Brookside Museum’s Annual Holiday Shoppe Opens Nov. 1

The Saratoga County Historical Society will open Brookside Museum’s annual Holiday Shoppe Sat., Nov. 10 at 10 a.m. The shop offers hundreds of locally crafted items. This year, many new vendors are participating, so shoppers will be able to find the perfect gift for everyone on their list. In November, the Holiday Shoppe will be open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. The store will expand its hours in December, remaining open until 6 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays.

The Saratoga County Historical Society at Brookside is a nonprofit organization located at 6 Charlton Street, Ballston Spa. The society inspires community memory by telling the story of Saratoga County through engaging exhibits and interactive programs. Brookside’s programs and services are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts. For more information, please call 885-4000 or visit brooksidemuseum.org.


Ravenous? Go to the corner of Phila and Putnam for crepes

Ravenous is unique: downtown Saratoga’s only crepe restaurant. The owners of this locally owned, family-run business serve a wide selection of savory and sweet crepes for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Ravenous crepe fillings include traditional French favorites like ratatouille and ham & gruyere, as well as other more creative fillings from around the world. Delectable dessert crepes feature fresh fruit, Nutella, fromage blanc, and homemade whipped cream.

This fall, the creperie is celebrating its 13th Anniversary in business. Ravenous will be running a fixed-price dinner special from now through Nov. 13. The offer includes a dinner crepe, a salad, small pommes frites, dipping sauce, and your choice of dessert, all for $19.99. During the restaurant’s anniversary raffle, also through Nov. 13, the owners will be giving away Ravenous gift cards and T-shirts.  

The restaurant also now has gluten-free crepes available daily. The majority of the fillings are gluten-free, so diners can choose from several entrees: Crepe Marcel, Ratatouille, Mama Mia, Taj Mahal, La Sorbonne, and many more. The pommes frites have always been gluten-free and vegan-friendly.

New fall/winter hours have begun:

Tuesday through Thursday: 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Like Ravenous on Facebook to get current information, special deals, and discounts.


Voice your opinions about Saratoga Springs' government form change

Call out to the Saratoga Springs business community: We want to know what you think!

Do you support a change in the form of city government? If so, why?

Please e-mail your response to city reporter Lucian McCarty at lmccarty@saratogian.com, telling who you are and what your business is. If you'd like to write a letter to the editor, please keep to 100 words or less so we can include as many opinions as possible.

Lucian will post responses on the City Desk Blog.

Thank you!


Sabina’s mysteriously vanishes

Sabina’s Wood Fired Restaurant locked up for good earlier this month, with not so much as a notice posted on its doors. The telephone number and Web site are no longer operational, and the eatery’s sign has been removed from out front.
Located at 237 Union Ave across from the Saratoga Race Course, the building originally housed popular pizza joint Bruno’s from 1987 to 2008, under a succession of three owners. Sabina’s opened in 2009, bought by chef Joseph DeVivo, the original owner and chef of Saratoga Springs’ Maestro’s.
Fire struck Sabina’s small prep building in early August, caused by a malfunctioning electrical clothes dryer. No injuries occurred, and the restaurant itself was undamaged. Smoke and water affected the prep building; however, the restaurant and patio opened again that very day.
Some online commenters hoped Sabina’s would reopen, while others shrugged off the loss of a Spa City eatery.
“It’s survival of the fittest in the restaurant world,” wrote Dan on the timesunion.com Web site.


Best places to work

The Business Review in Albany released its annual ranking of the best places to work in the Capital Region and there are several Saratoga County firms on the list.
Click here to read the full list.

Subsidium Technologies -- Clifton Park
GTM Payroll Services Inc. -- Clifton Park
FingerPaint Marketing -- Saratoga Springs
Jaeger & Flynn Associates Inc. -- Clifton Park
Internet Marketing Ninjas -- Clifton Park
Sunmark Federal Credit Union -- Ballston Spa
Alpin Haus -- Clifton Park, Wilton
Palio -- Saratoga Springs
Ballston Spa National Bank -- Ballston Spa
DeCrescente Distributing -- Mechanicville

Oddly, the Saratogian didn't make the list. It's a pretty good place to work — benefits include an awesome downtown parking spot, occasional newsroom pizza and the excitement of covering the news.

What do you think of the list? Want to make a case for your workplace being a great place to work?



Clifton Park Center to add a Loft

DCG Development, a retail and office real estate owner and developer, has announced that a lease has been signed for a Loft location at Clifton Park Center Mall. The 5,000-square-foot Loft store will open in spring 2013, according to Rick Eaglestone, DCG’s vice president of leasing.

“We have been working with Ann Inc. for a long time to make this location happen, and we are very proud to make this announcement,” he said. “The Loft will give Clifton Park Center Mall another quality store name, and will benefit the shoppers of Clifton Park, Saratoga County, and beyond.”

Ann Inc. is a leading specialty retailer for women’s clothing. Throughout that company's 50-year heritage, it has become a well-known resource for quality suits, separates, dresses, shoes, and accessories with a feminine, polished approach to updated classic style, according to Rob Ristau, general manager at DCG. The Loft brand offers more feminine and casual women's clothing, including pants, dresses, sweaters, blouses, denim, skirts, suits, and accessories.

“We have been extremely meticulous in crafting just the right merchandising mix for Clifton Park Center Mall,” said Don Greene, DCG development’s president. “Through the redesign of the mall, we are consistently updating it to the needs of our shoppers. A merchandise mix of the best local independent retailers combined with regional and national retailers creates a ‘best-in-class’ customer experience at our center.”

Please see dcgdevelopment.com.


Vermont Peanut Butter Company’s maple walnut voted Best New Food

A Saratoga native has battled startup challenges and even a hurricane to create the Best New Food Product, New England-made. Chris Kaiser, founder, president, and CEO of his Vermont Peanut Butter Company, received the award at the 2012 Made in New England trade show. Winners were picked among thousands of products.

The company was also recently featured in “Shape Magazine”’s “Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Peanut Butter.”

Boasting Vermont’s world-famous maple syrup and an industry-leading 10 grams of protein per serving, maple walnut is one of Vermont Peanut Butter’s top sellers.

Kaiser started the business in 2009 with the idea to build a Ben and Jerry’s-like company that caters to a healthier crowd, but with the same flare, fun, and deliciousness of the now-famous ice cream company. When Hurricane Irene struck in August 2011, Vermont Peanut Butter lost its entire facility and operation in Waterbury, Vt.--ironically the former home of Ben & Jerry’s. Afterward, Kaiser’s firm moved into a brand-new 5,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility. In 2011, sales were affected significantly, he said, but since then, Vermont Peanut Butter has grown another 200 percent and is now one of the fastest-growing food companies in New England.

“I take my health and the health of those who enjoy my products seriously,” Kaiser said. “We take extreme care to develop the most delicious, nutritious, and clean products in our market: no hydrogenations, no palm oils, no preservatives, no excess salt or sugars. We are poised to triple our business in 2013 and 2014 with the launch of several new packaging styles, and our new relationships with professional athletes from Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League.”


Get a new massage at Bodywork Professional

Nick Pavoldi, owner of Latham’s Bodywork Professionals, is opening a downtown Saratoga Springs office in historic Franklin Square. Bodywork Professionals offers the Capital Region a full range of bodywork and massage therapy services in an environment Pavoldi calls professional and relaxing. The fully licensed and insured staff are some of the most seasoned therapists in the region with an average of 11 years’ experience. Established in 2003, Bodywork Professionals specializes in deep-tissue work, Rolf structural integration, Thai yoga massage, Swedish massage therapy, and pre- and postnatal massage. The business will offer a unique service of babysitting during massage from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays.

“We are excited to have a Saratoga location,” Pavoldi said. “For years, I’ve wanted to have a location here in my hometown, but I didn’t think the time was right until now. It’s great to see that goal turn into a reality and be able to offer our services to the Saratoga clientele. I have an amazing staff working here, and we are delighted to be part of the movement toward natural health and the history of health in Saratoga Springs.”

Pavoldi has been a bodywork practitioner for 16 years, working on members of the New York City Ballet, the New York Giants football team, and the Salt Lake City Olympic athletes. He was voted the Albany region’s best massage therapist four times in “Metroland.” He teaches at the Center for Natural Wellness School of Massage Therapy in Albany.

He focuses on encouraging and supporting local and sustainable products in his business. This includes offering products from local entrepreneurs and using an antique letterpress for hand-printing gift certificates. Pavoldi is a founding member of the Pregnancy Project, a group of Capital District providers offering services to pregnant women, their babies, and their families. Recently, he has become interested in vibrational therapy through gonging.

For more information on massage services, visit BodyworkProfessionals.com or call 389-2200.



Leonard Bus Sales adds New York jobs and expands into Florida

Leonard Bus Sales, a leading New York school and commercial bus distribution company, is adding jobs to its New York operation. The 50-year-old firm has also launched LBS South, a sister company in Florida. With 19 employees so far, Jacksonville’s LBS South will operate as a separate company, but bring the Leonard family’s commitment to customer service and support to the Florida school and commercial bus market.  

“We are proud to be growing in New York and expanding into Florida at the same time,” said Mike Leonard, owner and president of Leonard Bus Sales and LBS South. “Our ability to do so is a reflection of our solid reputation as a top distributor of school and commercial buses, delivering high-quality vehicles and unmatched customer support.”

In New York, the Leonard Bus Sales team added former Oneida City Schools Assistant Superintendent for Finance Greg Race to the customer support team and brought in Joe Wolfe as the product sales manager for Trans Tech’s entire line of Type-A school buses, including the all-electric eTrans.  Race brings an in-depth knowledge of school financing to assist districts with fleet-management needs, while Wolfe has more than 25 years of experience in the bus business, with a specialty in Type-A school buses.

“We are lucky to be partnered with the Leonard family in the distribution and support of our school and commercial buses,” said incoming Trans Tech President John Phraner. “If you want to be a market leader, then you need to be teamed with one, and that is why Trans Tech partnered with Leonard Bus Sales and LBS South.  As New York’s only school bus manufacturer, it was vital for us to be with the best.”
The upstate New York-based family business has defied the odds of this prolonged national economic downturn, opening facilities and creating scores of new jobs in communities across upstate and now Florida.  In New York, recent growth has meant developing facilities in Saratoga Springs, Rome, and Bergen, and expanding the headquarters in Deposit. Each facility is home to between 15 and 30 full- and part-time employees.  
Leonard Bus Sales is a recognized leader in the distribution and support of quality, environmentally friendly school and commercial buses. A third-generation family-owned business, Leonard Bus Sales provides cost-saving fleet management and award-winning customer support services, winning the 2011 IC Bus Eastern Region Dealer of the Year. Leonard Bus Sales is a leading distributor of IC Bus, Trans Tech Bus, Champion Bus, and General Coach America buses. 


Giraffe winners stick out their necks for Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood - PPMH
Schenectady’s Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson has a lot to celebrate at Oct. 18’s Annual Celebration. Besides hosting comedian Lizz Winstead of “The Daily Show” as guest speaker, PPMH will honor two area recipients with the 2012 Giraffe Award, presented to Planned Parenthood workers who truly stick their necks out for the organization. This year’s winners are Carol Ellsworth Blowers and Darren Cosgrove, two former volunteers who later took on Planned Parenthood roles as careers.
Blowers currently serves as vice president of governmental affairs and vice president of Planned Parenthood Advocates of New York. Cosgrove co-advises the Teen View program; he is also a sexuality educator/trainer and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered program coordinator. Blowers became involved with Planned Parenthood in the early 1970s, while Cosgrove began his career as a Teen View volunteer in 1997.



Cycling Studio hosts Ride 2 Recovery

Saratoga Spin Studio 

 On Nov. 3, the Saratoga Cycling Studio of 24 Hamilton St., Saratoga Springs, will host the fifth annual Spinning Nation event. This raises money for the implementation of spinning rehabilitation centers across the country. These centers assist in veterans’ physical and mental rehabilitation.

The Cycling Studio will host a one- or two-hour indoor cycling class. Proceeds will go to Ride 2 Recovery, an organization benefiting veterans’ rehabilitation programs that feature cycling as the core activity.

Riders can register online at spinningnation.org. Just find the Saratoga Cycling Studio, under Facilities. There is a $25 initial registration fee per rider that will go toward the rider’s Spinning Nation donation total, and you get a free T-shirt with registration.

Saratoga Cycling Studio owner and instructor, Angela Amedio, has been organizing and participating in the Spinning Nation event for the past five years. See saratogacyclingstudio.com.


Childhood friends open Izumi Sushi restaurant

Larry Zhao and Leo Yan have 25 years of restaurant experience between them, so when they bought the retired Jeff Chen’s Pacific Grill, they knew how to create a dining experience worthy of Saratoga.

“Japanese meals are made from fresh, healthy ingredients,” Zhao said. “So we serve light, delicious food.”

The Izumi Sushi Asian Bistro and Lounge has a quadruple-fold menu filled back and front with offerings, among them sushi, sashimi, hibachi dinners, and Japanese entrees. There is even a page for lunch entrees such as the shrimp teriyaki bento lunch special.

The Japanese entrees are served tempura- or teriyaki-style. The sushi entrees include sushi for two: a combination of 16 pieces of sushi, a dragon roll, and a rainbow roll. The dragon roll consists of eel, cucumber, avocado, and caviar. The rainbow roll comprises crabmeat, cucumber, avocado, tuna, salmon, and white fish.

“We’ve built a larger, more professional sushi bar here,” Zhao said. “Saratogians know about fish; they have high standards. So for us, the most important thing is also to know our fish. We examine all our food purchases carefully and return any fish that isn’t fresh. We want to make sure everyone is satisfied with each meal.”

Izumi can prepare meals free of gluten, peanuts, and soy.

In case their customers cannot live by fish alone, Zhao and Yan have created a sake bar in their lounge.

“We offer more than 15 kinds of sake from $6 to $100 a bottle,” Zhao said. “You can have sake that is dry, sweet, salty, or creamy. We also offer Asian beer.”



Come party on the parking deck!

Saratoga has a new garage, and what better way to celebrate more parking downtown than to party on the roof? Thurs., Oct. 18, the city and the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce are hosting a free event on the deck of the 6 Woodlawn Ave. parking garage. From 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Garland Nelson Ensemble will provide music, and community donations will give food, water, and soda to the party-goers. Call the city at 587-3550, ext. 2520 for more information.



Henry Street Taproom to open Oct. 12

Saratoga’s newest watering hole, the Henry Street Taproom, will open its doors to the public Fri., Oct. 12. The tavern will specialize in handcrafted microbrews paired with unique fare from executive chef Bryan Walsh. The menu will feature farm-fresh food with seasonal inspiration, local ingredients, and artisan cheese. In addition, the Taproom will offer an impressive whiskey selection; but the focus is undoubtedly the beer.

“We’re craft beer lovers,” said proprietors Ryan McFadden and his wife, Sonja. “We’ll serve the most diverse collection of high-quality microbrews from across the country.”

Focused on restoring beer to its rightful place at the table, the Taproom will pair your favorite brews with your favorite foods. The McFaddens want conversation to dominate, pints to be properly poured, and service to be passionate, but never pretentious. The pub will have a neighborhood atmosphere.

“People will be able to enjoy good beer and good food without all the pretension,” McFadden said.

“We wanted to build a place where people could enjoy drinks and conversation with their friends and neighbors,” said Sonja McFadden.    

The bar is housed in the former Virgil’s Coffee House location. 



Fitness studio BodyWise offers individualized training

LogoBodyWise Fitness Studio has opened at 2392 Rt. 9, Malta, with the goal of giving clients encouragement and support to live a consistently healthy lifestyle. Featuring a room for high-end spinning, fitness classes, and specialized personal training, the studio also offers such classes as Zumba, Pilates, Yolates, power ball, cardio kickboxing, and boot camps.

BodyWise will design a specialized fitness plan to motivate clients with staying on track with their health and fitness goals. The studio’s instructors are motivated, talented professionals, who ensure that each client achieves results in a fun, exciting environment.

The studio has also teamed up with Healthy Hart Fitness, owned by Steve Hart, who has 15 years of experience in the personal training business.

A new customer offer deducts 30 percent from your first fitness package. Use code BODYWISE 30. This discount expires Nov. 30. Call 289-5508 or visit BodyWiseFitnessStudio.com, where you can sign up for classes online.

There are neither fees to join, nor membership fees.


Beauty and the best

Beauty Bar Salon and Spa of 23 Northern Pines Rd., Wilton, officially opened its doors Oct. 2. The salon was the vision of Bobby Machnick, master stylist, formerly of Philepe Bevan Salon and of Sanctuary Salon. Machnick teamed up with Lisa Gabryshak, esthetician, and created a fabulous modern oasis that provides full hair, nail, waxing, esthetic, barbering, and massage services. Beauty Bar features L'Oreal Professional Hair Products, including Inoa color. The boutique also boasts an organic hair-product line, Youngblood cosmetics, Lexli & Circadia skin care, and more.

“We are thrilled to finally be open and are very excited to have compiled a wonderful team including Alyssa Hatin, senior stylist, formerly of Sanctuary Salon; Ryan DeLorenzo, senior stylist, of Philepe Bevan Salon; Angel Gopi, master barber, formerly of Gregory's Barbershop in Clifton Park; and Paul Zurlo, master barber; plus more,” Gabryshak said.

Call Beauty Bar at 886-8850.


Minogue’s Malta Beverage Center is officially open

Minogue’s Beverage Center at 2421 Rt. 9 in Malta is now open for business. The store welcomes you to stop by the Malta location, which features 12,400 square feet of beverages, including a 27-door cooler, a Beer Cave, and an eight-faucet growler station. With the new location’s expanded cooler space, expect to find your favorite micro and import beer brands cold.

The center’s Grand Opening weekend starts Oct. 26 with an 11 a.m. ribbon-cutting. Oct. 27 and 28, enjoy a cookout to support the Saratoga Regional YMCA and the Adirondack Saratoga Chapter of the American Red Cross: Get a free lunch, receive promotional items, and explore the brews.

The first 100 visitors on each day will receive a goodie bag with hats, T-shirts, glassware, and other fun stuff. All customers will enjoy hot sale prices on several popular domestic and import beer brands.

Minogue’s has proudly partnered with two local organizations during the opening weekend to provide a free lunch for all visitors on Saturday and Sunday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The YMCA will be onsite Oct. 27, and the Red Cross will be onsite Oct. 28. Both organizations have educational and family-fun activities scheduled for the weekend. Minogue’s will make a $500 donation to each organization and hopes the weekend will bring them additional exposure.

The center is also hosting tastings from approximately 12 craft breweries, which will run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on all three days. 

Minogue’s Beverage Center is a fourth-generation family business headquartered in Saratoga Springs. The Malta location is the fourth store. Other locations include Saratoga Springs, Wilton, and Queensbury. All stores are open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The stores accept any beverage center coupon from California to Clifton Park. Don’t see your favorite beer?  If the distributor has it, Minogue’s will get it.