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Oh Bella Co opens this weekend in the village

31 May

The Village of Webster’s business scene just keeps getting better, with the opening of another new shop on East Main St.

Oh Bella Co, located at 24 East Main, is a charming shop featuring clothing items and accessories especially for young women, but really perfect for most any age.

Owner Isabella Proietti is excited to bring her store to the village, after operating an online shop for five years.

“I’ve always wanted to open a retail shop,” she said. “I like the personal connections you can make. Online for clothing is a little hard because no one can feel the material and try it on. … Although I’ve done well online, I think it would be awesome to have a space, have people come in, talk to them,” she added.

A lifelong Webster resident, Isabella is especially excited to have found what she calls “the perfect space” right on Main Street.

Isabella describes her offerings as

kind of based on my style. I love traveling. I’ve been to different boutiques in Boston and Florida. So it’s a weird mix of beach vibe with a city Boston-girl vibe. I have both of those styles so I’m going to mix them. Cute and comfortable, based on what I look for when I go to the store, with lots of different options, for all ages.

Even though the storefront has been vacant for several years, she and her very helpful family members didn’t have to do too much to fix it up. Just some painting, updating the restroom and installing the changing areas. This week she’s been working hard to get all of the clothing racks set up and her merchandise tagged and ready to go.

That will officially happen this Saturday morning June 3 when Oh Bella has its grand opening celebration — complete with ribbon cutting ceremony — beginning at 10 a.m. The rest of the day, shoppers can browse Oh Bella’s charming selection of clothing and accessories, and grab some delicious desserts and treats made by @OliviaBrynCakes while you shop. Madison Sophia Jewelry will also be on hand with a selection of her beautiful jewelry items.

Take a moment to stop in on Saturday to welcome Oh Bella to the village!

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(posted 5/31/2023)

The Village of Webster’s first Wine Walk is in two weeks

19 May

The first Village of Webster Wine Walk for 2023 is coming up fast. It’s scheduled for Saturday June 3 from 4 to 7:00 p.m.

This is always a great time to get together with friends and stroll the streets of the Village of Webster, popping into businesses and sampling so. much. wine. Tickets are $15 each (plus Eventbrite’s $2.85 mark-up) and available only online. You’ll need to register ahead of time (click here), then bring your digital ticket (or paper copy) to the BACK entrance of JoJo Bistro beginning at 3:30 p.m. to sign in. You’ll get a bracelet and a wine glass and a map to guide you on your tour. (Pick up your glass before 5:30.) DO NOT FORGET YOUR ID. It is REQUIRED.

Some of the stops will include Barry’s Old School Irish, Brimont Bistro, The Coach Sports Bar, Woodland Silkscreen and Embroidery/OHHH, LORDEE! Sauces, and Finns Automotive. This is a great chance to visit several of the village’s newest businesses as well!

The Wine Walks are brought to you by the Webster Business Improvement District (BID). A portion of the sales will be donated to Webster HOPE, a Social Justice Ministry.

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The Wine Walk is just the first in a whole list of great summer events the BID will be hosting. Here’s what’s in the works:

Right on the heels of the first one, a second Wine Walk will take place on Saturday July 8. Tickets will be available for that soon.

The Friday Night Gazebo Concerts begin July 7 with a performance by the Red Hot and Blue Band featuring Americana music.

Coming up at the gazebo later in the summer:

The Gazebo Concerts are held from 7 to 9 p.m. and are free.

There’s a Family Games Night tentatively scheduled for August 11, but that may change.

The Webster Jazz Fest is scheduled for August 18 and 19, with “Jazz in the Pubs” on Friday from 6 to 10 p.m., and Jazz in the Street” on Saturday from 4 to 11 p.m.

The Webster Fireman’s Field will be hopping in September, with a Fireman’s Field Evening/Coach’s ALS Fundraiser on Sept. 9; the Oktoberfest Sept. 15 to 17; the Zach Brown Tribute Band on Sept. 21; and an all-day cornhole tournament on Sept. 23 (actually, I think this national tournament will run for two weekends, but more info to come about that later).

This year’s Beer Walk is scheduled for Saturday, October 14.

Two brand new events have been added to the calendar this year as well: the Webster Village Bed Race will take over Main Street on Saturday Sept. 16, and a Health Fair is also in the works, but the date for that has not been set.

And of course, watch for blogs about the Trick or Treat Trail in October and Webster’s Winter Wonderland in December.

Whew. I hope you had your calendar out.

More information about all these events, when it becomes available, can be found at

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(posted 5/19/2023)

Rosy Glow Maternity supports moms-to-be, and the community

13 May

There are a lot of fine businesses in Webster. But every once in a while one stands out to me, usually because of the strong commitment they’ve made to support our community.

Such is the case for Rosy Glow Maternity, a small, woman-owned shop catering exclusively to expectant and brand-new mothers. Located in Sunrise Plaza across the street from Delta Sonic in Ridge Rd., Rosy Glow is owned by Kari Tetzlaff, a mother of five herself. It’s not a big place, but it’s comfortably stocked with a wide variety of fashionable, reasonably-priced clothing for women in all stages of pregnancy, plus a nice selection of self-care products, like sitz baths, nursing ware, nipple balms and post-partum products all made by women-owned, local small businesses.

Kari opened the shop almost two years ago. She was pregnant with her now three-year old, and was a little stressed out; Motherhood Maternity, her go-to maternity shop, had just closed their retail locations.

“We were moving here to Webster from the city, I was pregnant, and starting a new job. I was, ‘Now where do I go? How do I get myself dressed for this brand new job?'”  

Fortunately, some of her new neighbors were able to help, giving her their unused maternity clothes. So at least she then had enough clothes to get dressed, but started to wonder, how can everyone else get dressed? “I don’t recommend moving when you’re really pregnant, but if you have to, you don’t always luck out having neighbors like that.”

That’s how the idea got started in her head, she said. But it wasn’t until COVID hit and she almost immediately lost her new job, that she decided she needed something to do with her free time. The answer was seemed clear: she’d open a maternity shop where all expectant moms can find the clothing and products they need for reasonable prices.

Starting a brand new business in the middle of the COVID shutdown was a risky proposition, she admitted. But, dealing with pregnancy doesn’t offer a whole lot of options like working via Zoom or ordering out from restaurants.

“You can go nowhere to get anything, but you’re still pregnant,” she said. “You still have to go to some prenatal appointments. You still have to go get blood work done, you still have to make it to the hospital to deliver your baby, go to the pediatrician after. Those are still non-negotiable. And what do you wear if you have nothing to wear?”

With Rosy Glow, Kari is trying to answer that question for all of the expectant and “newly-minted” moms out there who have few places to turn for comfortable clothes. She’s able to keep her prices low by selling only pre-loved items, carefully selected and purchased from women who no longer need them.

That approach presented its own challenges during COVID when new mothers were naturally uncomfortable letting her into their homes to pick up their items. So she invited women to drop them off at the shop or leave them on her doorstep. She also remembers spending many hours bundled up against the winter while sorting through items in cold garages.

But selling maternity clothes and products is just a part of Kari’s mission with Rosy Glow. She spends as much time as necessary with each customer, getting to know her, her situation, and the kind of support she needs. She’ll offer information about their birthing options. She’ll listen as they talk about their aches and pains and difficulties they’ve faced with their pregnancy. She’ll gently warn them about issues that might lie ahead, then offer encouragement that they’ll be able to overcome them. If they need more professional support, they only need to turn around to peruse the business cards tacked to the “resource board” near the checkout desk.

Every aspect of Kari’s business is focused on removing as much stress from a woman’s pregnancy as she can. Her philosophy is, “It should not be a struggle to get dressed.” For women who might have financial concerns, there’s an entire rack of free, take-what-you-need clothes in the front vestibule. She has a browse-and-borrow library stocked with books about pregnancy, birth, how to become a doula, and more. Her “Red Carpet” rental collection of gowns and fancy dresses is very popular.

“I really feel that I’m here to serve moms.”

I met Kari at the Blue Star Mothers Military Baby Shower a few weeks ago, where she was volunteering her time to connect with and support young mothers. She continues to support the Blue Star Mothers, donating the entire proceeds to them from a selection of clothes in her shop.

That’s the kind of commitment to community I’m talking about.

Rosy Glow Maternity is located in Sunrise Plaza, 1778 Empire Blvd., across the street from Delta Sonic. Find out more on her Facebook page and website and on Instagram (@rosyglowmaternity).

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(posted 5/13/2023)

Revelle’s Home Decor opens in the village this weekend

8 May

Just in time for Mother’s Day, a charming new business is coming to the Village of Webster.

Revelle’s Home Decor will be opening on Saturday May 13, the day before Mother’s Day. It’s located at 5 East Main St., in the east half of the former Savage Chef location. It’s kind of a small space, but it’s going to be packed with a wonderful variety of handcrafted items and new and refinished furniture.

Revelle’s is new to Webster, but not new to the new and beautifully refinished furniture business. Former customers will remember Revelle’s when they had a storefront in Hilton. Unfortunately, a house fire led to their having to close that business. Fortunately for Webster, however, the Revelles eventually found a new house in Wayne County and chose the Village of Webster as the perfect place to establish their new shop.

This new Revelle’s is going to be so much more than just furniture, though. When owner Peggy Revelle knew she was going to open a new shop, she sent out a call to local crafters who would be interested in displaying and selling their products in the store as well. She received more than 100 responses. From them, she carefully chose from among them eight of the most creative, unique, high-quality artisans to fill her walls and shelves.

So in addition to some incredibly beautiful refurbished and new handcrafted furniture pieces, customers will find a wide variety of wonderfully creative handcrafted home decor items, including candles, soaps and body butters, jewelry, pine-cone art, wood flower arrangements, decorative tumblers, paper craft wall art, decoupage and fabric-covered pots and more.

Basically, they’re the kind of gifts that might just make Mom finally admit that you’re her favorite.

Revelle’s Home Decor will open Saturday May 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s located at 5 East Main Street, right next to the also brand-new M.O. Pasta. Stop in and welcome both new businesses to the Village of Webster!

To find out more about Revelle’s, check out the Facebook page here or the website here.

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(posted 5/8/2023)

I’m going to miss Carl’s Pizza

22 Apr

After five years serving great pizza and Italian cuisine from the heart of the Village of Webster, Carl’s Pizza Kitchen is closing up shop at the end of the month.

Like many others, I learned the sad news from an announcement owner Carl Prinzing put on Facebook, which read,

It is with a heavy heart that we announce our permanent closing at the end of business Sunday April 30th 2023. It has been our honor to serve this community for the past 5 years! Due to the rising food and labor costs, combined with the decrease in annual revenue and staff shortage, there just aren’t any alternatives. From our family to yours we thank you for your business and we will miss you all.

The current state of the economy has dealt a lethal blow to many small businesses, but I’m particularly sad to see Carl’s go. Of all the pizza places in town, I’ve always liked theirs the best.

Carl told me he has no plans to open a new restaurant, but he does want to keep working in the food business somehow. For the immediate future, though, he said he’s just looking forward to landing somewhere he can make a steady paycheck, and be able to go home at the end of the day.

Thank you Carl’s Pizza Kitchen for being a valued village business for so long, and best of luck in the future.

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(posted 4/22/2023)

Mini-art gallery pops up on West Main

21 Apr

You never know what neat new thing you’ll find when you walk through the Village of Webster. On Friday, the neat new thing I came across was a pop-up art gallery and sale in the former Heart to Heart Bridal storefront at the village’s four corners.

The gallery features the work of 91-year old Brighton artist Natalie Schwartz, whose large, colorful canvases fill the walls in the now-empty storefront. The show is being hosted by the owners of Mod4U, the little antique shop on North Ave., just around the corner from the sale.

The works of art themselves don’t often see the light of day; normally they’re all being stored in Natalie’s small living space at St. John’s senior living community. And that’s a shame, because they’re pretty awesome. Each one, it seems, reflects a different medium and subject matter, an eclectic mix that reflects Natalie’s diverse artistic tastes.

In a biography posted on the wall next to one of her paintings, Natalie wrote that she was “born … with a pencil in my hand.” Her love of all forms of artistic expression began when she was very young. As a child, she studied ballet and piano, took painting lessons at the Memorial Art Gallery, and as an adult discovered modern dance, which she continued even into her eighties.

For a while, she worked as a fashion illustrator for McCurdy and B. Forman Co., and eventually went back to RIT to complete a BFA and MFA in painting and printmaking.

Basically, Natalie Schwartz is a life-long learner whose enthusiasm for art is now on display for everyone to see.

For the next two days, anyway. The gallery will be open on Saturday and Sunday April 22 and 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, before all of the unsold paintings get squeezed back into Natalie’s apartment. So make sure to check out the gallery today.

Here’s some of what you’ll see (click on the photo for an expanded view).

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(posted 4/21/2023)

Community block party will celebrate three new businesses

17 Apr

Three new (and new-ish) businesses of Webster’s North 43: The Shops on Main Street are hosting a first-ever “North 43 Block Party” and ribbon-cutting on Thursday April 20 beginning at 5:00 p.m.

M/Body, Lumos Sauna and curated. are next-door neighbors in North 43’s lower level, 44 East Main, adjacent to the Village Bakery. Lumos is brand new to the development, M/Body opened last November, and curated. will celebrate its first anniversary in June.  

The event will begin with a ribbon-cutting and remarks from business owners and local officials. The party proper will begin around 5:30 with the Classic Taps Mobile Bar, a Pub 235 food truck, a DJ, live music, food tastings, plenty of activities for kids and families, face painting and giveaways. All of the North 43 businesses will also offer special shopping hours and activities throughout the evening.

The block party will also be joined by North 43’s other businesses, the Village Bakery, jojo Bistro and Wine Bar, Lala of Webster, R Salon and Spa, and Roc Dance.

The event is free and open to the public. 

Here’s a little more information about each of the new businesses:

  • M/Body is an inclusive and energized fitness studio that unites wellness seekers, builds  spirit and helps achieve goals by offering the best and diverse fitness classes including  cycle, barre, boxing, yoga, Pilates, HIIT, strength training as well as personal training  and health coaching. Click here to read the blog I posted about M/Body.
  • Lumos is a family-owned and operated infrared sauna studio founded in 2019 by Rachel Bantelman-Evans with the support of her husband Jordan Evans. Lumos features full-spectrum infrared saunas with both chromotherapy and dedicated red light  therapy throughout its six locations across Central and Western New York.  
  • curated. is a home specialty store, where owner Justin Brown believes that home decor should seamlessly combine vintage with new; that wares should be stylish but always functional; and that design can be sophisticated without sacrificing comfort. The shop’s unique collection includes decor pieces, furniture, kitchen and dining wares, lighting, pillows, artwork and gifts. Click here for the blog I wrote.

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(posted 4/17/2023)

Heart to Heart Bride has settled into its new location

9 Apr

As most anyone who drives or walks through the Village of Webster has noticed, Heart to Heart Bride has moved. The beautiful bridal shop with the gorgeous front-window dress displays anchored the northwest corner of the village’s four corners for 13 years, until just a few weeks ago.

But no worries. It hasn’t gone far.

The new Heart to Heart Bride shop is now open, just down the street, in the former Rochester Linoleum storefront at 1170 Ridge Rd. (at the corner of Rachel Dr.). The new space is five times larger than the village shop, with 13,000 feet of floor space. The extra space has not only given owner Sarah Ashworth a lot more room to stock and display her dresses and accessories, but has allowed her to greatly expand her inventory and offer several new amenities.

For starters, there’s a spacious and very comfortable private fitting suite, complete with a cushy couch and a personal fitting room, which can accommodate a bride and up to ten guests. For those with smaller entourages, there are eight semi-private fitting rooms, each with a full-length mirror and plenty of seating.

At the very back of the shop is the new mother-of-the bride and special occasion department, with eight additional private fitting rooms.

Probably the neatest addition, however, is the Celebration Lounge, a beautifully decorated area at the front of the shop where brides can relax with their friends and family members after their appointment to celebrate with a glass of champagne, snack on charcuterie, and snap some photos to commemorate the day she “said yes to the dress.”

One of the biggest things that hasn’t changed, however, is Heart to Heart’s focus on personal, individualized service. Sarah and her staff go to great lengths to connect with their clients well before they enter the store, communicating through email, Zoom, and phone calls to find out about the wedding and start getting an idea about what size, price point and design elements the bride is looking for. That way they’ll already have two or three suggestions awaiting the bride when she arrives for her fitting appointment.

Congratulations, Sarah, on your move. The Village of Webster will miss you and your beautiful show windows, which always brought a touch of glamor to our four corners. But your new place …? It’s just amazing.

Here are some photos so you can see for yourself:

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(posted 4/9/2023)

Many thanks for making this year’s Peep Show the most successful ever

8 Apr

If you attended the Greater Rochester Peep Show last weekend at the Webster Recreation Center, you not only enjoyed a tremendous display of whimsical and creative Peep sculptures, you also helped make the event the most successful ever.

“Head PEEP” Michael Grenier reports that more than 2500 people attended the Peep Show this year, coming from Webster, many surrounding towns and even as far as Buffalo. The show raised nearly $8,000 before expenses — a record amount. And that was despite the fact that the attendance, albeit strong, was still slightly less than pre-pandemic levels. That means that the people who attended didn’t just wander around and look at the displays; they bought a lot of voting tickets and snacks and entered the raffles, all raising big bucks to benefit the Webster Community Chest and 12 other charities. (Visit the Peep Show website for a whole list.)

Also helping make the show a success were the scores of volunteers who managed a thousand little details, and the more than two dozen businesses and agencies who sponsored tables and rooms and provided door prizes. (See the list here.)

The stars of the show, of course, were the displays, and they were spectacular this year.

Entries were separated into two categories, youth and adult. Community members were invited to vote for their favorite displays to determine the “Peeples Choice Winners.” The top winners in the adult category were:

  • First place: “The Village at Unity,” created by Lindsay Lown
  • Second place: “The Nutcracker, Sgt. Peeper,” created by Dancing With Denise
  • Third Place: “March of the Peepguins,” created by Rita Menaldino

The top youth winners were:

  • First place: “Advice from the Coral Reef,” created by GS Troop 60617
  • Second place: “Hopping with the Peepos,” created by Lilly B and Grammy
  • Thurs place: “Red Wings Stadium,” created by Rylynn C

Click here for a complete list of adults and youth winners.

This year, for the first time, the Grand Prize winner was a real surprise.

Michael wrote,

The Grand Prize winner has always been an adult. We separate our entries into two groups–one for adults (16 years of age or over) and one for children–since it would be unfair to have little kids compete with grown-ups.

But there is strength in numbers, apparently.  This year’s Grand Prize winner was (the entry) made by Girl Scout Troop 60617, which is made up of 11- to 13-year-old girls. Although they had advisement and assistance from adults, the girls made all of the components of this display themselves. Each chose a sea creature to make (or two or three) and they assembled the components to make up the coral reef. Transporting the enclosure and putting it all together on site was the biggest challenge. 

Troop leader Megan Thompson added, “We had such a fun time building this as a troop, creating the different sea creatures and then all of us working together to build the coral at the end of our meeting.” 

Girl Scout Cadette Troop 60617 includes eight girls, ages 11 to 13. Their winning entry, “Advice From the Coral Reef,” is now on tour with 12 other displays. Their first stop is the Maplewood nursing home, where the residents are going to have their own Peep Show and vote for their favorites. After that, the displays will continue their tour at the Kirkhaven Nursing Home.

Megan Thompson From left to right is my daughter Amelia, who helps out with our troop and helped out with this project but is part of another troop, my youngest daughter Clara (she created the octopus!), and me.

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(posted 4/8/2023)

M.O. Pasta brings authentic hand-made pasta to the village

5 Apr

I. Love. Pasta.

There’s no two ways about it. If I had my druthers, I’d eat some kind of pasta every day for lunch AND dinner. So when I walked by the former Savage Chef shop on Main Street the other day and noticed a sign in the window announcing that something called M.O. Pasta was “coming soon,” it stopped me in my tracks.

I had a chance to find out more on Wednesday when I met owner and professional chef Mike Oldfield.

M.O. Pasta has moved into half of the former Savage Chef meal prep and delivery service at 5 East Main St. It’s not a sit-down restaurant; that’s not in the cards (at least not yet). Instead, it’s a dedicated pasta shop, specializing in authentic Italian, handcrafted fresh pastas (including mushroom bucatini, lumache, mafaldine, creste di gallo) and small batch sauces, sold individually or as pasta kits and take-and-bake kits. They all feature fresh ingredients, local produce, and lots of attention to detail.

The shop willl also sell several dry pasta varieties (black pepper fusilli, spicy radiatore, spinach campanelle, mezze mafalde), five different sauces and fresh focaccia and sesame Italian loaf breads.

Mike Oldfield’s passion as a professional chef and journey to pasta shop owner had many stops and turns along the way. But his initial inspiration came from an unusual place, the Penfield Wegmans. He worked there as a dishwasher in high school, and during slow times, the store’s chef would allow him to help with some simple cooking jobs.

“The chef would bring me out and teach me how to cut croutons, chop carrots, simple things,” Mike said. “He kind of took me under his wing. For me it just clicked. It was easy, it was fun, I felt comfortable, it was interesting to me, and I think that was the exact moment it just went off.”

That experience led Mike to pursue a degree at the Culinary Institute of America. As part of his studies, he traveled to Italy on a food and wine tour. “That’s when I started to fall in love with Italian cooking, really loving the culture, the lifestyle and the food itself,” he said.

After graduation, Mike worked seasonal positions on Cape Cod, coming back to Penfield during the off-season to work at the Village Bakery in Fairport, and Black & Blue and JoJo Bistro in Pittsford.

Before long, however, he discovered he needed more of a challenge, and found an opportunity in Chicago. For nine years he worked his way up the chef ladder from cook to executive sous chef in Michelin Star and five-star Chicago restaurants. Then the pandemic hit and everything closed down. With no job to support himself, he moved back home to Penfield to wait out the pandemic.

After a few months, he got bored again and started making pasta, preparing two-serving pasta “kits” for family and friends complete with fresh pasta, and all the garnishes and sauce. They became so popular, “next thing I knew I had a line out of my house, people picking up pasta kits.”

As the pandemic started to wind down, the restaurants came calling. But the salaries were low, everyone was short-staffed, and “I didn’t really want to go back to that stressful life if I didn’t have to,” Mike said. Instead, he decided to lean into his new, surprisingly popular pasta-making business, and in July 2021 moved into a space in the Hungerford Building on East Main St. in the city.

The business continued to grow. Mike became a regular at the Fairport Farmers Market and sold out of his pastas, condiments, oils and sauces every week. Red Bird Market and Lori’s Natural Foods started stocking his products. But his office space in the Hungerford was kind of crimping his growth.

“I was in the city, my clients are all in the suburbs,” he explained. “It was kind of a pain for them to come downtown.” His space was also way down at the end of a hallway, so it was hard to find, and he had to share it with other businesses. So when someone told him the Savage Chef storefront was becoming available, he jumped on the opportunity.

It took a few months, but with help from an army of friends and family members, the entire shop got scrubbed, repainted, repaneled and drywalled, new equipment got moved in and new shelving installed. Everything is in place for the Grand Opening Celebration on Friday, April 7, when Milke will begin to provide Webster with something not found anywhere else in Rochester: fresh, hand-made pasta.

For anyone who hasn’t cooked up a batch of fresh pasta before, it’s a game-changer. “Once they have it,” Mike noted, “they’re hooked.”

Mike’s only just opened his new place, but he’s already got some great plans for the future, including offering public and private pasta classes and adding products like homemade mozzarella and ricotta cheeses. He’s also looking forward to participating in Village of Webster events.

“I think M.O. Pasta is going to be a great neighborhood spot,” Mike said.

I wholeheartedly agree.

Check out M.O. Pasta for yourself during the Grand Opening Celebration on Friday April 7. The doors will be open from noon to 7 p.m., from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, visit the M.O. Pasta website, Facebook page, or connect with Mike on Instagram.

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(posted 4/5/2023)