LiveWell ADK program comes to town

Looking to lose weight?

Gerber Family Chiropractic & Wellness Center, based in Queensbury, has opened a new office on Church Street in Saratoga Springs.

Dr. Jonathan Gerber said the second office was opened in response to interest from patients and would-be patients in Saratoga and to the south.

“The need for wellness is overwhelming beyond belief,” Gerber told me when we chatted on Tuesday.

The center’s wellness and weight-loss program, called LiveWell ADK, promotes health from all angles, Gerber said, addressing nutrition, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, acid reflux and diabetes.

Treatment methods include chiropractics, aqua detox, massage and the LiveWell protein diet.

“We do make people thinner, but we have all these exciting (things) happening in our office as well,” Gerber said.

In addition to weight loss, one of the main goals of the program is to wean people off their medicines.

Between the two locations, LiveWell ADK serves hundreds of patients and takes referrals from primary care physicians, Gerber said.

As a measure of the program’s success, he cited the total amount of fat his clients have lost to date — 40,000 pounds.

The office is located 78 Church St. across from Blue Sky Bicycles.

For more information, call the Saratoga office at 306-5322 or the Queensbury office at 793-5555, or e-mail info@gerberchiro.com.


Sims’s no more

The barbershop at 40 Caroline St. got a name change recently when Saratoga Springs’ Daniel Breen took it over from its former owner, Steve Vilot.

Breen, a cosmetologist and a barber, has been under Vilot’s employ at Sim’s for about a year, he said, and was ready to transition to the role of business owner.

The shop is now called Swagger. It is remaining open for cuts and shaves while Breen is in the process of making it his own.

Check back with In the Biz for an update on his progress in November.

For appointments, call Breen at 260-2112.

B'spa quilt shop turns 1 on Halloween

Come Halloween, patrons at Almost One of a Kind Quilt Shop in Ballston Spa will have a place to warm up and celebrate, with or without a costume.

Oct. 31 is the store’s one-year anniversary and there should be plenty of cozy quilts (and quilt-making supplies) as well as chocolate on hand, co-owner Barbara Haynes said. Special sales and giveaways will be held all day on Saturday to mark the event.

Haynes and Vicki Feldman opened the shop amid a sinking economy last fall, but their business in Ballston Spa’s Art Alley is riding it out.

“We’re paying our bills,” Haynes said.

The store offers loads of cloth, tools and quilt patterns for every season or event, including Judaica-themed patterns. The store also holds classes for quilting techniques like reverse appliqué, cathedral windows and paper piecing. Adults and children as young as 3 are welcome, Haynes said.

Almost One of a Kind does its part to support local artists by selling designs by two area quilters, she added.

The store is located at 22 Washington St. Call 363-0219 for more information.


KEM to shut doors in November

After four years on Broadway, the luxury handbag store of Greek origin, KEM, will close at the end of November.

Franchise owner Richard Maré said the shop has seen a shift in its customer demographic in recent months. What used to be a fair mixture of local and out-of-town customers is now primarily shoppers from New York City, Long Island and Boston, all looking for specialty and high-end bags, wallets and accessories while visiting Saratoga.

“We have a handful of local customers,” he said, but “we haven’t seen a big jump in new clients.”

Catalog, online and phone sales account for a large portion of the company’s business as well.

Maré said he plans to stay on with the company, by either relocating the store in the area or opening as a small boutique within an already established business.

KEM was established in 1985 in Athens and crossed the Atlantic 20 years later, with shops in Melbourne, Fla., and South Beach, Fla., in addition to the Saratoga location.

The space at 382 Broadway is currently for rent.

Happy Hands bead store open in B'Spa

For Corina Oberai, who has owned Corina Contemporary Jewelry & Fine Crafts in Ballston Spa for three years, creating things with one’s hands is a need as basic as food or water.

“My feeling is that if your hands are busy, you are a happy person,” said Oberai, a lifelong jewelry artist who studied fine metals at Boston University.

Her ideology prompted the opening of her new bead store, Happy Hands, at 91 Milton Ave. Oberai runs both businesses, which are adjacent to each other and interconnected in the building
she owns with her husband, Rob Blanchard.

Using her favorite colors and funky touches like animal print pillows, Oberai remodeled the space for Happy Hands after Rosie Bloom Again Antiques vacated it and moved down the street earlier this fall.

Corina Oberai stands in front of a table laden with beads in her new shop

Happy Hands joins a growing community of artisan shops in Art Alley, the nickname of the location near the store’s back entrance, just off the main drag in downtown Ballston Spa.

At Happy Hands, customers can browse hundreds of semi-precious beads and create their own jewelry or pick up llama, goat or sheep wool for knitting and crocheting. Embroidery supplies are available, too. About half of the new store’s space is dedicated to community craft and jewelry-making.

Oberai plans to hold Friday-night get-togethers for anyone interested in crafting and socializing accompanied by baked goods and tea. She also offers jewelry-making workshops for adults, teens and children and hires a bead teacher to give classes on Fridays and Saturdays.

Oberai emphasized the casual atmosphere and said she hopes to fill a need in town for a social gathering place unlike a bar or tavern, all while following her passion for jewelry, arts and crafts.

“I’m just going to go with what my customers seem to want,” she said.

Both stores are open daily from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

For more information about classes and workshops, call 885-0930.

Another recent addition to Art Alley is Almost One of a Kind, a quilt shop which will celebrate its first anniversary Oct. 31. Look for more details in next week’s edition of In the Biz.


Spa City Cupcakes closed

Spa City Cupcakes shuttered its doors Sunday, barely into its second year of business in the Downstreet Marketplace.

Owners Rachel and Joe St. Martin had just expanded their colorful sweets shop in July, and had moved into a bigger space, upgraded the menu and started selling cupcake merchandise in addition to coffee and sugary concoctions of all flavors.

A message on the shop’s Web site, http://www.spacitycupcakes.com, said the couple is closing the shop so they can focus their attention on their 1-year-old son, Atticus.

“Thank you so much for your patronage over the last year,” the St. Martins posted on the Web site. “It has been so exciting and fun getting to know our fellow cupcake fans. We will miss sharing our love of all things buttercream with you!”

There’s icing on the farewell cake, however: A new 1950s-style “Cupcakery Café” is taking over the space. It’s called Bettie’s Cakes and it’s expected to open Nov. 6, according to owner Lorraine Murphy’s Facebook page.

Cool weather, hot new yoga studio

From the folks at Hot Yoga Saratoga:

Hot Yoga Saratoga studio recently opened for business at 75 Woodlawn Ave., offering Bikram Yoga, Hot Vinyasa and Hot Core Fusion (a combination of Vinyasa and Pilates) classes, as well as related merchandise.

True to its name, Hot Yoga Saratoga conducts all of its yoga classes in a heated,
1,200-square-foot studio room.

Classes are currently being offered at 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, as well as at 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8 and 10 a.m. Saturdays and 4 p.m. Sundays. Additional classes are planned for November.

The monthly special for October is two weeks of unlimited yoga for $25.

Owner Cindy Lunsford said health benefits of yoga include weight loss and increased circulation, mental clarity, stamina and energy. The heat, she said, enables students to perform the postures with more flexibility and agility.

Call 581-9642 for more information.

Tapas Tuesdays at 8 Tables

On the heels of a reportedly successful opening season, 8 Tables restaurateur Ron Farber, formerly of Dine, is starting a new week-night special tomorrow.

On Tapas Tuesdays, all tapas plates and wines by the glass will go for $8. The substantially down-priced menu is a gesture of customer appreciation, the chef’s way of thanking locals for their support through the bustling summer season and the slower, colder months, Farber said.

Tapas include tuna nachos, mini Thanksgiving dinners, sirloin sliders, lobster mac and cheese, various tarts and a soup sampler.

The restaurant is open for dinner Wednesdays through Saturdays as usual, but only the tapas menu will be served on Tuesdays.

In addition to detailing his newest eats, Farber revealed that he’s expecting a new chef from the area to join the three-member cooking team at 8 Tables.

Call 580-9800 for reservations and more information.


IMC building Web sites locally

Interactive Media Consulting LLC, a local Web site development firm, announced it's offering low-cost Web site development and hosting package created specifically for small businesses and non-profits. By building the sites utilizing the popular WordPress open-source blogging technology as a foundation, IMC can create a new site within two weeks for $1000, including some custom graphics, domain registration, e-mail, and the first full year of hosting (a $250 value).

The Hungry Spot Cafe currently using this new product at www.hungryspotcafe.com.

Interactive Media Consulting will be on display at the Adirondack Business Show on Thursday, October 15. IMC will hold a drawing for one area organization to receive a free Web site by the end of October.

Some of the distinguishing features of the Interactive Quick Site package

-- Choice of using blog-style pages (inviting visitor dialogue), or static pages, or combining both options

-- Integration with Twitter/Facebook or other plug-ins such as event calendars, slide shows, maps, or surveys

-- Wide choice of templates for layout and navigation options

-- Theme color selection and logo integration

-- Ability to add photos and videos

-- Search engine submission

-- Content management system, including training and documentation to update
the site

Established in 1996, Interactive Media Consulting provides Web site development and hosting services, as well as general Internet training services. IMC's typical custom sites use a wide range of web technologies, from the Flash-enhanced Luther Forest Technology Campus site to the database-powered Scott Varley Group site to Captured Light Gift Photography, a consumer gift registry and e-commerce site.

IMC serves a variety of commercial clients in the greater Capital District, including Saratoga Economic Development Corporation; Albany College of Pharmacy; Anderson Instrument Company; Pfeil and Company; Siro's; and Sloppy Kisses Pet Boutique.


Update: Props opens

Props, which I previewed in August, is a home furnishings and accessories store that opened Friday at 514 Broadway.

Owner Patricia Wizner took a couple months to renovate the space after the piano gallery Saratoga Mystique abruptly moved out (and next door).

Props stocks both new and vintage furniture, plus lamps, carpeting, artwork and accessories like handmade paper from Nepal, glass vases and wreaths.

“Saratoga is ready for a nice line of furniture that is more contemporary,” said Wizner, a Charlton native and former home renovator.

Depending on customers’ needs, Wizner orders custom sizes or styles online and offers interior design assistance.

“I wanted something with a lot of flexibility while helping someone to decide what will suit their own space,” she said. The store opens at 11 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays through Saturdays. Sunday hours are noon to 5 p.m. For more information, call 461-9148.

From bus rides to blogger "buzz"

ABOVE: That's Adam on the left and Justin on the right. Photo by Mark Andrew, provided.

DreamBig Media Group, a new online video production company, is the brainchild of two local 20-somethings, Justin Cerone and Adam Morrell. The duo bonded at SUNY Plattsburgh and returned to Saratoga after graduating last December. The idea to form their own company was sparked earlier this year, when they won a Capital District Transportation Authority contest to create a video promoting the benefits of riding the bus.

Now, the entrepreneurs balance part-time jobs at News Channel 13 with hours spent shooting and editing video for local businesses that are in need of an innovative solution to advertising in a tough economy.

Using a Canon XH A1, DreamBig Media will produce an HD-quality promotional video — anywhere from 15 seconds to 4 minutes or more, depending on the client’s needs — and provide a DVD copy and/or data file. The cost varies per project. The video is posted on the company’s Vimeo channel (a sleeker, more sophisticated version of YouTube) and can be embedded on the client’s Web site, blog, Facebook account, etc. By using online video embedding, a client can watch their business’s promo and the subsequent buzz “spread like wildfire” over the Internet, Cerone and Morrell said.

DreamBig will also refer clients toward a local marketing company for further help distributing the video.

“TV is totally changing and the Internet is going to go hand-in-hand with it,” Cerone said. “We’re being innovative to go in the direction of the future.”

DreamBig’s services are less expensive and more effective than a 15- or 30-second TV spot, the duo says, because Internet videos aren’t limited to a set running time or number of plays.

“They don’t have a budget for a 30-second TV ad, so they do this,” Morrell said of recent clients, such as Green Conscience in Saratoga Springs, Aloha Energy in Ballston Spa and Beantown Toys in Albany.

A project with Auto/Mate Dealership Systems in Clifton Park is currently under way.

On the side, Morrell and Cerone are producing an original documentary about life on local farms, called “Farmony.” Singer/songwriter Sarah Pedinotti, with Railbird, is slated to produce the original score for the film.

Check out DreamBig Media Group’s recent work at vimeo.com/dreambigmg. For more information about the company, go to http://www.dreambigmg.com.