Ruby Ribbon wraps up women’s apparel

Ruby Ribbon Logo

Ruby Ribbon, a venture-capital-backed social commerce company that sells its own designed and manufactured apparel, including leggings, skirts, T-shirts and shapewear, will launch in Saratoga Springs Sept. 22. Patty HasBrouck, a founder and co-owner of Empire Health Advisors, based in Spa City, will host this local launch at a trunk show in her home starting at 2 p.m. She will welcome the Ruby Ribbon CEO/founder, Anna Zornosa, a serial entrepreneur who has founded other successful companies. Saratoga women are invited to come support the local launch of this new company.

Ruby Ribbon is a two-year-old direct-sales company in the mode of Avon or Tupperware. Apparel is sold via “popup events” that take place in homes, offices, salons and other spots, via a network of stylists who work for themselves. In its first year in the market, the company created a sales force spanning 35 states.


Joseph Bruchac, author of “Killer of Enemies,” to speak at Northshire, Sept. 21

Sept. 21 at 3 p.m., Northshire Bookstore will host a book launch for Joseph Bruchac’s young adult novel “Killer of Enemies.”

Set in a disturbing future where the destruction of all technology has created a grim and desperate society, “Killer of Enemies” is a riveting page-turner. Seventeen-year-old Apache hunter Lozen has survived the Cloud that changed everything, and now must use her unique set of survival skills and the traditions of her ancestors to protect her family. With every monster she takes down, Lozen’s powers grow, and she connects her powers to an ancient legend of her people. It soon becomes clear to Lozen that she is not just a hired gun…she is meant to be a heroine.

Joseph Bruchac is a storyteller, poet and author of more than 120 books for adults and young readers. His work, which often draws on his Abenaki ancestry as well as the stories and legends of other Native peoples, has won numerous awards, including ALA Best Books for Young Adults, Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, National Wildlife Federation Award and multiple state association awards.

Northshire Bookstore is located at 424 Broadway. For more information, call 682-4200 or 1-855-339-5990, or visit www.northshire.com.


Northshire Bookstore to host grand opening celebration Sept. 29

Sept. 29 from noon to 5 p.m., Northshire Bookstore will host a grand opening celebration at its Saratoga Springs store at 424 Broadway. Open since August 5, the store was greeted with open arms.

Chris Morrow, co-owner of the store, said, “The people of Saratoga have given us a tremendously warm welcome throughout the process of getting the store open. We are excited and honored to be a part of this community. I hope people come down to our grand opening and have fun.” 

Activities and entertainment will be spread throughout the store, and will include:

Noon to 5 p.m.: Regular drawings for 12 terrific door prizes
Noon to 5 p.m.: Smile Lounge Photo Booth
Noon: Book signing with Jon Katz
1: p.m.: Book signing with Archer Mayor
1:30 p.m.: Music by the Bandersnatchers
2 p.m.: Book signing with Suvir Saran
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Balloon Animals by Mr. Bill
2:30 p.m.: Saratoga Shakespeare presenting “monologues from a hat”
3 p.m.: Book signing with Russell Banks
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.: Face Painting by Happy Face FX
3:30 p.m.: Music by Dan Berggren
4 p.m.: Book signing with Dan Berggren

Customers will also get a sneak peek at the soon-to-be-opened café, which will be operated by Kilwin’s and will open into Northshire Bookstore. Small samples of Kilwin’s treats will be served.

On Sept. 11, Northshire Bookstore was honored with an Independent Spirit Award from the Book Publishers Representatives of New England, celebrating the store’s “tenacity” and “undeniably dedicated staff.”

For more information on the grand opening celebration, and a calendar of events, call 682-4200 or 1-855-339-5990, or visit www.northshire.com. 


Saratoga Frameworks, formerly Serotta, begins operations in Saratoga Springs


Formerly called Serotta, Saratoga Frameworks, a new name for the team of American craftsmen who have a decades-long heritage of building high-quality, high-performance bicycle frames, is now operating the factory in Saratoga Springs.

Relying on the same craftsmen who made Serotta the industry benchmark for build and finish quality, Saratoga Frameworks is returning to the factory’s roots of building frames for other brands. 

In addition to hand-building Saratoga Frameworks frames, the company will make bicycle frames for several brands across multiple distribution channels. It will build high-end private-label custom and stock frames for independent bike dealers and fit studios, offering them the opportunity to build their own brands, provide exceptional value for their customers and enhance their profitability. The company will also offer repair and refinishing services for all high-end bicycle brands.  

Saratoga Frameworks is building titanium road-bike frames for a leading global brand and is prototyping a mixed-material gravel road-bike model that will debut at the Interbike trade show as part of the relaunch of an iconic American brand. Furthermore, the company is considering contracts to build steel and titanium frames for several other brands. Over the years, Serotta frequently built bikes for other brands, notably the Team 7-Eleven bikes raced under the Huffy and Murray labels in the 1980s.

“Our commitment to excellence is being refocused to create a sustainable business,” said Patrick O’Farrell, the company’s director of operations. “This foundation--with volumes significantly higher than what the factory has experienced in recent years--will support the ongoing development of Saratoga Frameworks’ American-made high-performance bicycles.”

O’Farrell brings 23 years of experience making bicycles in the facility for Serotta and other brands, including managing all aspects of the manufacturing process. He is joined by another Serotta veteran, Scott Hock, an accomplished racer who has been working at the facility for 8 years.  As director of product design, Hock leads Saratoga Frameworks’ custom frame and product development efforts. 

Significantly, the contract frame-building work will return business to the United States from Asia, creating American jobs in the process. Saratoga Frameworks employs 12 people and will boost employment as production volume grows. 

Separately, Saratoga Frameworks has reached an agreement with the Divine Cycling Group (DCG), which owns the Serotta brand, to produce Serotta-branded bicycles through the end of 2013. DCG and Saratoga Frameworks have agreed to a favorable manufacturing relationship should DCG wish to continue to make Serotta bicycles in the Saratoga facility. DCG is planning the future of the Serotta brand and anticipates making an announcement in this regard toward the end of 2013.

For more information on Saratoga Frameworks, see www.saratogaframeworks.com.



Pilates Studio offers free health and nutrition workshops

Reform: A True Pilates Studio 

Reform: A True Pilates Studio is offering free health and nutrition workshops this fall.

“Nourishment on the Go” with Paul Arciero will be held Sept. 16. “When Hot Is Not So Hot” with Beverly Benfer will be held Sept. 30.

“Introducing the Saratoga Juice Bar Cold Pressed Juice Cleanse” with the Saratoga Juice Bar will be held Oct. 7. “The Fit Core Diet” with Paul Arciero will be held Oct.14. “Digestion: What Your Poop is Telling You” with Beverly Benfer will be held Oct. 28.

“Immune Boosting Foods” with Paul Arciero will be held Nov. 11.

All workshops will run from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

To find out more about these workshops and Reform Pilates, contact the studio at 871-1315 or www.reformyourbody.com. Reform Pilates is located at 18 Division St., Ste. 203.


Northshire speakers Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge, authors of “The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook,” coming Sept. 17

Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m., Northshire Bookstore will host a discussion and signing with Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge, the Beekman Boys of Sharon Springs and authors of “The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook.”

Season 21 winners of "The Amazing Race," Kilmer-Purcell and Ridge are the founders of Beekman 1802, a company based around their 60-acre farm in upstate New York. They’ve been called "the next Martha Stewarts" by Epicurious and “the fastest-growing lifestyle brand in America” by NASDAQ.

“The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook” shows off the recipes the Beekman Boys have collected from across the generations of their families, from Kilmer-Purcell’s mother’s Hot Chocolate Dumplings to Ridge’s grandmother’s Fourth of July Fruitcake.

Northshire Bookstore is located at 424 Broadway. For more information on this or other events, call 682-4200 or 1-855-339-5990, or visit www.northshire.com.



Saratoga Paint and Sip Studio opens Latham location


Saratoga Paint and Sip Studio, which calls itself the Capital Region’s favorite place to paint and create, opens its second location in Latham’s Newton Plaza on Route 9 Sept. 5. A grand opening party and an open house—with fabulous giveaways—will follow Sept. 21 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“People travel to our Saratoga Springs studio from as far as Montreal and Connecticut just to paint and sip with us, not to mention from all over our region,” said Catherine Hover, Saratoga Paint and Sip Studio’s owner. “I’m excited that we'll now have an alternative to our thriving downtown Saratoga location."

At Saratoga Paint and Sip, a fun and relaxing place to get creative, a local artist instructs you through an original work of art—and you have the option of drinking an inspirational glass of wine or beer while you paint. The studio provides the paint, canvas, brushes, apron and artist’s step-by-step instruction. You leave with an inspired, one-of-a-kind masterpiece, painted by you.

Potential and returning artists can reserve seats for the Latham or Saratoga Springs locations on the website www.saratogapaintandsip.com. Seats are also available for the Sept. 21 grand opening party in Latham. The studio recommends registering for classes at least two weeks in advance as events frequently sell out.


Plum Dandy offers delicious cookies and milk at its new shop

plum dandy cookies and milk 

Sept. 6, Plum Dandy, the frozen-yogurt shop on Broadway, will open its store at 33 Railroad Pl.: Plum Dandy Cookies and Milk. The new place offers a variety of 4.5-ounce cookies. That’s as big as a salad plate, and they’re thick, too. I sampled the chocolate chip treat at a private pre-opening cookie party the business held Tuesday night. The cookies are fabulous, and I did not need any supplementary dinner whatsoever. Only that dessert!

The cookie store uses local meadow butter made from grass-fed cows, bittersweet chocolate chips, pure vanilla instead of imitation extract and pink Himalayan sea salt. All baked goods are made daily from scratch in the shop’s bakery.

Cookies include the Cherry Chipper, created of chocolate chip cookie dough, tart cherries and hand-chiseled dark chocolate chunks. The Kettle Belle features chocolate chip cookie dough, English toffee bits and sweet Broadway kettle corn. And the Gooey Louie has a chocolate cookie base with Belgian cocoa, chocolate chips, a caramel chocolate truffle center and pink sea salt. These are creative people.

The people in question are the Levitas family, which opened the yogurt shop at 419 Broadway four years ago and is full of enthusiasm about this second venture.

“Creativity and whimsy are part of the Plum Dandy way,” the owners wrote on their website. “All of our cookies are given the Dandy treatment, ensuring our guests discover something special in every bite. Chocolate chunk cookies are good, for example, but chocolate chunk cookies with chewy tart cherries are better.”

Also available at Cookies and Milk are miniature cookies such as biscotti and sugar daisies, along with brownies, frozen-yogurt cookie sandwiches and homemade spreads such as fruit preserves and Dandy Nutella, made onsite with real ground hazelnuts.

Battenkill Creamery milk comes in regular, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, marshmallow and brown sugar cinnamon. There are also warm milk beverages, coffee drinks, teas and hot apple cider.

The possible combinations of cookies and milk are endless, and could keep both children and adults busy for many snack times to come.

The store, painted dark brown, teal and cream with a theme from late 1800s Paris, was designed by graphic artist Ashley D’Agostino, and is bright and welcoming. Four computer tablets are ready for use on a central island. Parties can be held in the shop; various themes will be available, as will a miniature photo booth. Plum Dandy Cookies and Milk will also cater and deliver.



Northshire speaker, Gina Peca, author of “I Wouldn’t Change a Thing,” coming Sept. 13

Sept. 13 at 7 p.m., Northshire Bookstore at 424 Broadway will host a reading, discussion and signing with Gina Peca, author of “I Wouldn’t Change a Thing: How My Daughter Embraced Life with Cancer as an Unexpected Adventure.” All proceeds from the sale of Peca’s book will benefit the Catie Hoch Foundation, which is dedicated to helping children undergoing cancer treatment.

When Peca's daughter Catie Hoch was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 6, her mother couldn't imagine feeling joy, happiness or peace again. But Hoch managed to turn her cancer diagnosis into an unexpected adventure--with her mother along for the ride. 

Hoch viewed life as an exciting journey. Her cancer never got in her way. Instead, she took the news of her diagnosis in stride and used it to live not just fully, but magnificently. Hoch knew exactly who she was and what she wanted.

When asked what she would change about her life, she replied, “I wouldn’t change a thing.  Not even having cancer because of what I’ve learned, the places I’ve gone and the friends I’ve made.”

She died in 2000 at age 9.

“I Wouldn’t Change a Thing” is Hoch’s story—the story of how she changed the world one brilliant moment at a time.

For more information on this or other events, call 682-4200 or 1-855-339-5990, or visit the Northshire Bookstore website at www.northshire.com. For more information on the Catie Hoch Foundation, visit www.catiehochfoundation.org.


TV celebrities visit the Saratoga Juice Bar

Saratoga Juice Bar

Melissa S. Fantasia of the Saratoga Juice Bar reported two celebrity sightings Aug. 29. First was Justin Chambers from “Grey's Anatomy”—he ordered a Fantasia. Also in was Philip Philips from “American Idol,” who ordered a LuLu's Breeze. He's pictured here with Juice Bar employee Savannah Passaretti.


Healthy Living Market and Café holds grand opening

Healthy Living Market and Café will hold a grand opening celebration Sept. 15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission, activities and food are free. The company has many fun activities planned, as well as a smorgasbord of free deliciousness.

“We love this community, and we love to party...so we'd love to have you here with us!” the staff wrote in a press release.

Here's what's happening:

  • Tons of local vendors sampling and sharing some radically delicious food.
  • Crafts and fun stuff for kids.
  • Cooking demos by Chris, amazing demo coordinator, and kids' activities with Shannon,    Learning Center chef-instructor.
  • Live music...because what's a party without it?

“We want to welcome the community the way you all welcomed us--with big smiles, open arms and an outpouring of appreciation,” wrote the staff.


Dunkin’ Donuts donates 123 pounds of coffee to Backstretch Employee Service Team

Dunkin' Donuts                                              Best Stretch
Dunkin’ Donuts donated one pound of coffee to the Backstretch Employee Service Team (B.E.S.T.) for every win by the leading owner, trainer and jockey during the 2013 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course. Paul Ruchames, B.E.S.T.’s executive director, is pleased to have the coffee for the new Backstretch Café. Jockey Javier Castellano captured his first Saratoga riding title, and owner Ken Ramsey won the owner’s title and also set the record for the number of single season wins by an owner in Spa City.

Dunkin’ Donuts will donate 123 pounds of coffee to B.E.S.T., representing the 22 wins by owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey; 36 wins by trainer Todd Pletcher; and 65 wins by jockey Javier Castellano.

Founded in 1989, B.E.S.T. is a nonprofit organization that provides free health and social services to the backstretch communities at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course.


Total Body Trifecta celebrates a year at My Gym

Total Body Trifecta, Inc.

Total Body Trifecta is celebrating its first year at My Gym Fitness Center, 2100 Rte. 50 in Ballston Spa across from Ocean State Job Lot, with a fall open house Saturday, Sept. 14 from 8 a.m. to noon. A free group fitness class sampler and gym tours will be offered.

Eight 25-minute classes on the half-hour will give visitors a taste of the depth of class offerings on the new schedule, which begins Sept. 16: Kickboxing, Butts & Guts, Pilates Mat, Yoga, Step, Hi/Lo, Sole Synthesis, and Core de Ballet.

A new classes-only membership is now available as well as full gym and class card options. Check our website at www.totalbodytrifecta.com for schedule and pricing, or call Mary Anne Fantauzzi at 581-8025.


New gym offers personalized fitness and group training

Rock Your Fitness, a company offering total body workouts for people of all ages and fitness levels, recently opened in Malta. Founded by Certified Personal Trainer Becky Weyrauch, Rock Your Fitness provides group and individual classes featuring a successful combination of core and cardio training. Training sessions are held in the morning at the Saratoga-Wilton Soccer Club (formerly the Charbonneau indoor soccer facility) on Route 9 in Malta next to Tree Paad.

“Rock Your Fitness is an ideal opportunity for participants to experience a variety of motivating workouts in a safe, fun and inspiring atmosphere,” said Weyrauch, a Clifton Park resident who has taught challenging and motivating fitness classes for more than 10 years. “I’m excited to help my clients achieve their fitness goals using my philosophy on exercise and healthy living. My approach promotes a healthy lifestyle balancing family, work and exercise while having fun and enjoying life.”

Workouts will include the use of TRX Trainers, free weights, battling ropes, medicine balls and kettle bells, which challenge the entire body in every plane of motion. Rock Your Fitness utilizes the artificial-turf soccer field, which when combined with all the cross-training methods and equipment, makes it unique in the Capital Region.

Please visit the Rock Your Fitness Facebook page for available workout times (www.facebook.com/RockYourFitnessLLC). For additional information, contact Weyrauch at 522-9765 or beckyrock@nycap.rr.com.


Saratoga National Bank raffle to benefit Operation Adopt a Soldier

Five Saratoga National Bank offices will raffle handcrafted furniture and collectibles throughout the month of September to benefit Operation Adopt a Soldier.

The bank’s main office, Route 9 Wilton, Ballard Road, Jones Road and West Avenue locations will feature various handmade and carved wooden items on display, including a bench, a table, and various plaques and clocks commemorating the Saratoga Race Course’s 150th anniversary.

Raffle tickets are available now through September 30 for $2 each or $5 for three. All proceeds will benefit the Wilton-based Operation Adopt a Soldier, which sends care packages to United States troops stationed overseas.

Winners will be selected Oct. 1. For more information, call 583-3114 or stop by a participating office.

Saratoga National Bank provides banking, investment, insurance and other financial services through seven Saratoga County locations. BauerFinancial rates Saratoga National a 5-Star Superior institution.