Franklin Building full with tenants for first time

The Whimsical Pig Custom Services, owned by Shannon Allen, Danielle Carman and Kira Cody, took the final vacancy in the Franklin Building on March 3. Norm Johnston / NNY Business

The Whimsical Pig Custom Services, owned by Shannon Allen, Danielle Carman and Kira Cody, took the final vacancy in the Franklin Building on March 3. Norm Johnston / NNY Business

Spaces for tenants in the Franklin Building are full for the first time since the building was restored about three years ago. [Read more...]

Fort Drum finds environmental improvements, savings

Fort Drum’s environmental chief, James M. Miller, checks the tank storage area for off-spec fuel and used motor oil. Norm Johnston / NNY Business

Fort Drum’s environmental chief, James M. Miller, checks the tank storage area for off-spec fuel and used motor oil. Norm Johnston / NNY Business

When it comes to finding ways to go green and save green, officials on post see how small changes locally can make a big difference.

“It’s about savings; it’s about stewardship,” said James M. Miller, the post’s environmental chief. “They augment each other.” [Read more...]

Staying power: After century in business, Belloff’s still in the family

David F.  Belloff,  owner of  Belloff’s Department Store,  Adams. which is celebrating  its 100th anniversary, says it has adapted to changes in the retail market. Norm Johnston / NNY Business

David F.Belloff, owner of Belloff’s Department Store, Adams. which is celebrating its 100th anniversary, says it has adapted to changes in the retail market. Norm Johnston / NNY Business

To survive as a small business for a century, a loyal following of customers is a must.

Hard work and exceptional customer service over the past 100 years created a loyal customer base at Belloff’s Department Store, launched in 1914 by Russian native Aaron Belloff at 21 Main St. Celebrating the store’s century mark has brought back a flood of memories for David F. Belloff, who has operated the business by himself since the early 1990s. He took over as manager in 1990, after his late father, Isadore B., had run the store since the early 1950s.Mr. Belloff and two of his sisters, Kathy B. Sheley and Nina O. Hirschey, on Tuesday discussed the family-owned business hitting the century mark. A third sister, Nancy A. Smith, lives in Tucson, Ariz. [Read more...]

A ‘wholesome goodness’

The Sharp’s of Belleville: Jeremiah, Katrina, Joseph, Matthias, Joseph Sharp, wife, Martha, and Darius in the store. Daughters Annie and Esther are absent from photo. Norm Johnston / NNY Business

The Sharp’s of Belleville: Jeremiah, Katrina, Joseph, Matthias, Joseph Sharp, wife, Martha, and Darius in the store. Daughters Annie and Esther are absent from photo. Norm Johnston / NNY Business

For Sharp family, success at bulk foods store in God’s hands [Read more...]

A place to get away

Sharon, Stanley and Derek Horning in front of Country Cousins Farm on Fults Road, Evans Mills. The family maintains the property as a farm-stay vacation destination. Norm Johnston / NNY Business

Sharon, Stanley and Derek Horning in front of Country Cousins Farm on Fults Road, Evans Mills. The family maintains the property as a farm-stay vacation destination. Norm Johnston / NNY Business

Country Cousins Farm in Evans Mills a ‘farm-stay vacation’ destination [Read more...]

Small Business Startup: Di Prinzio’s Italian Market and Catering

Christopher Di Prinzio at his Italian market in Clayton. Norm Johnston / NNY Business

Christopher Di Prinzio at his Italian market in Clayton. Norm Johnston / NNY Business

Di Prinzio’s Italian Market and Catering has opened in Clayton. [Read more...]

Small Business Startup: Polar Bear Hockey

A local retailer for all things hockey [Read more...]

Massey golden at 50

Massey Furniture Barn owner Shawn E. Massey reclines in the store’s Arsenal Street showroom on a recent afternoon. The business, begun by Mr. Massey’s father, celebrates 50 years in business this year. Amanda Morrison/ NNY Business

Massey Furniture Barn owner Shawn E. Massey reclines in the store’s Arsenal Street showroom on a recent afternoon. The business, begun by Mr. Massey’s father, celebrates 50 years in business this year. Amanda Morrison/ NNY Business

With son at helm, Massey Furniture Barn hits half century [Read more...]

Car wash coming to Watertown plaza

A Rome developer plans to build and open a Precision Wash car wash on a parcel at the Northland Plaza off Eastern Boulevard.

The city Planning Board approved site plans for Evergreen Family FLP, Rome, on Tuesday to build a 3,300-square-foot, five-bay automated car wash on a 0.74-acre parcel near the State CS Employees Federal Credit Union building. Precision Wash already runs automated car washes on Coffeen Street, Washington Street and Route 11 in Evans Mills.

Construction would begin before winter and the business is slated to open in April.

The Watertown City Council still must give a final approval; a public hearing is expected to be scheduled for next month.

The car wash would be open 24 hours, seven days a week and serve as many as 150 vehicles a day, said Timothy M. Hogan, the engineer representing Precision Wash.

Before the vote Tuesday, city officials and the Planning Board expressed concern that Northland Plaza’s parking lot needs an upgrade because of the additional traffic generated by the car wash. The parking lot lacks islands to control flow, they said. “The big thing is doing something with the parking lot,” said Justin Wood of the city’s Engineering Office.

In other action, the Planning Board approved site plans for an 1,800-square-foot, L-shaped expansion at the Quickslee convenience store at 1279 Coffeen St. Before the vote, planners voiced concerns about traffic, the lack of landscaping and the need for a sidewalk along that section of Coffeen Street. After a 90-minute discussion, engineer Christopher E. Boyes agreed to install a no-left-turn onto Coffeen Street at the entrance closest to Interstate 81. He also agreed to install the sidewalk and plant some trees to act as a buffer zone for Ontario Village apartments.

Council members are expected to vote on the site plans next month.

-Craig Fox, Watertown Daily Times

Sgt. Pepperoni’s NY Pizza opens on Factory Street

Co-Owner Shannon M. Exford, left, teaches Alexia Torella, right, how to correctly make a supreme steak sub at Sgt. Pepperoni's on Monday evening. Amanda Morrison/ Watertown Daily Times

Co-Owner Shannon M. Exford, left, teaches Alexia Torella, right, how to correctly make a supreme steak sub at Sgt. Pepperoni’s on Monday evening. Amanda Morrison/ Watertown Daily Times

Sgt. Pepperoni’s NY Pizza — known years ago for its taco pizzas, jumbo-sized chicken wings and steak subs — is back in business after being shuttered for 12 years.

The pizzeria, which closed at the Paddock Arcade in 2001, reopened Sunday at the former Soluri’s Pizza building, 526 Factory St. The building was bought from Robert Soluri Jr. by co-owners Shannon M. Exford and Anthony M. Heaney this fall. The sale marked the end of an era for Soluri’s, which originally was opened in 1970 by Robert E. Soluri Sr. at 988 LeRay St.

Customers who were sad to see Sgt. Pepperoni’s leave are enthusiastic about its comeback, said Mrs. Exford, who launched the original business at 566 State St. in 1991 with her late husband, C. Louis Partridge. At that time, Mr. Heaney was an 18-year-old employee who delivered pizzas.

This summer Mr. Heaney, now 38, and Mrs. Exford, 42, decided to team up and revive Sgt. Pepperoni’s when they saw Soluri’s was for sale.

“It’s been like watching an old TV show for customers,” he said. “They’re going to watch it, even though it’s dated. We were around for a long time doing our own thing.”

Comments about the comeback have surfaced on the business’s Facebook page, said Mrs. Exford, who also owns accounting firm Exford & Exford on Mechanic Street.

“In the ’90s we had to earn our business and it built up slowly, whereas now, people are knocking on the door before we’re open,” she said. “Someone commented on Facebook that their dad used to order pizza at our State Street store. Now they’re going to do the same thing with their son.”

The eatery’s time-honored menu features “super jumbo wings” cooked in a charcoal barbecue pit; 10 uncooked wings weigh about two pounds. Pizza of the month specials will feature chicken cordon bleu and “Big Mac” varieties. The latter is Mrs. Exford’s latest creation.

“It’s made with special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions,” she said. “We’ll never be the home of the $5 pizza here, because we take pride in using quality ingredients.”

Its dining area will stay open until 3 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, catering to night owls.

Mr. Soluri Sr., 81, said that while he is disappointed Soluri’s Pizza has closed, it enjoyed a strong 43-year run in the community. His son, Robert Jr., took over the family-owned business in the early 1990s.

“There were no shops delivering when I decided to open in 1969,” he said. “All of the news reporters got together and ordered pizzas from all of the shops and rated them in the Times, and only two were rated as halfway decent. So I knew I had a chance.”

The Soluri family took pride in making pizzas with quality ingredients, he said, and built a strong following of customers because of it.

“I used to have people order every night open, and they were very loyal customers,” Mr. Soluri said.

Sgt. Pepperoni’s is open from 4 to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

-Ted Booker, Watertown Daily Times