more than 20 fast food-type offerings in Batavia alone, Marc and Lauren Cordes wanted to shake things up with something radically different.

The East Bethany couple, joined by children Holden, 9, Haylee, 12, and 14-year-old Hayven, friends, family and eager customers, cut the official ribbon on Monday for that something different: Batavia Total Nutrition.

“People just fall in love with the taste once they try it,” Lauren said at the site in Valu Plaza. “We’ll have specialty menus and shakes of the month. Come in and give it a try first before you judge.”

The business makes and sells an assortment of beverages, from energy drinks to protein-packed shakes. Lauren said these are delicious, unlike some nutritional shakes, which have helped her on her weight loss journey. She and Marc had been thinking about opening a business, and after they both sampled the products, they agreed to open Batavia Total Nutrition, she said.

“We realized that Batavia actually has nothing, nutrition-wise, to offer, so we decided to bring this out here. And it tastes good, looks good and offers excellent nutrition. I lost weight and maintain my weight just doing the product myself.”

About a year ago she got involved in doing healthy protein shakes as meal replacements and energy bombs. She and her husband decided to bring the Herbalife products to the City of Batavia.

“There’s nothing like it here; we decided this might be a good business venture to bring to the area,” Marc said. “I know people are looking to eat more nutritious nowadays, and I thought this might be one avenue we thought we could bring to the community.”

The menu lists assorted energy bombs, meal replacement shakes, and protein snacks, and Lauren said there will be waffle Wednesdays and fitness classes at some point. Those classes will lead participants through cardio drumming, something that no one offers here, Lauren said.  As its name implies, participants drum on an inflatable ball and use their entire bodies to make it a cardio exercise, she said.

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Energy Bombs come in a variety of combinations, such as the Batavia Rush, with “a whole lotta lemon” and blue raspberry; or flavors of orange, pineapple, strawberry and blue razz of a Tiki Refresher. These drinks boast zero to low sugar content with some caffeine for that extra boost. The protein shakes sound quite similar to an ice cream shop’s varieties, with caramel macchiato, cookie dough extreme, cheesecake batter, fruity pebbles, and banana split, to name a few. Stevia is used to help keep the calories and sugar content low.

The menu states that plant-based shakes are under 300 calories and provide up to 55 grams of protein, 18 grams of carbs, five grams of fat, and nine to 15 grams of sugar, plus 21 vitamins and minerals.

“Just because it says nutritious, that doesn’t mean it tastes bad,” Marc said.

Brandon Britton of Clarence was providing some hands-on support by making shakes and talking up the business. He and his family lived in a small Ohio town with three of these shops, and his family opted to move north and open more of them in Erie and Niagara counties. He met the Cordes when they went to Buffalo to try out the products.

“We’re supporting the community, and giving them healthier lifestyles,” he said. “We hope to make a positive difference wherever we go.”

After a bleak couple of years with business shutdowns, what does a business opening mean for Genesee County?

“I think it's a good sign,” Chamber of Commerce Interim President Tom Turnbull said. “It's a different type of niche business. I think because it is healthy eating. And I got a chance to sample a couple of the drinks here today, and they're really good.”

The Chamber’s Visitors Center sees its share of folks that stop by looking for places to eat, he said, and if they are seeking a healthy option, “this is one of the places we can send them to.”

“There's a couple of other places in town also we would recommend, but it's nice to have this,” he said. “I think it's a high-traffic area. I think they should do well here, they seem to have a good business plan.”

Hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at 4152 West Main Street Road, Batavia. Click here for more information and the menu. You can text your order to (585) 432-5545.

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Top photo: Marc and Lauren Cordes, with their children and other family and friends, celebrate the grand opening of Batavia Total Nutrition Monday at Valu Plaza, 4152 West Main Street Road, Batavia. Lauren serves a fudge brownie protein shake, and customers place their orders at the counter. Photos by Joanne Beck.

July 29, 2022 - 3:11pm
posted by Press Release in hcr home care, business.

Press release:

HCR Home Care announced today the promotions of Melinda Clark and Maranda Perez to the role of director of patient services. In these positions, they are responsible for supervising day-to-day clinical operations and all patient care for HCR’s Licensed Home Care Services Agency (LHCSA).

Melinda Clark previously served as LHCSA regional director and as an RN case manager. As director of patient services based in Plattsburgh, N.Y., Clark will serve the North Country region. Clark earned her associate degree in Nursing from Clinton Community College. She is a resident of Dannemora, N.Y.

Maranda Perez will serve as director of patient services in Monroe, Genesee and Orleans counties. Perez previously served as regional director of HCR’s Finger Lakes LHCSA, managing and maintaining the LHCSA Team and staff for the Finger Lakes and Genesee County and Ontario County areas. Prior to that, Perez was director of nursing, managing community teams in the Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA) setting. A Holley, N.Y. resident, Perez earned an associate degree in Nursing from Jefferson Community College.

July 26, 2022 - 11:33pm
posted by Press Release in Tompkins Financial, business.

Press release:

Tompkins Financial Corporation reported diluted earnings per share of $1.45 for the second quarter of 2022, down 5.8% from $1.54 per share in the second quarter of 2021.  Net income for the second quarter of 2022 was $20.9 million, down $2.0 million or 8.6% when compared to the $22.8 million reported for the same period in 2021.  The decline in net income from the prior year was primarily attributable to a $3.9 million pretax variance in provision for credit losses, which was an expense of $856,000 in 2022, versus a credit of $3.1 million in 2021. 

For the year-to-date period ended June 30, 2022, diluted earnings per share were $3.05, down 6.4% from $3.26 for the same year-to-date period in 2021.  Year-to-date net income was $44.1 million for the six-month period ended June 30, 2022, down $4.3 million or 8.9%, when compared to $48.5 million for the same period in 2021.  Similar to the quarterly results, the year-to-date net income variance was primarily attributable to the provision for credit losses, which was an expense of $336,000 in 2022, versus a credit of $4.9 million in 2021, resulting in a pretax variance of $5.2 million. 

Tompkins President and CEO Stephen Romaine commented, "Results for the second quarter of 2022 included several favorable trends when compared to the most recent prior quarter, including an improved net interest margin, increased loan balances, and higher revenue. Notably, revenue was up 4.8% from the same quarter last year despite a $1.0 million decline in net deferred loan fees associated with Paycheck Protection Program ("PPP") Loans, as outstanding balances in the SBA administered program continue to decline."   

SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE PERIOD: 

  1. Total loans at June 30, 2022 were $5.2 billion, up $99.1 million over the immediate prior quarter, reflecting an annualized increase of 7.8% from March 31, 2022.   
  2. PPP loan balances were $3.5 million at June 30, 2022, reflecting a decline of $20.6 million from March 31, 2022.  Total loans, exclusive of PPP loan balances, were up approximately 9.7% annualized over March 2022.    
  3. Net interest margin improved to 3.09% for the second quarter of 2022, compared to 3.04% for the first quarter of 2022, and 2.91% for the same period in 2021. 
  4. Nonperforming asset levels declined for the third consecutive quarter and the ratio of nonperforming loans as a percentage of total loans dropped to 0.57%, compared to 0.60% of total loans at March 31, 2022, and 0.61% at December 31, 2021.   
  5. Total revenue for the second quarter of 2022 increased by 4.8% from the same quarter last year, and grew at annualized rate of 3.2% from the first quarter of 2022. 


    NET INTEREST INCOME 
    Net interest income was $58.3 million for the second quarter of 2022, up from $56.6 million for the most recent prior quarter, with the improvement largely driven by growth in total loans and higher yields on earning assets.  Net interest income for the second quarter of 2022 was up $3.4 million, or 6.2% from the same period in 2021. Net interest income for the current quarter included $873,000 of net deferred loan fees associated with PPP loans, down from net deferred loan fees of $2.0 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2022, and $1.9 million in the second quarter of 2021. 

    For the year-to-date period ended June 30, 2022, net interest income was $114.9 million, up $5.0 million or 4.5% compared to the year-to-date period ended June 30, 2021.  For the year-to-date period in 2022, net deferred loan fees associated with PPP loans were approximately $2.9 million, down from $4.7 million in the same period of 2021.   

    Average loans for the quarter ended June 30, 2022 were down $155.3 million, or 3.0%, compared to the same period in 2021.  The decrease in average loans was mainly in commercial loans and driven by a decrease in PPP loans from $259.0 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2021, compared to $4.0 million in the current quarter.  Asset yields for the quarter ended June 30, 2022 were up 5 basis points compared to the same period in 2021.   

    Average total deposits for the second quarter of 2022 were down $91.3 million, or 1.4% compared to the same period in 2021.  Average noninterest bearing deposits for the quarter ended June 30, 2022 were up $107.0 million or 5.1% compared to the quarter ended June 30, 2021.  For the second quarter of 2022, the average rate paid on interest-bearing deposits of 0.18% was down 6 basis points from the same period in 2021 and up 1 basis point from the first quarter of 2022.  The total cost of interest-bearing liabilities of 0.22% for the second quarter of 2022, represented a decline of 18 basis points versus the same period in 2021, and an increase of 1 basis point over the first quarter of 2022. 

    NONINTEREST INCOME 
    Noninterest income of $18.9 million for the second quarter of 2022 and $38.9 million for the year-to-date period were both up slightly from the same periods in 2021.  For the second quarter of 2022, total service-related fee categories were up $547,000 or 3.2% over the same quarter prior year, mainly driven by growth in insurance commissions and fees, and service charges on deposit accounts, which were partially offset by lower investment services income. The decline in investment services income is mainly a result of market conditions. Other income was down from the same quarter last year, driven by reduced income on bank-owned life insurance and lower gains on sales on residential loans.    

    NONINTEREST EXPENSE 
    Noninterest expense was $49.1 million for the second quarter of 2022, up $1.7 million or 3.5% from the second quarter of 2021.  For the year-to-date period, a noninterest expense of $96.0 million was up $4.0 million or 4.4% from the same period in 2021.  The increase in noninterest expense in the second quarter of 2022 over the same quarter last year was mainly in other expense, which was up $2.3 million or 21.4%, and included increases in marketing , technology, legal expense, printing and supplies, and cardholder expense.  Contributing to the growth in these expenses for the three months ended and year-to-date period ended June 30, 2022, were one-time expenses of $956,000 and $1.2 million, respectively, related to the consolidation of the Company's four banking charters into one charter, including the related conversion of the core banking system, which was completed in May of this year.   

    INCOME TAX EXPENSE 
    The Company's effective tax rate was 23.3% for the second quarter of 2022, compared to 22.3% for the same period in 2021.  The effective tax rate for the six months ended June 30, 2022 was 23.1%, compared to 21.3% reported for the same period in 2021.  The increase in the effective tax rate for the three and six months ended June 30, 2022, over the same periods in 2021 is largely due to the anticipated loss of certain New York State tax benefits.     

    The Company's banking subsidiary has an investment in a real estate investment trust that provides certain benefits on its New York State tax return for qualifying entities.  A condition to claim the benefit is that the consolidated company has qualified average assets of no more than $8.0 billion for the taxable year.  The Company expects average assets to exceed the $8.0 billion threshold for the 2022 tax year.  As of June 30, 2022, the Company's consolidated average assets, as defined by New York tax law, were slightly under the $8.0 billion threshold.  The Company will continue to monitor the consolidated average assets during 2022 to determine future eligibility. 

    ASSET QUALITY 
    The allowance for credit losses represented 0.85% of total loans and leases at June 30, 2022, up from 0.83% at March 31, 2022 and down from 0.92% at June 30, 2021.  The allowance coverage as a percentage of  nonperforming loans and leases improved to 147.95% at June 30, 2022, compared to 139.2% at March 31, 2022 and 88.31% at June 30, 2021. 

    The provision for credit losses for the second quarter of 2022 was an expense of $856,000, compared to a credit of $3.1 million for the same period in 2021.  Provision for credit losses for the six months ended June 30, 2022 was an expense of  $336,000, compared to a credit of $4.9 million for the same period in 2021.  The increase in provision for credit losses for both the three and six month periods is mainly driven by current economic forecasts coupled with loan growth. 

    Nonperforming assets represented 0.38% as of June 30, 2022, down from 0.40% at December 31, 2021, and 0.67% at June 30, 2021.  At June 30, 2022, nonperforming loans and leases totaled $29.6 million, compared to $31.2 million at December 31, 2021, and $53.8 million at June 30, 2021.   

    Special Mention and Substandard loans and leases totaled $115.0 million at June 30, 2022, reflecting improvement from $137.6 million at December 31, 2021, and $171.3 million at June 30, 2021.  The decrease in Special Mention and Substandard loans, compared to the same period prior year, was mainly due to improved asset quality in the hospitality industry as occupancy rates continue to increase.   

    As previously announced, the Company implemented a payment deferral program in 2020 to assist both consumer and business borrowers that may be experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. As of June 30, 2022, total loans that continued in a deferral status amounted to approximately $1.8 million, representing 0.04% of total loans compared to 2.5% at June 30, 2021.  At June 30, 2021, total loans in deferral status totaled $129.4 million.  

    The Company funded a total of 5,140 applications for PPP loans totaling $694.1 million in 2020 and 2021.  Out of the $694.1 million of PPP loans that the Company funded, approximately $690.8 million have been forgiven by the SBA under the terms of the program as of June 30, 2022, or paid back by the borrower.  As of June 30, 2022, there were twenty outstanding PPP loans totaling approximately $3.3 million.  Total net deferred fees on the remaining balance of PPP loans amounted to $106,000 at June 30, 2022. 

    CAPITAL POSITION 
    Capital ratios at June 30, 2022 remained well above the regulatory minimums for well-capitalized institutions. The ratio of Total Capital to Risk-Weighted Assets was 14.07% at June 30, 2022, compared to 14.23% at December 31, 2021, and 14.62% at June 30, 2021. The ratio of Tier 1 capital to average assets was 9.02% at June 30, 2022, compared to 8.72% at December 31, 2021, and 8.79% at June 30, 2021. 

    During the second quarter of 2022, the Company repurchased 49,629 common shares at an aggregate cost of $3.8 million. These shares were purchased under the Company's Stock Repurchase Program announced in the third quarter of 2021. For the six month period ended June 30, 2022, the Company repurchased 179,797 common shares at an aggregate cost of $14.1 million.   


    ABOUT TOMPKINS FINANCIAL CORPORATION 
    Tompkins Financial Corporation is a banking and financial services company serving the Central, Western, and Hudson Valley regions of New York and the Southeastern region of Pennsylvania.  Headquartered in Ithaca, NY, Tompkins Financial is parent to Tompkins Community Bank and Tompkins Insurance Agencies, Inc., and offers wealth management services through Tompkins Financial Advisors. For more information on Tompkins Financial, visit www.tompkinsfinancial.com
July 19, 2022 - 9:12pm
posted by Press Release in Tompkins Financial, business.
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Brett Owen Bobby Uy

Press release:

Expanding the capabilities of its commercial lending team, Tompkins Community Bank has appointed both Bobby Uy and Brett Owen to vice president, commercial lending relationship manager. In their roles, Uy and Owen will deliver banking strategies that translate to increased profitability and operational efficiency for Tompkins’ clients while helping to strengthen the communities Tompkins serves.  

“The addition of Bobby and Brett to the commercial lending team bolsters Tompkins’ existing group and ensures that we will continue providing personalized guidance to help clients grow our community,” said Peter Hin, senior vice president, commercial lending. “I am personally excited to see their combined decades of expertise in action and know that our clients and community will benefit from meeting and working with these well-rounded professionals.” 

A 36-year veteran of the banking industry, Uy previously worked for HSBC Bank, USA. A graduate of the University of Rochester, Uy received his M.B.A. in finance and competitive and organizational strategy and has certification as a treasury professional from the Association of Finance Professionals. Uy currently serves as board member for the Diocese of Rochester and is a Rochester resident. He and his wife, Maria Angela, reside in Greece, NY and have four daughters and three grandchildren.  

Also a graduate of the University of Rochester’s M.B.A. in finance program, Owen previously worked for Genesee Regional Bank before joining Tompkins. With 14 years of experience in the financial services industry, Owen resides in Victor, NY with his wife, Lynda, and their daughter and son. He is a board member of the Victor Local Development Corporation.  

About Tompkins 
Founded in 1836, Tompkins Community Bank serves the Central, Western, and Hudson Valley regions of New York, and the Southeastern region of Pennsylvania. Through their unique local decision-making model, the bank offers personalized service and exceptional responsiveness, while delivering a broad range of products and services for consumers and businesses. Insurance services are offered through Tompkins Insurance Agencies, and wealth management services are available through Tompkins Financial Advisors. Further information is available at www.tompkinsbank.com.  

July 17, 2022 - 3:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Casper Farm, Stafford, business, news.

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Casper Farm's shop is still in development but it is open for business, providing some locally grown products, including beef raised right on Patrick and Crystal Casper's farm at 6671 Main Road, Stafford.

The freezers at the store are generally well stocked with strip, ribeye, tomahawk, briskets, roasts, and other cuts of "all-natural" beef.

Casper Farm is a multi-generation operation.

Patrick and Crystal are selling the beef they raise, which is butchered at Burley Brothers in Attica.

The store also sells cheese from Craig's Creamy in Pavilion and local maple syrup.  The Caspers intend to add more locally sourced products.

Crystal also makes a line of seasonings.

Photo: Caitlin Mattis, Carolyn Stewart, and Jon Casper. (Patrick and Crystal were busy at the Oatka Festival when The Batavian stopped by the shop yesterday.)  Photo by Howard Owens.

July 17, 2022 - 1:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in House of Bridal, Le Roy, news, business.

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Shopping for a wedding dress should in itself be a happy and memorable experience and that's what Maddie Fox and Stephan Lentine hope to create for their customers in their new shop in Le Roy, the House of Bridal.

At the end of the Oatka Festival Parade on Saturday, the Chamber of Commerce joined Fox, Lentine, along with friends and family for a ribbon cutting out side the store at 19 Main St.

"We are catering really to the bride that's looking for an experience when she comes shopping for her wedding dress," Fox said. "She doesn't want to just be a number. She wants to be treated respectfully and have a moment with her family and receive genuine guidance along the way."

Fox and Lentine have been best friends since third grade and they always dreamed of going into fashion and owning a store together.  The dream started to become a reality when they saw a need for a special kind of bridal shop in Genesee County.

"We love it," Fox said. "It's such a magical moment in people's lives."

They can deliver on the promise of a great bridal experience, Fox said, because they know wedding dresses.

"Like I said, we're not going to just tell a bride like 'oh, here's a dress,'" Fox said. "We're going to explain the dress to them -- the carriage practice, the characteristics of the dress, all the little things that they don't know because it's a learning experience when you're shopping for it."

Fox and Lentine designed a store that is both cozy and romantic to enhance the experience of shopping for a dress, and Fox thinks that what will really make the shopping experience is that Fox and Lentine can guide the brides-to-be in ways bigger stores can't.

"A lot of brides are very confused and they're not really sure which way to go, so I think our knowledge based on our experience is really huge," Fox said.

For more information about the store and store hours, visit the shop's website.  

Top photo: Maddie Fox, left, and Stephanie Lentine. Photos by Howard Owens

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July 16, 2022 - 12:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fairfield inn, tourism, batavia, business.

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Genesee County Chamber of Commerce helped the new Fairfield Inn by Marriott celebrate its opening Thursday with a ribbon-cutting outside of the new hotel.

The project was pursued by the Chase Hotel Group with assistance from local investors and project managers. Planning started four years ago but was often delayed by issues related to the pandemic. 

The hotel, at 4333 Federal Drive, Batavia, is designed to offer slightly more upscale accommodations to travelers.

The four-story hotel contains sixty-four rooms, including king and queen suites and double rooms for families. Amenities include an indoor pool, breakfast area, and fitness room.

Photos and information courtesy of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

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July 16, 2022 - 8:05am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, consignment, batavia, Harvester Center, notify, business.

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If necessity is the mother of invention, then what is a mother with a dilemma?

She’s an entrepreneur like Alisa Pastecki who opens up shop to help her and fellow moms out.

And Thoughtful Kids Consignment Shop was born.

“I have a one-year-old and a four-year-old, and this was out of an abundance of need for myself because living here in Batavia we didn't have any consignment options. And when I was living in Buffalo previously, one consignment shop that I did like to frequent was on Hertel Avenue, and there was just, there's no parking. It would not be easy to bring two kids in tow with, you know, boxes of clothes to sell,” she said during her shop’s ribbon-cutting grand opening Friday at Harvester Center. “So this was just out of an abundance of need for myself, and I think for the community and other moms like myself.”

While raising her children, Pastecki began to notice the collection of things that she didn’t want to throw out yet also didn’t have many options of where to put them to good use, she said. A consignment shop is a clearinghouse for such gently used goods in which the donor receives a portion of the sales for those items directly given to the store. Pastecki will buy them outright or offer a percentage of the total once sold. 

She chose a street-level spot that’s tucked between a children’s bounce facility and a coffee shop. With help from her husband Douglas and other family members — the grandparents babysat Gloria, 4, and one-year-old Walter — they worked to paint the walls and floor and add custom displays “so that we could get open as soon as possible,” her husband Douglas said.

“It started with a small idea of what are we going to do with all these clothes, we’ve got other parents who are the same as us, who just have all these clothes that need to find a home. And she came up with the idea of doing a pop-up shop or some way an outlet to help people, you know, basically make money and save these clothes from ending up in landfills,” he said. “It's very exciting to go through the process because this is our first time going through starting up the business. So it's been very exciting to see it come to this day of the grand opening. We had so many consignment partners … mothers and families had clothes and needed a place to go.”

They carved out a 600-square-foot niche of assorted children’s clothing, footwear, dolls and other items for newborns up to large kids’ sizes.

Once Alisa had the idea last fall, she just kept inching toward her goal.

“This idea started off probably back in November of last year. And so this started as a pop-up business and grew to be something that I needed a lot more space for. And so that's where the storefront came in,” she said. “And the Harvester, I thought, was the perfect spot to do it, being a business incubator and all. I would say that Thoughtful Kids is quality, savings and community. All three good reasons to shop.”

Pastecki is a native of Tonawanda and moved to Batavia about nine years ago. She met her husband here — he works at Oliver’s Candies — and was familiar with some consignment options in the Buffalo area. But once having her first child she wanted something that would be closer and more convenient for kids’ items.

In addition to her brick-and-mortar store, the 38-year-old plans to offer some pop-up shops in the Western New York area to provide opportunities for fellow moms to buy and sell items as well. It’s a simple concept: “you take stuff and sell it,” she said. People can either drop off their goods or she will pick them up for busy parents, she said.

“So I will drive to their homes. I’ve done Orchard Park and Hamburg in a day. I’ve done Batavia any time, obviously, since I’m local. And then I can really go anywhere, from Rochester to Buffalo,” she said. “The plan is to be permanent here and see where this takes us. Being a business incubator, I don’t know if I’ll ever grow out of the space. But I’m really happy to be at the Harvester right now.”

She is a first-time business owner with a background as a sales executive with a network engineering company. She worked with consignment contracts for telecom equipment.

“So this is kind of a lot of the paperwork and a lot of the things I do for my consigners, it is very similar to what I was doing on a much larger scale for telecom companies all over the world,” she said. “So it kind of fit perfectly when  I was home with my kids during the pandemic.”

Benefits of shopping at her place include saving money — an estimated 50 to 70 percent off retail; buying quality, brand name fashions; positively impacting the environment; experiencing an easy consignment process; and the best reason of all, she said, is to support “a small, local, female-owned business."

Hours listed for the next two weeks are 2 to 6 p.m. Monday, 3 to 6 p.m. Friday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 23, 2 to 6 p.m. July 25 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 29 at 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia. For more information, call (716) 984-0515 or go to Thoughtful Kids 

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Top photo: Alisa Pastecki shows some of the children's clothing at her new shop on Harvester Avenue, Batavia. Family members help Alisa and husband Douglas, behind her to the left, with the ceremonial ribbon-cutting for Thoughtful Kids Consignment at 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia. The couple's children, Gloria, front near mom, and Walter, being carried, in back row, enjoy the celebration Friday.  Photos by Joanne Beck.

July 8, 2022 - 3:28pm
posted by Press Release in O'Lacy's Irish Pub, batavia, business, news.

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Statement from Kent Ewell:

After over 25 years I am saying “goodbye” to O’Lacy’s Irish Pub. It has been a wonderful ride thanks to the many gracious and repeat customers throughout the years. I have developed many friendships over these 25 years and will cherish each and every one of them. Please remember the good times you have had at O’Lacy’s and be sure to look forward to many more happy times under new ownership. O’Lacy’s was & is a blessing for Batavia and will be for years to come. 

Photo: File photo of Kent Ewell and Kelly Bermingham. Photo by Jim Burns.

June 29, 2022 - 5:15pm
posted by Press Release in The House of Bounce, Harvester Center, batavia, business, news.

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Press release from the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce:

Today we helped celebrate the newest addition to Batavia, The House of Bounce!

Justina and Pat Rapone are local parents who saw a need for a children's indoor play space and birthday party center here in Genesee County. They were both born and raised in the Batavia area and are currently raising four children of their own. They wanted to provide an interactive space for children twelve and under to play, climb, jump, and explore!

They are located on the corner of The Harvester Center in Batavia and are now officially open for business! They can host private events, and birthday parties, and are also making the space available for open-play sessions.

Inside the facility, they have multiple bounce houses, ball pits, sandboxes, a rock wall and all sorts of other interactive equipment available for use. For parents, they have a private party room with tables and chairs that can be used for different kinds of events.

Welcome to Batavia, House of Bounce!

Find more information and how to book your experience at www.houseofbouncebatavia.com

Photos courtesy of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

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June 29, 2022 - 5:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in west main wine & spirits, batavia, business, news.

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Chris Blossom has sold his business, West Main Wine & Spirits to T.J. Woodward.

Blossom provided this message for the community:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Batavia community and the surrounding areas for supporting our business for the past 13 years.   I could not have done it without the support of my family, friends, amazing staff and especially our loyal customers of West Main Wine and Spirits. 

I would like to wish the new ownership all the best.  The store may be under new ownership, but you will still see familiar faces.

I couldn’t have had the success that I did without all of you.  It has been fun, challenging and more than I could have ever dreamed possible.  I have built friendships with customers and sales reps that I will always cherish.

A special thank you to my wife for her support behind the scenes and all staff members past and present.  I will forever have fond memories of being a business owner in Batavia!

Thank you!  Wishing you all health and happiness!

Chris Blossom

June 27, 2022 - 5:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in New York Bus Sales, GCEDC, business, news, notify, batavia.

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Press release:

New York Bus Sales broke ground on a $4.5 million multi-use 20,000 sq. ft. facility today at West Saile Drive and Call Parkway in the town of Batavia. The facility will include office and training space and repair and storage areas.  It is intended to support school districts and bus operators across Genesee County and the Western New York and Finger Lakes regions convert their fleets from diesel fuel to all-electric.  The project has also pledged to create 24 full-time jobs.

Based in Chittenango, New York Bus Sales is one of the largest Blue Bird school bus dealers in North America. The company’s facility will service customers, including school districts to help transition their bus fleets from diesel fuel engines to all-electric bus fleets. New York has mandated that the approximately 50,000 school buses in the state by 100 percent electric by 2035.

“New York Bus Sales is excited to be leading the charge on school bus electrification in New York State and truly appreciates everyone at the Genesee County Economic Development Center and National Grid for helping make this first-of-its-kind project a reality,” said Sean Finnerty, President, New York Bus Sales.  “As the state begins converting its school bus fleets to all-electric, New York Bus Sales is proud to be at the forefront of this very exciting journey and looks forward to helping school districts across Western New York make the transition to all-electric school buses.  Genesee County’s favorable business climate and its central location between Buffalo and Rochester made Batavia an ideal location for our new facility.”

The GCEDC board of directors approved a request by New York Bus Sales for approximately $400,000 in incentives and National Grid assisted in the installation of charging stations and technology as part of the company’s DCFC Per-Plug Incentive Program.

“New York Bus Sales is yet another project as part of the emerging green economy in Genesee County as evidenced by the current construction of Plug Power’s green hydrogen facility at STAMP, the opening of a research and development facility for more efficient and renewable wind turbine bases in Bergen, and various solar projects across the county as well as other projects in the pipeline,” said GCEDC President and CEO Steve Hyde.

“Our Make-Ready Program provides a range of technical assistance and funding for electric vehicle charging projects across our upstate New York service territory,” said National Grid Regional Director Ken Kujawa. “Working with New York Bus Sales is a great example of a company making a commitment toward innovation and sustainability while reducing greenhouse gas emissions while supporting New York State’s climate emission mandates.”

One of the first electric school buses will be delivered this summer to the Lake Shore School District in Erie County. The school district received funding from the Truck Voucher Incentive Program through NYSERDA. Electric buses are nearly identical to diesel engine buses, with the new EV vehicles have a quieter engine along with more technological capabilities and most importantly, significantly reducing emissions.

Top photo: Ken Kujawa, WNY regional director for National Grid, Greg Post, Town of Batavia supervisor, Shelley Stein, chairwoman of the Genesee County Legislature, Assemblyman Steve Hawley, State Senator Ed Rath, GCEDC CEO Steve Hyde, and John Johnston, VP of New York Bus Sales. 

Photos by Howard Owens

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Steve Hyde

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John Johnston

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Greg Post

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Shelley Stein

June 27, 2022 - 12:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alberty Drug Store, batavia, business, news, notify.

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The failure of insurance companies to fully reimburse pharmacies for the full cost of prescription drugs has cost the City of Batavia its only independently owned pharmacy.

Alberty Drug Store, operating locally since 1922, won't see its 101st year in business, confirmed co-owner Christopher Casey this morning.

Starting this week, it's only open to fill prescriptions. All other retail items have been removed from the store.  The drug store will continue to fill prescriptions until sometime in July.  Prescriptions will be transferred to another pharmacy though customers can choose their own pharmacy if they prefer.  They will need to make their own arrangements for the transfers. The negotiations with other pharmacies to accept the prescriptions is ongoing.

"This is not a decision made lightly," Casey said."But a decision was made because of profitability and lack of profitability, filling an Eliquis prescription for the cost $500 that insurance reimburses six weeks later for $475. That's been the trend that's been going on for several years."

Independent pharmacies have also been hurt because a Rochester drug co-op has closed and that removed the rebate structure that helped locally owned shops.

"That money has been gone for four or five years," Casey said. "That's money that we used to go into the bottom line. So in essence, it makes it unfortunately unprofitable."

The 66-year-old Casey started in the pharmacy business when he was 13 and has owned five pharmacies during his career.

Casey and his son Kevin Casey also own and operate a pharmacy in Victor.  There are no plans currently to close that pharmacy but Casey said there was no problem with the business volume at Alberty.

"If you're losing money, you don't make it up in volume," Casey said. "And that's really the case. There are some things we'd make some money on, but pharmacies basically make it on the difference between the cost and what's paid. And that's dictated unfortunately by insurances. There's really no ability to negotiate with insurances."

June 21, 2022 - 4:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Quicklee’s, batavia, business, news.

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Press release:

Quicklee’s Convenience Stores, headquartered in Avon, NY, officially opens the doors of its first Batavia location to customers this week. The newest Quicklee’s is located at 204 Oak Street, at the site of the former Bob Evans. It is the 1st Quicklee’s in Genesee County, and brings the total number of family-owned and operated Quicklee’s stores to 27.

“When we first announced our plans to build, when we began hiring, and now as we open, the people of Batavia have been helpful, welcoming, and excited about this new store,” said Ken Perelli, Quicklee’s Vice President and COO. “As a family-owned and operated business we believe community support is so important, and we wanted to create a space that encouraged travelers to stop, and see what Batavia is really all about.”

At the time of its opening, the new location is stocked with a variety of cold beverages, snacks, and food items. The new, state-of-the-art touch-screen fuel pumps provide travelers with weather updates and traffic alerts. And in the coming months EV charging stations will be installed and a Tim Horton’s will open onsite.

“This store is located right off of the Thruway at exit 48, making it an ideal location for travelers as well as a great place for locals to stop,” said Brian Mongi, Quicklee’s General Manager. “We have gas, diesel, a great variety of snacks, and a friendly staff ready to help you on your way. It really is a great location, one we hope will encourage more visitors to check out the area.”

Family-owned and- operated, Quicklee’s has ties with national brands like Tim Horton’s, but its local roots are a key part of its identity. In addition to providing a variety of convenience store offerings, Quicklee’s proudly supports community organizations and works with small businesses to provide them with premium placement in its stores. 

June 18, 2022 - 12:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Red Osier Landmark Restaurant, Stafford, news, business.

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When Steve Foster and Tim Adams, owners of the Red Osier Landmark Restaurant in Stafford, come up with small ideas, they often grow into grand ideas.

In the spring of 2021, for example, the decision to clean up the area behind the restaurant -- move a dumpster to the back of the property and remove the wood structures from behind the building -- was supposed to be just as a clean-up project.  Once the area was clear, Foster thought maybe they could put some gravel down, install some tables and chairs and have a small outdoor dining area at a time when COVID protocols were still in place.

"A close local friend who was helping with the demo joked about a 'man cave' at the restaurant," Foster told The Batavian. "Tim and I agreed, but not so much a 'mancave' but an outdoor entertaining area that you would envision seeing in Florida -- an area that is not directly on a busy street, but a nice casual and inviting area to enjoy our country views.  We named the patio after our aunts, Valerie DiFalco and Lynda Bird. Both were very influential in our lives and loved the outdoors, and more importantly, loved to entertain."

So now what you will find out back isn't gravel and a few tables.  Rather, there is a full concrete patio, redwood cover, a couple of dozen tables, a bar with seating, and enough space for a small rock, country, pop, or jazz combo to keep the space hoppin'.

"As we built the patio, we had a mindset to have a big enough area where we could host live entertainment, something that is seen in a lot of patio bars in Florida," Foster said. "Our area is full of local talent and we wanted to have a nice space where they would be comfortable to play.  We wanted music that is not genre specific but goes with our casual fine dining feel."

The patio has seating for 65 patrons.  The seats are often all taken on Friday and Saturday evenings -- the nights when there is live entertainment on the patio.

"We offer a 'lighter eats' menu on the patio, which I believe has been valuable," Foster said. "We didn't want patrons to think they had to come out and get a prime and lobster dinner, although they can if they want to.  We wanted a salad and sandwich option.  There are already plans to add live entertainment to Sundays due to the overall success of the patio, along with hosting car cruises and tailgate parties throughout the patio season."

The Red Osier Landmark Restaurant is located at 6492 Main St., Stafford. Phone: (585) 343-6972 (the restaurant takes reservations). The restaurant is closed for dining on Mondays and opens at 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

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June 15, 2022 - 4:23pm
posted by Press Release in business, agriculture, USDA.

Press release

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) is now accepting nominations for county committee members. Elections will occur in certain Local Administrative Areas (LAA) for members. LAAs are elective areas for FSA committees in a single county or multi-county jurisdiction. This may include LAAs that are focused on an urban or suburban area. 

County committee members make important decisions about how Federal farm programs are administered locally. All nomination forms for the 2022 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by Aug. 1, 2022. 

“It is a priority for USDA to integrate equity into its decision-making and policymaking, and that starts with our local FSA county committees,” said Jim Barber, State Executive Director for FSA in New York. “We need enthusiastic, diverse leaders to serve other agricultural producers on these committees as we work to build equitable systems and programming inclusive of all employees and all of our customers. I ask that you consider making a difference in your community by nominating yourself, or another agricultural producer, to serve on your local FSA county committee.” 

Barber said agricultural producers who participate or cooperate in a USDA program and reside in the LAA that is up for election this year, may be nominated for candidacy for the county committee. A cooperating producer is someone who has provided information about their farming or ranching operation to FSA, even if they have not applied or received program benefits. Individuals may nominate themselves or others and qualifying organizations may also nominate candidates. USDA encourages minority producers, women, and beginning farmers or ranchers to nominate, vote and hold office. 

 

Nationwide, more than 7,700 dedicated members of the agricultural community serve on FSA county committees. The committees are made up of three to 11 members who serve three-year terms. Producers serving on FSA county committees play a critical role in the day-to-day operations of the agency. Committee members are vital to how FSA carries out disaster programs, as well as conservation, commodity and price support programs, county office employment and other agricultural issues. 

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