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Photos from White Christmas

8 Dec

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Perhaps it was because it wasn’t raining, or windy, or bitterly cold, but it seemed like last night’s White Christmas in the Village festival was the best attended in recent memory.

At least the parade was. Early on, when activities like the book shop mini-concert and story-time started and the festival wagon started making its rounds, the crowds were a little thin.

But as night fell, families started streaming into town in anticipation of the main event, the Electric Parade.

Kudos to Robyn Whittaker and the Webster BID for pulling together another nice event. I especially liked the brand new idea of the gingerbread house-making contest for the businesses and I look forward to this being expanded next year.

It’s unfortunate that more people don’t realize that this celebration is not JUST the parade. More people should make White Christmas in the Village an entire afternoon and evening event. Come into the village early when you can actually GET a parking space somewhere, do some shopping, visit the museum, have some dinner, and actually  take part in all of the great family activities.

As usual, I took a ton of photos. Together with a bunch that I received from a few other people, here’s a gallery of more than 150 photos from last night’s activities and the parade. (If you have any additional photos that you would like to share, like of your kids, please email them to me — address below — and I’ll add them to the gallery!)

And by the way, just because White Christmas is over does NOT mean that our village businesses are closed for the holidays. Make sure to come into town and check out all of the gorgeous decorations, and stop by the museum to vote for your favorite Christmas tree!

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Big changes in store for Good Smoke

26 Nov

good smoke

Since Good Smoke BBQ opened last January on West Main Street in the village of Webster, it has become one of my favorite village restaurants. I don’t believe I’ve ever enjoyed barbecued anything so much. Good Smoke’s sweet sauces are delightful, their side portions ample and their corn bread is delicious.

So when I heard recently that Good Smoke would be undergoing some major changes — including a significant menu shift — I was disappointed. But intrigued.

In short, before the end of the year, Good Smoke will become known as Roc Style Chicken and Burger, featuring a brand new menu with a lot less barbecue and a lot more, well, chicken and burgers.

Good Smoke management officially announced the changes on social media yesterday. Roc StyleTheir post read, in part,

We have a concept that we have been developing for years which we believe will be perfect for these locations. We are still working out the last details but would love to share the concept that we are incredibly excited about: Roc Style Chicken and Burger.

Roc Style is a celebration of Rochester’s culinary traditions. It is a celebration of our great city and the incredible lifestyle it affords us. Sweet and Sour sauce, Meat hot sauce, White hots… and much much more. Triple dipped, hand breaded to order, butter milk marinated chicken sandwiches. Over a dozen home made sauces for your wings, bone in or house made boneless. Hand pressed burgers and Zweigles dogs, plates with our super popular meat hot sauce. Awesome appetizers to share. A new menu but the same Good Smoke drive for ridiculous food quality and incredible customer service.

Small changes are already in the works. Table service was introduced a few weeks ago, and the restaurant is serving a limited beer menu. Major renovations will begin after Thanksgiving, including replacing the front counter with a bar, and swapping out much of the bench seating for high-top tables.

The owners will close the restaurant after Wednesday night’s (Nov. 27) dinner hours and hope to re-open within just a few weeks.

When I spoke with general manager Jeremy White a few days ago about the plans, he was excited about the additional service opportunities the new arrangement will offer, especially the new table service.

“With table service we can actually interact with the guests,” he said. That will allow a more personal experience for the guests, and more flexibility for them to add things, like beer and wine, to their order.

Reaction to Good Smoke’s announcement on Facebook has been mixed. Many people are very disappointed (and in true Facebook tradition, are being rather snarky about it). Others are more supportive.

I’m going to go with supportive, and I wish them luck. Having fallen in love with Good Smoke, I can handle traveling to their East Rochester location to get my three-meat platter, baked beans and corn bread. It won’t be just steps from my home anymore, but I can’t fault a business owner for making a business decision that seems right for the market.

Bottom line, we need reasonably-priced restaurants in the village, and if this change will help Good Smoke stay here and help our village remain strong, then more power to them.

Good Smoke BBQ is located at 5 West Min Street, Webster. To keep updated on the changes, visit their Facebook page. You can also email questions and comments to info@goodsmokebbq.com.

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Webster

23 Nov

IMG_20191122_202514083The village is sparkling.

If you’ve been “downtown” in the last few days, you’ve seen that the trees are adorned with twinkly white lights and the star decorations have been hung on the streetlamps. Now all we need is a little snow to make the village really look like it’s holiday time.

The village has hosted a few special events in the last few weeks, but it’s almost like everything else is just anxiously waiting in the wings, ready to pounce as soon as Thanksgiving passes.

Here’s a quick run-down of just some of the events coming up in the next few weeks thanks to the Webster Herald for alerting me to a few of these):

Breakfast with Santa

Santa will make one of his first Webster visits on Sunday Dec. 1, when the Webster Lions Club hosts Breakfast with Santa from 8 a.m. to noon.

The breakfast, which takes place at the Webster Golf Club (440 Salt Rd.), is FREE, but  donations will be accepted to benefit the Webster Community Chest, Santa’s Workshop and other local charities.

Community holiday party 

If you can’t make that trip to see Santa, he returns to Webster on Friday Dec. 6, when he visits St. Martin Lutheran Church on Bay Rd. for the church’s annual holiday party.

The entire community is invited to see Santa arrive by fire truck at around 6 p.m. He’ll visit with children until 8 p.m. and free photos will be taken (but feel free to bring your own camera).

Other activities that evening include cookie decorating, games, crafts, and the opportunity to make a reverse Advent calendar (I do this every year). Free pizza and beverages will also be provided for all.

Admission is free but please bring a canned good for the Little Free Pantry at the church, which provides food 24/7 for our neighbors in need.

St. Martin Lutheran Church is located at 813 Bay Rd.

Webster Village Band holiday concerts

The Webster Village Band has three upcoming holiday concerts on their schedule:

  • Thursday, Dec. 5, at Eastview Mall, Victor, 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 14, Webster Schroeder High School, 3 p.m.

The concert program will contain some all-time holiday favorites and a few newer compositions to delight audiences of all ages. Performances are free of charge and light refreshments will be served following the performance at Schroeder High School.

And make sure to watch for the band on their float during the Parade of Lights on Sat. Dec. 7, which begins at 6:30 p.m. (More info to come about that!)

Webster Village Band Photo 2018

Country Gardeners sale

The Country Gardeners of Webster, Klemwood Garden Club and the Webster Arboretum will hold their annual Garden Club Holiday Sale on Saturday December 7 from 9 am to noon at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Drive.

This huge sale features fresh wreaths, arrangements, poinsettias, centerpieces and gifts that are created by hand by the club members for this sale. This is always a very popular event, so you want to get there early.

The sale is the Country Gardeners’ annual fundraiser, so think about decorating your own home, and purchasing gifts for family, friends and holiday hostesses.

Admission is free.

Another breakfast with Santa 

Santa will also be a special guest at the First Baptist Church of Penfield’s December Flapjack Benefit Breakfast on Saturday Dec. 14. From 8-10 a.m. they offer an all-you can-eat breakfast with pancakes, maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausage and beverage for just $6 per person. All proceeds will benefit the Open Door Mission.

The First Baptist Church of Penfield is located at 1862 Penfield Rd., at the four corners.

Cookies, cookies, cookies!

Two local organizations are ready to help you with your holiday baking this year.

St. Martha’s Guild will hold its annual Gourmet Cookie Fundraiser on Saturday Dec. 7 from noon to 2 p.m. at Holy Cross Anglican Church, 615 Bay Rd.

Cookies, pastries and brownies of all kinds will be offered for sale.

The following weekend, on Saturday Dec. 14, the Women’s Club of Webster will host its 27th annual Christmas Cookie Sale in the community room of the Webster Public Library, on Van Ingen Drive.

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There will be more events to come, and more information about some of these in future blogs. So stay tuned, keep adding them to your calendar, and get ready for a very busy holiday season.

As for me, I’m getting an early start — I’m heading down to LaLa this afternoon to do some Christmas shopping. 

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LaLa’s been here a YEAR already?

12 Nov

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LaLa of Webster, located at 38 East Main St., turns one year old this weekend, and owner Lisa Schonski is celebrating all day Saturday Nov. 16 with wine, cookies, special events, vendor visits, and raffle prizes. It’s her way of thanking the Village of Webster for welcoming her so warmly and supporting her shop all year.

I remember the first time I stopped into LaLa last November, shortly after it opened. I was immediately impressed by the friendly, smiling welcome I received, how the store sparkled from head to toe with gift items and jewelry, and how great it smelled.

In the blog I wrote after my visit, I said, “It was like walking into a cloud of beautiful aromas, emanating from the array of personal care products that line the walls, shelves and counters of this gorgeous new shop.” I knew right away that it was the kind of retail establishment Webster really needs to help revitalize the village, and I’m tickled pink that it’s been successful. 

One of the best things I like about LaLa is that every time I go in there, I see something new, and usually it’s something I’ve never seen anywhere else.

That was no different last Saturday when I popped in for some updated photos, and discovered a sort of Christmas wonderland in the lower level, with a tremendous array of creative and unique gift items that just made me smile.

A great number of Lisa’s products are created by local artisans, many of whom will be on hand at the open house to talk about — and demonstrate — their crafts. Visitors will enjoy wine and cookies, and perhaps even win some outstanding raffle prizes, including an huge LaLa gift basket.

Basically, this would be a great time to pop in and check out LaLa of Webster again, or for the first time.

The shop’s located at 38 E. Main St., and will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit LaLa’s Facebook page to see some of the raffle prizes that will be given away.

Here’s a selection of photos I took Saturday:

 

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“All roads lead to Barry’s”

10 Nov

staff

By all accounts, last night’s 8th anniversary party for Barry’s Old School Irish was the most memorable special event yet at our little pub.

As with every one of Barry’s special events, the place was packed to the rafters, and a good two dozen people were even braving the chilly weather on the patio. If you weren’t there, you missed a rockin’ set by Billy Herring, a bagpiper, Irish dancers, pub-wide singing, and Danny’s annual epic toast, which this year stretched to seven hand-written pages.

As one who’s been part of the Barry’s Pub family since it opened, I often look back and marvel at all the good friends I have made there. There was a time when pretty much any night of the week, I could look around and know most of the people who were sitting at the bar and tables.

That’s not the case any more, of course. Barry’s is no longer a well-kept secret, and I often whine (in jest) that Danny and Jess keep letting in new people that I don’t know.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Danny and Jess have created something unique and special. They have stayed true to their dream, and remain clearly focused on what’s most important when running a business: everyone — from the first-time visitor to one of the original “Friday night” regulars — is family, and family always comes first.

In Danny’s toast, he told the story about how when he and his family were driving around Dublin earlier this year, another car pulled up next to them and started honking the horn. The driver was wearing a Barry’s Old School Irish t-shirt.

All roads lead to Barry’s, and their loving influence is reaching around the world.

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Hiking and hot cocoa and bourbon!

1 Nov

As a cold, miserable November dawns, allow me to tell you about a few events that will definitely warm your whole body.

The first is the annual Hot Cocoa Hike sponsored by the Friends of Webster Trails. This year’s hike will take place at Gosnell Big Woods Preserve, 680 Vosburg Rd., on Saturday Nov. 9 beginning at 7 p.m.

hot chocolateThis is a fun, free, self-guided hike under the (almost) full moon! The route is approximately 1 mile (one way), up to two miles total and will be marked with lights for you to follow, starting at the parking lot. This will not be a guided event, so you are responsible for finding your way by following the marked path. When you arrive at the final destination you’ll be rewarded with free hot chocolate.

So that everyone can enjoy this event please leave your dog home and bring them back to enjoy the trail another time. Please also bring a flashlight and your own travel mug as cups will not be provided.

If you plan on attending, please sign up here and provide an email address so that you can be reached in case of changes. An email will be sent by 3 p.m. that day if there is extreme weather that requires the hike to be rescheduled.

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The Village of Webster’s Bourbon Bash will return on Saturday Nov. 16, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Harmony House, 58 E. Main St.

Sample bourbons and whiskey from local distilleries and Webster Wine and Spirits, complemented by food samples from local restaurants.

Participants will be provided bottled water to enhance their sampling experience, and the opportunity to purchase a raffle ticket for a bourbon basket donated by Webster Rotary. proceeds of the event will benefit Webster Local Charities.

Tickets are limited and can be purchased online here or at websterbid.com. Cash sale tickets are also available at Hegedorns.

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Looking ahead, make sure to mark your calendars for White Christmas in the Village, this year on Saturday Dec. 7 from 3 to 6 p.m. An entire afternoon of holiday activities in the village concludes with the ever-popular Holiday Electric Parade. Check back on the BID website for more details.

electric parade

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Webster mailbag and BIKE RACK NEWS!

18 Sep
Bike rack 2

Three Barry’s Runners — Mike Bodine, Don White and Jim Mossey — with the new bike rack, installed this week on West Main. 

The Village of Webster is finally getting its bike racks!

They’ve been more than a year in coming. It was last June that I approached the Village Board with a proposal to install some bike racks to make our village more cyclist-friendly. The idea came out of a discussion I was having with a running buddy at our weekly Barry’s Runners group. Many of the group members bring their bikes to the run and they usually end up crowded along the Barry’s Pub fence.

Not any more. Just this week, our village Public Works Department installed the first new bike rack on the sidewalk in front of Barry’s Pub/The Garage Sale Store on West Main. It’s the first of what will eventually be four racks. The other three will be placed at Veterans’ Park, Village Hall, and somewhere down in the Village Bakery parking lot (where exactly is yet to be determined).

Thank you to our Superintendent of Public Works Jake Swingly and his staff for getting this done. I truly believe that the new bike racks will make our already friendly and welcoming village even more so.

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Now on to a few mailbag notices:

The Webster Public Library will host a blood drive on Thursday, Sept. 19 from 1 to 6 p.m. in the library’s community room.

Walk-ins are welcome, but you can also make an appointment by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. The Red Cross is still trying to make up for summer shortages, so please consider taking an hour out of your day and help save some lives.

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motorThe Webster Museum and Historical Society invites the community to an open house on Saturday Sept. 21 from 2 to 4 p.m.

If you have never visited our village museum before, this will be a great opportunity to check out all of the permanent and rotating exhibits.

The focus this weekend will me “motoring,” with exhibits inside and outside. There will be vintage cars and an antique tractor, and the big-wheeled penny farthing bicycle.  Ed Harding will show some of the Native American artifacts he’s found in his yard, you can learn about fossils, play some colonial games, make some butter and more.

Refreshments will be served.

It’s going to be great fun for the whole family, and (don’t tell the kids) educational, to boot. Plus it’s all free.

For more information visit the museum website or on Facebook.

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St. Rita School will be hosting a Sticky Lips fundraiser on Saturday Sept. 28 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the school, 1008 Maple Rd. in Webster.

On the menu that night will be BBQ chicken (leg and thigh), pulled pork, fresh cornbread, two homemade sides as well as a coupon for a free appetizer card when you visit the restaurant.

Tickets can be bought ahead of time through the school’s website (click on the online giving tab where you can place your order) or you can purchase tickets directly at the school. See that attached flyer for more details.

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Webster community mailbag

3 Sep

Drumming your way to good health

This looks really cool.

Folks at the Webster Public Library are introducing their new health and wellness series with a very interesting event.

Two african Djembe Drum on white background.Two Herons Drum Circle from Geneva will visit the library on Saturday Sept. 14 to present — well, a drum circle — from 3 to 4 p.m.

What the heck is a drum circle, you may ask. I did too, so I checked Two Herons’ Facebook page, where they describe a drum circle as a “unique, interactive community drumming experience.”

They go on to say that regular participation in drumming classes,

Reduces tension, anxiety and stress; Helps control chronic pain; Boosts the immune system; Creates a sense of connectedness with self and others; Helps us experience being in resonance with the natural rhythms of life; Releases negative feelings, blockages and emotional trauma; (and) Provides a medium for individual self-realization.

Okay. In any case, it sounds like a lot of fun.

The program is designed for adults and teens. Drums and other percussion equipment will be provided or you can bring your own. Registration is required at www.websterlibrary.org 

You’ll also want to check the library’s website for some other really neat programs they’ve got planned this month, including

  • A do-it-yourself Marbled Coaster Tiles craft project for teens and adults on Monday Sept. 16
  • A Love Your Library celebration in honor of National Library Card Sign-up Month with snacks, games, crafts, and a photo booth on Saturday Sept. 21.

Plus, the library is collecting new and gently used coats through October 6, which will be distributed at the Project Homeless Connect Rochester event, being held at the Blue Cross Arena on October 15.

Find out more details about all these upcoming Webster Public Library events on their website.

An update from the Village Quilt Shoppe

The Village Quilt Shoppe has settled in quite nicely at 21 East Main St. and is gearing up for its grand opening in just a few weeks.

It’s scheduled for Sept. 13 and 14, and owners Monique and Vanetta promise a “great party” with food, raffles and much more. Stay tuned for more details about that.quilt shoppe logo

In the meantime, Monique and Vanetta have all sorts of special events in the works, including their Embroidery Block of the month series beginning in September, and a bird cage quilt or table runner class. 

The first weekend of every month the shop will host a “Weekend Retreat” with a different project every month, and the monthly “Sunday Embroidery Tea” gives quilters a chance to learn new stitches and perfect those you already use. The second Saturday of the month is “Quilters Anonymous Night,” and “Open Sew Friday” is another chance to gather with friends old and new to work on your projects. 

Check the Village Quilt Shoppe calendar regularly to stay on top of all their classes and special events.

Electronics recycling opportunity

Got some old unused or broken electronics kicking around your garage that you don’t know what to do with? 

Take them over to the Electronics Recycling Event on Saturday Sept. 14 from 9 a.m. to noon at Xerox (take Phillips Rd. to Caracas Dr.).

Items which can be accepted include:

  • computers and accessories
  • TVs and monitors (limit of two per vehicle)
  • electronicstelephones and answering machines
  • microwaves
  • IT storage devices, cables and accessories
  • printers, scanners and accessories
  • gaming devices
  • routers and servers
  • office copiers and fax machines
  • stereo, video and audio equipment
  • other small electronics such as mobile devices
  • most small home appliances (no freon)

For a complete list of acceptable items, click here.

Eating good in the neighborhood

Breakfast and dinner are on the menu on Saturday Sept. 21.

If you really don’t feel much like cooking breakfast that morning, you can hop on over to the First Baptist Church of Penfield for their first Flapjack Saturday Fundraiser of the season.

From 8 to 10 a.m., enjoy an all-you-can-eat breakfast of pancakes, maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausage, and more for just $6 per person. All proceeds will benefit Penfield Hope, an agency which offers emergency financial assistance, non-perishable food, diapers, children’s clothing, and more to Penfield neighbors in need.

The First Baptist Church of Penfield is located at 1862 Penfield Rd., at the four corners.

That evening, let St. Martin Lutheran Church, 813 Bay Rd. in Webster, make dinner for you at their fall BBQ and FunFest.

From 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. you can get a half chicken, salt potatoes, cole slaw, roll, butter and beverage for $10 per person. Pie slices and other desserts will also be available for purchase. A hot dog dinner for kids is $2. Kids will also enjoy a bounce house, face painting and balloons.

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Barry’s Irish Festival just days away

13 Aug

Irish festival

It’s almost time to get your Irish on at the Barry’s Irish Festival, coming up this Saturday.

Danny and Jessica Barry — owners of Barry’s Old School Irish in the Village of Webster and two of my favorit-est people ever — have been working for months, pulling together a thousand little details in preparation for what they expect to be the first of many Irish festivals to come.

And, Jessica told me in an email, they’ve been working on this idea for a long time.

This has been a goal/dream of ours since before opening the pub 8 years ago, having a fun-filled day celebrating our proud Irish heritage. A day where families can bond, kids can learn about Irish culture in an interactive setting, where friends can gather, where everyone can come away with new friends and make great memories together.

The event is scheduled this coming Saturday August 17 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., on the Berry family farm out in Hilton, which they call the “Berry Patch.” Highlights include arts and crafts vendors, food and beer trucks, and live music all day long.

True to its family-friendly nature, there will also be a great kids’ area, with farm animals, something which Jess is really looking forward to.

We’re especially excited for the kids portion of the day- where Maley, Rory, and Patrick are going to lead the way with arts and for all the children. They’ve been talking non-stop about the visit from Liam the Leprechaun to the festival and are eager to learn a step or two from the Irish dancers set to perform.

“Our most important goal,” she added, “is to take the warmth and love of our little Irish Pub on 2 West Main Street and bring it to our farm/our home for the day.” 

Danny and Jess have been assisted by a small army of volunteers, but they could use some more hands. If you’d like to help out, email them at BarrysIrishPub@gmail.com.

The farm is located at 2668 Brick Schoolhouse Rd., Hilton. Tickets are available in advance for $12 at Barry’s Old School Irish, 2 West Main Street in Webster. They’ll be $15 at the gate, and are also available on Eventbrite.com. Children 12 and under are free.  (P.S. the pub will be CLOSED all day Saturday so everyone can enjoy the festival.)

Click here to visit the Facebook event page for lots more details, but here’s a quick summary of what you can expect this Saturday:

Special attractions:

  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Kids’ activities and crafts
  • 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.: Craft vendors
  • 2:30 p.m.: Can Jam tournament
  • 3:30 p.m.: Corn Hole tournament

Food and beverages: 

  • 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.: Irish beer truck
  • 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.: Webster Hots food truck
  • 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Meat the Press food Truck
  • 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.: The Chai Guy
  • 2 to 8 p.m.: Proper 12 Irish whiskey
  • 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.: Jameson sampling
  • 4 to 8 p.m.: Netson’s Ice Cream truck
  • 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Tullamore Dew sampling
  • 6 to 11 p.m.: Rustic Taco food truck

Entertainment: 

  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: The Fox Hunters
  • Noon: Gates Keystone Pipe & Drums
  • 1 p.m.: Peg Dolan and Sharon McHargue
  • 2 p.m.: The Young School of Irish Dance
  • 2:30 to 4 p.m.: Kevin Reynolds
  • 4:30 to 7 p.m.: Everheart
  • 6:30 p.m.: Jamieson School of Irish Dance 
  • 7:30 p.m.: Caleb the Bagpiper
  • 7:45 to 9 p.m.: Celtic Cross
  • 9:15 to 11 p.m.: 1916

For more information, email Danny and Jess at BarrysIrishPub@gmail.com.

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Checking in with the Quilt Shoppe

12 Aug

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I had the opportunity to pop into the new Village Quilt Shoppe Saturday just to say hi to owners Monique Liberti and Vanetta Parshall and see how their first few days went.

Monique told me they have been warmly welcomed to the village. Since I stopped in a week ago, she and Vanetta have equipped their classroom space at the back of the store, added a few more decorations to the shop and a new sign out front.

If you haven’t yet, try to pop in this week and let them know how happy we are to have them in the village. (Even if you’re not a quilter.)

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram

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