Tag Archives: Local business

Officers + autism community = awareness

11 Feb
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Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy Mike Ottley and his K9 companion Peak.

An adorable and oh, so droopy and cuddly bloodhound puppy recently paid a visit to the Jujitsu Buddies class at Strike Back Martial Arts in the Village of Webster.

Accompanied by his handler, Deputy Mike Ottley of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the four-month old bundle of floppy skin and monstrous paws happily played with a crocheted dragon and endured much petting while Ottley chatted with the students about his role as a deputy.

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Sheriff’s Office SCUBA Commander Lt. Chris Fay helps Colton Sprague into a SCUBA suit at a recent No Gi Jujitsu class. 

It was a fun event for the students in class that day, but it had a serious purpose. It was one of a series of visits by law enforcement officers organized by Strike Back Martial Arts owners Dave Nicchitta and Mike Palmer.

Over the past several weeks, Nicchitta and Palmer have invited local law enforcement officers to visit the studio’s jujitsu classes for special needs children and adults. Officers visited three of the studio’s classes: Strike Back Fitness for kids and teens with Down syndrome, No Gi Jujitsu for teenagers with autism, and most recently, Jujitsu Buddies for younger children with autism.

The goal of the visits has been to give both students — especially those with autism — and officers a chance to ask questions get to know each other a little better.

“Autism is one of the fastest growing disabilities in America,” said Nicchitta, who is himself a Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy. “The way it presents itself can be misinterpreted as inappropriate or criminal behavior.”

“Data tells us that one in five teens with autism will be stopped and questioned by police before age 21, and people with disabilities, including autism, are five times more likely to be jailed than those without disabilities.”

Those with autism in particular often have a hard time looking people in the eyes or following multi-step directions. They can also become extremely agitated in the presence of flashing lights, sirens and loud radios, and may not like being touched. In a high-pressure situation, an officer might misinterpret such behaviors as combative or non-compliant.

Nicchitta hopes that through programs like these, and through additional opportunities he’s offering to the Rochester-area law enforcement community, he can help raise awareness.

“When an officer encounters someone who is acting unusually, we hope we can get the officer to just take a moment and think, is there something else going on here?”

The class visits are as beneficial for the students as they are for the officers.

“I wanted to create a non-stressful environment where our students can interact with law enforcement in a positive way,” Nicchitta said. “That way the students can keep that experience in the back of their heads if a situation occurs where they have to interact with officers.”

Strike Back Martial Arts is located at 55 East Main St. in the Village of Webster. The studio offers offers adaptive jujitsu classes designed for children and adults with autism, Down syndrome and other physical and emotional disabilities, as well as non-adaptive jujitsu classes.

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Students in Strike Back Martial Arts’ Jujitsu Buddies class listen — and watch Peak — as Deputy Ottley talks about his job.  

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The Village Quilt Shoppe is back!

8 Jan

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Vanetta Parshall, Monique Liberti and their cute little quilt shop are back in business on East Main St.

They’ve been closed for a little more than a month, thanks to a water leak in the apartment above them which significantly damaged the shop and destroyed a good chunk of their inventory. Along with many friends and family members, they’ve been working hard in recent weeks to bring the shop back up to par. (Check out the photos to see for yourself!)

Vanetta and Monique have even managed to turn a very negative event into a lot of positives.

When I stopped in yesterday, their first day back in business, I saw that the shop is not only back in full swing, but in many ways is better than before. The ladies saw the forced-renovation opportunity to add more and better shelves, increase their inventory, and put down a whole new floor. This week they also introduced their new loyalty program and a monthly gift certificate drawing for customers who pay with cash or check.

Also, during the month of January for every sale over $25 customers will receive a sealed Red or White Fabulous February envelope, which can then be returned (unopened) in February to find prizes inside like gift certificates and discounts.

To celebrate their reopening, The Village Quilt Shoppe will host a “We’re Back” party this Saturday Jan. 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be raffles, sales, treats and a hot chocolate bar.

The shop is located at 21 East Main, at the corner of Lapham Park. Find out more on their website here and Facebook page here.

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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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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

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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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Barry’s Old School Irish anniversary draws near!

4 Nov

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Do you remember this corner?

If you lived in Webster, say, 9 or 10 years ago, you might remember this unusual garden, complete with a mini-waterfall. It stood  at the the village’s four corners, welcoming visitors to our main business corridor.

It adorned the storefront of the Living Plumber at 2 West Main St., and it stood for as long as I can remember.

That is, until the Living Plumber’s owner passed away, the village cleaned it up, Danny and Jessica Barry moved in, and committed to turning that corner into something really special: a friendly little Irish pub.

This weekend, on the occasion of the pub’s 8th anniversary, it’s clear that the Barry’s have done that — and so much more. They’ve created a super friendly, welcoming pub for the whole family. A place where you can set up your computer in the middle of the day to work while listening to live Irish music by musicians jamming in the corner.  Where everyone who comes in is immediately considered part of the family.

Barry’s Old School Irish has not only changed that corner for the better, it has changed our village.

Help them celebrate this Saturday Nov. 9 when Danny and Jessica host Barry’s Old School Irish’s 8th anniversary party.

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s in the works:

  • 7:30 to 11 p.m.: Live Irish music by Billy Herring
  • 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.: Tullamore Dew and Jameson Irish whiskey reps will be handing out samples and giveaways
  • 10 p.m.: The official anniversary toast with whiskey on the house

Plus, watch for Irish dancers and a bagpiper to make an appearance. You’ll find more details here.

9232011 dan and jessI’m pleased and proud to say I’ve been an extended member of the Barry’s Pub family since before they even opened, when I popped in to interview the new owners for this blog and took that iconic picture of them holding the sign that would soon adorn the outside of their pub. There were no pictures on the walls, no musicians in the corner, no hamburgers on the grill.  Just two young kids with a dream which they continue to expand upon every single day. (Check out a few other photos from that day below.)

If you STILL haven’t stopped by this little Irish corner of the world, at 2 West Main Street right smack in the middle of the village, you’re missing something special.

 

 

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Village Trick-or-Treat Trail details

14 Oct

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Now that we’re well into the bewitching-est month of the year, here’s a preview of the Village of Webster’s annual Trick-or-Treat Trail.

It takes place this year on Saturday October 26. It begins, as always, with a costume contest at 11 a.m. in the Community Room at Village Hall, 28 W. Main Street. Prizes are awarded in several categories.

Then, from 11:30 to 2 p.m., kids can wander through the village, trick-or-treating at businesses up and down Main Street and North Ave.

This is a great opportunity to check out some of our village’s newest businesses, including the Village Quilt Shoppe, Jojo Bistro, Lala of Webster, The Pickled Paintbrush and Chandeliers Boutique.

AND AND AND The Webster Fire Department will be hosting an open house during the event, handing out candy and fire hats for the kids, and offering up demonstrations and other fun stuff. Plus, the Webster Museum always has special activities going on, so make sure to pop up to see them on Lapham Park.

This is always a very fun event and well attended, even if it’s rainy and cold, like last year. I always enjoy seeing all of the kids’ costumes (basically they mirror whatever cartoon or video game is popular this year) and especially like seeing when entire families get into the spirit and have group costumes. Click this link to see a whole gallery of photos from last year.

Stay tuned for more details; rumor has it, a new and improved pet costume parade and contest will be back this year. I’ll pass along details as soon as I know more about it.  In the meantime, you can watch websterbid.com for updates.

 

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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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