Tag Archives: Local business

Webster community mailbag: busy weekend ahead

20 Jul

Baseball and festival and ice cream. All perennial summer favorites, and you’ll find them all this weekend in Webster.

The fun all starts Saturday morning July 24 at Challenger Miracle Field of Great Rochester, during their “Heroes Helping Heroes” day, a tribute to the Challenger athletes for whom the field was built, and the men and women who keep them safe.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. first responders will be playing ball games alongside the Challenger players. Visitors are invited to watch the games, cheer on these amazing athletes, and then hang around to visit with law enforcement representatives, first responders and mounted police officers. Plus there’ll be carnival games, food trucks, a dunk tank and a visit from Spikes, the Red Wings mascot.

Miracle Field is located on Ridge Road behind Town Hall. This beautiful facility was specifically designed for individuals with physical and/or cognitive challenges and is fully wheelchair accessible. It offers those with developmental, physical or intellectual disabilities a barrier-free, safe, accessible place to experience the health benefits and joy of play through baseball, other team sports, and adaptive recreational equipment.

It’s all free, there’s plenty of parking, and it’s going to be great family fun. Click here to learn more about Challenger Miracle Field.


The Waterfront Art Festival also returns to North Ponds Park this Saturday and Sunday after taking last year off (much like most everything else in life).

The Waterfront Art Festival is a fine art and craft show and sale that was started in 1973 on the Canandaigua City Pier. It was held in Canandaigua for 41 years before moving to Webster, where it has grown every year and become a highly anticipated summer event.

This year’s festival will feature almost 60 artisans displaying a wide variety of unique, high-quality pieces ranging from stoneware, beads and culinary items to jewelry, glassware and soaps… and so much more.

PLUS, there’s lots of live music (check the line-up here), a food court and wine/beer/cider tastings tent, all set up along the pathways and lawns of the picturesque, shady North Ponds Park.

Admission is $3, and kids 12 and under are free. There’s also plenty of free parking.


Here’s word of a unique new “summer camp” experience for kids who like to sew.

The Village Quilt Shoppe, 21 E. Main Street in Webster, will offer a Stitch by Stitch Kids Summer Camp from Tuesday July 27 through Thursday July 29. Over the three days, young students will create their own drawstring backpacks, while learning more about sewing machines and techniques.

Classes will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. each day, and be taught by instructor Kelly Goodman. Cost is $60.

For more information, including a supply list, email The Village Quilt Shoppe through the contact page on their website, call them at 585-626-6916 or stop by their shop.


St. Rita Church in West Webster will be hosting their next “Saturdays at St. Rita” event this weekend.

From 6 to 8 p.m. on July 24, the community is invited to an ice cream social at the church, 1008 Maple Drive.

BUT THERE’S MORE THAN JUST ICE CREAM! You can also get dinner from Verno on the Roll, AND play miniature golf for free! There’s a book sale, gift basket raffle, and live music.

And of course, it’s all a warm-up to the annual St. Rita Fiesta, scheduled this year for Aug. 28. Stay tuned for more about that.


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Revisting the “Great Flip Flop Rescue” at Bayside

9 Jul

There’s been a lot of chatter recently about how Bayside Pub will likely soon be history due to the Town of Webster’s big Sandbar Park Project.

It all made me think back to a warm summer evening five years ago when we joined our friends for dinner — and what became dinner AND a show — at the popular restaurant. I’d like to share the blog I wrote after our memorable adventure.


An entertaining trip to Bayside

(originally published July 18, 2016)

Believe it or not, last night was the very first time my husband and I had ever been to the Bayside Pub up on Lake Road. Our friends Dave and Patty invited us along when they headed up there for dinner. They warned us there’d be a wait for a table, but that we’d enjoy sitting outside with a beer and listening to some music while we did.

They were right on both counts. The wait was long because — as many of you probably already know —  Bayside is quite small and apparently everybody in Webster knows that sitting on the Bayside lawn on a gorgeous summer Sunday evening, drinking a beer and listening to music is THE thing to do.

Before long we were joined by four other friends. We talked, and laughed, and sang along with a very entertaining local cover band called Vintage.

But the best part of the evening was what will forever be known as the Great Flip Flop Rescue.

Allow me to paint the scene. We’re waiting at a table right on the water, and as we’re chatting, I watch as a young girl scampers down the short dock toward her family’s small boat. She stops in front of it and kicks off one of her flip flops, expecting it to land in the boat. Not even close. Instead, it plops into the bay. Undaunted, she kicks off the other flip flop. Which lands in the bay right next to the first one.

She stands there, looks at them, looks around to see if there’s someone who can help, looks at them again. Finally, she heads back down the dock, probably in search of adult assistance.

Eventually, Dad comes by, heads toward the water, looks at the flip flops and walks back towards land with a rather peeved expression. Meantime, our victim scampers back and forth on the dock, flip-flop-less, while the wayward footwear continue to float away.

Before long, a small knot of family members and friends from the neighboring boat has convened on the dock, and the adult strategizing begins. Now all four of us, still waiting for dinner, are closely watching the action, anxious to see how the exciting drama plays out.

One of the flip flops had not yet floated too far away, and somehow they retrieve that one rather quickly. The other one is more problematic.

There is much discussion on the dock. Someone pulls a pike pole out of one of the boats, and extends it to its full length before realizing that it would take about 10 of them to reach the flip flop at this point. Someone starts uncoiling a rope attached to a toddler’s floaty.  Someone else tries casting a fishing rod in its direction.

There is much discussion at our table, too. Like football fans questioning a poor call on the field, we’re wondering why SOMEONE doesn’t think to throw a tube into the water (there’s one tethered to flip-flop-family’s boat) and paddle over to it.

Perhaps she hears us, but it is flip flop girl who finally also has that brilliant thought. Now skittering around in one flip flop, she hops into her boat, pulls the tube up next to the side of the boat, and starts trying to climb in. As soon as she puts one foot on it she realizes that without help, she’ll also be in the water. So instead, she yanks on the rope and, all by herself, wrestles the tube into the boat.

Apparently no one else thinks it’s a brilliant idea, because it just sits there.

FINALLY, neighboring-boat-owner-family figures they might as well head home. So they pull all their kids and stuff together, back their boat out of the dock, putter over to the flip flop, retrieve it and return it to flip flop girl.

There was actual cheering.


The Bayside may someday be gone, but memories like these will always remain.

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Webster community mailbag

6 Jul

A couple of reminders this morning about upcoming events, plus a few new events for your consideration.

This Friday July 9, the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, at the corner of Webster Rd. (Rt. 250) and State Rd., will host a drive-through Taco Dinner, beginning at 4 p.m. and ending when they’re sold out.

Customers will have a choice of beef and chicken Birria style street tacos along with rice and black bean sides. The meals, priced at $12 for the first one and $11 for each additional meal ordered at the same time, are prepared by Tacodero, of Rochester. Its owner and chef, Cordero Rivera, has worked as a private chef cooking for hip-hop artists and NBA players in NYC before moving to Rochester.

Orders can be placed when you drive into the event. Proceeds will support the church’s outreach efforts in the Webster community and the greater Rochester area.


The Friends of the Public Library have added more dates for their Pop-Up Book Sales.

Four more sales have been scheduled for Thursday July 15, Saturday July 31, Thursday August 12 and Saturday August 28. They’ll be held in the Webster Public Library parking lot from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., weather permitting. (Cancellations will be posted on the library’s website and Facebook page or you can call the library at 585-872-7075.)

Prices will be $1 for hardcover, 2/$1 for paperback. On August 28, the last sale day, bring your own bag and fill it to the brim for just $3 (or two bags for $5).

By the way, remember that the library is holding Outdoor Storytimes at Harmony Park every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. No registration is necessary. The park is located just off Phillips Rd. on 10 Foster Drive. For more information, check out the library calendar here.

This tidbit also from the library: “Binge Bags.”

If you’re in the mood to take a break and binge on four or five movies — all with the same theme (like Star Wars or the best of Stephen King) — you can check out a “Binge Bag” at the library. It will be your own personal movie marathon. (Don’t forget the popcorn.)

The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd., at the back of Webster Plaza.


The Webster Recreation Center’s next Family Fun Day will be on Saturday July 17.

The Summer Splash Family Fun Water Day will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. at the First Responders Splash Park, located on Chiyoda Drive adjacent to the Webster Recreation Center. Make sure to wear your swimsuits, bring a towel and some cash because there will be food trucks.

No registration is required, and the event is free for all ages.

And while you’re near the Rec Center, make sure to grab your copy of the new “Find a Way to Play” playgrounds passport. This is a new program from the Webster Parks and Recreation Department which encourages families to get outside and explore all of the great play areas we have here in Webster.

The 10-page passbook highlights many places right here in town where children and adults can be active and have fun. It encourages everyone to visit different facilities and discover each one’s unique amenities. The booklet provides a brief description of not just playgrounds, but two spray parks, the skate park and more.

You can read more about the program in this blog I wrote a few weeks ago.


There’s a very special event coming up later this month which I’ll write more about at a later date. But it’s something I think you’ll want to get on your calendar right now, especially if you’re not familiar with Rochester Challenger Miracle Field.

Miracle Field is located on Ridge Road behind Town Hall. This beautiful facility was specifically designed for individuals with physical and/or cognitive challenges and is fully wheelchair accessible. It offers those with developmental, physical or intellectual disabilities a barrier-free, safe, accessible place to experience the health benefits and joy of play through baseball, other team sports, and adaptive recreational equipment.

On Saturday July 24, Miracle Field will host their “Heroes Helping Heroes” day, a tribute to the Challenger athletes and the men and women who keep them safe.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. first responders will be playing ball games alongside the Challenger players. You can watch the games, cheer on these amazing athletes, then stay to visit with law enforcement representatives, first responders and mounted police officers. Plus there’ll be carnival games, food trucks, a dunk tank and a visit from Spikes, the Red Wings mascot. It should be a great morning of family fun.

More to come about this event later. But in the meantime, you can visit the Rochester Challenger Miracle Field website for details.


Also coming up later this month, a brand new event from the Webster BID, those folks who bring you White Christmas in the Village, Trick or Treat Trail, Wine Walks and more.

It’s being called the Family Games Night & Beer Garden, scheduled for Friday July 30 from 6 to 9 p.m. on West Main Street in the village.

The BID website promises sidewalk chalk art, Giant Jenga, Giant Connect Four, Cornhole and a free yoga class. Beer and wine will be served up by the Coach Sports Bar and food from Webster Hots (including a kids’ menu). Live acoustic music will be provided by Steve Bartolotta from 6:30 to 8:00.

Details are still being hammered out, so stay tuned. You can also check the BID website for updates.

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New shop will join East Main St. merchants

2 Jul

Another crafty shop is coming to the Village of Webster.

The Village HandWorks will be opening in just a few weeks at 19 East Main St., right next door to the Village Quilt Shoppe. As the name implies, the new shop will feature original hand-crafted goods, and offer a place for crafters to practice their skills, take a class or two, or just gather to sit, stitch and share their projects.

The Village HandWorks is owned by Webster resident Jenn Ratcliffe, an experienced spinner and weaver herself. She envisions her new place as a “unique yarn shop/learning center,” a welcoming environment for crafters of all skill levels who love making things with fabric and paper. She and her talented friends will be offering classes in spinning, weaving, fiber arts, knitting, crocheting, sewing, embroidery, crewel work, print making, book arts, dyeing and more.

There’ll be a big leather couch in one corner where people can sit and stitch, get help with their projects, and read research books from her library. And this is fun: she’ll be setting up her spinning wheel and loom right in the front window so passers-by can watch her work.

Jenn is clearly passionate about her craft and super excited to be part of the Village of Webster community.

It makes me feel good to be part of the revitalization of the village. COVID is still here, but it’s a little less scary and people are starting to get out more. Being in this retail space allows me to share my skills and ability, and also brings life to this space and hopefully to the village.

And being right next door to the Village Quilt Shoppe? Some might consider that direct competition, but Jenn considers it a great opportunity for collaboration.

I don’t quilt, and there will be no quilting (here) because that’s their expertise. We’re looking forward to working as a team to create classes together. Maybe while mom’s next door taking a quilting class, her children can be here taking a different kind of class.

For now, Jenn and her husband Tim are deep into cleaning and renovating the long-vacant storefront. But they hope to have a soft opening by July 17 followed by a grand opening the following week. Stay tuned for more details about both. Their website is still under construction, but what they have so far you can see here.

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Webster community mailbag

16 Jun

A few of the items in today’s mailbag are reminders about events happening this weekend. But first, a note that the Joe Obbie Farmers’ Market is officially open for business for the summer.

This early in the season, you’ll mostly find specialty items like syrups and honey, flowers and crafts. There were a couple of fresh produce stalls last weekend — opening weekend — with some beautiful strawberries. But the number of vendors and selection will expand every week, so make sure to check back regularly. And there was a food truck as well, which organizers have said will be a regular feature.

The market is located in Webster Towne Center plaza, in front of Old Navy and near the gazebo. It’s open every Saturday through November from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.


St. Martin Lutheran Church, 813 Bay Rd., will hold a huge garage sale this coming Thursday, Friday and Saturday (June 17-19). Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. All proceeds will benefit the church’s local missions and neighbors in need.

The Webster Thomas Players will present their spring musical, Cabaret live and in person this year at the Penfield Amphitheater, 3100 Atlantic Ave., in three shows June 17 to 19.

The production will be PG-13, but the subject matter is most appropriate for mature audiences, addressing issues around anti-Semitism and political fanaticism. Audiences will recognize many legendary musical numbers including “Willkommen,” “Don’t Tell Mama,” “Maybe this Time,” “Money,” and of course, “Cabaret.”

Cabaret will be presented in three shows:

● Thursday, June 17, 7:30 p.m.
● Friday, June 18, 7:30 p.m.
● Saturday, June 19, 7:30 p.m.

The rain date for all shows will be Sunday, June 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Reserved seating tickets are available for $12 in advance, and can be purchased online here. On the day of the show, reserve tickets will be $15 (if available). General admission “bring your own” lawn chair ($10) or blanket ($25) options are also available. You can see more details about these options on the website (websterthomasplayers.com).


It’s Sidewalk Sale Weekend in the Village of Webster.

Five village shops will be setting up some tables outside their stores this Friday and Saturday and offering some great bargains both outside and in.

At Yesterday’s Muse Books for example, all items outside will be 50% off, and inside everything is buy two get one free. The Village Quilt Shoppe will have lots of fabric, patterns and kits for 40% off. You’ll also find some great deals at Nest Things, The North Bee and Lala of Webster.

So take a stroll downtown this Friday and Saturday and meet some of our very friendly small business owners.


Webster doesn’t have an Independence Day parade, but you don’t have to go very far to enjoy one.

Penfield’s Independence Day Parade will be held Saturday July 3, beginning at 10 a.m. It steps off at Penfield High School, proceeds south on Five Mile Line Road to Route 441, east on Route 441 to Baird Rd., and north on Baird Rd. to end at the Penfield Community Center.

The town is dedicating the parade to all the people who helped the town’s resisdents make it through a very difficult 2020, and who may still be helping them cope. Help came in many forms during the pandemic: physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, financial and more.

Penfield residents who wish to contribute a name, or names, to the banner may submit them on the Town of Penfield website at www.penfield.org. Names may also be submitted via phone at (585) 340-8655, option 0. The audience at Penfield’s Independence Day will also have the opportunity to add their heroes’ names to the banner as it is walked through the parade.

The banner will be displayed in a prominent location after the Independence Day festivities, so the heroes can be recognized beyond the holiday.


Here’s this month’s Webster Museum History Bit:

Now and Then: Webster Baseball

Today’s baseball in Webster differs from the early days in so many ways.

Ball fields are all over town now. There are school fields and town fields and park field and fields owned by philanthropic organizations and pick-up games in empty spaces. There are many varieties of bats, balls, mitts, caps, helmets, uniforms and protective equipment, many of them tossed on grassy fields while players wait their turns.

Nineteenth century Webster baseball teams were loosely organized, equipped with one homemade bat and one hard rubber ball (that’s it!) and used the underhand swift pitch. Games were played on borrowed private property for at least ten years before the first organized high school game was played in 1888. Since then, Webster has fielded many excellent school teams and a number of players who went on to careers in professional baseball.

In the 1890s local businessmen organized teams and rented land now bounded by Lapham Park, Park Ave., Dunning Ave. and Elm Street. They fenced it and added a grandstand and ticket office. Uniformed and equipped, the teams from the town and from Nine Mile Point played teams from Rochester, Brockport, Parma and Penfield.

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Webster community mailbag

8 Jun

And the fun just keeps on coming.

If you live in or near the village, you may remember the Village Block Party held back in September on Park Ave. The event was hosted by The Red Hot and Blue Band, who set up on the porch of RHB band member Doug Pucci, who lives at the corner of Park Ave. and South Ave.

The band played for three straight hours, while community members sat around and listened (socially distanced of course), and children danced and made chalk drawings in the middle of the closed-off street. It was a much-needed and greatly appreciated respite from the depths of the pandemic.

Well, the Village Block Party is back again this year, and it’s going to be even better.

On Saturday June 12, Webster community members are all invited to come together to enjoy the rockin’ sounds of the Red Hot and Blue Band, beginning at 3 p.m. And bring some cash, too, because this time the party will feature two food trucks, Terry’s Tips and Beef and Netsins Ice Cream.

Aside from the food trucks, there’s no charge for this event. Just bring your quad chairs and join your neighbors for an afternoon of good music and good food. It all happens on Park Ave. between South Ave. (Rt. 250) and Lapham Park.


This week’s Friends of the Webster Public Library Pop-up Book Sale has become a Bring-Your-Own-Bag Book Sale!

On Thursday June 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., bring your bag to the library and fill it with gently used books for just $4. It’s an inexpensive way to stock your personal library for a summer-full of great reading for you and your family.

The sale will be held in the Webster Publc Library parking lot, at the rear of Webster Plaza, 980 Ridge Rd. All monies raised will go to support library initiatives.

Don’t forget about this weekend’s Webster Summer Celebration, returning on Saturday June 12 to the Webster Recreation Center.

From 5 to 10 p.m., the whole family is invited to come out for dinner and snacks from some great food trucks (including Wraps on Wheels, Nancy’s Fried Dough, Effortlessly Healthy, Bay Vista Taqueria and Seabreeze Catering and Hot Sauce), while enjoying some great live music.

Festivities will conclude at 9:45 with a fireworks display. For more information, especially about parking for the fireworks, please visit the Webster Parks and Recreation webpage.


This Saturday also maks the opening of the Joe Obbie Farmers’ Market.

This blurb from the market’s Facebook page seems to indicate that exciting changes are in store:

Things are lining up for what we believe to be one of our biggest and best market years ever. We are happy to announce that the market has grown with new vendors being added. We are pleased to see many old faces return as well. And also very pleased to announce the addition of a food truck and a possible lemonade truck.

The market is located in Webster Towne Center plaza, in front of Old Navy and near the gazebo. It’s open every Saturday through November from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Several Village of Webster shops will be holding a sidewalk sale next week on Friday June 18 and Saturday June 19. Take a stroll through the village, pick up some bargains and visit with with some of our very friendly small business owners.

The shops that will be participating in the sidewalk sale include Lala of Webster, Nest Things, The North Bee, Yesterday’s Muse Books, and the Village Quilt Shoppe.

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North Bee featured in Rochester-area magazine

14 Mar

The North Bee — specifically Amy Stringer, owner of The North Bee — is getting some well-earned recognition this month. She and her adorable little bee-inspired shop on North Ave. are featured in the March/April edition of the Rochester-based magazine 55 Plus.

The three-page feature, written by John Addyman, follows Amy’s life path, beginning with her 19-year career in accounting. It was later in life that she discovered beekeeping, which ultimately led to the decision to retire and devote herself full-time to her newfound passion for all things bees.

Amy has been a regular advertiser in 55 Plus‘s sister publication, Good Health Rochester, and the sales representative she works with is a customer. It was she who realized that Amy’s story would be a perfect fit for 55 Plus which, she said, likes to write about “second act” careers.

The article has already garnered a lot of attention. It hit the newsstands on February 28, and within a week, several of her customers mentioned they had seen the article. For some, it was their first visit to The North Bee.

55 Plus can be picked up for free at 1200 locations throughout the city, including any Wegmans. But I highly recommend you stop by The North Bee in person to grab your copy, and see what all the buzz is about (sorry).

The North Bee is located at 27 North Ave., across the street from the gazebo. And when you stop by, don’t think you’ll only find honey (although the honey variety will blow you away). There’s also a surprising variety of products made from or with beeswax, including wax rounds, beard balms, mini planters, vases and cups, small sculptures, elderberry syrup and jelly, propolis, paw balm for dogs, candles, body products and much more.

The North Bee is open Tuesday 4-7 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Check out the website here and Facebook page here.

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Updated BID website is a thing of beauty

12 Mar

The Village of Webster Business Improvement District (BID) website, the clearinghouse for village business, event and entertainment news, is new and improved.

The BID is the organization of small business owners who work together to support each other and the village business climate in general. They’re the ones who host many of the special village events you’ve come to know and love, including the Trick or Treat Trail, White Christmas in the Village, and the Wine Walks.

They BID has had a website for a long time, and while it did provide a lot of information about upcoming events and special business promotions, it really was nothing to write home about. Frankly, it was rather … blah.

But recently that changed. It has a new, fresh look, great images (including an impressive drone video) and much improved navigation tabs. All while still providing tons of information about what’s happening in the village.

According to BID member Tom Spoonhower, the improvements have been a year in the making. He wrote,

In early 2020, (BID chairperson Elena Bernardi) formed a marketing/communications committee and a more interactive website was one of the outcomes. She contracted with a local company, CMS Max, to incorporate our information into their template and through them an outside video company was hired to produce the video that greets you on the homepage.

Spoonhower himself has taken the lead in adding to and updating the site. That’s more difficult than you might imagine, given all of the challenges COVID has thrown into the mix. But right now, he adds, “The business listings are pretty up to date and as the weather breaks we hope to get out into the community to update even further.”

When you check out the new site (and you should), you’ll find some convenient tabs across the top where you can read more about the BID, see a listing of member businesses and get information about upcoming events. Scroll down and you’ll find even more links to things like music and entertainment and a BID newsletter sign-up (this is the best way to stay in the know). There’s even a place where you can find out more about volunteering for a special event.

Basically, the site is one-stop shopping for Village of Webster business and event news. Actually, it always was, but now it’s much prettier!

So check out th new BID website, bookmark it, sign up for the newsletter, follow the BID on Facebook … do it all and you’ll always be up to date.

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Businesses helping businesses during this difficult time

15 Jan

A ripple of kindness is quietly spreading through the Webster community.

It’s called Webster Business Pay it Forward, an effort begun by businesses almost a year ago to help their fellow small business owners weather the Covid economy.

I first heard about the program from one of my readers (thanks, Nancy!) who saw a Facebook post from Ric Thomann of Webster Interiors. Ric had purchased ten gift cards and long-stemmed roses from Kittelberger Florist, which were to be given out free to the first ten customers who visited Kittelberger and mentioned the program. Not only did the gift card purchase benefit Kittelberger, chances were good the patrons who used them would be spending even more than that in the store.

The roses were just an extra special touch.

Ric was able to give me a little background, particularly that the movement was spearheaded locally by Dr. Joe Manza of Wellness For You NOW Chiropractic on North Ave.

Ric wrote,

During the earlier stages of Covid, Joe went out to a few businesses and pre-paid for some products from the Webster businesses and then splashed what he did on his and Webster Facebook group pages to encourage the community to take advantage of his generosity and hopefully bring additional awareness and customers to those businesses.

The Webster BID, the Village of Webster’s business association, got wind of the idea and started spreading it through the village, benefiting almost a dozen small businesses to date.

Dr. Joe, however, refuses to take credit for the original idea, saying that the concept began with a business growth group he belongs to called Black Diamond Club. He started the ball rolling “early on in the apocalypse” by opening a tab at the Lake Road Country Store for $150 worth of fish frys for anyone who had lost work and needed a hot meal.

He wrote,

Not too long after I posted this offer on Facebook, a high school friend of mine who operates a very small musical instrument repair business jumped in and added to my tab. That made my heart melt! Later on, I did another one at Knucklehead Brewing. I bought ten growlers for any first responders, nurses, fire, police … as a thank you for their hard work.

And he didn’t stop there, paying it forward to Performance Hobby, The Goodie Shoppe, Kiss Me Cookie and The North Bee. Come February, he’s planning to do it again, to benefit another local business, Barbells & Body Fuel.

The big idea is that it is absolutely necessary to support our community in as many ways as possible. Too many people have been negatively impacted by the virus and the lockdown. Job loss, reduced incomes, business closings, depression, and so forth have become the side effects of this situation.

I have heard personally that this little initiative has helped so many people and businesses which makes me hope others are inspired to contribute to the cause, just like my friend did by adding to my tab. If we can come together to serve our community by giving just a little bit more or extra – if/when possible – so that life is a little less of a struggle and a bit brighter for those in need then we are all better off.

The Webster Business Pay it Forward initiative is still going on. The wave of kindness continues to spread, so you’ll want to keep an eye out for it, for your opportunity to help support our local businesses.

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Here’s a shopping challenge for you

27 Nov

Perhaps it’s just the fact that “Black Friday” has turned into “Black Friday Week” because people are spending more time at home and shopping online, but it seems to me that this year’s Black Friday craziness has been a little muted.

I’d like to encourage everyone to not let that happen to Small Business Saturday, which happens tomorrow, Nov. 28.

Our small business owners need our support more than ever this year help them survive this pandemic. Especially if we’re headed to an orange designation which might throw us back into another round of retail restrictions.

So I propose this challenge: sometime this holiday season, make a commitment to purchasing at least one gift at a small business. Even if (or especially if) you just need stocking presents, step into a small shop you’ve never been in before and I guarantee you’ll find something unique and perfect.

The North Bee, for example, at 27 North Ave. This is one of my favorite shops in the village, because I can always find something fun and different for office gifts or stockings.

The North Bee is packed with products from the hive, but goes far beyond just honey. (But if you or someone you love fancies honey, there are countless varieties here.) You have to check out her beeswax Christmas ornament tree, and beeswax statuettes for example. There are candies and even soft drinks, all honeybee-based. And Amy has really begun to focus her product line on health and wellness, like natural elderberry syrup and propolis products.

The North Bee has just celebrated its second anniversary, so Amy must be doing something right.

Another one of my favorite shops is The Village Quilt Shoppe at 21 E. Main. I’m not a quilter, but I like to stop in here occasionally just to say hi to the owners, Vanetta and Monique, who are two of the nicest people I have ever met. They’ve got all sorts of sales going on right now and a chance to win a gift raffle.

This is the perfect place to find a gift — or a gift card — for that quilter on your list.

And of course I can’t sing the praises of Lala of Webster enough. This adorable shop at 38 E. Main is packed with unique and creative gifts and is a must see for anyone shopping in the village. Owner Lisa Scholnski always has something new up her sleeve. Stay tuned for news soon of a special offering for seniors that’s in the works.

These three are just my favorite village shops, but li’l old Webster has so much to offer. Here are a few highlights:

  • Know someone who would rather read than do just about anything else? Grab a gift certificate from Yesterday’s Muse booksellers, 32 W. Main.
  • Performance Hobbies, 15 W. Main, is a hobbyist’s paradise.
  • How about supporting the musician in your family with something from The Music Store, 18 E. Main?
  • Grab some beautiful hand-made holiday chocolates at The Goodie Shoppe, 83 North Ave.
  • Nest Things at 11 E. Main is kind of like an upscale Grandma’s attic, packed with “carefully rechosen items” for the home, mother-to-be, and children. Lots of surprises in here.
  • Brighten up your holiday table and home with some flowers and wreaths from Kittleberger’s Florist, 263 North Ave.

And don’t forget to save some time to enjoy a snack and beverage at one of the village’s restaurants and pubs. You should definitely stop into Barry’s Old School Irish just to see the lights they’ve strung.

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