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Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 10:12 am

National Grid awards $350K in grants for Yancey's Fancy expansion

post by Howard B. Owens in business, National Grid, pembroke, Yancey's Fancy

Press release: 

National Grid has awarded grants of up to $350,000 to support improvements in Yancey’s Fancy current manufacturing operations, and the construction of a new, 112,000-square-foot cheese manufacturing, packaging, warehousing and distribution facility. The new site will be built on 12 acres in the Buffalo East Technology Park in Pembroke.

The new facility has a capital investment of $20.6 million, will create approximately 50 new jobs, and retain 100 existing jobs. It is expected to officially open next month. National Grid will provide up to $250,000 toward electric infrastructure costs.

A second grant of up to $100,000 is available to assist with the design of advanced technology to manage the whey by-product that is generated through the cheese-making process. That will be part of a 3,500-square-foot expansion of its current operations at 857 Main Road in Corfu. The new system will allow for more efficient processing of the whey, which is used as a common food additive and for animal feed production. The project requires an upgrade of the current electric service to meet new demand. The $2.64 million project will create 17 new jobs and retain 30 jobs.

“Yancey’s Fancy is a thriving local company that is creating jobs and a strong brand here in Western New York and across the country,” said Dennis Elsenbeck, regional executive for National Grid in Western New York. “Genesee County continues to be a model for economic development through its collaborative approach to creating a positive climate for businesses to grow and expand, like Yancey’s Fancy.”

“National Grid has been a great partner through the years in our economic development efforts,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC). “In this instance, National Grid is providing critically important grants to sustain and grow the operations of one the largest employers in our region. It’s another example of the public and private sector collaboration that is resulting in the creation of new jobs and investment.”

The grants to Yancey’s Fancy are from National Grid’s Electric Capital Investment Incentive Program, which assists growing customers with costs of upgrading utility infrastructure to accommodate a business expansion or new construction that creates and retains jobs.

Information about National Grid’s suite of economic programs is available at www.shovelready.com.

Monday, February 9, 2015 at 7:19 pm

UMMC planning new cancer center on Summit Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, UMMC

A proposed new cancer center at UMMC will help the hospital treat more patients in Genesee County and provide those patients with a comprehensive, one-stop location, according to spokeswoman Colleen Flynn.

New new $6.5 million addition to the hospital will be fitted in the triangle area on the west side of the hospital known as the Summit Street entrance.

The wing will handle chemotherapy, radiology, infusion and include a linear accelerator. The staff will include a board-certified oncologist and a radiation oncologist.

"This has been in planning for a long time," Flynn said. "It will help save some patients that 45-minute drive each way to Rochester. One of our goals was to keep care in Genesee County for those who are our most vulnerable."

The proposed expansion will be reviewed this week by the Genesee County Planning Board and the City of Batavia Planning Board.

The new building will be 9,850 square feet and while it is currently planned as a one-story addition, the construction engineering will allow for a second floor to be added if needed, Flynn said.

UMMC, already expanded to 800 employees since the affiliation with Rochester General, will add more employees as a result of the addition, Flynn said.

Plans for the cancer center were started many months ago, before the affiliation with Rochester General was finalized, but the affiliation is helping the process along.

A license is required for a linear accelerator and Rochester General happened to have obtained a license it had no immediate plans to use. The NYS Department of Health has approved the transfer of the license to the UMMC location.

Among the issues planners will consider with the addition is the loss of parking outside the Summit Street entrance.

There are currently 15 spaces. The expansion will require 20 spaces, creating a deficit of 35 spaces. 

Officials plan to draw on the 71 spaces in the existing parking lot on the west side of Summit Street, which is shared with 207 Summit St. and 215 Summit St.

Employees will park at St. Jerome's on Bank Street, which currently has 50 to 60 extra spaces available and is already served by a shuttle for hospital employees.

The shared parking lot will have signs and markings to ensure the spaces closest to the cancer center are reserved for cancer center patients.

Officials hope to break ground on the new facility in the Spring with completion and opening for patient treatment in January.

The County Planning Board meets at 7:30 p.m., Thursday.

Also on the agenda is a plan by Darien Lake Theme Park to add a new ride called the Turbo Twister. The slide, which covers an area that is 191 feet by 76 feet, features an 80-degree drop angle to start, an inclosed tube, and it propels people at an average speed of 35 feet per second.

Plus, the agenda includes plans by East Pembroke Fire District for a new, voter-approved fire hall.

Monday, February 9, 2015 at 4:42 pm

Chamber hosts small business marketing workshop on Wednesday morning, RSVP

post by Billie Owens in business

Press release:

“Marketing Your Small Business” will be the subject of a small business workshop to be hosted the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Feb. 11.

This is the first in a series of business workshops for 2015 held in conjunction with the United States Small Business Administration and the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce. The workshops are open to all Chamber and non-Chamber businesses and their employees and will offer expert advice from experienced business professionals designed to help small businesses succeed and grow.

“Marketing is a critical component to every small business’s survival,” said Tom Turnbull, chamber president. “In this workshop, participants will learn and understand the marketing mix, how to develop a marketing plan, the importance of marketing research and segmentation, as well as defining the business’s target market.”

All workshops will be held at the Chamber of Commerce office, 210 E. Main St., Batavia. The sessions will run from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Businesses may attend any one or all of the workshops. Cost for non-Chamber members is $10 for each attendee. Chamber members may attend all sessions free of charge but must make reservations to insure space for their employees.

To reserve a seat in any workshop or for more information, contact Kelly Bermingham at 585-343-7440 or by e-mail at [email protected].

Friday, February 6, 2015 at 3:40 pm

Kay Jewelers planning location in tax-subsidized shopping center

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, COR Development

Despite the presence of two long-established local jewelry stores, national retail chain Kay Jewelers is planning a new store in Batavia Towne Center.

Syracuse-based COR Development has received $6 million is tax abatements -- to help finance the construction of the strip mall in 2006, and then remodel a portion of it in 2013.

Tax abatements for retail developments, which are authorized by Genesee County Economic Development Center, are controversial in New York and have been criticized by both Comptroller Thomas Dinapoli and Sean Ryan, a member of the Assembly representing Buffalo.

When COR sought its second round of tax abatements in 2013, the anticipated retailers going into the area once occupied by Lowe's were Dick's, Marshall's and Kohl's, though DIck's seemed to be the only sure thing at the time.

The GCEDC Board approved the $1.7 million in abatements with a finding that the tax relief would help bring new business to Batavia that would provide goods and services that are not readily available to local residents from current retailers.

It's important to note, that the proposed location for Kay's -- sandwiched between the AT&T Store and Sally's Beauty Supply -- is not part of that 2013 expansion and is not covered by the second around of abatements, though it is covered by the 2006 round of $4.3 million.

We've contacted a representative of COR Development for comment and have not received a response.  

Lease agreements are not public record, so we don't know whether Kay Jewelers is receiving a discounted rent bolstered by the tax breaks.

Officials at GCEDC were unaware of COR's intention to lease space to Kay and have not offered a comment on the plans.

Batavia is served by two locally owned jewelry stores: Valle's, on Jackson Street, and Lambert's, on West Main Street.

Jim Lambert said he's heard rumors for months that Kay was planning to open in Batavia and was disappointed to learn the new shop would be in a tax-subsidized development.

"Nobody gave me any tax breaks to open my business," Lambert said. "Everything we do, we do on our own. We don't get anything."

Kay Jewelers, with an advertising budget that includes radio, TV and glossy national magazines, plus the ability to heavily discount, absorb losses and give credit to high-risk borrowers will provide the local shops with formidable competition, Lambert said.

"For a place like us or Valle's, you just can't compete with their budgets for advertising and so forth," Lambert said.

He said he finds it interesting that Kay would open in Batavia, with a population of less than 25,000, when the chain is closing stores elsewhere.

"I'd be surprised if they could do $1 million here," he said. 

It's not like they don't have several other stores in Western New York already, he said.

"Personally, I didn't think it would actually happen," Lambert said. "I thought Kay's would be smarter than invest all that money in Batavia, but they afford to lose money for years and use it as a tax write-off. I can't afford to lose money."

The owners of Valle's wanted to get more information on the issue before commenting.

Besides Valle's and Lambert's, Kay will be competing with JC Penney and Walmart. Lambert noted that Walmart is already the largest seller of jewelry in the nation.

How much more can the market be divided and everybody still stay in business? Lambert wondered. Given the revenue demands of the chain, he said he will be surprised if Kay lasts in Batavia through two Christmas seasons, but in the meantime, the local businesses could be hurt substantially.

"It just kills the little man again," Lambert said. "It kills anybody who was born and raised in Batavia. It's going to cut into Valle's profits and it's going to cut into our profits and then they'll be gone in a couple of years."
Friday, February 6, 2015 at 1:52 pm

Owners carry on John & Mary's tradition in new Batavia location

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, food, John & Mary's, restaurants

He's Ted and she's Mary and together they're the new owners of John & Mary's in Batavia.

If that sounds a little confusing, it might help to know a bit of the history of the venerable Erie County group of entries. 

John Guida opened his first sandwich shop in Cheektowaga in 1952. Mary, his wife, insisted her name be added to the sign, so it was. (Mary Guida is 88 and reportedly still working.)

Ted Ulm was born and raised in Cheektowaga and went to culinary school, became a chef, worked in a supper club and a bakery and hooked up with an instructor who owned a Greek catering business when he was 18.

"Once I learned the ropes, he could run two jobs a day," Ulm said.

That led to a connection with John & Mary's and eventually, Ted Ulm owned his own John & Mary's location in Cheektowaga. 

He opened another location in Alden in 1999, which he still owns. He opened another in Arcade that he later sold, but he does own Theo's Greek Family Restaurant in Arcade.

He married Mary in 2009, and the coincidence of her name has led many people, Ted said, to assume his name is John.

The name may be different, but the quality is the same, Ulm said.

"Everything I make is all homemade, our dough, our sauces, our Souvlaki is out of this world," Ulm said. "I win awards with it all the time."

"It's a bigger menu, but it's all quality food," he added. "We use all of John & Mary's recipes. I stick by what they did in 1952. Their homemade hot sauce, top-line mayonnaise, top of the line cold cuts."

This John & Mary's is actually the second in Batavia. There was a John & Mary's here in 1974 and '75.

When Ted and Mary moved to Corfu, they started thinking it was time to bring John & Mary's back to Batavia.

From the time Ted opened his first John & Mary's in 1990, he expanded the menu so that there would be something for everybody. 

There's a full Greek menu and a full Mexican menu, Ulm said.

"John & Mary's is a place where a family can come and everybody will be happy," Ulm said.

John & Mary's is located at the old Scooter's location, 3711 W. Main Street Road, Batavia.

CORRECTION: The information about Mary Guida came from the John & Mary's web site, which is apparently very out of date. Mary Guida passed in 2007.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 4:46 pm

GCEDC to hold annual meeting and luncheon at Batavia Downs March 6, RSVP

post by Billie Owens in announcements, business, GCEDC

The Genesee Economic Development Center will hold its annual meeting and luncheon from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 6. It will be in the Paddock Room at Batavia Downs, 8315 Park Road, Batavia.

To register, contact Rachael Tabelski, marketing and communications director, at 343-4866 or e-mail at  [email protected]

Press release:

2014 has certainly been an exciting year from an economic development standpoint as unemployment was at a historic low of 4.8 percent in August, per capita income grew 6.16 percent, and businesses invested more than $50 million in our community. The food industry across the region, and especially in Genesee County, continues to flourish while investment and developments at the WNY STAMP project occur on a daily basis.

The GCEDC Annual Meeting is an opportunity for you to find out what has been achieved in Genesee County over the last year and to get a exclusive preview of what the economic landscape will look like for 2015. The Annual Meeting is also an excellent opportunity to network with economic and elected leaders from around the region. At the event the GCEDC will also unveil the "2015 Economic Development Partner of the Year Award."

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 3:01 pm

Law firms of Del Plato and Cianfrini announce merger

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, law, Michael Del Plato, Oakfield, Ray Cianfrini

Press release:

Del Plato Casey Law Firm, LLP and Raymond F. Cianfrini, Esq., of Cianfrini Law Firm, LLP, are proud to announce that Mr. Cianfrini has joined Del Plato Casey Law Firm as an “Of Counsel” attorney as of January 1, 2015. 

Mr. Cianfrini’s office will continue in its long-standing location of 31 Main Street, Oakfield, New York, where legal assistant and office manager Rhonda Natalizia will also continue to serve clients. 

Michael A. Del Plato and Peter M. Casey will also offer a wide range of legal services at the Oakfield office, in addition to their current location at 73 Main Street, Batavia, New York. 

Mr. Cianfrini, a 1972 Graduate of UB Law School, has been continuously engaged in legal practice in Genesee County and the surrounding area for 42 years.  He will continue to provide quality, client-focused legal services as part of Del Plato Casey Law Firm.  Mr. Cianfrini, Mr. Del Plato, and Mr. Casey may be contacted at either the Batavia office (585-344-1050) or the Oakfield office (585-948-5201).

Del Plato Casey Law Firm, LLP is a general practice law firm handling Commercial and Residential Real Estate matters, Wills and Trusts, Estates and Probate, Business Formations, Family Law matters, Divorces and Legal Separations, Criminal Defense, DWI matters, Traffic Offenses and Personal Injury.

Additional Note: Ray Cinanfrini is chairman of the Genesee County Legislature. Michael Del Plato is recently retired as a City Court judge.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 2:56 pm

Le Roy High School grad is now a newly minted attorney

post by Billie Owens in business, Le Roy, Milestones

Jake M. Whiting, of LeRoy, was admitted to practice law in New York State on January 14, 2015. Jake is the son of Reid and Jackie Whiting of LeRoy.

Jake passed the July 2014 New York State Bar Exam after graduating magna cum laude in May 2014 from Michigan State University College of Law.

Prior to law school, Jake worked three years at J.P. Morgan Chase in New York City, is a 2008 summa cum laude graduate of Syracuse University and a 2004 graduate of LeRoy High School.

Jake will practice alongside his father with offices on West Main Street in LeRoy and Bank Street in Batavia.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at 6:41 pm

Kozy Kabin reopens early for the season - door prizes, hot drinks, celebration

post by Billie Owens in announcements, business

This year Kozy Kabin is reopening early and you are invited to join us for door prizes, hot drinks, and a 3rd cabin!

Celebrate with us Friday and Saturday Feb. 6th and 7th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Address: 922 Genesee St., Route 33, Corfu. Phone 585-409-7424

* Spring Hours: Fri & Sat. 10-5 ~ Fall Hours: Thurs.-Sat. 10-5 ~ Winter Hours: Thurs.-Sat. 10-5 & Sun. 2-5pm

Some fantastic things are coming this year at the Kozy Kabin!
1.  First is our 3rd cabin addition filled with handmade USA furniture and even more home good finds!
2.  Our next addition is our DIY (do it yourself) step-by-step leader taught classes. Each season (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter) Kozy Kabin will host a class that you can be part getting together with friends and enjoying handpicked projects that you can be proud of making!  Each class will be posted at the Kabin and on Facebook at  Kozy Kabin
Note:  Each class has a small fee, children are welcome to come and enjoy a movie, light refreshments included, must sign up by calling Lenora at 585-409-7424 or e-mail [email protected]
3.  Pembroke Harvest Festival is hosted by the Kozy Kabin and was a huge success last year!  This year's festival is held on Sat. Oct. 10th 10-5pm.  Even more great shopping this year!
We are taking registrations for vendors (free spaces). Plan to attend the Pembroke Harvest Festival  Oct. 10, 2015 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., 922 Genesee St. in Corfu. Visit our Web site to buy tickets for the 10'x20' cabin or $2,000 raffle held on Festival date!

Kohorst Family and all at Kozy Kabin

Monday, January 26, 2015 at 7:14 pm

When the weather warms up, Bill Cultrara will be cooking again, with Duke's Smokin' Bone

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, bill cultrara, business, dining, food

Bill Cultrara and Larry Reisdorf are eager for the snow to clear from the smoker so they can get busy again with some serious BBQ.

Reisdorf has owned and operated Duke's Smokin' Bone, a catering service, for about a decade, and with business growing, he thought Cultrara's experience and expertise could help kick things up a notch.

Cultrara is a chef and former owner of Delavan's.

"With his experience, I thought it would be great if we could team up and work together," Reisdorf said.

Fans of Delavan's will be glad to see Cultrara cooking again, and happy to know Duke's will start offering his secret-recipe Italian sausage.

"I saw this as a different opportunity, nothing I've ever done before, and I like to learn," Cultrura said.

The new menu will include spatchcocked chicken and beer can chicken along with beef brisket and ziti and sausage (smoked or grilled). Duke's longtime favorites, quarter chicken, pulled pork and ribs, along with a several other meats, will also be available.

Duke's is available for private parties, corporate events and graduations.

For more information, visit Duke's Web site.

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