Owners: Ellsworth W. Amidon and Douglas S. Petersen
How long have you been in business? Although this is a new Registered Investment Advisory firm, we have over 80 years experience at managing portfolios and financial planning.
What sets you apart from competitors? We are different from our competition because we manage client money using direct investments whenever possible. This saves our clients money without sacrificing performance. We must work from a financial plan so we’ll develop one if necessary. Sometimes a plan will require us to focus on risk management and we’re fully qualified to handle that as well.
Our motto is “Serving those who serve others.” Our goal is to free you from the time needed to manage your investments so you are free to focus on family, ministry or work related activities. We are free from all corporate agendas. Unless there’s no other option, we never work on a commission basis. That means all our advice is focused on your interests and every dollar goes into your investments. Not only do we do everything on a flat fee basis, but it should cost you no more to hire us than if you were to do it yourself and pick the average mutual fund. If we can’t save you money, then we’ll tell you what your choices are, and the rest is up to you.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? First, start by taking courses in portfolio management because using direct assets is different from picking mutual funds. After developing a full understanding of the capital markets, it is important to have an understanding of human relationships. This can be learned by taking courses, but the best way is to get a position with a firm where one is dealing with the public.
What important lessons have you learned? The most important lesson we’ve learned is to listen to our clients’ needs, clearly communicate those needs and objectives back to them and then do a periodic review.
Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm or by appointment.
Angel’sTrumpet Flowers & Gifts
4 West Street, New Lebanon
Owner: Linda Hursa
How long have you been in business? 12 years.
Describe your business: We are a florist and gift shop and also featurecountry antiques and home decor.We do a lot of custom work for weddingsand events in the Capital District and the Berkshires, in addition to our every day business. Each year we exhibit at the Wildwood Garden Show at Hudson Valley Community College and New York in Bloom at the New York State Museum in Albany.
What sets you apart from competitors? We attribute our success to the strong reputation we have built with our clients and in our community throughexcellent customer service, quality and distinctive style. We attend workshops and design shows, which allows us to stay in touch with the latest trends and styles. We are always striving to exceed our customers’ expectations and keep things fresh and interesting.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? Anyonewho may be thinking about starting their own business, regardless of the type, must be willing to do a lot of research. Know your customer base and their needs and be willing to meetthem, whatever that may take.
What important lessons have you learned? The most important thing I have learned is when you put effort in anything you do at 110% it will eventually come back to reward you and you will be able to do the work you love to do.
Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-6pm; Saturday 10am-4pm; Sunday by appointment or chance.
Carole Fox Life Coaching and Workshops
1147 Baker Avenue, Schenectady
Owner: Carole Fox
How long have you been in business? I’ve been guiding people to success for 20 years and started my coaching business 3 years ago.
Describe your business? I bring out the best in people to make their dreams come true. My positive approach to individual live coaching and customized workshops promotes self-awareness that helps men and women use their talents, skills and resources as effectively and efficiently as possible. Rather than trying to overcome barriers and improve weaknesses, my clients and I focus on what will help move the person forward in the direction they want to go. Whether an individual, a business or an organization, I offer free consultation to see if the client’s goals and my service are a match.
What sets you apart from competitors? In addition to my experience in a wide variety of settings with very diverse populations, I meet with clients more often in person than on the phone and my rates are very affordable.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? Get acquainted with leaders in the field and learn from them. Take classes for a credential. Talk with other coaches about their experiences and techniques and hire one to help you get started. I did. And go for it!
What important lessons have you learned? Networking does more than get the word out about your business. It develops wonderful, unexpected friendships, a support system and valuable resources. As with everything else, follow through is important to maintain business relationships. I write thank you notes, answer emails quickly and do what I say I will do.
Hours: My hours are flexible and include evenings Monday-Friday.
Ciao Bella Ristorante Sicilia
216 Warren Street, Hudson
828.9579; www.myspace.com/ciaobellaristorante; www.foodcandy.com/ciaobella
Owners: Sal and Lorraine Taccetta
How long have you been in business? Ciao Bella has been in business for three months, but we have been in the restaurant business for 25 years.
Describe your business: Ciao Bella is a restaurant serving authentic Italian and Sicilian cuisine.
What sets you apart from competitors? All our meals are made to order, nothing is portion controlled or out of a jar/box. We make all our own sauces, dressings and desserts
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? You need to have persistence, patience and a dedication and love for good food
What important lessons have you learned? Humility, patience and massive multitasking.
Hours: Lunch: Tuesday-Saturday 11am-3pm; Dinner Tuesday-Thursday 5pm-9:30pm; Friday-Saturday 5pm-10pm; Sunday 4pm-9pm.
A.R. Wynnykiw, DDS, PLLC
351 Osborne Road, Loudonville
Owner: Askold R. Wynnykiw, DDS
How long have you been in business? I have been practicing dentistry for 20 years, in business at this location for almost 8 years.
Describe your business: We are a general dental practice with an emphasis on cosmetic and esthetic dentistry. We meet our patient’s general needs with our hygiene re-care system and routine dental services, but I also go above and beyond with advanced cosmetic treatment. I take great pride in the fact that I seek out challenging continuing education courses that further both my own knowledge and my desire to provide ever-better service for my patients.
What sets you apart from competitors? In our office, the focus is truly on the patient and their individual needs. Some patients are looking for excellent family dental care and we provide that for them. Other patients come seeking more advanced, esthetic care to perfect and enhance their smile and we meet that need as well. In the end, it’s all about what the patient is seeking and what they need and desire. There is no universal, cookie cutter solution for patients in our office.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? The key in modern dentistry is to stay current with advances and new techniques. Great changes are always happening in dentistry and it is critical to keep up with them by taking meaningful continuing education courses on a consistent basis. The other emphasis must be on maintaining excellent technology in your practice.
What important lessons have you learned? I have learned that it is key to maintain all of your skills, but that it is very important to hone in on something that you love and can excel at. I greatly enjoy cosmetic dentistry and have chosen to really highlight that skill and make it a large part of my practice.
Hours: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: 8am-5pm; Wednesday: 8am-3:30pm; Fridays (3 per month): 8am-4:30pm.
Dunham’s Bay Sea Ray Silverton
1800 Shelburne Road So Burlington, VT 802.660.8054
132 Bridge Road North Hero, VT 802.372.5131
10 Dunham’s Bay Road, Lake George, 656.9244
889 Troy Schenectady Road Latham 785.6567
Dunham’s Bay Sea Ray at Northampton Marina on Lake Sacandaga 863.8127
Owner: Karen Howard
How long have you been in business? 37 years.
Describe your business: We are a complete sales and service facilities. Dockage and storage available at select locations. We are the only Sea Ray master dealer in upstate NY and Vermont. This privilege is limited to dealers that meet a strict set of criteria encompassing everything from your facilities to service, sales and customer satisfaction ratings.
What sets you apart from competitors? We offer everything for the boater with ship stores located conveniently around the northeast. Our Sea Ray Boat Line offers 40 models starting at 17 feet and ending at 60 feet. There is a model for every type of boating from run A bouts to cruisers to yachts. We also offer Silverton yachts from 33 to 43 feet. We host activities throughout the year to keep in touch with our boating family. In the winter we have a pig roast in our Latham showroom and in the summer we host island parties on Lake George and Sacandaga. This summer’s giant event is the Sea Ray Aquapalooza, the largest boating party in the world taking place all across the country on the weekends of July 21st and 28th. Our events will be held on July 21st at Northampton Marina on Sacandaga Lake and on Lake George on the 28th.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? In order to succeed you must must be passionate about your business and be willing to put as much time as needed and more. Customer service and attention to detail is the only way to run a business.
What important lessons have you learned? The most important lesson is sincerity and belief in your product. Honesty, integrity and respect have to be earned every day with every client in every aspect of the business.
Hours: Monday-Sunday 9am-5pm.
Earl B Feiden Inc
785 New Loudon Road, Latham
661 Broadway, Kingston
Owners: E. Brad Feiden, Mary Feiden, Mark Feiden, Michael Feiden.
How long have you been in business? Our company was founded in 1926 in Latham.
Describe your business: We are a full service appliance store. We carry over 50 brand—from the names we have known for generations to professional, state of the art kitchen appliances, some which are available exclusively at Earl B Feiden’s. Our sales staff are experienced, knowledgeable professionals and have extensive training on the products we sell. We offer in home delivery, custom installation, removal of the old appliances and a full factory authorized service center.
What sets you apart from competitors? We are able to compete with the big chains on price and far exceed them on our knowledge, selection and service. By purchasing from Earl B Feiden’s not only is a customer supporting a local family owned and operated business in their community, they can be confident they are buying from someone who will be there for them after the sale. We also have our own employees for delivery and service, not independent contractors.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? Our advice is probably similar to that of anyone pursuing a family business, regardless of the industry. Teamwork and communication are extremely important components to our success as a business, and more importantly as a family. Working together effectively comes from recognizing our individual strengths as well as differences and channeling our efforts accordingly.
What important lessons have you learned? You can never lose sight of your ultimate goal – to have a successful business that you have built together as a family. The pride that comes along with that makes it all worthwhile.
Hours: Latham: Monday-Friday 9am-8pm; Saturday 9am-5pm; Sunday 11am-4pm.
Kingston: Monday-Friday 9am-6pm; Saturday 9am-5pm.
Fifi’s Frocks & Frills
2460 Western Avenue, Guilderland
Owner: Fifi Gifford
How long have you been in business? 2 years.
Describe your business: It’s a designer consignment boutique with merchandise attractively presented on new display furniture. Items are organized by size, color and style. The shopper’s experience is easy and fun! Customers are given friendly, personal service. The goal is for all of our customers to leave with affordable, stylish clothes and smiles on their faces. Fifi’s Frocks and Frills is a popular shopping destination known for a wide variety of merchandise and excellent prices. The boutique has high end clothing, from casual to evening wear, shoes, purses and accessories. I carry top designers such as Escada, Carlisle, Dolce Gabbana, Kate Spade, Burberry, Gucci and Fendi. In addition, clothing comes in from stores like Ann Taylor, Gap, Limited, Chico’s, Talbot’s and other local merchants. Presently, the store carries women’s sizes 0 to 18, but inventory will have some juniors and plus sizes. Beautiful costume jewelry adorns the cabinet waiting to be plucked up by customers. In season, the boutique offers beautiful fur coats such as mink, rabbit, beaver and leather. There are many styles to choose from, full length to stoles.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? If you like and care about people, I would highly recommend owning a retail store. Just remember, along with the fun comes hard work and long hours. Having a mentor and other professional people in business that you can learn from is a critical factor to success. In addition, networking is important. Get out of the store and meet people, volunteer in the community, let people know who you are and what you’re about. It’s an investment in the business that you can’t measure.
Hours: June, July and August: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 11am-6pm; Friday & Saturday 11am-5pm. Closed Sunday and Monday.
Ghent Wood Products, Inc.
Meltz Lumber Company, Inc.
Owners: Emil and Jeff Meltz
How long have you been in business? Meltz since 1946, Ghent since 2003.
Describe your business: Logging, lumber, land clearing, flooring, paneling, custom beams, finished lumber, KD hardwoods, bark, sawdust.
What sets you apart from competitors? We buy direct and save. We’re locally owned and operated and we do everything from timber harvesting to finished products.
Hours: Monday-Friday 8am-4:30pm; Saturday 8am-3:30pm.
Golden Harvest Farms, Inc.
3074 US Route 9, Valatie
Owner: Alan Grout
How long have you been in business? Continuously in business since 1955.
Describe your business: We are an apple farm, retail farm market, bakery, cider mill and distillery.
What sets you apart from competitors? Our retail farm market specializes in fresh NY State apples and other apple products, such as homemade cider, apple turnovers & pies, hot cider donuts and apple butter. We have even converted one of our cold storage rooms into a distillery in order to make vodka from apple cider. Apples are our nature.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? Commercial fruit production in the Hudson Valley is challenged by ever more erratic weather and competition for limited land resources. However, access to large markets such as NYC through push (green markets) or pull (agritourism) keeps Hudson Valley agriculture viable.
What important lessons have you learned? Being a successful fruit grower has less and less to do with growing good fruit. Success comes from dedicated employees, stalwart leadership and a bit of luck to avoid unforeseeable legal or financial disaster.
Hair Loss Control Clinic
4 Avis Drive, Latham
Owner: William C. Blatter
How long have you been in business? We have been in business for 20 years and using Laser Therapy as part of the treatment program for 14 years.
Describe your business: Hair Loss Control Clinic (HLCC) is recognized worldwide as a leader in Laser Hair Loss Treatment using simply the best FDA proven cool laser technology and the best products available for hair loss today. On a larger scale, HLCC manufactures patented products for hair loss, sells clinic lasers and franchises all over the world.
What sets you apart from competitors? Having three doctors and 61 affiliate clinics in 11 countries worldwide sets us apart from any competition. HLCC works around each individual’s goals and individual hair loss needs and offers both in-clinic and home treatment options. HLCC Scripts is the premier line of hair loss products manufactured by HLCC and are sold by over 200 distributors all over the world.
What important lessons have you learned? Quality products and proven results combined with honesty and great customer service are the keys to making the company grow and with the Internet any small company can become a worldwide business.
Hours: Monday, Wednesday & Friday 8:30am-5pm; Tuesday and Thursday 8:30am-8pm, Saturday 10am-2pm.
i Fill Inkjets
Four Corners in Delmar – 478.0140
Colonie Center Mall – 459.5382
Price Chopper Photo Labs (26 stores, 6 states)
Owner: Mark Tremont
How long have you been in business? 2.5 years.
Describe Business: Toner & inkjet cartridge refill services, an alternative to the high cost of printer ink. The service provides a recycling option that saves oil usage & landfill space while giving businesses & consumers a reliable, quality refill with a cost saving. All refills are guaranteed. Many cartridges are refilled within an hour. To date, over 40,000 Albany area cartridges have been refilled/saved. This roughly translates to about 10 full grocery carts of empty cartridges, about 800 gallons of oil and consumers’ saving over $400,000.
What sets you apart from competitors? Trained technicians manually fill and troubleshoot each cartridge with care. These technicians respond to customer inquiries throughout the process. A broad array of ink (over 100 formulations) is utilized to match the right ink to the right cartridge. Plus, there are 28 convenient locations.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? Set goals and stay with them regardless of obstacles. (Mine are to establish a service that will impact the environment and save people money.), manage the service to provide reliable, quality results that earn consumer trust and enjoy what you do.
What important lessons have you learned? Three things need to happen before I ever see a cartridge:
1. Consumers have to know refilling is an option.
2. They need to trust that it will work.
3. They need to be “out of ink.”
Also, creating awareness and earning trust takes time and constant attention.
Hours: Varies by store—usually everyday from 10am–7pm.
Jose Malone’s Mexican Irish Restaurant
405 River Street, Troy
Owners: Ray Wall & Mary Anne Stafford
How long have you been in business? 2 years.
Describe your business: Jose Malone’s Mexican Irish Restaurant is a full service casual dinning restaurant in a Colonial Mexican setting that offers both Mexican and Irish regional foods and drink.Diners can enjoysuch entrees as Pork Tamales Wrapped in Banana Leaves, Elote Asado (a Mexican street food of fresh corn that’s grilled and then served with chili powder, lime, cotija cheese and Mexican crema) and batter dipped squash blossoms filled with goat cheese. And we take rice seriously here with three choices: Yellow rice, which gets it distinctive color and flavor from achiote, the seed from the annatto tree and it’s spiciness from jalapeño peppers; green rice,made with pureed spinach, parsley and poblano peppers and the classic Mexican rice made with tomatoes, onions, green peppers, spices, corn and peas.Most Mexican restaurants treat rice as a plate filler, not the culinary delight that it can be.
What sets you apart from competitors? One of the big differences between Jose Malone’s and many other restaurants is that we make almost all of our food from scratch.We don’t heat up and serve pre-made factory produced foods like other restaurants might do.We spend a lot of time and energy researching regional recipes for weekend specials. Jose Malone’s is also a tequileria offering 45 100% Agave tequilas. We also have a fine collection of Irish whiskeys and scotch.And, Jose Malone’s is probably the only Mexican restaurant where you can eat great Mexican food, sip a margarita and listen to live Irish music.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? The restaurant business, while fun and exciting, is a lot of work with long hours. So if you want to pursue this business as a career, be ready to live your job.
Hours: Tuesday-Friday lunch & dinner 11:30am-close; Saturday dinner only from 4pm. Live Irish music seisiuns are the first and third Wednesdays of every month.
Regional Cuisine of India
9B- Johnson Road, Latham 785.7600
2788 Hamburg Street, Rotterdam 355.9495
47 Caroline Street, Saratoga Springs 580.1144
Owners: Davy Cheer An, Sunil Kayalchirayil, Santhosh Kochuparambil and Roy Mathew.
How long have you been in business? 3 years.
Describe your business: Fine Indian Cuisine at three locations in the Capital Region. Open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Business Lunch Buffet $8.95 and weekend brunch $11.95. We serve dishes from all over India and South Indian dishes like Dosa, Medhu Vada, Avial, Kerala Fish Curry and Fish in Banana leaves.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? Serve good and quality food and you will get business.
Hours: Lunch 11:30am-2:30pm; dinner 5pm-10pm.
Klassic Stone and Flooring Inc.
1272 Central Avenue, Albany
Owner: Claudia Emlaw (pictured center)
How long have you been in business? For the past 4 years I have owned and operated a small showroom in Chestertown, NY. In addition, I just recently opened a larger showroom in Albany based on the growth of the Capital Region and surrounding areas.
Describe your business: I sell granite, marble, tile and wood flooring and related materials/accessories. Subsequent to sales we fabricate and install kitchen and bathroom vanity countertops, back splashes, tub surrounds, fireplaces and showers. In addition, we have a referral arrangement with several kitchen and bath cabinet retailers/manufacturers and designers in the region.
What sets you apart from competitors? Our most important area is customer service and follow-up—we intend to make people feel at home. We are family operated, pricing and offer one to two week turnaround time from template to installation.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? You must enjoy working with design and color coordination, customer service skills are of the utmost importance and you must really appreciate the beauty of the product.
What important lessons have you learned? It’s extremely important to know your product, have complete confidence in the quality of the stone and the people who fabricate and install the end product.
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9am-6pm; Thursday 9am-7pm; Saturday 10am-4pm.
The Farm at Kristy’s Barn
2385 Brookview Road, Schodack
Owners: Ken and Kristine Johnson
How long have you been in business? We returned to Kris’ family’s third generation farm 14 years ago.
Describe your business: Kristy’s Barn is a diversified farm. We grow a variety of fruits, vegetables and pasture raised poultry and meats.
What sets you apart from competitors? Our goal is to raise quality food using Intergraded Pest Management (IPM) techniques to minimize the use of chemical applications.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? Kris’ advice: Love what you do, believe in it and be ready to work long hours with a smile! Ken’s advice: If you have a dream, go for it with a passion, be prepared for hardships and relish the achievements.
What important lessons have you learned? In the past 14 years of farming we’ve learned to have a business plan, but don’t follow it as if it is the only plan. Be flexible and modify the tactical direction as need be. If you are rigid in your thinking there is no way to compensate as the business environment changes. Be able to separate family “business” from the business when the two are closely connected. It can be difficult, but for sanity keep them separate and defined. Another lesson learned relative to a privately owned business—people may not like seeing you succeed, but people like to patronize a successful business.
Hours: Open daily May-November 9am-6pm;
Rensselaer County Farmers Market—Thursdays 2pm-5pm. Watervliet Farmers’ Market – Tuesdays 2pm-5pm.
L&S Garden Center
470 Pawling Avenue, Troy
Owner: Stephen Jabour
How long have you been in business? 5 years.
Describe your business: It’s a family owned and operated business offering fresh produce, cheeses, including fresh mozzerella and ricotta from Old Chatham Sheepherding Farm, fresh seasonal plants, flowers, vegetables and locally made gelato. We also offer espresso, lattes, cappuccino, etc. and fruit baskets and floral arrangements for all occasions. Coming soon are gourmet foods.
What sets you apart from competitors? We are committed to buying locally grown products, which are grown no more than 40 miles from Troy. Our standard of quality is second to none and our vegetables, plants, etc. are hand picked by me.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? Be prepared for long hours every day of the week. This business is a 24/7 commitment, but the rewards of owning your own business are worth it.
What important lessons have you learned? I have learned that people look for me to help them with their purchases because I have established myself as a caring professional business person who puts the customer and customer service first. Additionally, I constantly ensure that we are providing quality products at a fair price.
Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-6pm; Saturday 9am-4pm; Sunday 9am-2pm. Gift baskets and floral arrangements can be ordered in advance. We also offer delivery within a 15 mile radius of Troy.
Route 9, Latham (Across from Century House)
Owner: Bob Belleard
How long have you been in business? 20 years. I started here as a cook, chef, then owner.
Describe your business: We are a family oriented seasonal clamsteam, BBQ, steak, roast lobster bake and an old fashioned picnic facility. Our seafood is delivered fresh daily. We have an outside open air facility with pavilions, full bar with frozen drinks and soft drinks and outdoor raw clam bar with freshly prepared dinner. Seating is available for up to 1,200 with parking for over 700 cars.
What sets you apart from competitors? We pride ourselves in old fashioned home cooked food, as well as a clean and well landscaped facility. Takeout is available seven days a week from May to October. Advance notice required. We can cater takeout for any size event or even just one.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? You must be willing to work very hard for many hours every day of the week to develop and make your company the best in the business.
What important lessons have you learned? Dedication and attention to detail are the most important qualities in my business.
Hours: Monday-Sunday 12pm-8pm. Call for takeout (orders taken beginning at 10am), four hour advance notice needed.
LT’s Grill/Andy’s Catering
2305 Nott Street Corner of Balltown & Nott Street, Niskayuna
374.7455 (restaurant); 372.8610 (catering)
Owners: L. J Goldstockand Tom Coppola
How long have you been in business? Andy’s Catering was owned by Tom’s father from the 1970s. It was sold in the late 1990s and Tom and I got it back in 2006. LT’s Grill opened February 2007.
Describe your business: LT’s Grill is a family restaurant with a great atmosphere and food at a great deal. We offer everything from ribs to chicken to fresh steaks and seafood. There are plenty of salads and dinner specials with great choices for the kids. Andy’s Catering does it all: from back yard picnics to sit down weddings, corporate lunches to small office parties.
What sets you apart from competitors? We do it right. Great price, great service, unbeatable portions, a clean place, unique dishes, plus the owners are on site all the time to make sure everything is right for you. Not just the restaurant, but at each event. Family is the most important thing to the both of us.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? Make sure you have support from family and friends. Work with each employee, as they are the ones who represent you. Make sure they are talking to each customer as if they were a part of your family.
What important lessons have you learned? Long hours and the strength of a great partner. Tom and I have been friends for over 30 years. We will be best friends for the next 100 years. We are here to serve the people that we do business for. That is what we do best.
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11am-9pm; Friday 11am-10pm; Saturday 4pm-10pm. Catering is available 24/7 and we deliver.
Miss Sydney’ Secret Family Recipe
Owners: Shannon & AJ Jayapal and Linda & Bob Whipple
How long have you been in business? 5 years
Describe your business: We are a family owned and operated business that manufactures Miss Sydney’ Secret Family Recipe marinade. We began the process of marketing my son-in-law AJ’s old family recipe after everyone requested it at family gatherings. AJ is local chef, and with a little tweaking and a lot of hard work, we went from conception to bottle in about a year. Miss Sydney’s Date Butter will launch soon, and a third product in the near future. Our product is sold online and in specialty stores throughout the Capital Region and beyond. We are also members of the Pride of New York.
What sets you apart from competitors? There are dozens upon dozens of marinades on the shelf, so we needed to come with a way for folks to try ours, so we offer food tasting demos. Once people try it and discover its unique qualities, we could count on them buying it. We have rejected advice on how to cut corners with less costly ingredients and packaging and remain true to the core belief that a quality product will be recognized as being just that—a quality product. This is what separates us from the rest of the pack.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? Do your homework and be prepared for some bumps in the road. Beginning your own business is a lengthy process that requires many hours of hard work and research that requires loads of energy and the ability to handle adversity. However, it can be the most rewarding experience you will ever have.
What important lessons have you learned? Stick to your principles and never compromise. I have learned that there are a lot of nice people in the Capital Region. We were naïve when the process started, but we contacted people who had done this and they were more than happy to give us help. I will also offer that help to anyone out there.
MochaBlend Espresso Bar & Panini Café
720 Hoosick Road, Brunswick Plaza (Next To Pollock’s True Value), Troy
Owners: Thomas R. Marrotta, Jr. and Glenn E. Kakely
How long have you been in business? Four months.
Describe your business: We are in the business of bringing community back together by providing people with a comfortable, relaxing and fun environment coupled with superior customer service and quality products. We recognized that in today’s world there are too many factors creating division among people and wanted to create a welcoming environment for all. We wanted “Mocha” in the name. “Blend” means a mix or diversity of people. We serve all espresso and non-espresso based hot and cold drinks, smoothies, teas, gourmet roasted coffees, desserts, pastries and panini sandwiches.
What sets you apart from your competitors?We truly care that our customers are completely satisfied with their orders. We make a point of talking to each and every customer that walks through our door. Secondly, we use “man-power” instead of “machine power” and there is an enormous difference in the way in which our products taste. Third, we are not a franchise and it shows in the quality that we are offering. Our hot and cold espresso drinks (mochas and lattes) are not pre-mixed, they are not dispensed from a “pod” and people have noticed the difference in quality.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? Listen to what your inner voice is telling you. Always remain open-minded to new ideas, remain flexible to change (welcome it) and know that opportunity is bountiful and available equally to all.
What important lessons have you learned? It took many people for us to achieve our goal. We were fortunate enough to understand that you can’t go it alone to get where you would like to be. Establish a network of people who are as excited as you are about what you are attempting to do. Then, it will happen.
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 7am-9pm; Friday 7am-10pm; Saturday 8am-10pm; Sunday 9am-9pm.
Moment Catcher Photography
138 Cherry Avenue, Delmar
Owner: Marty Kerins Jr.
How long have you been in business? 2 years
Describe your business: The sole purpose is to provide high quality photographs with the emphasis on the subject. The end result will be capturing your event in traditional and not so traditional photographs. We offer a complete spectrum of services, hence our trademark quote: “Any Event…Any Function…Any Time…Any Moment”. Photos are taken with a state of the art digital camera and lenses. Digital allows a faster turn around time and photos can be emailed directly to you.
What sets you apart from competitors? Personal attention. I am a photographer by definition, however, I consider myself a sensualist who feels through my eyes. I believe what sets me apart from others is that I’m a natural, in addition to being a professional. I have been blessed with an incredible eye. I place an emphasis not just on the traditional shots, but also on the candid moments that show the preparation, concentration and triumphs of the subject in a complete photojournalistic style. Just like the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” my intention is to tell the whole story. Every photo I take is given personal attention to look its best. They can be customized any way you wish—black and white, sepia toned, antique, water colored, oil painting, colorized and a myriad of other choices. In addition to the artistic side is the ability to remove distracting items from the photo. Custom text may also be included as well as a variety of effects.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? If you want to be a professional photographer be prepared to spend a lot of money. Basic set up will run you around $5,000-$10,000.
What important lessons have you learned? I have learned that nothing compares to doing what you love for a living.
Patricelli’s Deli, Pizza & Catering
219 2nd street (corner of 2nd and Adams), Troy
Owners: Al & Kelly Patricelli, Vinny Rayno
How long have you been in business? 12 years.
Describe your business: We offer affordable, quality, menu items and homemade daily soups and lunch specials. We bake our own bread for subs, Italian bread, torps and rolls daily. We also have two catering menus available, a hot and cold buffet menu including appetizers and desserts (pick up, delivery full service), and a BBQ menu (burgers & dogs to full blown Pig Roast), full service or on site. Lunch menu is for pickup or delivery and catering from A-Z. We fax our daily lunch specials to over 300 customers daily.
What sets you apart from competitors? We have been fortunate to have customers remain with us for years. We have made our share of mistakes, but we try to give all of our customer’s excellent service. The Patricelli name has always been associated with top quality food and service. We offer family recipes and homemade quality. Our menu items are prepared fresh daily including oven roasted turkeys/beefs and hand rolled meatballs.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? Anyone considering a business similar to ours should be prepared to work long days, holidays and weekends. It is not an easy get-rich-quick business.
What important lessons have you learned? Top quality food and service are keys to our success.
Hours: Monday 10am-3pm; Tuesday-Friday 10am-8pm; Saturday 10am-3pm. (Sundays available for catering, please call to make arrangements).
60 Traditional Lane, Loudonville
Owner: Denise Hehir Fitzgerald
How long have you been in business? I began my business in 1988; however, I have been doing work of this type since I was an Art Education student/graduate at the College of Saint Rose in 1980.
Describe your business: Render That! is a custom design pen and ink as well as watercolor design service. I draw (using either pen and ink or watercolor) renderings of homes, businesses, pets, people, etc. from a photograph that I have either taken myself or one that has been given to me. The most recent example of my artwork was displayed last month at Hudson Valley Community College for their annual fund raising event. Other completed projects include a commissioned/limited edition watercolor of Siena College, a pen and ink rendering of St. Pius X Church in Loudonville that is on display in the entrance foyer, and a pen and ink rendering of St. Pius X School which is currently used as their letterhead.
What sets you apart from competitors? The one area which I believe sets my business apart from the competition is my attention to detail and the extremely realistic nature of the work. Regardless of the specific subject that I am drawing, I want the finished work to “jump off the page” when it is viewed and compared with the original photograph.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? First, you must have a true passion for art and drawing. Secondly, you must practice your craft as much as possible and continue to perfect your own artistic style. Lastly, supplement your passion with some formal education in the craft. Looking back, The College of Saint Rose was a great benefit to me in this line of work.
What important lessons have you learned? The most important lesson that I have learned is to always look at new ways to perfect your style of art. Do not be satisfied with work that you have done previously. I continue to try and “break out of the box,” as my work is truly an ongoing educational process.
Rock ‘n Learn
476 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham
Owners: Kevin and Laura Lysogorski
How long have you been in business? Five months.
Describe your business: Rock ‘n Learn is a full line music store unlike any other. We carry a wide range of musical instruments, offer expert instrument repairs by Earl Thibadeau and have the area’s most experienced teachers.
What sets you apart from competitors? At Rock ‘n Learn we try to carry all the instruments that the other music stores don’t have.We carry such companies as RKS, Michael Kelly, Hagstrom, Traben and Warwick guitars and bass. We are the area’s only Krank and Orange AMP dealer and we carry a wide range of Taye Drums. We have the largest lesson rooms in town and a teacher for nearly any instrument. There is a music teacher with a B.A. in Music and a M.S. in Special Education offering piano lessons exclusivelyfor children with special needs. We are a music store that truly cares about our customers.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? If someone wants to open their own business, I say go for it. It’s a lot of work, but well worth it. My best advice would be to talk to someone who has been in the business so you can get a lot of good (and bad) advice.
What important lessons have you learned? The most important lesson that I’ve learned is to not be afraid to ask questions; it stops you from falling on your face.
Hours: Monday-Friday 11am-9pm; Saturday 10am-8pm; Sunday 12pm-5pm. We are more than happy to come in early or stay late by appointment.
Sandy Klempner Antiques & Interiors
2188 Route 295, Canaan
Owners: Sandy & Joe Klempner
How long have you been in business? Three years.
Describe your business: Mine is a two-pronged business, consisting of buying and selling antiques and providing interior design services. The focus of my 2,000 square foot shop is to bring in one-of-a-kind treasures that run the gamut from serious examples of Americana and colorful Folk Art; to dramatic mid-20th century modern pieces of furniture and ceramics; to fun and funky items that bring a smile to your face. I work these elements together in room settings to illustrate how they could look in a home, as well using them in ways that are a bit “outside the box.”
The Interior Design segment is an at-home service aimed at updating and improving surroundings through smart design. Projects have ranged from a single room to an entire house; starting from scratch or utilizing items already in place; choosing paint colors, fabrics, wall and window treatments; editing, rearranging and refreshing current surroundings.
What sets you apart from competitors? Antiques—My inventory is constantly changing. To fulfill the promise of my motto “Expect the Unexpected”, I guarantee to bring in 15 new items a week. This policy, along with keeping my prices affordable, makes mine a shop that is frequented by dealers and retail customers alike.
Interior Design—I welcome projects of any size, keeping things very personal and within budget. I also specialize in color selection and limit the number of assignments I undertake to assure dedication, efficiency and ultimate satisfaction.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? Have a true passion for what you do, and in the antique world, be prepared to get up very early—even if it means carrying a flashlight—to “get that worm!” Bring that same passion and energy to every client and customer who walks through your door.
What important lessons have you learned? Be thankful for every day that you have the opportunity to do the life work that you’ve chosen.
Hours: Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10am-5pm or by casual appointment.
Shaker Shed Farm Market
945 Watervliet Shaker Road, Albany
Owners: David & Bridget Brizzell
How long have you been in business?34 years.
Describe your business: Farm Market/country store/nursery/café.
What sets you apart from competitors? In our nursery, everything is grown by us or by local farmers.We also grow a large amount of our produce in the summer.We bake pies, muffins and cookies and have a small cafe, where we serve a light breakfast and a full lunch.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? Be ready to work seven days a week from March 1 until December 24. The rewards are great, but the work is hard.There is a good feeling of accomplishment and pride at the end of the day.
What important lessons have you learned? We have learned how to treat people and how to say no.
Hours: April 1-December 24: Monday-Friday 9am-6pm; Saturday & Sunday 9am-5pm.
Spirits of Troy Wine and Liquor
75 Ferry Street, Troy
Owners: Michael & Ashley Palage
How long have you been in business? 2.5 years.
Describe your business: Our vision of a beautiful wine shop has grown beyond our expectations. People come here not only to shop our diverse selection, but also to meet with friends at our weekly tastings. Sometimes they just stop by to say hello. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff always greets everyone at the door with a smile and an out-reached hand to help pair the perfect bottle of wine with whatever affair they are attending.
What sets you apart from competitors? Our staff and diverse wine selection. We carry wines from all over the world. Another service that we offer is filling customer requests. Every person is always searching for that one wine that they had somewhere. We do our best to try to locate the wine and get the bottle into the customer’s hands.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? Don’t give up, there are a lot of road blocks in life, but if it was easy everybody would do it!
What important lessons have you learned? You can always learn from someone who has already gone through that particular experience already. Also, it’s okay to ask a lot of questions.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am-9pm; Sunday 12pm-4pm.
Tables & Chairs
113 Remsen Street, Cohoes
Owner: Fred Turcotte
How long have you been in business? 17 years.
Describe your business: We are a specialty dining store featuring quality (mostly North American) made furniture—dining rooms, dinettes and casual dining. We feature a great selection of solid wood—maple, oak, chery and birch. We also have glass tops, granite tops and corian. We sell center Islands and we have the largest selection of bar and counter stools in the Capital District.
What sets you apart from competitors? We think we are better than the competition because of our quality. Most other stores sell almost exclusively imported Chinese, Malayasian, Thailand furniture that is not near the quality of our company’s product.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? Be prepared to work. Owning your own business is hard work and time consuming. You are responsible for everything from top to bottom.
What important lessons have you learned? Nothing is ever as easy as it seems. Life presents you with numerous problems that you must overcome, but overcoming those obstacles will make you a better person.
Hours:Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 10am–5:30pm, Tuesday, Friday 10am–8pm; Saturday 10am-–5pm; Sunday 12pm–4pm. Closed Sundays in July and August.
Ted’s Fish Fry
447 Third Avenue, Watervliet 273.0232
350 Second Avenue, N. Troy 235.5552
700 Hoosick Road, Troy 272.0144
636-A New Loudon Road, Latham 783.3176
Owners: Ellen Deeb, S.K. Deeb & Donna Deeb
How long have you been in business? Our first store opened in 1949, which is 58 years in business.
Describe your business: We are a family owned and operated business that strives to create a family friendly atmosphere with the best food at affordable prices. We have many homemade foods like, fish fry clamrolls, meat sauce (for hotdogs) onion rings, cole slaw, new England and Manhattan chowder (seasonal) and our garden salads are made with fresh vegetables. Our chili, tartar and cocktail sauces are also homemade. We also have freshly prepared steaks and chicken for our famous sandwiches.
What sets you apart from competitors? We are the only fish fry with multiple locations in the Capital Region. Our customers, even if they leave the area, come back to us for our famous fish fry.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? You must be willing to work very hard for many hours every day of the week to develop and make your company the best in the business. Customer satisfaction is key to success, as well as having a reliable and competent staff. The fast food market has become very competitive over the past 20 years and without a good staff and outstanding fresh food you will not be successful. If you are not willing to put in the time and commitment, then you should run in the opposite direction.
What important lessons have you learned? Other than the quality of the food and cleanliness of each location, a business is only as good as its employees. They are the first contact with our customers. People skills are important when dealing with your customers and employees alike. You have to be willing to get to know your employees on a personal level. Some of our employees have been with us for over 30 years, which makes us very proud.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 11am-9pm; Friday 11am-10pm; Sunday 12pm-8pm.
The Book Barn
200 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham
Owners:Dan & Cheryl Driggs
How long have you been in business? 16 years.
Describe your business: The Book Barn is a large, well stocked, well organized modern used bookstore with 100,000+ volumes. It’s a place where book lovers can peruse the stacks for hours finding books from long ago, a need for new or discovering treasures unknown.Books are priced to move with a minimum of 1,500 books leaving each week only to be replaced by 1,500+ new and different titles.Whether you prefer paperbacks or hard covers, fiction or non-fiction, there are over 150 categories including: 8,000 mysteries,3,000 history volumes,10,000 children/young adult books, 2,000 cookbooks and 4,000 romance.
What sets you apart from competitors? New bookstores compete, all vying to sell the same titles.Used book stores co-exist, as no two used bookstores have the samestock. We only sell books published within the last three months, but also sell books from the past three centuries, a rare find.The stock gives each used bookstore a unique identity.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? In business, you need to surround yourself with people who understand your business goals and have the ability to work with you to strategize and achieve those goals.We remodeled The Book Barn in January 2007. Prior to the decision to remodel, I was straddling the fence and Cheryl was strongly in favor of the change. We debatedback and forth, then circumstances, timing and hard work landed us a new look and more shelving, which translatesinto more books and a design better forthe business, our customers and for us.
What important lessons have you learned? We have learned you must know the difference between your business and your hobby.Our customers are our market and we have adapted our merchandise practices and our organization to best suittheir needs. This, in large part, is what makes our business successful.We recognized this early on and have consistently modifiedthe business practices atThe Book Barn to meet these ever changing needs.
Hours:Monday-Friday10am-8pm; Saturday 10am-6pm; Sunday 11am-5pm.
The Lighting Place
2020 Central Avenue, Colonie
Owners: Larry Verch (president) and Larry Bloomer (vice president).
How long have you been in business? Since 1991. We are the largest lampshade and lighting design showroom in the Capital District.
Describe your business: Retail lighting showroom specializing in one-on-one customer service as well as direct builder affiliation providing whole-house lighting to the new home buyer.
What sets you apart from competitors? One-on-one customer service. We cater to the walk in customer as well as the new home buyer.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? This business requires a great deal of patience and psychology. Develop the skill of asking the right questions to obtain the correct answers to direct the customer to the desired lighting selections.
What important lessons have you learned? Patience.
Hours: Monday-Friday 10am-6pm; Thursday 10am-8pm; Saturday 9am-2pm during the summer; 9am-4pm after Labor Day.
The Old Daley Inn Catering Company, LLC
2 Northern Drive, Troy
Owners: James Pettit, Gene Coletti and Martin Keary.
How long have you been in business? 32 years.
If it has to do with food, we do it and we do it the best!
Describe your business: We are the premier, off premise caterer in the Capital Region. We cater fantastic, lavish weddings, cocktail receptions and galas, corporate drop-off and on premise functions, graduation parties, funerals, baby showers and family gatherings. Every weekday we provide luncheon delivery needs to medical offices within a 70-mile radius from our Troy location. Barbecue is also a big part of our business. From our famous “Drop Off Barbecue” for your home to a Fortune 500 Company Barbecue for over 3,000 people, we’ve done it all.
We also have two downtown Albany lunch cafes located on Maiden Lane and North Pearl Street, known as the Old Daley Inn Marketplace, and just across the street is our Pastanini café. We also have an Outdoor Vending division, serving 30 item menus from our outdoor vending carts. One is located in front of the NYS Legislature building on State Street in Albany; the second is on the Harriman State Office Campus, behind the Taxation and Finance building in Albany
What sets you apart from competitors? What sets us apart is that we don’t worry about our competition. We just love what we do and do it the best way we know how. We have many friends in the same type of business and we wish them all well.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? You really need to love food and especially love people. We don’t hire anyone who is not a friendly, outgoing people person.
What important lessons have you learned? The most important lesson we have learned is that if you give more in value to your customers than you take in money, you will be a huge success.
Hours: Office: Monday-Friday 8am-4pm (office)
Old Daley Inn Marketplace (downtown Albany cafes) Monday-Friday 11am-2pm.
Outdoor Vending: Monday-Friday April-October, weather permitting.
Certified Public Accountant
449 Delaware Avenue, Delmar
Owner: Terrell L. Roe, CPA
How long have you been in business? 6 years.
Describe your business: We are a certified public accounting firm, providing accounting and tax services to businesses and non-profit organizations. This includes audits, reviews, income tax preparation, tax planning, consulting and business start-ups. We also provide personal income tax preparation for simple and complex tax returns.
What sets you apart from competitors? We are constantly commended by our clients on the service we provide. As a customer focused CPA firm, we are able to extend greater personal attention to our clients. We have flexible schedules, allowing us to meet with you at convenient times, including nights and weekends. Clients are able to contact us any time on our cell phones. Most of our new clients often have concerns about prior accountants not completing their work timely. We start and finish your work in a timely manner, whether you are a small or large client.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? Building long term relationships with clients is critical. If you are looking to work alone in a room crunching numbers, then managing a public accounting firm is not for you. My career is about proactively helping clients and always being available. We avoid using accounting lingo and understand that the client appreciates plain simple language.
What important lessons have you learned? I have learned that providing valuable service to clients entails assessing each client’s individual needs and tailoring our services based on their needs.
Hours: 9:30am-5pm. Appointments recommended.
669 Route 9, Wilton
Owner: Denise Woodcock
How long have you been in business? 25 years.
Describe your business: Amish Shed sales, including gazebos.In-stock and custom shed orders. We cater to your needs from your first visit through delivery to your yard.
What sets you apart from competitors? Customizing sheds:there are several styles and colors available as well asother options.We work with several different vendors to ensure a wide variety of sheds to choose from.We are family owned with great prices and pleasant service.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? Plan on committing to long hours and have a large selection in stock.
What important lessons have you learned? Customers want what they want when they want it.Have a large in-stock inventory and they will sell!
Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm; Saturday 9am-3pm; closed Sunday.
Linda McClain Travel Services
“From The Islands To The Highlands, No Dream Is Too Far From Here!”
Owner: Linda McClain
How long have you been in business? I have been self-employed for 3 years, but have over 20 years of travel industry experience.
Describe your business: I sell worldwide vacations, cruises, tours, as well as custom-designed itineraries to New Zealand and Australia. I am a member of the Better Business Bureau, the Business Network International (BNI) Scotia Chapter and am a recommended 2008 Event Professional.
What sets you apart from competitors? I arrange to meet with clients on their time schedule, anywhere in the Capital Region and reasonably beyond. My established clientele enjoy the personal touch I offer by personally delivering documents to their homes or businesses. I want repeat business and this is one of the ways I strive to keep it.
Working with honeymooners is my specialty. My job is to help them find the right honeymoon at a price they can afford. With years in the hotel industry prior to my travel career, I have the knowledge and expertise to do this successfully. I am a certified Sandals Resort Specialist, am listed as a preferred agent to contact for travel to Ireland by the Irish Tourist Board and am one of a handful of “Kiwi Specialists” (specialists to New Zealand) in the state of New York. Both the New Zealand and Australia Tourist Boards have awarded me certifications for my knowledge in travel to their countries. In addition, I have toured both countries several times.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue a similar career? Immerse yourself in knowledge and service. The travel industry changes all the time. You have to learn and re-learn elements of this business to succeed. Details, details, details. There is a great opportunity for travel, but first, you have to be in this business to serve others.
Hours: Please contact by phone between 8am-6pm. There is no charge to meet with me. I arrange appointments ba