Items tagged with 'follow up'

Follow up: The Dutch Udder

Dutch Udder ice cream two scoops in a cup

AOA is on summer break. So we'll have new follow-ups with people we've met and covered during the last year (or so).

Kehmally Karl and Jeff McCauley started making ice cream as a side project -- creating fun flavors for family and friends. Slowly and methodically, they've turned a hobby, and an incredible talent for creating inventive flavors, into a successful small business: The Dutch Udder.

Flavors found on their ever-changing menu include Nine Pin Cider Sorbet, Grasshopper, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Rice Crispy Treat ice cream.

At first, they sold ice cream from a cart at markets and festivals and special events. And three years ago the then-fledgling business was also finalist in the AOA Startup Grant contest. Since then, Jeff and Kehmally have opened a storefront on River Street in downtown Troy and they've captured awards for their Philly Vanilla and for their other inventive flavors.

Jeff talked with us about their experience in the ice cream biz so far.

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Follow up: The Mop & Bucket Improv Theater

MopCo_AmySchumer.jpg

Amy Schumer dropped in at MopCo last week for a pop-up show

AOA is on summer break. So we'll have new follow-ups with people we've met and covered during the last year (or so).

Just over a year ago, The Mop & Bucket Company -- the Capital Region's longest running improv troupe -- took a leap of faith. Troupe founder Michael Burns and his wife and partner Kat Koppett purchased an abandoned firehouse on North Jay Street in Schenectady, renovated it, and created the MopCo Improv Theater.

They had hopes of creating not just a place for improv performance, but a community space for all sorts of performance, classes, and a hub for creativity. A year later they're creating new improv formats, playing to sold-out houses, expanding their repertoire of classes, and hosting a wide variety of performers from improv to storytellers to sketch comedy.

Oh, and last week, Amy Schumer paid them a visit for a sold out pop-up show.

Michael Burns, who's also MopCo's artistic director, talked with us about this last year of making things up.

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Follow up: Radix Center

Radix Center Stacy Pettigrew and Scott Kellogg 2018-July

Stacy Pettigrew and Scott Kellogg outside the greenhouse at Radix.

AOA is on summer break. So we'll have new follow-ups with people we've met and covered during the last year.

A little more than seven years ago Scott Kellogg and Stacy Pettigrew won the very first AOA Start Up Grant competition with their plans for an aquaculture to grow fish and watercress at the [then] new Radix Center for Ecological Sustainability. They were in the midst of constructing an 18-foot greenhouse on a corner of Grand Street in Albany's South End.

Almost a decade later the greenhouse is overflowing with plants, they're selling fish and watercress, running a composting business, raising animals, partnering with neighborhood organizations, and teaching students and city dwellers about their connection to nature -- all while raising two daughters and working on their PhDs.

And still, they found time to talk with us about how things at Radix are going.

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Follow up: Franklin Alley Social Club

Frank_&_Heidi_luau_2018.jpg

Heidi and Frank Sicari -- doing what they love

AOA is on summer break. So we'll have new follow-ups with people we've met and covered during the last year.

Four years ago Heidi and Frank Sicari started renovating the old Knights of Columbus building on 3rd Street in Troy. They've since turned the place into a popular venue for weddings and events called Takk House.

And six months ago they opened a new venture in the basement of Takk: the Franklin Alley Social Club, with a bar, shuffleboard, bocce ball, and old-school games.

They've made the leap from full-time jobs to full-time business owners and they've even managed to hire a staff. So, how's it going?


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Follow up: Lark Hall

Lark Hall 2018-July exterior

AOA is on summer break. So we'll have new follow-ups with people we've met and covered during the last year (or so)

Back in February 2017 word surfaced that 351 Hudson Ave -- AKA the EBA Building, at the corner of Lark and Hudson -- was going up for auction.

The eventual buyers: A team made up of Jeff Buell, a local developer, and the married couple Justin and Jennifer Miller (an attorney and teacher / yoga instructor, respectively). They didn't have an exact plan for the landmark building, but they were excited to get started.

Well, that part took a little longer than expected -- a year, in fact. But the group does now own the building -- which they're calling Lark Hall -- and work is moving along on renovations. (The Lark Street Flower Market is still there.) First up: a yoga studio to be run by Jennifer Miller. A juice bar will follow after that. And then there's the large auditorium space upstairs.

We stopped by 351 Hudson to talk with Jeff Buell and Justin Miller about what's been going on, how they're planning to use that auditorium, and the Lark Street neighborhood.

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Follow up: Delaware Supply

Delaware Supply 2018-July exterior

AOA is on summer break. So we'll have new follow-ups with people we've met and covered during the last year.

Delaware Supply opened just before Christmas last year next to the Spectrum in the space that had been a series of coffee shops.

The craft beer bar is owned by Colin Pratt, who was previously a manager at Westmere Beverage in Guilderland and as a bartender at Albany Ale and Oyster in Albany.

"Business has been good," he said when we stopped in recently, noting that opening around the time of the Academy Award season provided an early boost as people flocked to The Spectrum to see nominated films.

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Follow up: Olive & June

OliveandJune_Cassie_Vogel.jpg

Cassie Vogel of Olive & June Floral Company

AOA is on summer break. So we'll have new follow-ups with people we've met and covered during the last year.

Cassie Vogel was one of the finalists for last year's AOA Startup Grant. A recent transplant from Portland, Oregon, Cassie opened the Olive & June Floral Company inside of the Fort Orange General Store at the beginning of this year.

Since then she's booked 45 weddings in 2018 alone, and she's run workshops and a retail shop out of Fort Orange.

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Follow up: Adirondack Barnwood Salvage

Adirondack Barnwood project 1.jpg

1 barn down

AOA is on summer break. So we'll have new follow-ups with people we've met and covered during the last year.

Longtime friends Nick Ouimet and Adam Weber were the winners of 2017's AOA Startup Grant for their company, Adirondack Barnwood Salvage.

Nick, a West Point faculty member, and Adam, an MBA, used the grant money to take down their first barn and they're eyeing their next one.

Adam took time to share their experience since then with us.

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Follow up: Fort Orange Brewing

Fort Orange Brewing 2018-July exterior cornhole league

AOA is on summer break. So we'll have new follow-ups with people we've met and covered during the last year.

Fort Orange Brewing became Albany's third operating brewery when it opened in a space on North Pearl Street in the Warehouse District last October. It's the product of three friends from Castleton -- Craig Johnson, John Westcott, and Jim Eaton -- who decided to make the jump from home brewing.

The space serves as both a brewery and taproom, and on a recent Wednesday night it was busy with people playing in the brewery's popular cornhole league.

"We're very pleased with where we're at being nine months into this thing," Jim Eaton told us a few days later as we talked about how things have gone for the startup brewery -- and their plans to keep growing...

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Follow up: Troy Kitchen

Cory Nelson at Troy Kitchen 2017-June

Cory Nelson at Troy Kitchen

AOA is on summer break this week. So we'll have new follow-ups this week with people we've met and covered during the last year.

Troy Kitchen opened its doors in February of 2016 in the former Pioneer Food Coop space in downtown Troy. Entrepreneur Cory Nelson had a vision for a luxury food court and local food incubator in which small food businesses could get a start, learn the ropes, and move on to start their own restaurants. Admittedly, he had no experience in the food business when he began the venture. But Cory Nelson is an optimist.

So, now a year and a half after its opening, how are things going at Troy Kitchen? We stopped by to catch up on what's new and talk with Cory about the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship, some of the lessons he's learned, and the plan for his next food court.

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Follow up: Collar City Candle

Collar City Candle Josh Jamie Wallbank 2017-July

Josh and Jamie at the Collar City Candle booth at the Troy Waterfront Farmers' Market.

AOA is on summer break this week. So we'll have new follow-ups this week with people we've met and covered during the last year.

Collar City Candle took first place in the AOA Startup Grant contest last fall. Josh and Jamie Wallbank operate the business -- making candles, soaps, and wax containers for houseplants -- out of their home in Troy, and they started selling their products at the Troy Waterfront Farmers' Market. They're putting the $2,500 in prize money from the AOA contest toward business expansion.

We caught up with them at the farmers' market on Saturday where Jamie shared some thoughts on their progress, planning, and what makes a business more than just a business.

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Follow up: Farm on Peaceable Pastures

Farm on Peaceable Pastures Melissa Parade

Melissa Parade and Fleet, the border collie. (Fleet apparently wasn't keen on having his picture taken.)

AOA is on summer break this week. So we'll have new follow-ups this week with people we've met and covered during the last year.

We first met Melissa Parade as part of the AOA Startup Grant contest last fall. She's been working to start a farm and community programs at the Tivoli Lake Preserve in Albany.

In the time since, she's assembled a herd a sheep that she's been keeping at Albany's Normanskill Farm. And in just a few weeks they'll be making the move over to Tivoli as The Farm on Peaceable Pastures.

We met up with Melissa at a barn just up hill from the Normans Kill last week to talk about the challenges of becoming a farmer, shaping a business plan, and the occasional errant sheep.

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Follow up: Berben and Wolff's

Berben and Wolffs Joey Berben 2017-June

AOA is on summer break this week. So we'll have new follow-ups this week with people we've met and covered during the last year.

A little more than a year ago, Joey Berben and Max Wolff opened a vegan restaurant on Lark Street with the goal of making food that appeals to all sorts of people -- vegan and non-vegan.

As Berben said last year, "It's just good food. Vegetable forward, plant-based food."

And it's worked. Berben and Wolff's has built a following of fans, expanded its wholesale business that sells to other restaurants, and now has an eye on expansion.

We talked with Joey Berben last week in the busy second-floor dining space that looks out onto Lark Street about drawing an eclectic crowd, staying positive, and snowballing small successes.

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Follow up: Sunhee's Farm and Kitchen

Sunhees Jinah Kim 2017-June

By Cristin Steding

AOA is on summer break this week. So we'll have new follow-ups this week with people we've met and covered during the last year.

When we first spoke with Jinah Kim in 2016, she had big plans for Sunhee's Farm and Kitchen.

The goal, she said, was for Sunhee's to not only be a Korean restaurant, but also a hub for social services, specifically focused on the refugee and immigrant community. Walking into the restaurant today, you'll find little placards dotting the walls labeling things in Korean and English -- evidence of the English classes currently offered to staff members.

We caught up with Jinah to talk about how things have progressed over the last year, including a bar and a new patio, and how she's balancing between running a successful restaurant and giving back to the immigrant community.

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Follow up: Flower Scout

Flower Scout 2016-July Colie Collen

Colie Collen in her garden in Troy.

AOA is on summer break this week. So we'll have new follow-ups this week with people we've covered during the last few years.

Last but not least in the week of follow-ups: Flower Scout.

You might remember that Colie Collen won last year's AOA Startup Grant competition. As she said then about her approach for the floral design business:

"Something that's really important to me is that the community in which I live be interested in my business. So, it's only grown as people have asked for things that then I've started to offer. Maybe that's naive -- some of your market is not your peers, or your community -- but it's important to me as a structuring principle."

Over the past year, Flower Scout has grown considerably. And she's continuing to transform a vacant lot in Troy into a garden for growing flowers.

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Follow up: The Dutch Udder Craft Ice Cream

Dutch Udder Jeff McCauley and Kehmally Karl

Jeff McCauley and Kem Karl, make ice cream with beer, wine, cider and other local ingredients. / photo courtesy of Rare Form Brewing

AOA is on summer break this week. So we'll have new follow-ups this week with people we've covered during the last few years.

Today, we're checking in on the progress of the newly-opened ice cream business The Dutch Udder.

We first met Kehmally Karl and Jeff McCauley they were finalists in last year's AOA Startup Grant contest. The Dutch Udder makes some delicious ice creams and sorbets out of interesting ingredients -- including local beer, wine, and cider.

Kem, a nurse, and Jeff, who works in HVAC, started out by making ice cream for friends, who loved it. It's been a long road from that point to running a business, but The Dutch Udder has been officially open for two months. Now they bring their cart to places like Slidin' Dirty and Nine Pin Cider Works and to local events like Rockin' on the River, the Adirondack Wine Festival ,and the Sunday night concert series at Powers Park in Lansingburgh.

We talked with Jeff about the road to opening up, and how things are going so far.

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Follow up: Nine Pin Cider Works

Nine Pin founder Alejandro del Peral

Alejandro del Peral

AOA is on summer break this week. So we'll have new follow-ups with people we've covered during the last few years.

Next up: Nine Pin Cider Works in Albany.

The first time we met Alejandro de Peral, the startup cidery's founder, it was in the summer of 2013 as they were just getting set up in a space in the Warehouse District. He told us then how meeting a group of cider makers at a tasting in a Burlington, Vermont liquor store set him on the path to starting the business:

"I'm having these conversations with these guys and lightbulbs are just going off in my head. Oh my god, I have all these apples down by where I grew up. This incredible product. These guys are cool, their whole philosophy on cider making and apple growing and the relationship between the two" -- sourcing locally from small orchards -- "is exactly what I believe and feel."

Over the course of the past three years, Nine Pin has grown a lot -- its ciders are available on tap at bars and restaurants around the Capital Region, and its bottles and cans are sold in retail outlets -- all while continuing to source its apples from the greater Capital Region.

And the company recently made a significant expansion to its production facility on Broadway, with more plans for the future.

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Follow up: Takk House

Takk House Heidi Benjamin and Frank Sicari

Heidi Benjamin and Frank Sicari

By Lauren Hittinger Hodgson

AOA is on summer break this week. So we'll have new follow-ups this week with people we've covered during the last few years.

Today we're revisiting Takk House, a wedding and event space in downtown Troy. When I first spoke with owners Heidi Benjamin and Frank Sicari, they were just getting started with the building, which many remember as a former Knights of Columbus building. In the last two years, they have put in countless hours renovating the building and have begun to host weddings, performances, and other events.

As Benjamin told me back at the beginning:

Funny story is that when we were looking up at the space a random person just announced to us in passing that it was 'the most beautiful building in all of Troy.' We both looked at each other puzzled and thought...this?
It wasn't until the showing that we completely fell head over heels in love with 55 3rd St. From the outside the space looks a bit rough due to the facade deteriorating. We never in a million years would have thought the inside would be so magnificent. It is like a hidden treasure. I think that is the best part of all.

I caught up with Benjamin and Sicari to see what it's been like to run Takk House, and got the word on their next business venture.

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Follow up: Lark + Lily

lark and lily exterior silvia lilly 2016-July

Lark + Lily. And Lilly.

AOA is on summer break this week. So, like last summer, we'll have new follow-ups this week with people we've covered during the last few years.

Just about this time last year we talked with Silvia Lilly as she was preparing to take over ownership of the popular Wine Bar and Bistro on Lark from Kevin Everleth. As she told us back then:

I understand that I have a lot to learn about the back-of-the-house, day-to-day, running of a restaurant, but I also feel as if I have a lot of front of the house knowledge to share.
I don't define success by making tons of money. Never have. I want to be successful in terms of giving our guests a memorable and positive experience from the moment they walk in the door.

Lilly -- a teacher by day, who has also worked in restaurants for most of her adult life -- has now owned the business for about eight months. She's renamed it Lark + Lily and revamped the menu to include some more casual dining options -- but kept the beautiful courtyard and the knowledgable staff.

So how's it going? We checked in with her to find out.

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Follow up: Nibble Inc

Nibble Inc 2016-June Jesse Cramer

By Lauren Hittinger Hodgson

AOA is on summer break this week. So, like last summer, we'll have new follow-ups this week with people we've covered during the last few years.

Today we're checking back in with Jessie Cramer of Nibble Inc, a donut shop in downtown Troy. Nibble is known for its gourmet donuts that are made out of a potato-based dough.

When we first met Nibble, Cramer told us that this inspiration for her shop came from eating an amazingly delicious donut in Maine:

"The best doughnut I've ever had," Cramer adds. "And I thought 'How can I make this donut so I can have it whenever I want?'"

After almost two years in business, Cramer has refined her recipe, grown her business, and is planning for an upcoming move.

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Follow up: Collar City Hard Pressed

collar city hard pressed 2015 jessica

By Lauren Hittinger

AOA is taking things a little easy this week for summer break. So we thought it'd be a good time to catch up with some local businesses we've covered during the last year (or so) and find out how things are going.

Next we're revisiting Collar City Hard Pressed (CCHP). When we first interviewed owner Jessica Garrity, now Jessica Quijano, she was running her business solely at the Saturday Troy farmers' market. Since then, she has moved to working full-time for her juice and smoothie business, taking up residence on Broadway in downtown Troy.

A snippet from March 2014:

"I found myself basically obsessed with fresh juice and smoothies and was suddenly annoyed that there wasn't a place in my neighborhood where I could get any. I kind of hate leaving my neighborhood on the weekend so just thought it was only fair that we had a juice place here downtown. I also recognized that juicing was a pretty trendy business and thought downtown Troy would be a great place to get to work."

I caught up with Quijano to see what it's like to be running a small business on her own, and to get the scoop on the different reactions to a juice bar in downtown Troy.

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Follow up: Bread and Honey

bread and honey 2015 July exterior

Bread and Honey is in the commercial strip on Madison Ave between Quail and Ontario.

AOA is taking things a little easy this week for summer break. So we thought it'd be a good time to catch up with some local businesses we've covered during the last year (or so) and find out how things are going.

First up is Bread and Honey in Albany's Pine Hills neighborhood. Owner Naomi Davies opened the artisan bakery in March of 2014 after a major renovation of the storefront at 809 Madison Ave. She has a background in construction management (and dance before that), and consulting on the new Honest Weight location had sparked the idea of opening a bakery.

A quick clip from 15 months ago:

"I learned so much about retail and food, just being with people who really cared about what they did and how they did it," she said recently as we stood in the bakery space. "And getting to know how they work, I saw an opportunity for a bakery here in Albany that could provide good, fresh, artisan breads. And I was craving a great bagel."

We got a chance to catch up with her last week -- and it was some real talk about what's it like to run a small, local business.

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