Tag Archives: Village of Webster

Yesterday’s Muse turns 10

5 Dec

One of my favorite village businesses is turning ten years old this month, and they’re planning a big celebration to mark the occasion.

Yesterday’s Muse, purveyors of used, rare and collectible books, opened the day of the 2008 White Christmas in the Village. I was thoroughly charmed and impressed by this little shop from the first day I walk through the doors later that month met the owner, Jonathan Smalter.  The reading nerd in me geeked out at the large, well-organized and attractively priced collection of used books.

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Since that day, Jonathan has continued to grow his impressive collection of first editions, signed editions, and rare volumes, along with the more “mundane” used books more in line with my interest and price range. He has also continued to be very involved in our community, always participating in village special events like White Christmas and the Trick or Treat Trail.

But the best change of all was when Jonathan married Kristine.

On his website, Jonathan reflected on the last ten years, writing:

Ten years. In a way it seems like it came and went in a flash; in other ways, I feel like the shop has been a part of my life forever. I want to thank everyone who has supported me, encouraged me, and guided me along the way.

My reliable staff members, Robert and Holly, deserve a hearty thank you for their hard work and dedication. My wonderful wife, Kristine, deserves an abundance of credit for putting up with the demands running a small business has put on me over the years, and for teaching me to how to keep smiling, and how to be patient on those inevitable days of frustration. She even took the time to commission a painting of the shop, which now hangs on the wall here as a reminder of how far we have come together.

Without you loyal customers, my faithful friends, and supportive family members, not only would doing this not be possible, it would not be worth it. I am proud to be a part of this community, and hope to remain one for a long time. I hope you will all continue to be a part of the shop’s story.

And now, on to the details of the celebration.

Yesterday’s Muse’s 10th Anniversary Open House will be held Saturday Dec. 15 from 10 a.m. 6 p.m. There will be refreshments, a raffle, and all items priced $10 or less will be buy-one-get-one-free. Larger purchases will also be discounted through Dec. 14, including $10 off purchases $40 and over, and $25 off purchases $100 and over.

Other sales will also be in effect through the month of December. For details, sign up for the shop’s monthly newsletter on the Yesterday’s Muse website. 

Yesterday’s Muse is located at 32 W. Main Street in the Village of Webster.

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If you love honey (and beeswax), you’ll love the village’s newest shop

29 Nov
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The North Bee is located at 27 North Ave. 

The Village of Webster just keeps getting better.

Hot on the heels of two brand new shops opening up within the last few weeks, a third has joined the village’s small business ranks. It’s The North Bee, located at 27 North Avenue.

The North Bee is owned by Amy Stringer, a long-time Ontario resident. Amy has been a beekeeper for about three years and loves pretty much everything about bees. That includes honey, of course, but more than that, it also includes something you might not expect: beeswax.

Until you visit The North Bee, you probably really don’t have any idea how many things can be made from beeswax. When she started beekeeping, Amy didn’t know much about the stuff either, but really didn’t like the idea of throwing out all the wax her bees produced.

“At the end of my first season I had honey that I had extracted, and I had all this wax left

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Owner Amy Stringer with her tree full of beeswax ornaments

over that I didn’t know what to do with. So I came up with the idea to make ornaments and a hard lotion bar.” She gave them for Christmas gifts, sold them to friends at work, and then branched out even further by setting up a booth at the Purple Painted Lady Art Festival in Palmyra.  

She also started going into nursery schools to share her knowledge about bees and beekeeping with children. Somewhere along the way she started dreaming about having her own place where she could make and sell her products, and have a place for kids to come in and learn. 

The North Bee is the answer to that dream. Inside, shoppers will find honey, of course. But 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, and body products.

Nor did Amy forget about how much she loves to work with kids. She’s created a separate room just for them, which she calls “beekeeper central.” There, kids can play a bee game, maybe try on a beekeeping suit, and examine a demonstration hive (without the bees). She hopes to start offering classes soon, where children can learn about bees and how honey is made, inspect a hive, try to find the queen, and see a real smoker in action.

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Amy introduces her bee friend to a young customer. 

What I particularly like about The North Bee is that it’s so unique. I can’t think of anywhere else you can get beeswax ornaments or mini-planters made entirely from beeswax. It’s the perfect place to find unusual gifts for those difficult-to-buy-for family members and friends.

I’ve already been there once. I stopped  by on Small Business Saturday when they first opened. I’m pretty sure, though, that I’m going to be back.

The North Bee is located at 27 North Ave., right at the entrance to the community parking lot across from the gazebo. There are three spaces in front of the shop, and plenty of parking in the adjacent community lot.

Click here to visit them on Facebook, or email Thenorthbee@gmail.com.

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White Christmas in the Village is this weekend

26 Nov

OK folks, now that Thanksgiving is in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to get down to some real holiday celebrating. And it starts this weekend with the Village of Webster’s White Christmas.

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This annual festival, which takes place this year on Saturday Dec. 1, features horse-drawn wagon rides, a bounce house, cookie decorating, storytelling, carolers, Santa (of course), and the always very popular Electric Parade.

Everything begins at 3 p.m. with activities for adults and children throughout the village. The official schedule looks like this:

3 to 6 p.m. — Horse-drawn wagon rides through the village
3 to 6 p.m. — Bounce House on Main Street
4 to 5:45 p.m. — Santa Claus at the Village Hall
4 p.m. — Storytelling at Yesterday’s Muse Book Store
4 p.m. — Cookie decorating
4:30 p.m. — Rochester Rhapsody Carolers
5 p.m. — Church of the Good Shepherd Chime Bell Choir on Main Street

And do not forget to stop by the Webster Museum that afternoon as well to check out — and vote for — some beautiful miniature Christmas trees.

santaThe Electric Parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Phillips Road and head west down Main Street. This spectacular parade features fire engines, floats and marching bands, all draped in thousands of twinkling Christmas lights. You’ll definitely want to bring the kids, but dress warm, and pack a thermos of hot chocolate, because this is a pretty long parade. Fireworks will follow the parade at 8:15.

(Click here to see a gallery of photos from last year’s White Christmas celebration.)

By the way, don’t forget to start out that morning with a hot breakfast, served up by the Chorus of the Genesee.

The Chorus will be hosting their third annual Breakfast with Santa, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Harmony House, 58 East Main Street in Webster.

Breakfast will be cooked and served, music will be provided by the Chorus of the Genesee, and of course, Santa will be there! Tickets are just $5 each, with a maximum of $20 per family. To purchase a photo with Santa is just $20.

For more information or to make reservations, call (585) 265-9540.

This is a good chance to visit with Santa before everyone else descends on him when he’s at Village Hall later in the day.

AND BY THE WAY …

When you’re in the village this weekend, make sure to visit some of our village businesses and knock off some Christmas shopping. Two brand new stores opened recently on East Main Street, The Pickled Paintbrush and Lala: Laugh and Love, Always.  And on Saturday a third new business came to town, The North Bee on North Ave. This cute shop offers local honey and hand-crafted items made from beeswax. I’ll be blogging more about them later this week, so stay tuned!

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Santa is coming to town! Here’s where to see him.

16 Nov
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Santa Jim with some young friends at Village Hall last year. 

I exchanged a few emails with Santa last night (yes, he has email; it is the 21st century, after all), and got the down-low on when you and your kids will be able to catch him around town in the next few weeks.

And when you won’t.

First, the “won’t.” Anyone who has been used to catching Santa at Webster Towne Center plaza (Kohl’s plaza) every holiday season will be be disappointed to hear that the plaza will not be hosting him this year.

But as I mentioned in a previous blog, Santa will be at St. Martin’s Church on Bay Rd. on Friday Nov. 30 for their Christmas celebration. He’ll read a story, there’s cookie decorating and free pizza…Scroll down to see Wednesdays’s post, or click  here for more details.

On Saturday Dec. 1 he’ll greet children at Webster Village Hall from 4 to 5:45 p.m. Then he has to get ready to take a ride on a fire truck for the Electric Parade down Main Street, which begins at 6 p.m. You don’t want to miss this one.

Of course the area shopping malls are always a good place to catch Santa, and as far as I know, our very own Santa Jim is still spending some time in the Santa chair at Eastview.

You can also catch Santa (but not Santa Jim), by the way, at the Chorus of the Genesee’s Breakfast with Santa on Saturday Dec. 1 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. I’ll have more information about that soon.  Click here to get tickets for that.

I also spent a few minutes last night looking back on the column and follow-up blog I wrote about Jim Lockwood, or as I affectionately know him, “Santa Jim.” If there’s a holiday event in Webster, chances are he’s the Santa in the chair. If you’re at all interested in a behind-the scenes look at Webster’s best-known St. Nick, including the training involved and how many kids tug on his beard (the answer might surprise you), click here for the blog I wrote following my meeting with him. It’s really pretty interesting.

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Strike Back Martial Arts an award winner

11 Nov

award

Strike Back Martial Arts, a jujitsu and self-defense studio in the Village of Webster, was recently awarded the 2018 Best of Webster Award in the martial arts category.

According to the Webster Award Program’s press release, the program identifies companies which they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value. It focuses on “quality, not quantity,” and looks to highlight “local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community.”

I’ve never heard about this award before, but I’m not surprised in the least that Strike Back has won it, especially given their commitment to children with special needs.

Strike Back offers adult and youth jujitsu and functional self-defense classes. But what makes them special is that they also offer martial arts classes for children and young adults with autism and with Down syndrome.

I’ve had the honor of working at Strike Back, helping teach the Jujitsu Buddies class (for students on the autism spectrum), for more than three years. It’s a non-intimidating introduction to martial arts, focusing on the particular needs of this population, including coordination, social skills, strength, focus and teamwork, taught by caring and very patient instructors.

In my time there I’ve seen first-hand the great things these classes do for children. I’ve seen anxieties melt away and self-confidence bloom. I’ve seen unbridled delight on the face of a child who accomplished a skill for the first time. I’ve seen children start to believe in themselves and learn that if they just try, they will succeed.

That is why Strike Back Martial Arts received — and deserves — this award.

Strike Back Martial Arts is located at 55 East Main Street in Webster.  For more information, log onto www.strikebackmartialarts.com, find them on Facebook, or call (585) 236-1083.

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A typical Jujitsu Buddies class at Strike Back Martial Arts. Instructors are (L-R) Dave Nicchitta,  me, Pam Wright and Mike Palmer. 

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Sing in the holidays with Rochester Rhapsody

9 Nov

rhapsody

Make this holiday season a musical one!

Rochester Rhapsody, Webster’s very own all-women a cappella singers, invites women of all ages to to join them for open rehearsals on three days later this month.

It’s called Rochester Rhapsody’s Sing In The Holidays, taking place at the Harmony House, 53 E. Main St. in the Webster Village on November 12, 19, and 27.

The chorus puts a contemporary spin on classic carols, and the songs blend traditional holiday tunes with an entertaining mix of new holiday carols when they perform in the local community in December. Women of all ages are invited to attend the rehearsals at Harmony House, so bring your mother, sister or a friend with you. It’s free for everyone, it’s a great chance to check out this outstanding local group, and held them share the gift of music with Webster and the greater Rochester community.

The Rochester Rhapsody chorus is an award-winning chapter of Harmony, Inc. that performs under the direction of Sue Melvin, an accomplished performer and clinician. Says Melvin, “Members don’t need to have a lot of musical experience or formal training. As long as she loves to sing, we have the tools to help her find success in becoming the best performer she can be. Ordinary women coming together to make extraordinary music.”

For more information about Rochester Rhapsody, visit their website here, email info@rochesterrhapsody.com or call 585-865-2731.

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A night for the books at Barry’s

4 Nov

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Danny and Jessica Barry — and several hundred of their closest friends — gathered last night at Barry’s Old School Irish in the village to celebrate the little pub’s seventh anniversary.

Pints were raised, music was played, there was conversation, laughter, old friends reconnected, and new friends were made.

So basically, it was just like any other night at Barry’s.

I can say that with certainty, as I was one of the very lucky few who can say I knew the pub when it was a baby. I still remember the sunny day when I met Danny and Jess. It was Friday, Sept. 23, 2011, the day before they officially planned to open, when the village was hosting a sidewalk sale they called the “Gazost Festival.” (Any wonder why you haven’t seen it return?) Jess and Danny were both there, and Jess’s mom Debbie reminded me last night that she was there, too, scrubbing the floors.

Their door was open, and I was excited to have a chance to finally meet the people who had refurbished the old living Plumber shop and cleaned up the unsightly corner. Mostly, thought, I needed to find out what the heck a “pub and bakery” was.

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We chatted for a while, and I took a photo of them holding the Barry’s sign. (I’m sure you’re familiar with it.) As I was visiting with them, I had no idea how much these kids would change our village for the better.

Not much of consequence has really changed since that day. There’s new furniture, a couch has come and gone, and the “fireplace” is a distant memory (remember that?). And those early Friday nights when only a half dozen people sat at the bar have become very crowded — as has pretty much every night — as more and more people discover what Webster has long known:

Barry’s Old School Irish is a treasure.

The fact that not much has changed since the pub’s opening day is a testament to Danny and Jessica. They had a vision to make their new place unlike any other. They saw how the pubs in Ireland are truly “public” houses, welcoming young and old, a place where the music never stops and new friendships are made every night. A pub where parents can feel comfortable bringing their children, and you don’t have to worry about leaving your purse hanging on a hook behind some stranger. Where you can come for coffee and a scone in the morning, and a quiet corner to work in the afternoon.

Even after seven years, that vision has not wavered, and that is why people keep discovering Barry’s Old School Irish.

So yes, the place is often shoulder-to-shoulder, especially on St. Patrick’s Day and for celebrations like this. I do miss those intimate Friday nights. But last night it was clear how happy Danny and Jess were, and how much fun they were having. And it just made me smile.

Click here to see some more photos from the evening.

The D&C has deleted the very first blog I wrote after meeting Danny and Jess, but here it is in text if you’re interested.

 

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Two things to do with the family this Saturday

23 Oct

Two fun events happening this Saturday October 27. You already know about the Trick-or-Treat Trail in the Village, of Webster. Let’s hope for reasonable weather for this amazing family-friendly event.

You can read details about that event in  my previous blog here.

That evening, help the kids walk off some of those extra calories at the annual Friends of Webster Trails Hot Cocoa Hike at Four Mile Creek Preserve, at the corner of Phillips and Lake roads.

blue-hot-chocolate-cup-mdArrive anytime between 7 and 8 p.m. and hike your way to some free hot chocolate. This popular event is NOT guided, but it is easy to do and fun for all ages. You’ll find your way by following a lighted path, starting at the parking lot. The exact route will be selected that week based on trail conditions and marked that evening for you to follow. It may be up to a mile in length (one way).

The hot chocolate will be free, hopefully the moon will be out, and there will be a lot of new friends to meet.

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Pre-registration is requested. For more information and to sign up, click here. You can also find information under the events section of the Friends of Webster Trails website.

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WVFD hosts blood drive

22 Oct

WVFD blood driveCouldn’t make it to the big Webster Community Blood Drive a few weeks ago? No worries. Your next local opportunity to donate — and save lives — is later this week.

Our very own Webster Volunteer Fire Department will host a donation drive this coming Thursday October 25 from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Community Meeting Room, 35 South Avenue.

The drive is being co-hosted by the North East Joint Fire District and is coordinated by Webster volunteer firefighter Jacky Ingrassio. She’s encouraging a friendly competition between Webster Fire Department and West Webster Fire Department to see which can donate the most units.

But of course they’re also hoping that all eligible donors in our community will come out and “answer the call,” and give blood in honor of our everyday heroes.

This drive is especially important as the Red Cross is experiencing an urgent need for blood. To schedule an appointment, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or log onto www.redcrossblood.org and search for the drive by using the sponsor keyword WebsterFireDepartment.

Walk-ins are also welcome.

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Halloween in the Village is coming!

18 Oct

halloween

It took a while, but I finally have gotten into the Halloween mood. Perhaps it was visiting Victor last weekend, seeing all of their light pole scarecrows and making plans with friends to attend Victor’s very adult trick-or-treating Spooktacular in a few weeks. Maybe it’s that the weather has turned very fall-like (OK, downright cold) and the trees are really beginning to change.

In any case, let’s talk Halloween.

The Village of Webster’s annual Halloween in the Village is coming up on Saturday October 27. The highlight of this event is the Trick-or-Treat Trail, where kids can get into their costumes and trick-or-treat all through the village, stopping by dozens of businesses for treats.

Here are the details:

  • A costume contest will kick off the day’s activities from 11 a.m. to noon at the Community Meeting Room, 29 South Ave. (adjacent to the fire house). Prizes will be awarded for best costumes. To be entered into the contest, you must arrive between 11 and 11:30.
  • The Trick-or-Treat Trail itself will run from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Look for the orange pumpkin in the windows of the participating businesses. (Or just follow the crowds of kids.)
  • The Webster Museum on Lapham Park will host an open house and usually has a fun scavenger-hunt for the kids.
  • The Fire Department will also have an open house, which is always very popular with the kids. Along with candy and other treats, the firefighters will be handing out fire hats and goodie bags and will have lots of demonstrations and hands-on activities.
  • The village’s Festival Wagon will also be making the rounds if you’d like to enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride around the village.

I’ll be there with my camera, as I am every year, snapping photos of as many cute kids as I can. If you’d like to check out last year’s gallery of photos, click here.

Several other events you’ll want keep on your radar include the Friends of Webster Trails’ annual Hot Cocoa Hike the evening of Oct. 27; Barry’s Old School Irish’s 7th anniversary party on Saturday Nov. 3; a craft show at Schlegel Elementary School also on Nov. 3; and a magic show to benefit Miracle Field on Saturday Nov. 24. More details to come about all these soon.

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