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The Harvester Center

November 16, 2016 - 12:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Massey-Harris, The Harvester Center, batavia, Business, news.

The farm equipment of Massey-Harris, which ran a factory in Batavia for five decades, will be honored at the 51st Annual WNY Steam Show in Alexander next September and organizers are looking for information, photos and artifacts that help shed light on the work done at the Massey-Harris factory locally.

At the Harvester Center, the factory produced farm equipment for the Canada-based company, but there isn't easy-to-find information on what exactly was produced there.

Organizers are hoping there are local residents with direct knowledge or documentation about the work done at the factory.

The factory closed in 1958.

If you are able to help, email Kelly Rapone at the Genesee County Tourism Office, [email protected].

October 23, 2016 - 10:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in The Harvester Center, Harvester Makerspace, batavia, Business.


James Dillon explained to more than a dozen people who attended the open house Saturday night at the new Harvester Makerspace what a makerspace is all about and what they can do there.

Members will have access to a variety of tools to help them turn their ideas into useful items, art or new products to try and bring to market.

The space provides 3D printing, CNC milling, laser cutting and vacuum forming.


July 13, 2016 - 2:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, The Harvester Center.


A grass fire is reported behind 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia, which is the Harvester Center.

City fire is responding.

UPDATE 2:10 p.m.: There is a report of flames coming through the roof of U.S. Chrome. There is black smoke in the area.

UPDATE(s)(By Billie) 2:19 p.m.: The fire may be in a building or buildings behind GCASA; possibly 21-22 Masse Place. The city's first platoon is called to stand by in fire headquarters.

UPDATE 2:25 p.m.: The fire is out. It did not get inside a structure. It was contained to grassy brush behind buildings on Masse Place.

UPDATE 2:34 p.m.: Tony Strollo, who works at Pinnacle Manufacturing Co. on Harvester Avenue, said he saw a grass fire about 12 square feet, and 12-feet high, approaching the building and he and plant manager Kelly Boyle used fire extinguishers to try and keep the blaze from reaching the building. "It was a big wall of fire," Strollo said. They went through seven extinguishers, keeping the flames at bay until the city fire crew could knock it down.

UPDATE 2:45 p.m.: Pinnacle CEO Diana Kastenbaum said she's concerned about first responders' ability to access the area, which is overgrown with weeds, grass and shrubs. "I saw police had come down Main Street first and then I saw the fire trucks at the corner because they couldn't get in here. Nobody can really get to it. This area should be cleared. I just think this is very bad. You can see how dry the grass is and how hot it is today." She called the property owner posthaste and aims to get him to clear the brush and haul it away in the interest of public safety.

UPDATE 3:55 p.m.: Chief at the scene, Capt. Craig Williams, says the initial investigation indicates sparks from Pinnacle Manufacturing Company's molten aluminum shop flew out open windows onto the grass, igniting the blaze.

UPDATE 5 p.m. (by Howard): Workers were able to see out the open windows and there were no people in the area, so cigarettes are not suspected. 

Because of the molten metal, firefighters had to be careful to keep water away from the building, setting up their lines to push the fire away from the structure. If water hits the molten aluminum it could potentially cause an explosion. Williams said firefighters were already well aware of that danger at this location. Williams said flames were at least 12 feet in the air and just a foot from the building when crews arrived.  

The biggest difficulty in fighting the fire was finding it. One truck went down Harvester and the other down Swan. Once they located the exact location, they were able to quickly put it out without damage to the structure. 

Code Enforcement Officer Ron Panek said the city will be looking at a possible code violation issue because of weeds exceeding 10 inches in height within 100 feet of the building. Kastenbaum said she has already placed a call to the property's owner raising her concerns.

The fire was in a pile of organic debris covering a mound of dirt. It covered about a 30 by 30 area, Williams said. 



August 5, 2014 - 1:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, The Harvester Center, makers, maker community.

Are you a maker? Perhaps you are, and don't even know it.

There's makers all over the country these days -- people who are inventive and like creating new and innovative things.

It's a whole culture.

And it's coming to Batavia, where business innovation has strong roots -- the Harvester Center.

Tom Mancuso and some of his friends have been talking for a year about creating a maker community locally. Last week, they put their plan into action, hosting a 3-D printing demonstration with local design and manufacturing expert James Dillon.

3-D printing is one of the widely used tools for creating in the maker community. The printer works much like any printer, except it doesn't use ink or paper. It uses plastics and other material to layer material into a computer generated form. It might be a cup, a model airplane or a part for a car, or just about anything the maker can imagine.

Makers also work with electronics, robotics, metalworking, woodworking, and traditional arts and crafts.

Mancuso said the plan is to create a space in the Harvester Center -- if there's enough interest in the community -- where makers can come and create and innovate together.

The space will be open (possibly with a fee like a health club) to artists, hobbyists, trainees and budding entrepreneurs. 

Makers will have available a variety of tools, from welding equipment, vacuum forms, laser cutters and, of course, a 3-D printer. There will be big spaces, which the hobbyist doesn't necessarily have at home.

"Maybe you work at home, but you want to do a bigger project," Mancuso said. "Where do you go to do that? You're limited by your equipment, by your workspace. We're trying to help those start-up hobby guys maybe go to the next level."

A gear created by the 3-D printer.

James Dillon with one of his first 3-D printing projects, a model jet.

3-D printer on the right.

May 22, 2014 - 7:35am
posted by Julia Ferrini in batavia, Business, The Harvester Center, J C Printing.

Trading in a dusty, cramped attic space for an open-windowed, well-lit studio was like free falling into the unknown for Jim Woodhams and Michael VanBuskirk -- as exciting as it was fearsome.

Woodhams is leaving a custodial position after nine years of service with the Spencerport School District; while VanBuskirk is leaving a laborer's position in the Batavia area. The pair are owners of JC Printing Company and recently relocated their business to the third floor of the industrial complex located at 56 Harvester Ave.

“The attic space became too small to accommodate the inventory and equipment necessary to expand the business,” Woodhams said.

Consequently, when VanBuskirk signed on he began looking into spaces to rent that would allow JC Printing Company to grow their business and have more of a presence downtown.

“I got into this business about a year ago,” VanBuskirk said. “It sounded exciting. It was something that interested me.”

On the other hand, Woodhams had taken a course on screen printing back in high school and enjoyed the class so much that he decided in 2009 to pursue it as a side job.

“The first heat press I bought is akin to an industrial iron,” he said.

From silk screening to embroidery on T-shirts, hats and other apparel; to foil wrap and photo prints on items such as, candles, coffee mugs or plates -- as well as other items -- are all produced in their new space.

“We don’t outsource any of our work,” said Woodhams, who graduated from Fairport High School. “We do all of our work on site. If we can’t do something, we will be honest about it.” 

Consequently, the printing company is making an effort to partner with other companies that have the capabilities JC Printing Company does not have at this time. For example, they have had several requests for paper goods -- letterhead, business cards -- however, they are not set up for paper production.

“Pencils are our biggest sellers right now,” Woodhams said. “We are still using vintage machines of the '30s. I purchased my machine from Guthrie Thomas -- a well-renowned artist of custom made guitar picks.”

Although the editorial process may be time consuming, turnaround time for merchandise is about two weeks for large orders; while some individual orders can be finished in about 20 minutes to an hour.

The process begins with an image, idea or concept the customer has in mind, followed by prepping or “cleaning up” the artwork. Once the artwork and design are approved, the next step is completely dependent on what the customer orders. For shirts, hats and the like, the design is then printed on a clear sheet that is put into a machine to transfer the image onto a screen.

Quality, pricing, efficiency and up-to-date processes are key in the work VanBuskirk and Woodhams produce. The storefront enables the owners to do minimum orders that will cater to the individual who walks in off the street as well as schools, corporations, hospitals, construction companies and more that pre-order merchandise.

“We want to please our customer. When you walk out the door with your purchase, we want you to be happy with the product,” VanBuskirk said. “Reliability -- we deliver on time. We listen to our customers. Communication is essential."

Realizing that advertising is part of the formula for success, tried both the traditional and the most current methods of advertising; according to Woodhams, their greatest success has been word of mouth and creating a catalogue.

“Someone had once told me that catalogues were a poor choice for advertising. For us, it was the best marketing decision we made.”

According to Woodhams, this venture entire is a huge leap. “I am leaving a job that I have held for the past nine years. It’s kinda scary.”

Pricing and other information can be found by visiting www.JCPrintingCompany.com, or find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jcprintingcompany. They can also be reached via phone at 800-918-2701 or e-mail at [email protected].

The Grand Opening of JC Printing Company is Saturday, May 24, all day. The first dozen customers who place an order will receive a free gift.

CORRECTIONS: Our reporter was never informed there was another partner in the business. Her name is Carrie Farley. Also, our reporter was given the wrong grand opening date.  See comment below.

September 24, 2013 - 12:27pm
Event Date and Time: 
October 5, 2013 - 10:00am to 4:00pm
May 20, 2013 - 7:29pm
posted by lucie griffis in events, entertainment, food, crafts, The Harvester Center.
Event Date and Time: 
June 1, 2013 - 10:00am to 4:00pm

The Harvester Artisan Market will be a unique selection of local &regional artisans/ crafters, food, and entertainment varying Saturdays from 10am -4pm.

You never know what you might find at the market!

We are looking for artisans/crafters, food, and entertainment. For more information call 585-768-8147 or email [email protected].












August 1, 2012 - 12:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, weather, The Harvester Center, Harvester Avenue.

With things winding down from the storm this evening, I drove down Harvester Avenue and spotted this long puddle next to the railroad tracks and thought "that might be pretty interesting come sunset time." So at dusk, I drove back and made this photo.

April 4, 2012 - 1:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Business, The Harvester Center, Batavia Enclosures.

It was graduation day for Batavia Enclosures at the Batavia Industrial Center this morning.

The 24-year-old company is moving to its own 27,000-square-foot building, which will help better meet the needs of the growing enterprise.

Leonard Roberto founded the Batavia Enclosures in 1988 with only $6,000 in the bank.

"We didn’t have a name, no company, no product," Roberto said. "I just believed it was something I wanted do, so I quit my job and came here to Batavia and rented 4,000 square feet. I had no equipment and no customers. That’s how we started. My faith was that it would happen and it did happen."

Batavia Enclosures makes precision-engineered cases and racks for electronic companies. The additional space will allow it to introduce new manufacturing processes, including powder coating.

Roberto said the firm, which now has four employees, will likely add four or five workers with the expansion.

Meanwhile, he and his sons have started a second business called Savage IO, which manufactures a server -- a computer that stores and serves data to other computers over a network. That's where the big opportunity lies -- in the server industry -- which he says is currently the fastest-growing industry in the world.

Savage IO is potentially a multi-multi-million dollar company, Roberto said, and much of the space of the new building is intended to accommodate growth.

BIC President Tom Mancuso presented Roberto with a certificate of graduation in a ceremony at Moonjava Cafe in the Harvester Center and congratulated Roberto on his company's growth.

Roberto thanked Bank of Castile for facilitating the purchase of the new building.

December 5, 2011 - 11:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Business, The Harvester Center, Oatka School of Glass.

The doors to Oatka School of Glass opened on Monday evening, giving visitors -- mostly Chamber of Commerce members -- a chance to see what the school has to offer, most notably its new glassblowing class area.

New instructor Justin McKenney gave a lengthy demonstration and lecture on how glassblowing works and how he teaches his classes.

The Alfred University graduate taught glassblowing in the Boston area before deciding to move back with his wife to her hometown, Buffalo.

McKenney said the new glassblowing school at Oatka is the only one of its kind between Buffalo and Corning.

Classes are structured to give people the ability to just dabble in glassblowing -- close supervision on making, for example, Christmas ornaments -- or new students interested in a long-term hobby can start with glassblowing 101. There are also family classes and one-on-one instruction.

McKenney will provide more glassblowing demonstrations during Holidays at Harvester from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday.

For more information on the school, click here.

Bottom photo, some of the Christmas decorations made Saturday by 75 Girl Scouts who visited Oatka on Saturday.

April 3, 2011 - 4:12pm

March was Arts Month and it was a busy one. Here are some snapshots of Harvester Center activities, as well as arts-related activities elsewhere in Batavia.

The Batavia Players' production of Shakespeare's "The Tempest" (Friday, March 18)

February 13, 2011 - 1:22pm

The Batavia Players present:

...an original play, written and directed by Patrick D. Burk. 


Nikki Lanich as the Young Girl

Nick Russo as the Southern Preacher

Brittaney Lang as the Emily Bronte Girl

January 10, 2011 - 1:27pm

Some of our readers had questions after reading Thursday's, "Opening gala showcases Batavia players' new theater on Harvester."

Here's some more information:

  • Seating/Capacity: The new theater seats between 100-140 people.
  • Ticket prices: These will vary depending on the show. The first play to be performed in the Harvester location will be an Honesty Theatre performance (click here for more information on this group) on Jan. 22; admission will be $10 per adult, $8 for children and seniors.
  • Theater hours: At this time, according to Batavia Players' Board President Patrick Burk, the space is only open for rehearsals and performances. Burk hopes, eventually, to have people working there "around the clock" on various projects. 
  • To read more about the new theater space, visit www.bataviaplayers.org/new-theater-space.
January 6, 2011 - 11:42am

(Please note additional information added on Jan. 10 below the story and pictures.)

Ever since he was a 10-year-old boy putting on plays with his friends in the basement of a church -- with no audience but themselves -- Patrick Burk dreamed of having his own theater.

"I asked my grandpa for $500 to set up a theater in Mumford," Burk said. "Because for some reason I thought that was how much it would cost."

Grandpa said no, so he had to wait 44 years.

Fast forward to the present day: Burk is board president for the Batavia Players, which are 95 percent finished establishing their new theater in the historic Batavia Industrial Center on Harvester Avenue (see last year's story for background information).

An opening gala was held at the new theater last night. Attendees got to tour the grounds, listen to some music, and enjoy some refreshments. 

Burk is pictured above, addressing those in attendance from the stage of the three-quarter round theater. He said that while there is still work to be done, "we did pass inspection (which is a big deal in Batavia)."

This met with laughter and applause.

The following are pictures of the new theater space, including the black-box stage, the costume storage room, meeting room (where actors can gather to rehearse) and refreshment room.

August 26, 2010 - 2:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Business, The Harvester Center, Harvester Avenue.


After a few years of being unemployed, Mary Holmes decided it was time to open her own store.

"I just finally got tired of working for other people," Holmes said.

The Batavia resident and Attica native owned a crafts store in Albany during her 25 years living there, but with her family's background in flea markets, it was natural that the store would carry a variety of used merchandise.

The primary focus, however, as the name of the store says, is books. The business name is Anything Goes Books and More. It is located in the Harvester Center right on Harvester Avenue.

Holmes has amazing, impressive array of items to sell, but as she expected, most of her customers to this point have been buying books.

She opened the store the first week of August.

And the outlet is a family affair. Some of the merchandise comes from her father's estate and her two bothers and sister help by going to garage sales and flea markets looking for more used items to sell in the store.

"I need the help," Holmes said. "I can't be out there picking stuff and be in here, too."

Right now, the store occupies three office-sized spaces in the Harvester Center. Holmes said it's her dream to see the store expand and carry even more items, or even when its doing well enough to move to Main Street.

She acknowledged that the Harvest Center is a little out of the way for some people, but with the recent addition of some other new businesses in the complex, it's helped her business a lot, she said.

June 23, 2010 - 6:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, The Harvester Center.


This afternoon while waiting for a business in the Harvester Center to open, I killed time by walking along the south side of the building looking for objects to photograph.

If you've ever looked closely at the building, there are stars bolted into the walls between the first and second stories. These, I'm sure, are not decorative, but part of the building's support structure, bolting thick wires that run from wall to wall. That's just a guess, but I've seen this kind of construction before.

Below, a "weed" (I can't identify the flower) set against a red door, and three more pictures after the jump.


January 30, 2010 - 3:10pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in Batavia Players, arts, theater, The Harvester Center.

For 45 years, the Batavia Players have had to do without a place to call their own. Now, at last, they will have their own theater in the historic Batavia Industrial Center on Harvester Avenue.

According to board member Michelle Stamp, BP president Patrick Burk "put a lot of legwork into finding a physical space for us."

"It always helps the actors when they have a space to call their own," she adds.

"This is a really exciting thing for us to be doing," said Matt Mayne, BP board member and actor. "Hopefully, it will help to draw more attention to the building, which is definitely historic."

The location of the new theater is BIC's new Artisan Center, which the Mancuso Business Development Group wanted to establish in order to increase their own business activity.

The Artisan Center not only helps foster a relationship between business and the arts locally, but also affords artists of various stripes the chance to support each other.

"We will be doing things to encourage other artists," Burk said. "There will be areas in the Artisan Center in which they can work. And we'll also have people who come in regularly for BP events and shows, and we'll allow people to display their artwork for people to see."

Burk, Stamp and Mayne all believe that the coming change will prove beneficial to actors and their performances as well. One of the greatest challenges they have dealt with in the past was that of finding, in Mayne's words, "readily available space."

"Before, we would be in situations where we weren't sure what venue we'd be performing in," Stamp said. "Now we'll have our own space we can become accustomed to, we'll know what we have to work with, and we'll have all the materials at hand."

"Our types of performances will change," Burk said, "because we'll experience greater flexibility in terms of what we can do and when. We've had shows that we've wanted to do for quite some time that we'll now be able to fit into this venue."

The new theater's black-box format, which will have audience members seated to the right and left of the stage as well as in front, also offers fresh creative challenges and opportunities.

"This type of set up requires actors to do a little bit more, because people will be watching them from three sides instead of just one," Mayne said.

All BP performances -- beginning with the Spring 2010 show -- will be held in the Artisan Center except for the Summer Youth Theatre performances, which tend to require greater stage space. Please contact the Batavia Players for more information.

January 17, 2010 - 1:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Art Ah La Carte, Business, The Harvester Center.


If you think you don't have a creative bone in your body, you haven't been to Art Ah La Carte yet.

Kimberly Argenta says she can teach anybody to create art.

"People have come in and said, 'I have no talent. I don’t know how to do anything,'" Argenta said. "I’ve actually had people come in and watercolor for the first time and their work comes out beautiful. They say they don’t have any creativity, yet I can pull it out of them. I believe everybody has creativity, you just have to find the right medium.”

artalcarte03.jpgArgenta has turned her passion for art and teaching into a business at the new Artisan Center at 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia.

Classes started this week and cover a range of mediums, from painting to paper mache. Art Ah La Carte also has classes on altered tins, beading, drawing and turning old junk into art.

Caledonia artist Robert Garland is helping Argenta and teaching drawing. He said getting involved in Art Ah La Carte has sparked his own creativity.

Among the students in class on Friday evening was Linda Carson, who raised her hand when Argenta spoke about students coming in thinking they had no talent. She completed two watercolors so far, one in class and one at home, and she seemed to think the second one turned out pretty good.

"I thought I would just enjoy expressing myself in painting," Carson said. "I always wanted to try it, but ... " at which point Carson just shrugged.

Art Ah La Carte is open to individual students as well as groups. Argenta said people can form groups for a girls' night out or a guys' night out or any special event, such as a bridal shower.

artalacarte02.jpg“I just really felt that the community needed an inexpensive way to come out and enjoy an evening without breaking the wallet, yet they’re learning something," Argenta said.

Art Ah La Carte is part of the new Artisan Center being created by Patricia Hawley for Mancuso Business Development Group at the Harvester Center.

Hawley has been in talks with a number of artists, multimedia companies, writers and others about taking space in the new center.

November 18, 2009 - 1:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, The Harvester Center, Patricia Hawley.

BATAVIA, NY -- Patricia Hawley, who has a long history of working with the arts community in Genesee County, has been hired by the Mancuso Business Development Group, to create an artisan center at the Harvester Center on Harvester Avenue.

Harvester, formerly known as the Batavia Industrial Center, is the world's first business incubator and helped launch a number of successful businesses since its inception 50 years ago.

“Creating this center is a huge step forward for a community that is so richly steeped in a tradition of fine artists," Hawley said in a statement released by the Mancuso Group. "I’m thrilled to join such a great team of innovative thinkers where, together, we can make art happen.”

Hawley, who submits occasional pieces to The Batavian on issues related to localism and the locavore movement, has extensive experience in arts management, having worked at Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council & Genesee Center for the Arts in Batavia and Genesee Country Village & Museum in Mumford, Mass. Hawley studied communications at SUNY Brockport and volunteers for various organizations including Orleans County Adult Learning Services, Genesee Symphony Orchestra and the Genesee Country Farmer’s Market Association. She is also the owner of Fountain of Youth Organics in Brockport.

From the Mancuso press release:

It is expected that the participants in the new artisan center will be able to take advantage of the programs, rental space, shared equipment, support services and management guidance that contributes to the success of the other entrepreneurial businesses at the BIC.

Patricia Hawley is married to Ted Hawley, current president of the Batavia Rotary Club and a member of the Genesee County Planning Board. Ted is brother of Steve Hawley, our current Assembly representative.

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