Tag Archives: Small business

A few pre-holiday thoughts

14 Nov

There’s Christmas music on the radio, 24/7. I believe it’s been running on not just one, but TWO stations for a few weeks now.

Now, I like Christmas music as much as the next guy, and I’ve never had any issue with radio stations jumping the gun somewhat and starting it up way early. (Although this year I think it was earlier than normal, almost like the two stations were in a race to see who could roll it out first.) And I gotta say, I think this year more than any other, we really need some jingle and joy in our lives. So you’ll find me switching on the radio in the car more often these days, searching out some Bing Crosby.

But what I DO take issue with is that these two stations apparently have not changed up their holiday music collection in five years or more.

There are thousands of holiday tunes out there. PLEASE update your repertoire. We don’t need to hear “Santa Baby” played every hour on the hour. (But you can work in Feliz Navidad more often if you want.)

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Here’s a quick reminder that the village is open for business.

I did some early Christmas shopping today, at two of my favorite village shops, Lala of Webster and the Village Quilt Shoppe, both on East Main St. When I walked into LaLa, I was delighted to see a long line of customers at the register (all properly distancing) and probably ten more still shopping.

It was wonderful to see that LaLa’s business is going so well, and more to the point, that so many new people have come to discover this unique store. It seeme like every time I walk in, I hear a first-timer ooh and aah with delight as they explore the three floors. As for me, I’ve been in lots of times but go back frequently because owner Lisa Schlonski keeps adding new merchandise.

I also popped into the Village Quilt Shoppe across the street. I’m not a quilter, but I know that they’re going to be selling off many of their samples and I really want to get my hands on one of the market bags. That sale actually starts on the 20th, so I will be back.

If you haven’t been in either of these shops before, remember that the Saturday after Thankgiving is Small Business Saturday. That would be a great opportunity to check them out, and many of the other small businesses we have here in town.

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A visit with my new Webster Village eye doctor

2 Sep

I could probably fill a small notebook with everything I love about living in the village. But no matter what’s on that list — music, shops, pubs, neighbors — one underlying theme ties them all together: people.

That fact was reinforced yesterday when I went for a long-overdue eye appointment.

We were in between optometrists when we moved to the village last year, so we decided to sign on with Webster Eye Care Associates. The office, at 81 East Main St., is about an 8-minute walk from my house. (I LOVE being able to walk to places!)

The place was bustling with activity, and much larger than it appears from outside. The staff members were friendly and efficient, and Dr. Hochreiter, who handled my exam, was very professional and thorough, and patiently answered all of my questions.

But I especially enjoyed my time with the big teddy-bear of a technician who helped me choose my new pair of frames and took the appropriate measurements. We laughed and joked throughout our entire visit. We even discovered at one point that we both used to live in small-town Owego, in the Southern Tier, and shared memories of our old hometown.

My new friend Mike Gustin and me

Only toward the very end of our time together (after learning that I was a new customer) did this very friendly and jovial gentleman introduce himself. All that time, I had been joking with Webster Eye Care co-owner Mike Gustin.

It’s not often that you can walk into a medical office for the first time and leave an hour later feeling like you’ve joined a family. That’s how the folks at Webster Eye Care Associates made me feel yesterday. That’s what small-town hospitality and neighborliness is all about.

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New Webster cookie shop a dessert-lover’s delight

30 Aug

There’s a new cookie shop in town, and be forewarned: it’s downright dangerous. (At least for anyone trying to stay on a diet.)

It’s called Kiss Me Cookie, and it opened on July 1 in the small plaza at 696 Ridge Rd., Webster (where The Garlic Pit is located). And if you like cookies even a little bit, this is going to become one of your favorite shops — EVER.

Webster residents Pam and Steve Bouteiller run Kiss Me Cookie, both juggling full-time jobs and a one-year old son to do so. While Steve comes in to manage the shop most days, Pam does the baking. It’s something she’s done for a long time, and for the last several years she’s been selling her baked goods wholesale, online and at festivals.

But it was only recently that the young couple decided to take the leap and open a physical storefront.

“I was always way too cautious to do something like this,” Pam said. (Steve’s) been wanting to open a store for years now and I was always too nervous. So we discussed it and we decided that when we had enough money saved up from just our cookie enterprise to open a store then we would open a store.”

As it turns out, that happened right in the middle of the pandemic. Undaunted, however, they started looking for a place in April or May, considering opportunities in Fairport and downtown Rochester before discovering their current location, which is conveniently just down the road from their home.

Then the real work began.

“This kitchen had to be built from the ground up,” Steve said. “We painted, did ceiling tiles, I put in 50 to 60 hours a week in June, but we got it done in a month and opened July 1.”

The Webster community has enthusiastically welcomed Kiss Me Cookie. And for good reason; the variety of baked goods they offer and the creativity and love that clearly go into each one is making everyone who walks in an immediate fan.

Just the aroma that fills your senses when you enter the shop is enough to make your mouth water.

Right now, Steve said that their most popular cookies are the Golden Dough, Salted Caramel and Big Reveal Peanut Butter Cup (this last one is a chocolate chip cookie with a peanut butter cup inside). They’ve got plenty of traditional favorites, like snickerdoodles, chocolate chip and butterscotch oatmeal, but if you’re not afraid to try something new, I recommend the magic bars (graham cracker crust with white chocolate, marshmallows, coconut and fruity pebble topping), Oreo bars, s’mores bars, or any one of a dozen another fanciful varieties.

“We’re trying to keep it fun,” Steve said. “We have a few traditional flavors but we’re always trying to do something new, innovative….We have a lot of flavors that people haven’t seen before but nothing that’s unapproachable and strange. We’re trying to make an experience where people can come in and have fun.”

But Kiss Me Cookie is more than just cookies. There are cookie cakes, cookie pizzas, coffees, cheesecakes, homemade hot chocolate mix, even dog treats. And they’re trying to work with local producers as much as possible to keep the operation small-business oriented.

Pam and Steve also offer catering services and individually-wrapped cookies (the extra wrapping fee, by the way, is waived during the pandemic). This fall they hope to introduce fudge, pies and holiday treats as well.

Kiss Me Cookie is located at 696 Ridge Rd., Webster, in the little plaza just west of Hatch Rd. They’re open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, and are closed Monday and Tuesday.

Next Sunday Sept. 6 would be a great time to check them out, when they host a “Goodbye to Summer” party from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with summer–themed giveaways, 20% off everything in store, free drinks, freeze pops and more, and a chance to win a gift card. To find out more, check out the Facebook event here.

If you can handle some super-glam cookie photos, check out their Facebook page here, and for a full list of their cookie selection, visit their webpage here.

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

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