Tag Archives: Local business

Webster community mailbag

23 Sep

I’d like to lead this week’s mailbag with a huge THANK YOU from the Webster Museum.

The recent Museum Barn Sale, held Sept. 15 to 17, was a tremendous success, reportedly the best ever. Museum volunteers would like to thank the Webster community for all the donations, purchases and “delightful company.”

Your support for this — the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year — assures that the Webster Museum will be with us for another year, carefully preserving our town’s rich history.

The Webster Museum is located at 18 Lapham Park in the Village of Webster, and is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Webster Public Library brings these two events your way:

  • Hispanic Heritage Month Night, Thursday Sept. 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. Celebrate the month with a culture-filled evening of food, dance, music, crafts and more. All ages are welcome, and registration is requested. (Click here)
  • Hispanic Heritage Month Crafts, Saturday Sept. 30, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All ages are welcome, drop in anytime and no registration is required.

Also from the library, their big Fall Book Sale is right around the corner.

It happens Thursday through Saturday Oct. 6 to 8, with the best deals saved for Friday and Saturday. Check out all the details in the flyer below.

If your kids are REALLY into fire trucks, then you’ll want to mark these dates on your calendar.

The West Webster Fire Department will hold their open house on Sunday Oct. 16 from 1 to 4 p.m., and the Webster Volunteer Fire Department will hold their open house on Saturday Oct. 29 (during Halloween in the Village). These events offer much more than fire trucks, too. There are demonstrations, giveaways, a chance to check out all sorts of emergency equipment and talk to real first responders. But of course, there’s definitely plenty of opportunities to take a picture of your young firefighter sitting in a real fire truck.

The West Webster Fire Department is at 1051 Gravel Rd., and the Webster Volunteer Fire Department is on South Ave. in the Village of Webster. These events are both free and open to everyone.

Gleason Orthodontics, on South Ave. in the village, will be hosting a winter-wear donation drive from Oct. 1 through Nov. 20.

You can drop off adult and youth-sized coats, hats and gloves at the office, 246 South Ave., during regular business hours.

The Webster Recreation Center, Webster Central PTSA and Webster Teachers Association are also hosting a Concert Apparel and Coat Drive. They’re looking for any size (toddler through adult) of the following items in good condition:

  • Winter coats, jackets, pants, boots and accessories
  • Concert apparel: white and black tops, shoes, bottoms and accessories

Collection boxes are loated at each Webster Central School building through Oct. 27.

On Saturday Oct. 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Dr., anyone who needs winter or concert gear can come “shop” for gently-used items for free.

The Webster Aquatic Center will be hosting a Blood Drive on Tuesday Sept. 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Aquatic Center, 875 Ridge Rd.

Call 1-800-RED-CROSS or log onto RedCrossBlood.org to make an appointment.

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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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(posted 9/23/2022)

Chamber of Commerce gets a beautiful upgrade

22 Sep

I’m discovering that among the many benefits of my retirement has been having extra time to work on my blog — to track down more stories, meet more interesting people, and discover places in Webster I’ve not seen before. Basically, I now have more time to become better connected with my community.

I especially want to improve my connection with our local businesses. I took the first step in that direction last night when I attended an open house at the Webster Chamber of Commerce. Chamber president Barry Howard had invited members to the offices for drinks and hors d’oeuvres and to show off some recently completed renovations.

I was very kindly invited to attend by Steve Conger of Spectrum Business. Steve reached out to me a few weeks ago, hoping to lay the groundwork for a stronger relationship between the Chamber and my blog. I jumped at the opportunity.

Not surprisingly, I saw several familiar faces at the event (Webster is a small town, after all), but also met some business owners, handed out several business cards, and introduced people to Webster on the Web.

Basically, I started making those connections.

I always love meeting new people, but last night was doubly enjoyable because I got a good look at the Chamber of Commerce’s new digs. Well, they’re not new, actually. The office hasn’t moved from its current location at 1110 Crosspointe Lane, although that prospect was definitely in the cards. When it was clear that the Chamber needed more space, Howard said they started looking around town to see what was available. Even though they visited and rated 17 places, nothing checked all the boxes they needed.

So they took a closer look at redesigning the space they already had. “We’d like to stay here if we can afford it,” Howard told the architects, and they got to work.

The result is beautiful. Without increasing the actual square footage, somehow they managed to make the space bigger and brighter. Over a three-month period, workers eliminated storage closets, moved and added doors, installed new windows, updated the lighting and slapped on fresh paint. In the process, somehow they added a third office — which can be rented out to members for meetings and interviews — updated their technology, opened up the conference room, and created a much more accessible and welcoming atmosphere. (Check out some photos below.)

I’ll be attending more Webster Chamber events in the coming months. I look forward to getting to know its members better and sharing more business news with my readers.

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

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

(posted 9/22/2022)

Former cold storage building recognized

21 Sep

In our daily lives, we frequently walk by or drive by things of historical significance without even realizing it.

Such is the case with the building at 206 North Ave. in the Village of Webster. Most of us know it as Climate Controlled Self Storage, or “that place where you can rent U-Hauls.” Fewer of us realize the building has a long and rich history in our village, a history that recently earned it recognition as the Webster Village Historic Preservation Commission’s September Site of the Month.

In the early 1920s, the building at 206 North Ave. was known as Webster Cold Storage, a cooperative created by local apple growers including Louis Kittelberger, George Hosenfeld, William Stokes, George Dunn and Earl Wright. In her book Webster Through the Years, Esther Dunn reported that the building had about 400,000 cubic feet of space, enough for 50,000 barrels of apples.

Over the next four decades, the Cold Storage building saw many changes in both the facility itself and the products stored there. In 1923, an addition was made to install an ice-making tank, and years later, more than half of the space was converted from coolers to locker space. The variety of produce stored there over the years is impressive: apples, cherries, grapes, peaches, prunes, berries, currants, all sorts of vegetables, and even seafood.

Before it closed in March 1965, Webster Cold Storage had become a true community business. Even individual residents leased some space for their own use.

But the building’s history is not the only reason it was recognized by the Historic Preservation Commission. Members of the commission choose their Sites of the Month based not just on the site’s history, but also what its current owner has done to maintain and improve the property.

The building’s present owner, Dimitri Stefanou, has made significant improvements since purchasing it in 2002. It needed a lot of repairs, and when Stefanou started planning how to redevelop the property, he decided to return it to its original purpose, storage, saying that he hoped “to once again make (the) building a landmark.”

Stefanou put windows along the front of the building and added an office, and even managed to build the storage units around existing pillars. But the top two floors were still empty, and rather than turning them into storage units as well, Stefanou decided to take the renovations to a whole new level and create luxury apartments.

The Lofts of Webster was created, 20 luxury units on the third and fourth floors, complete with a private resident entrance, a porte cochere, a new elevator and fitness area. Outside, he added a vegetable garden, a flower garden, and a huge picnic table for the residents to enjoy.

The improvements are kind of a reincarnation for this historic building, assuring its position once again as an vital part of the Webster Village community.

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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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(posted 9/21/2022)

A new business is moving into the village: My Roommates Closet

10 Sep

You know how sometimes you search the stores forever looking for that perfect outfit for your big night on the town, and you finally find it in your friend’s closet? That’s the thinking behind the Village of Webster’s newest shop, My Roommates Closet, opening in October at 19 East Main St.

The new clothing store, located in the former Village HandWorks storefront, is owned by 23-year old Nicole Iorio, a recent St. John Fisher graduate with a degree in business marketing. A self-described shopaholic, Nicole’s vision is to share her love of clothing and fashion with women of all ages, help them discover new and different styles to add to their closets and to find that “missing piece” they’ve been looking for.

Her plan is to offer a mixture of styles, from street wear to lounging-around clothes to going-out clothes, much like what you’d find in, well, your roommate’s closet. But more than anything else, Nicole wants the women who wear her clothes to feel confident and comfortable at all times.

At just 23 years old, this is Nicole’s first experience at opening a storefront, but not her first experience in running a successful business. She actually created My Roommates Closet a little over a year ago as an online store, which she’s also taken on the road to several flea markets. Even from the beginning of that venture, she knew she wanted to eventually combine her marketing degree with her love of fashion and open a brick-and-mortar shop. But no way did she expect it to happen so soon.

It was actually a haircut that put things into motion.

“I get my hair done right next door at Main Street Beauty Lounge,” Nicole remembered. “I was sitting there back in May, and I saw that 19 East Main St. opened up. I was thinking about moving my business into a store, but not this soon. I was going to wait a bit, but the place opened up and this area is so cute.”

“When I saw that location, I thought yeah, I think I want to do this.” So she got in touch with the landlord, took a look at the space, and just three months later had signed the lease.  

Nicole hopes to open her new shop sometime in October, but there’s still a lot to do. Newly-painted ceiling tiles have to be reinstalled, lights have to be swapped out, changing rooms built, walls painted and floors redone. She’s discovering that opening a new business is a complicated endeavor, involving a hundred little unforseen details from getting on Google to replacing outlet covers. And on top of all everything else, she’s taking a night class to complete her Master’s degree in Business Marketing.

Fortunately, she’s getting a lot of help and support from her family and friends. “I’m here for it,” she said. “I love it. I love the whole process, It’s very stressful, but I love it.”

My Roommates Closet is located at 19 East Main St. in the Village of Webster. It doesn’t look like much yet, but stay tuned for updates. In the meantime, you can check out the shop online. You’ll find My Roommates Closet here on the website, and also on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Pinterest.

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

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

(posted 9/9/2022)

Beautiful night, beautiful music for Webster Jazz Fest

21 Aug

What a terrific few days we just had in the Village of Webster.

The 2022 Webster Jazz Festival is in the books, and it will certainly go down as one of the best ever. Six different bands kicked off the festivities Friday night with Jazz in the Pubs, this year made even better by the mini street fair, complete with vendors, a professional sidewalk chalk artist, a photo booth and more.

But that was just a teaser for the main event, Jazz in the Streets on Saturday. The music began at 4 p.m. on the big West Main Street stage and continued well into the evening.

In the many years I’ve attended the Jazz Fest, I can’t recall ever seeing so many people. When I got into town at about 6:45, the street, sidewalks, even alleyways and driveways were already packed with tables and chairs and coolers. I didn’t think it could get any busier. But as the evening went on, people kept coming, and by the time Prime Time Funk hit their first downbeat at 9 p.m., people had filled in pretty much every nook and cranny along West Main.

The Village of Webster always looks its most charming for the Jazz Fest, too. Twinkly lights stretching back and forth across West Main made the entire scene look like a musical fairyland. Food and drink vendors set up along the street, combined with spectacular weather, made the whole evening a great chance to reconnect with friends and neighbors, or just enjoy an inexpensive evening out with the whole family.

Kudos to the Webster Business Improvement District for another wildly successful Jazz Fest. You make the Village of Webster proud.

Here are just a few photos from Saturday night. Click here to see a gallery with many more.

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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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(posted 8/21/2022)

First-ever Jazz Fest Street Fair a success

20 Aug

West Main Street was hopping last night during the first annual (I hope) Webster Jazz Festival Street Fair.

There were perhaps a dozen or so vendors and street artistans set up, most of them enjoying brisk business from the hundreds of adults and children in attendance. Especialy fun was the photo booth sponsored by LaLa and Whimsies, and the Dancing With Denise table, where Denise was handing out tiaras, fairy wands and sparkly bows.

I know for a fact that the Webster Business Improvement District (BID) — and especially chairperson Elena Bernardi — organized the event on less than a month’s notice, to coincide with the first night of the Webster Jazz Festival. I’m sure Elena would’ve liked more vendors and artisans to participate, but it turned out to be a really nice event for its first year. I hope the BID considers doing it again next year. With more planning time, it should be even better.

By the way, don’t miss the main event, the Jazz Festival in the Street tonight! Check out my blog here for the schedule.

Here are a few photos I took from the event, and if you had your photo taken at the LaLas/Whimsies photo booth, click here to see that and all sorts of other goofy photo booth photos.

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

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

(posted 8/20/2022)

Jazz Festival and mini street fair come to Webster Village this weekend

15 Aug

Get ready to dance in the streets and in the pubs this weekend, when the Webster Jazz Festival returns to the village, with great music, food, drink, a mini-street fair and — this year — t-shirts!

The Webster Jazz Festival will stretch over two days this Friday and Saturday Aug. 19 and 20, kicking off with “Jazz in the Pubs” Friday evening beginning at 6:30 p.m. Six different bands are scheduled to perform at six different village pubs and restaurants, with staggered start times, so you can visit visit several (or all) of the venues for a drink and a bite to eat, and enjoy as many bands as you like.

Here’s the schedule (click on the name to get more information about each band):

West Main will also be hopping that evening with a brand new event sponsored by the Webster BID which they’re calling the Jazz Fair in the Street.

West Main will be closed to traffic for the evening, and the curbs lined with vendors, artisans, local business booths, and maybe even some fun and games. Plus, food and beverages will be available for purchase. (It’s kind of like a mini Village Days.) It’ll be a great chance to meet up with neighbors and friends, maybe do a litle shopping, while you’re meandering from one pub to the next to enjoy some live music.

Here are a few of the artisans and vendors you’ll see there:

  • Mayers Cider Mill cider and donut tastings
  • Catlan Samuels book signing
  • botique items
  • live, professional sidewalk artists
  • Roc City Empanadas food truck
  • craft items including tie-dyed shirts, waterfalls and bird baths, and laser-engraved pieces

On Saturday night the festival clicks up a notch when the music takes to the street.

Beginning at 4 p.m., an outstanding lineup of musical entertainment will perform from the big West Main St. stage, featuring musicians from around Rochester and Upstate. There will be some tables and chairs set up, but they go pretty fast, so plan to bring your own, set them up in the middle of the street and enjoy music all evening long.

The schedule looks like this:

This is always a huge event, so you’ll really want to be a part of it. Admission is free.

And while you’re in town, make sure to stop by Woodland Silkscreening, 5 West Main (lower level), and pick up your official Jazz Fest 2022 t-shirt. Look for her table on Friday during the street fair, or stop by the shop anytime this week for a special pre-sale deal of just $10 each (they’ll be $15 the day of the festival). What a great price for something you can wear proudly every year to show off your love of Webster — and great music.

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

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

(posted 8/15/2022)

Calling all Buffalo Bills fans!

1 Aug

The Bills are back in town, the Bills are back in town!

The Buffalo Bills training camp is underway for the next few weeks at St. John Fisher College, and here in Webster, Whimsies gift shop on East Main Street is welcoming them back to town — and revving up the excitement for the upcoming season — with a Let’s Go Buffalo! Family Night on Thursday Aug. 4.

From 5 to 7 p.m. Whimsies will have the entire shop set up with Buffalo-themed games, including ping pong, Connect 4, washer toss, cornhole, and more. Carl’s Pizza will be selling pizza, wings, drinks and desserts, and Cassano Studios will provide music, so get ready to sing your favorite stadium songs, ’cause you you know that the Bills make you wanna SHOUT! (Sorry, no table-smashing this time around.)

This is a great family event, so get out all your Bills gear, bring your appetite, and come on down to the village Thursday night to cheer on our “hometown” team! Let’s get this season started!

Whimsies is located at 32 E. Main St. in Webster village.

(The Bills are practicing that day at Fisher … maybe one of them will hear about all the fun and pay us a visit? C’mon JOSH!!)

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

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

(posted 8/1/2022)

Remember Village Days? It’s coming back (sort of)

29 Jul

Those great folks at the Webster Business Improvement District (BID) have just in the last two weeks started to pull together a new summer event, and they want to spread to the word to get everyone involved.

It’s basically going to be a street fair, featuring businesses, vendors, snacks, crafts and perhaps a few games, very reminiscent of the old Village Days of yore.

The fair will be held on Friday August 19, on the first night of the Webster Jazz Fest. That evening is “Jazz in the Pubs,” when six different bands will be performing at six different bars and restaurants in town (more details about that in a future blog). West Main Street will already be closed for the evening, so it’s a perfect time to hold a Village-Days-type street fair.

Now, however, the BID needs vendors and contributors. They’re pretty much open to any ideas, so if you’ve got a village business and would like to participate, email the Webster BID at info@websterbid.com and get on board!

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

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

(posted 7/29/2022)

Serenity Life celebrates first anniversary, expands its North Ave. offices

27 Jun

In this day and age when we too often hear about businesses having to close up shop, it’s nice to hear about one which is actually expanding.

Serenity Life Creative Arts Therapy, located at 98 North Ave. in the Village of Webster, has recently added two new counseling rooms/offices, doubling the practice’s original space, just as the business celebrates its first anniversary.

Serenity Life specializes in counseling services and creative arts therapy for anxiety, life stressors, addiction, healing trauma and more. The office’s 13 service providers are trained in traditional talk therapy AND art therapy. What that means is you don’t have to be artistic to seek out their help, but art, music and even dance can be incorporated into sessions when appropriate.

Serenity Life is directed by Webster Schroeder graduate Mattye McKibben, herself an experienced art therapy clinician. Mattye first learned about the discipline in her Advanced Placement art class, and after graduation pursued degrees in art therapy and creative arts therapy. She worked in the local hospital system for 11 years before opening her own counseling office — Serenity Life — last July.

“We take a person-centered, solution-focused approach to counseling where clients feel partnered with, heard, like they have choices in the services they receive,” Mattye said. “Our goal is for folks to feel they are making progress right away. We pride ourselves on finding a great therapeutic match with the counselor because this is one of the biggest indicators that therapy will be successful.”

Mattye says she’s still working on decorating the new offices, striving to furnish them “in a fun way,” with a “mid-century vibe,” using lots of vintage furniture. The walls are filled with artwork painted by Mattye herself, or one of her very talented family members.

The results are immediately obvious when you step through the door. The rooms are bright, welcoming, calming and comforting … just as they should be in a counseling office.

Even though Serenity Life only joined the Village of Webster business scene a short time ago, it’s already become a strong community supporter. During the Fall in Love With Webster event last February, for example, they hosted a free “Love Yourself” virtual group therapy class. In April they stuffed 100 plastic eggs for the Village of Webster’s Easter Egg Hunt, and coming up next month, keep an eye out for them in the Firemen’s Parade.

Community involvement is an important part of their mission, Mattye said.

“We’re part of the community. We want to be your friendly neighborhood counselor that’s trustworthy, relatable and inclusive, creating a safe environment for everyone.”

Click here to find out more about Serenity Life Creative Arts Therapy. Here’s a peek at the offices:

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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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(posted 6/27/2022)