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chamber of commerce

March 27, 2021 - 6:00pm
posted by Press Release in Chamber Awards, chamber of commerce, news.

Livestream courtesy of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

March 2, 2021 - 1:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in umm, chamber of commerce, Chamber Awards, livestream, video.
Video Sponsor

This is the first in a series this week of interviews with this year's winners of awards from the Chamber of Commerce, starting with UMMC, winner of the Service Award for 2020. We'll be talking with President Dan Ireland.

February 5, 2021 - 11:02am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, chamber of commerce, YMCA.


Erik Fix believes that the numerous relationships he has forged through his prior professional experience will enable him to successfully navigate the day-to-day tasks as the next president of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

“Absolutely,” Fix said, when contacted this morning after the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors announced that he will succeed Tom Turnbull, who is retiring after seven years at the helm. “(My former positions) have given me the experience that I have needed -- being involved with the ins and outs of a nonprofit as well as being community based, and I expect to utilize my connections in the community with the Chamber of Commerce.

“I get an opportunity to do that at M&T in some regard, but as far as being involved in the entire county and having a role, there is something I’m looking forward to.”

Currently, Fix is the manager of M&T Bank’s Oakfield branch. He previously served about seven years as the regional executive director of the United Way of Genesee County.

Prior to that, he held several positions with the Genesee Family YMCA, including serving as Genesee YMCA branch manager and director of camping services at Camp Hough in Perry. He began his employment with the YMCA after graduating from Roberts Wesleyan College with a bachelor of science degree in organization management.

A member of the Leadership Genesee Class of 2009, Fix is involved in several community organizations, including the United Memorial Medical Center Foundation Board of Directors, the YMCA New Branch Development Committee, Genesee County Youth Bureau Board of Directors and the City of Batavia Police Advisory Committee.

He also serves as a volunteer coach for the Byron-Bergen-Le Roy high schools swim team. Fix lives in Le Roy with his wife, Susan, and sons Brady, Jackson and Carter.

Fix said he holds the Chamber of Commerce “in high esteem” and seeks to “continue what Tom had done and his legacy, and move it forward.”

“By starting on the 22nd, this will give Tom and I a week of overlap,” he said. “Tom’s already putting together an orientation packet and things like that to ensure a smooth transition. This is a difficult time, so we want to make sure that we’re moving forward.”

In a press release, Board Chair Danielle Rotondo said the Chamber board is “excited to work with Erik.”

“He brings a wealth of knowledge to this position and a history of commitment to our community. We would like to extended our deepest gratitude to Tom for serving our community for the past seven years,” she said.

Photo: File photo of Erik Fix from 2017.

February 7, 2020 - 1:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in tourism, news, notify, chamber of commerce.


First, it was the trade war, now it's novel coronavirus knocking down tourism dollars just a bit in Genesee County.

It's not a huge impact, but Chinese tourists passing through the area as they travel between New York City and Niagara Falls have helped fill up hotel rooms and generate local dining and shopping revenue. 

In 2019, that changed as the trade war meant fewer travel visas were issued to Chinese citizens. In April, there were 5.4 percent fewer rooms booked in local hotels. In May, there was a 7.4 percent drop, 12.3 percent in June, and a little less than 2 percent in July and August. In September, there were 14.1 percent fewer rooms booked.

Many tour companies consider Batavia an attractive location for an overnight stay because the room rates are lower than closer to Niagara Falls, said Kelly Rapone, director of tourism for the Chamber of Commerce.

With fewer visas issued, there were a lot fewer buses stopping outside the Chinese restaurants in Valu Plaza and the BJ's plaza.  

There was also a drop in guests at the visitors center on Park Road.

"We did not see as many Chinese taking pictures in our yard," Rapone told the Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday during a department review.

In February, hotel bookings are already projected to be down 20 percent as tour cancellations mount because of the outbreak of coronavirus in China.

"It's funny how something on the other side of the world, such as this coronavirus, could affect us in little old Genesee County," said Chamber President Tom Turnbull.

It's too soon to say how much revenue from the bed tax will drop for 2019, but Rapone said today it could be from 1 to 3 percent.

One wild card is hotel and cabin stays at Darien Lake, which accounts for a third of the county's bed tax. But Darien Lake isn't part of the national industry reporting system the Chamber uses to track hotel occupancy (which is a leading indicator for projected bed tax because that revenue won't be collected and tabulated for a couple of months yet).

"(2018) was so high that a small drop (in 2019) isn't going to seem that bad," Rapone said.

Only once in the past 20 years, Turnbull said, has the county failed to hit its bed tax target.

The drop in Chinese tourists could have an even bigger economic impact throughout the state. Chinese tourists tend to say longer and spend more than many other international travelers. Turnbull noted that the Chinese are only allowed to bring $10,000 in U.S. currency and they are intent on spending every last penny of that money during their visit.

April's hotel occupancy rate was also hurt when a weekend soccer tournament was rained out.

In other tourism developments:

  • The state is reducing "I Love New York" grants to local tourism bureaus by $500,000, which will mean about $9,000 less for Genesee County. 
  • The restoration of the Thompson Rocket Car is nearing completion. The Chamber continues to work on trying to find a temporary and a permanent home for it once the work is done. Rapone expects it to be a tourist attraction for auto enthusiasts. There are plans in the works to take it to an auto show in Syracuse this summer.
  • The chamber's golf package continues to sell well, with Canadians buying more than 90 percent of the golf packages. The new hotel at Batavia Downs has become popular with golfers. Batavia Downs offers free shuttles to golfers to all of their golf courses. It's a good deal for Batavia Downs, Turnbull said. "Think about it -- the sun has to go down sometime and they have the restaurants, the racing, and the casino right there."

Photo: Kelly Rapone shows members of the County Legislature a mock-up of the next edition of the tourism guide.

The Batavian was the only local media outlet at this meeting. To help ensure you get more exclusive coverage, become a supporter today.

November 7, 2019 - 5:42pm

Press release:

“Universal Hiring Practices: Hiring Someone with a Disability” will be the subject of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce’s latest business workshop on Nov. 13.

The Chamber has partnered with the Arc of Genesee Orleans to provide training on the benefits of hiring a person with a disability. The workshop will be held at the newly renovated GO TO Hub at Arc of Genesee Orleans, 64 Walnut St., Batavia.

“It is well known that finding and retaining employees is a problem for employers here in Genesee County,” said Tom Turnbull, president of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

“Unemployment is low and the pool of capable workers is shrinking. To meet these hiring needs, local businesses need to explore new and diverse options that are available here in our local communities.”

“Hiring a person with a disabilityis an option employers sometimes overlook but would be wise to consider. This pool of diverse employees will provide a highly productive, community focused, dedicated group of new hires to your employee base.”

The workshop is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. and should last approximately one hour.

This event is free for Chamber and Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District members. There is a $10 charge for non-members.

To register, contact Kelly Bermingham at the Chamber by phone at 585-343-7440 or by email at [email protected].

September 22, 2019 - 11:44am

Kim Argenta, owner of Art Ah La Carte on Jackson Street, painted a new mural of wings, adding to the art trail through Batavia, and the Chamber of Commerce hosted an unveiling on Friday. The video is by Steve Falitico for the Chamber.

September 16, 2019 - 6:30pm

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that the 2019-2020 version of the Genesee County Chamber Business Directory has been published!

With nearly 500 local organizations in Chamber membership, we consider this the “who’s who in business” in Genesee County. Descriptions and contact information for small businesses, large corporations, nonprofits, municipalities and schools, all operating in Genesee County, all in one convenient publication!

Stop by The Chamber today to get your copy: Our office is located at 8276 Park Road, Batavia.

We are also pleased to announce the launch of our new Online Business Directory on www.geneseeny.com. With links to member websites, social media pages, emails, and phone numbers: the online directory is the perfect place to interact and learn more about local organizations right here in Genesee County!

Some member listings even have video and pictures to accompany their contact info, Check it out on website here.

The Genesee County Chamber is a not-for-profit organization that consists of nearly 500 local businesses and organizations. Whether you operate a small operation or a large corporation, a membership with the Genesee County Chamber is the perfect way to improve your visibility and make your business more engaged within Genesee County!

If you are interested in scheduling a tour to find out more information, please contact Steven Falitico at 585-343-7440 or by email at [email protected]

More membership information can also be found on our website under “Membership.”

August 1, 2019 - 12:48pm

The business community is invited to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Harvester Center in Batavia, the world's first business incubator.

In partnership with Start-Up Genesee, which is the networking event coordinator, and the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, the anniversary celebration will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 15. The address is 22 Masse Place.

These organizations are thrilled to have such a unique and forward-thinking facility in our county.

Catering will be provided by D & R Depot Restaurant.

There is no cost to attend, but registration is required.

Click here to find out more and click the button on the right side of the page to register. Or call 343-2800.

May 7, 2019 - 1:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in chamber of commerce, business.

There will be a speed networking (or speed business meeting) sponsored by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday morning, May 15, at the Arc of Genesee Orleans Community Center in Batavia. Time is 8 to 9:30 a.m.

It's a meeting format designed to accelerate business contacts. It involves participants gathering together to exchange information. Participants greet each other in a series of brief exchanges during a set period of time.

Fill your tank and come ready to network! Coffee and tea and other light snacks will be provided.

Arc of Genesee Orleans Community Center is located at 38 Woodrow Drive.

April 6, 2019 - 2:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in video, Home Show, chamber of commerce, batavia.
Video Sponsor

The Chamber of Commerce Home Show is in full swing at the Falleti Ice Arena. It continues until 5 p.m. today and runs tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

March 3, 2019 - 4:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chamber Awards, chamber of commerce, news, notify.


It was a celebratory evening at the Quality Inn and Suites on Saturday as the Chamber of Commerce honored local businesses and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the community. 

For more on each award winner, click on the story links below:


Dan Fischer, emcee.


Jay Gsell, emcee, with the "Genesee Is Great Already" (GIGA) hat that he introduced at the event and gave to each honoree.


Tom Turnbull, president of the Chamber of Commerce.


Bob Stocking and Penny Arnold.


Larry Webster and Mike Davis representing Upstate Niagara Cooperative.


The Harrower family, Genesee Lumber.



Jim McMullen and Sue Schuler representing the Rotary Club of Batavia.


Videos, produced by Paul Figlow, were used to introduce each award winner.


Bob Stocking's hat.

February 8, 2019 - 4:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in tourism, news, notify, chamber of commerce.


Spring sports, golf, and bus tours, filled mostly with visitors from China seeing the sights in NYC and Niagara Falls, continue to drive tourism dollars to Genesee County, members of the County's Ways and Means Committee were told Wednesday.

Tom Turnbull, president of the Chamber of Commerce, and Kelly Rapone, tourism marketing director, provided the committee with an annual review of tourism activity.

For 2018, bed tax revenue was up 10 percent. It was up 15 percent in the second quarter, which is the quarter that sports teams from throughout the region travel here for softball and soccer tournaments. 

Hotel rooms during that period, especially on weekends, tend to be sold out.

The bed tax was revenue was $498,000 in 2018. 

Total related revenue flowing into the county was about $176 million.

The tourism department also sold out of its annual local golf packages. The packages brought in 600 golfers to the county over the course of the season.

Niagara Falls continues to be an attractive destination for Chinese tourists and their tourist buses during the summer have become a frequent sight in Batavia. The tour companies have figured out that Batavia is both close to Niagara Falls and hotel rooms are less expensive than those in Niagara County, Rapone said.

Tourism representatives attended 39 trade and consumer shows last year where they promote Genesee County as a tourism destination, including an annual golf show in Toronto, Canada, which is proven fruitful in promoting golf packages.

There are also more interest groups coming to Genesee County, Rapone said, such as a writers' group in 2018, and more car clubs.

Car clubs are an interesting niche the county might be able to attract, Rapone said, because of the restoration project locally of the Thomas Rocket Car. She is working on arranging tours at Dick McClurg's shop on West Main Street.

January 15, 2019 - 12:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chamber of commerce, Chamber Awards, news, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 47th Annual Awards Ceremony which will be held on Saturday, March 2, at the Quality Inn & Suites, Park Road, Batavia.

This is the County’s premier event that honors businesses and individuals for their achievements in business, community service and volunteerism. Tickets are $50 per person or a table of 10 for $450.

The evening begins at 5:30 with hors d'oeuvres, entrée tables & cash bar (no formal sit-down dinner is to be served). The Award Program starts at 7 p.m. where dessert and coffee will be served. 

This year’s honorees are: 

  • Business of the Year:    Genesee Lumber Company Inc.      
  • Agricultural Organization of the Year:    Upstate Niagara Cooperative Inc.   
  • Special Service Recognition of the Year:   The Batavia Rotary Club
  • Geneseean of the Year:   Bob Stocking, of Corfu
November 1, 2018 - 3:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chamber of commerce, news, notify.


It's been a banner year for the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce -- more ribbon cuttings, more members, more tourism dollars, and even higher attendance at the chamber's annual meeting at Terry Hills.

This year, 156 people turned out for the luncheon and Chamber President Tom Turnbull's upbeat review of the past year of chamber activity.

Membership has increased from 425 businesses on the Chamber's rolls to 464, a 9-percent increase, the largest single-year climb in membership on record.

"I think we've done a better job of conveying the value of being a Chamber member," Turnbull said after the meeting. "From our improved staff, improved social media, improve the communication with our members, we've been able to let people know what the chamber does and that it's growing.

"It also is a reflection on the business community. Businesses are growing. We're doing ribbon cuttings because there are new businesses. I think we that reflects what's happening in the business community."

The new visitor center on Park Road has given a boost to local tourism, Turnbull said, but new hotels, more travel, a good economy, are also giving a boost to the bed tax, which funds tourism promotion in Genesee County. Bed tax revenue was up 11 percent in 2017.

Tourism is the county's second leading industry, after agriculture, Turnbull said, with nearly two million visitors passing through the county annually contributing $180 million to the local economy. Darien Lake alone draws 800,000 people during its short 100-day season.

During the summer, sports events have become a big draw for the county, leading to all rooms booked at every hotel in the county on many weekends.

This past summer, 53 events in Genesee County drew 123,000 people.

Asian tour companies have discovered Batavia is a convenient location for an overnight stay, Turnbull said, because it's still close to Niagara Falls but with competitive room rates. As many as 10 tour buses a day stop in Batavia.

Local tourism employes more than 2,000 people at 380 tourism-related business with a $58 million annual payroll, Turnbull said.

September 5, 2018 - 1:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, batavia, chamber of commerce, news.

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce's Annual Awards Committee announced today that the ceremony for 2018 honorees will be held on Saturday, March 2.

It will take place at The Quality Inn & Suites, Park Road, Batavia (formerly The Clarion Hotel).

This is the county’s premier event that honors businesses and individuals for their achievements in business, community service and volunteerism.     

Please note that a brief write-up will qualify your nominee for consideration.

Nominations are now being accepted for: Business of the Year; Entrepreneurial Business of the Year; Agricultural Business of the Year; Innovative Enterprise of the Year; Special Service Recognition; and Geneseeans of the Year.

Business nominees must be a chamber member (If unsure of your nominee, call the chamber to verify).   

Nomination forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce office, 8276 Park Road, Batavia, and can also be downloaded from the chamber website at www.geneseeny.com

Nominations MUST BE RECEIVED BY Dec. 28 to be eligible for consideration.

If you would like more information, feel free to call Kelly J. Bermingham, director of Member Relations & Special Events at the Chamber office, 343-7440, ext. 1026.

July 23, 2018 - 2:39pm
posted by Genesee Chamber... in Camping, chamber of commerce, news, outdoors, tourism.

The wind whistling through the trees, the sun peeking through the clouds, and just around the corner, a bird is singing. There’s no better way to start your morning than surrounded by nature, and no better way to get in touch with your outdoorsy side than by pitching a tent and setting up camp.

And truly, how great is camping? With the aroma of marshmallows in the air, the sound of the crackling fire, and the stars burning bright overhead, it’s one surefire way to relax, recharge, and reconnect with nature.

Luckily for those in the area or visitors wanting an easy outdoor getaway, Genesee County is home to some seriously awesome campsites.

Skyline Camping Resort

Skyline Camping Resort is your “one stop for family camping fun.” Located atop scenic rolling hills, they boast over 300 campsites with 275 of those sites offering water and electric hookups. Families can enjoy three wading and swimming pools, a pond for fishing, and recreational activities (shuffleboard, basketball, volleyball, horseshoe) for all ages. Send the kids out to enjoy a game of tennis or mini golf, or to play the old-fashioned way at the playground and burn off that pent up energy. Then hype them back up with a candy bar at Skyline’s mini on-site Grocery Store. With something for everyone to enjoy, one weekend just won’t be enough!

Southwoods RV Resort

Southwoods RV Resort is a family friendly campsite in a park-like setting. What does that mean? It means that kids can explore and play on the playground, in the game room, hop in the swimming pool or take to the special wagon rides, while others enjoy the bike track, hiking trails, sand volleyball court or mini-golf course. More than 200 spacious campsites with full hookups for RVs, a propane station, laundry facilities, and more mean that there is room for everyone to camp out and enjoy Southwoods all summer (and fall!) long. The Resort also hosts special events like coffee and donuts, casino night, and live music on holiday weekends.

Lei-Ti Campground

Lei-Ti shows guests how to enjoy LEIsure TIme the right way in Western New York. Started in 1971, the campground has been voted one of the top 100 campgrounds in North American by Woodalls readers. And it's easy to see why - with two huge playgrounds, golf cart sales, swimming in the pool or at Leisure Lake beach, fishing, a rec. lodge (complete with an arcade and fitness room) and live entertainment, activities and events! It's an extended camping trip that's going to feel just like home - busy, fun, relaxing, and with all the amenities you could ever need. 

Cherry Hill Campground

Cherry Hill Campground takes you straight back to the basics, while also offering a crazy convenient location - just across from Darien Lake Theme Park! Enjoy lush, shaded campsites or a lean-to cabin with double doors that close for privacy. Cherry Hill is pet friendly and each site comes with a picnic table and fire ring. 

The Ridge NY

Formerly known as Frost Ridge Recreation Area, The Ridge is a campground that takes its entertainment seriously. The site boasts a pool, camp and farm store, playground, and The Big Ridge Restaurant serving up homemade and homegrown meals. They also hold regular “Jam at the Ridge” concerts featuring local and statewide bands. Concerts are open to the public for single access into each event, but campers staying on property get special passes allowing in-and-out access to come and go as they please. The Ridge is truly where the fun is!

Darien Lakes State Park

Hills, woodlands, ravines, streams, a sandy beach and the 12-acre Harlow Lake make up Darien Lakes State Park. Campers can take their pick of where to park their stuff – choosing from a total of 154 campsites, 141 with electricity and 13 primitive sites without. When you aren’t exploring the trails, fishing for largemouth black bass, or playing a round of 18-holes on the Angry Apple Disc Golf Course, you can make your way over to “Picnic Island” and enjoy a snack while surrounded by the serene views of nature.

Darien Lake Amusement Park Campground

Whether you’re relaxing after a day of thrills at the amusement park, or just getting away from it all, Darien Lake Campgrounds are a great way to unwind. Pitch a tent, pull an RV in, book a cabin rental or settle in to a “ready-made” glamping site nearby picturesque Darien Lake. Lodging Packages offer the best value for those looking to do it all – enjoy the outdoors, hit the waterpark, ride the roller coasters, and enjoy a weekend with family or friends.

Sleepy Hollow Lake

Sleepy Hollow Lake is 104 acres of camping fun! It’s kid friendly, pet friendly, and home to beautiful walking trails and easy waterfront access. The camp has drive through RV sites, tent camp sites, and cabin rentals, with water, electric, on-site restrooms, picnic areas, and more. Each month they host special events ranging from pancake breakfasts and roast beef dinners, to flea markets, hayrides, petting zoos and horseshoe tournaments. There’s always something happening at Sleepy Hollow -- the place to make and preserve memories that last a lifetime.

It doesn’t matter which you choose or where you want to park it, family memories and outdoor fun await! For more information on these sites or other local offerings, check out the camping page on www.VisitGeneseeNY.com.

June 27, 2018 - 12:52pm
posted by Genesee Chamber... in tourism, chamber of commerce, business.


At Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises, you’ll be singing and celebrating over a century of American history as you cruise down the Erie Canal. Located just outside Genesee County (just 15 minutes from Niagara Falls along historic Route 104) and headquartered in a renovated 1840 warehouse, Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises offers a relaxing adventure and exciting take on history -- with daily and charter cruises, lively narration, and private charters and event space.

Experience the Canal

History is, in fact, the main theme at Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises. Experience “Life in the Past Lane" when you take a two-hour scenic cruise down the Erie Canal and enjoy the sights and sounds of the waterway that changed the nation.

From May through October, book an experience that takes you through locks 34 and 35, the only double set of locks on the Canal, and ride 50 feet up as it fills with over three million gallons of water in mere minutes. Pass under Lockport’s "Upside Down Bridge," Lockport's "Big Bridge" (the widest bridge in the United States at 299 feet wide), through the "deep rock cut" and under lift bridges (everybody down!).

Cruise guides provide narration set to popular 1800s music – setting the scene and the mood as you navigate the canal.

Learn the History

Since 1987, Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises has been a family owned business and community staple. From the boats to the building and event space, every detail has been carefully considered and immaculately preserved. The original stone walls are the remains of what was once Niagara Preserving Company, and the property was also at one time Western Block Company, a business that manufactured block and tackle for pulleys used on canal boats. Many of these artifacts can still be found throughout the spacious building.

Across the parking stands a four-story stone building built in the 1840s. The building was once a flour mill that used the water from the Erie Canal as its main power source, and channeled its excess water down a spillway, which still carries water to the canal today.

The building -- preserved in its original condition -- serves as the Lockport & Erie Canal Heritage Museum with hands-on canal related exhibits, a working model of a lock, and many interesting, and educational displays and artifacts.

Make a Memory that Lasts

But, Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises is more than just a history lesson and a cruise along the canal. Each of its three vessels and spacious buildings can be rented out for private events, functions, and even weddings. Book time on a boat with food, drinks, music, and the opportunity to choose-your-own-adventure - we mean, route! Each has its own great atmosphere:

  • Lockview IV, a 48-passenger boat built to resemble the African Queen;
  • Lockview V, a 125 passenger, double-decker boat built for the Great Lakes;
  • Lockview VI, a 150 passenger, double-deck Mississippi-style stern paddle wheel.

Back on dry land, choose from one of three event spaces:

  • The Veranda Banquet Room has more than 100 windows overlooking the Canal for stunning views from every angle;
  • The Meeting Room boasts a giant skylight and windows that overlook cobblestone walkways and the Canal for an atmosphere that will whisk you back in time;
  • The Canalside Grove has an enclosed shelter but puts your event outside directly on the canal. (And let’s not forget the 15-foot fully stocked bar available!)

So good are they at what they do, Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises was recently entered into the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame for earning a Certificate of Excellence every year for the past five years! With so many satisfied customers, you’re sure to be one, too.

For more information on nearby attractions, visit www.visitgeneseeny.com.

June 6, 2018 - 3:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, chamber of commerce, CUSTOMER SERVICE, news.

Press release:

“Customer Service that Wins Sales” will be the subject of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Workshop on Wednesday, June 13.

“Customer Service is the driving force in all of our businesses that can mean the difference between winning a sale and losing one”, said Tom Turnbull, president of the Chamber. “Customers today are pickier than ever and have more reach via social media, so it is imperative we keep them happy. Attend this workshop to learn more about how to win more and repeat sales.”

Among the subjects to be covered include tips to better serve your customer, how to win new customers with customer service, how to increase loyalty and repeat purchases and he importance of online customer service. Greg Lindberg of the Small Business Administration will conduct the workshop.

This is the one of a series of business workshops held in conjunction with the United States Small Business Administration and the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce. The workshops are open to all Chamber and non-Chamber businesses and their employees and will offer expert advice from experienced professionals designed to help small businesses succeed and grow.

The workshop will be held at the Chamber of Commerce office, 8276 Park Road, Batavia. The session will run from 7:45 to 9:15 a.m. and includes a question-and-answer period.

Cost for non-Chamber members is $10 for each attendee. Chamber members and Batavia Business Improvement District members may attend all small business workshops free of charge but should make reservations to insure space.

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

May 20, 2018 - 2:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, business, O'Lacy's, chamber of commerce.

There will be a Business After Hours networking opportunity at O'Lacy's Irish Pub from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22, sponsored by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

O'Lacy's is located at 5 School St. in Downtown Batavia.

Light snacks will be served. Cash bar.

April 20, 2018 - 2:01pm
posted by Genesee Chamber... in batavia, downtown, business, tourism, chamber of commerce, restaurants, Vegan.

This Earth Day, the very first 100-percent vegan restaurant in Genesee County is opening up to share a different kind of delicious food with locals and visitors alike. Yep, you read that right! One-hundred-percent vegan food will be served up at Eden Café & Bakeshop!

Located inside Eli Fish Brewing Company, at 109 Main St., Batavia, there is a glimpse of the garden, with generous plant-based meals, fresh juices, and even treats to satisfy your sweet tooth. Join Eden Café & Bakeshop for their grand opening THIS SUNDAY, April 22nd, starting at 12 p.m.

There will be lots going on including a Cutco knife giveaway, raffles, and branded tumblers will be available for purchase. Be one of the first to experience a new kind of cuisine after the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. 


What began as a thought of opening a zero-waste store, slowly turned into Eden Café & Bakeshop. Owner, Judy Hysek, is bringing some seriously tasty and animal-free food choices to all in and around Genesee County!

Hysek has been vegan for three years, which just so happens to be enough time to experiment with plant-based foods and create some delicious concoctions to share with you!

“I’m hoping to open the community up to a new way of eating," she said. "I want to make it easier for people who don’t know how to eat without meat and dairy… I would have gone vegan a lot sooner if there was more support, education, and availability... I’m just trying to add to the awareness and make it more accessible."

Now, let’s get down to business. Let’s talk about the food!

Carrot Dogs: You may have heard of these soon-to-be-famous “dogs” already, especially if you follow Eden Café & Bakeshop’s Facebook Page.

Imagine a carrot, in the shape of a traditional hot dog, which has been infused with deliciousness and then topped with more deliciousness of your choice. You’ll have to try it for yourself the next time you're in Eli Fish.

Word on the street is that even omnivores can't tell the difference between a carrot dog and a traditional hot dog. We dare you to give it a try and test your taste buds to see if you can tell the difference. Try your first carrot dog on a roll or wrapped in a pretzel and baked until golden brown! 

Cauliflower Wings: Where have these been all our lives? Since Western New York is the home of Buffalo Wings, it only makes sense to have “wings” on the menu at Eden.

You can have your wings tossed in Buffalo sauce or topped with the sweet mustard sauce. You can’t go wrong with either sauce -- so good! The breaded and baked florets are served with carrots and celery sticks with a house-made dip. The cauliflower wings can also be made gluten free and they're just as tasty!

Loaded Nachos: What goes better with a cold brew from Eli Fish than a pile of nachos? What about a pile of nachos smothered in a vegan beer cheese? There is nothing more satisfying!

Speaking of cheese…

Eden will have a variety of house made vegan, artisan cheeses including almond feta and cashew mozzarella, which will come on the poutine. (Poutine is a dish originating from the Canadian province of Quebec consisting of French fries and cheese curds topped with a brown gravy.) Where else can you get poutine in Batavia, let alone a vegan poutine?!

Other menu items include desserts like cashew cheesecake, cookies, brownies and more. Desserts will rotate to give everyone the opportunity to try something new and yummy!

Last but definitely not least -- fresh juices, smoothies, lemonades and kombucha! This week I was lucky enough to try a fresh juice made of apples, strawberries and raspberries. (Please make this a rotating juice, it was so good!)


Did you know?

Veganism is on a climb throughout the world. In the United States, a recent report by Top Trends in Prepared Foods in 2017, says “6 percent of U.S. consumers now claim to be vegan, up from just 1 percent in 2014.”

Eden is here to satisfy some taste buds and open some minds to the benefits of eating healthy, saving animals, and the planet. Everyone should rejoice and get involved in the efforts to sustain our planet and you can start right at home, or at Eden.

Oh, and by the way -- Eden is donating all gratuities to a nonprofit right here in Genesee County. Mockingbird Farm Sanctuary in Byron provides a home and lifetime care to animals regardless of their condition or past. Their goal is to improve the mental, physical and emotional well-being of the animals who live on the farm. Eden is already showing love to others trying to make a difference right here at home!

For more information on Eden Cafe and other hotspots in Genesee County, visit: https://visitgeneseeny.com/

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