Study outlines 5-year strategy to boost St. Lawrence County’s economy

Matt Warren, right, a customer support representative for Frazer Computing, Inc. provides phone support Wednesday at Frazer Computing, Inc., 6196 US-11 in Canton. Also pictured is Mike Burnett, left, also a customer support representative. Photo by Jason Hunter, Watertown Daily Times.

Matt Warren, right, and Mike Burnett provide customer phone support Wednesday at Frazer Computing Inc., Route 11, Canton. A five-year plan compiled for the New York Power Authority recommends small business growth among ways to boost St. Lawrence County’s economy. Photo by Jason Hunter, Watertown Daily Times.

CANTON — A $4 million economic development study just released by the New York Power Authority lays out a five-year strategy for reversing St. Lawrence County’s stagnant economy. [Read more…]

An eye for design: January 2015 small business feature

Making a house a home

Architectural designer works to create ideal spaces

Leigh Dillenback, owns House No. 12, an architectural design firm at 238 James St., just about the Porch and Paddle Shop in Clayton. From new construction to renovations, Mrs. Dillenback works on a wide range of projects. || Photo by Norm Johnston, NNY Business

Leigh Dillenback, owns House No. 12, an architectural design firm at 238 James St., just about the Porch and Paddle Shop in Clayton. From new construction to renovations, Mrs. Dillenback works on a wide range of projects. || Photo by Norm Johnston, NNY Business

Leigh Dillenback often gets asked about House No. 12, the name she chose for her architectural design business that was opened last July in Clayton.

“The number twelve in numerology is often referred to as having complete harmony,” she said. “In our home, we need our function as well as our emotional well being to be in harmony.”

“We need a place to store our belongings and a proper roof to keep us dry, but we need sunlight in the morning when we drink our coffee and a view of our favorite tree,” she added. “Those things are all unique to every property and homeowner.”

Mrs. Dillenback has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Vermont and had worked for an architectural firm in Clayton before she and her husband, Christopher Dillenback, moved to Colorado more than 10 years ago.

Although originally from Rochester, she met her husband (a native of Fisher’s Landing), when she spent time at her family’s summer home in the Thousand Islands.

The couple decided to return to the north country from Crested Butte, Colorado, after the birth of their son, who is now two-years-old.

“It was important to us that he would learn to love the river,” Mrs. Dillenback said, referring to the St. Lawrence River.

House No. 12 was opened at 238 James St., Clayton, in space just above the Porch and Paddle Cottage Shop. Mrs. Dillenback is not a licensed architect, but rather an architectural designer. Her background in civil engineering allows her to offer an array of commercial and residential design services.

In the past, she has worked closely with architects, engineers, building owners, home owners and contractors on new construction and renovation projects.

“I can be involved as much as people want me to be” in the design and construction process, she said.

“It’s really up to the customer,” Mrs. Dillenback added.

Her services include project feasibility, construction document review, interior and exterior specifications, coordination of engineers and other consultants, design review for homeowner’s associations or municipalities, assistance with permit applications, and providing construction updates for homeowners. Her hourly designer rate is $65 plus reimbursable expenses.

“I help people through the building process” which can include assisting with site selection, design work for both exterior and interior features of the home, and acting as a liaison between the customer and contractor during the building process, Mrs. Dillenback said.

Mrs. Dillenback gave an example of a past project that she provided her architectural design services for while working in Colorado. It was a 100-year-old timber ranch house that was taken apart “piece by piece” to save the original structure, she said.

A new home was built on the same site that included a “proper foundation insulation and all the things that modern day houses need,” and then parts of the old house were reassembled around the new structure, she explained.

“It was very important for this couple to save this iconic building that they had been looking at for years from their family’s vacation spot on the neighboring property,” she said. “The barn and guest cabin were not salvageable, but we built new structures that resembled the forms of the previous structures in the same locations, and we made them useful to the new owners.”

Part of her architectural design business also includes selling specialty interior finishes such as reclaimed wood floors, unique tiles and semi-custom cabinetry. She can work with customers on selection and the ordering process.

House No. 12 carries a Dura Supreme cabinetry line, which offers a broad range of custom cabinets, including frameless (for a modern look), traditional framed and inset cabinetry, which is very popular for the “cottage look,” she said.

Some of the cabinets in the line have “unique distressed paint finishes and a weathered wood that reminds me of driftwood,” Mrs. Dillenback said.

For more information, check the website www.housenumber12.com or call 783-6580.

By Norah Machia, NNY Business. Ms. Machia is a freelance writer who lives in Watertown. She is a 20-year veteran journalist and former Watertown Daily Times reporter. Contact her at norahmachia@gmail.com

Earning their stripes: Parker Line Striping marks 20 years in business this year

Christian R. Parker, owner of Parker Line Striping, Dekalb, and Brian M. Hess, director of national sales, in front of the business. The company is celebrating 20 years in business this year and is well positioned to continue positive national growth in the parking lot maintenance service industry. Photo by Melanie Kimbler-Lago / NNY Business

Christian R. Parker, owner of Parker Line Striping, Dekalb, and Brian M. Hess, director of national sales, in front of the business. The company is celebrating 20 years in business this year and is well positioned to continue positive national growth in the parking lot maintenance service industry. Photo by Melanie Kimbler-Lago / NNY Business

It started out as simply a means to an end. Or so he thought.

Parking lot striping was no more than a way for 18-year-old Christian R. Parker to earn some money in pursuit of his goal to become a professional musician. [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…]

Small Business Startup: Denmark Gardens

Patsy Makuch opened Lewis County's first apple orchard this year. Amanda Morrison/ NNY Business

Patsy Makuch opened Lewis County’s first apple orchard this year. Amanda Morrison/ NNY Business

Lewis County’s first apple orchard had a successful first season [Read more…]

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

CrossFit gym opens in Carthage

Owner Gracey E. Wike hangs out at Messenger CrossFit. Elaine Avallone/ Watertown Daily Times

Owner Gracey E. Wike hangs out at Messenger CrossFit. Elaine Avallone/ Watertown Daily Times

Try it for two weeks and you’ll be hooked, claims the owner of a new gym.

Messenger Crossfit, 270 State St., is not like traditional gyms. The open space includes ropes for climbing and chin-up bars and a pair of inverse bicycles. During the cross-fit session, clients are put through their paces, doing chin-ups, push ups, jumps and lifting weights using free weights and kettle bells.

Owners Gracey E. and Nathan A. Wike have always dreamed of owning a gym. When Mr. Wike, an Army captain, was transferred to Fort Drum, the couple decided to bring the message of elite fitness to the north country, hence the name Messenger Crossfit.

“When we moved to Carthage two and a half years ago we were disappointed because there was no CrossFit gym. Because we love CrossFit so much we thought that instead of being sad about not having a box to train at, we would build one,” Mrs. Wike said, noting a box is another name for a CrossFit gym. [Read more…]

SUNY Canton SBDC offering fall training for entrepreneurs and small businesses

The Small Business Development Center at SUNY Canton is offering a series of workshops and training opportunities this fall for small businesses and entrepreneurs. For more information or to register, call the center at 386-7312.

The dates are as follows:

  •  Monday, Sept. 30, “Get on the map: Business listings and customer review sites,” 5:30 to 7 p.m., SUNY ESF Ranger School, Wanakena. Hands-on computer workshop on how to list a business on search engines, encourage customer reviews and get seen on mobile map applications. Free admission.
  • Monday, Oct. 7, “Buying and selling an existing business: Long-term planning for a profitable transition,” 5:30 to 7 p.m., SUNY ESF Ranger School, Wanakena. Workshop will address buying and selling a business, how to finance such a purchase and to plan in advance to transition a business as a seller. Free admission.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 8, “Women’s business bootcamp and luncheon,” 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Miller Campus Center, SUNY Canton. Featured speakers Angela Gray, CPA, and attorney Cathleen O’Haro will give advice on managing the financial and legal aspects of a business. Attendees will have the opportunity to display and sell their products and services and network with other participants. Tuition: $30/person, includes program, lunch and mini-marketplace display.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 11, “Affordable Care Act 101,” 9 to 10 a.m., Miller Campus Center, SUNY Canton. Presentation on how the federal health care overhaul will affect individuals, sole proprietors and small businesses by Katrina Kapustay, small business assistance program specialist at the Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce. Attendees can set up free individual appointments with Ms. Kapustay following the presentation. Free admission.
  • Thursday, Oct. 31, “St. Lawrence County Matchmaker,” 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Miller Campus Center, SUNY Canton. Sign up for 10-minute meetings with individual agencies to network and pitch your product or service in a speed dating-like setup. Representatives from colleges, federal agencies, state and local government and large regional institutions will attend. Tuition: $10 for business owners; free for purchasing officers.

Arsenal Street Diner to roll out homestyle menu at Saturday grand opening

Phillip T. Kane, right, owner of Arsenal Street Diner, and son Phillip T. Kane II are opening the new restaurant on Saturday. The site formerly housed Car Audio Pros and, before that, was a Pizza Hut. Justin Sorensen/ Watertown Daily Times

It will be a special moment for Phillip T. Kane when the first customer buys breakfast during the grand opening of Arsenal Street Diner on Saturday.

After leasing the building at 821 Arsenal St. in 2011, Mr. Kane spent more than two years gutting the interior and installing new kitchen appliances. The homestyle restaurant, which will feature a simple breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, was inspired by diners that Mr. Kane visited across the country as an independent contractor who logged more than 100,000 miles a year on the road.

“I had tossed the idea back and forth for years, because I have always enjoyed diner food during my road travels,” said the 52-year-old, who finished most of the construction work himself at the 2,600-square-foot diner. “This was my first major construction project, and I’m giving it back to the community to enjoy.” [Read more…]

The Scrub Hub opens its doors to supply fashion to physicians, medical professionals and others

Bonnie M. Herman, right, and daughter Emily E. on Wednesday opened their store Scrub Hub on outer Washington Street. Amanda Morrison/ Watertown Daily Times

Are you a neurosurgeon nervous your smart but tedious uniform is giving your clients a fit? Or an anesthesiologist whose drab duds are putting your patients to sleep? Or an oral surgeon whose outfit makes your convalescents chuckle before you wheel out the nitrous oxide?

Then the Scrub Hub LLC, 19033 Route 11, is the place for you.

There you can find stylish and flattering garb for every medical occasion, according to owner Bonnie M. Herman, who opened the outer Washington Street location on Wednesday.

Mrs. Herman’s selection includes both high end and affordable labels from brands familiar and foreign, including Dickies, Sketchers, Cherokee, Beverly Hills and Med Couture. Prices range from $23.99 to $9.99 and there is also a clearance rack for discontinued items set at $6.99 and up. [Read more…]