Page 1

Winter 2015

Kennett Square Today Magazine

Forging new trails around Kennett Square – Page 18

Inside :


• The two sides of artist Peter Willard • Photo essay: Spotlight on KCSD schools • Q & A with Deb Schmittle

A Chester County Press Publication

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Making Kennett Square better for everyone Letter from the Editor: Anyone who lives in Chester County can name their favorite places to enjoy the scenery or get out in the open air, but Mike Bontrager and his daughter, Stephanie Almanza, came up with a way to link the best trails in the Kennett Square area into a huge trail system. The Kennett Trails Alliance is working with area conservation groups and borough managers to unite places like Anson B. Nixon Park with the under-utilized nature preserves to the south of Kennett Square. The ultimate vision is the Kennett Greenway, a 10-mile loop that will give runners and walkers a new way to see all the beauty of our area. In line with that idea, we talk to the Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County, which is working to establish the Chandler Mill Nature Preserve as part of the Kennett Greenway. The trail includes the Chandler Mill Bridge, which the conservancy group fought tirelessly to save. For the Q&A feature in this issue, we talk to Deb Schmittle, the recruitment chairwoman for Family Promise of Southern Chester County, about efforts to launch this initiative, the support that has already


Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

given to the program, and the mission to help families in need transition to sustainable jobs and housing. We meet artist Peter Willard, whose landscapes are created from improvising with paints until he gets just the right sense of place. He has also branched out into painting cartoonish dogs that look nothing like the other side of his work. It’s a dichotomy that is reflected in the Kennett Square artist’s own energetic personality. Our Photo Essay looks at the many schools in our area, focusing on the rich experiences that students have every day. We also challenge you to answer some trivia questions about Kennett Square, just to see how well you know the area we call home. Please enjoy this latest collection of stories about the people and places that make Kennett Square special, and look for our next edition, which will be published in the summer of 2016. Sincerely, Randy Lieberman, Publisher, randyl@chestercounty.com, 610-869-5553, ext. 19 Steve Hoffman, Editor, editor@chestercounty.com, 610-869-5553, ext. 13

Table of Contents Kennett Square Today • Fall/Winter 2015 6 6



Building a trail system for everyone to use


Q & A with Deb Schmittle


Kennett trivia

54 30


Spotlight on Nicholas Anthony Salon and Day Spa


Kendal residents pen book


Photo essay: We are KCSD

78 82


Profile of artist Peter Willard

Kennett High School welcomes a new athletic director

Profile of Rikki Morley Saunders Cover design by Tricia Hoadley Cover photograph by Jie Lan www.kennettsquaretoday.com | Winter 2015 | Kennett Square Today


—————|Kennett Square Arts|—————

Photo by John Chambless

Artist Peter Willard in his Kennett Square studio, with the table where he works.


Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

‘It all fits together, even though it’s different’

‘Mad Dog’

Peter Willard’s expressive landscapes, cartoonish dogs and portraits are all parts of his vivid world By John Chambless Staff Writer


ouncing around a table where his art supplies were overflowing their wooden box, Peter Willard paused for a second. “I’ve always been into art,” he said with a grin, “but I’m mostly a chronic doodler. And I’m the ADD poster child.” Then Willard was off again, explaining how his lifetime of drawing has somehow

become a career as an artist. The history is just about as random as his painting technique, which involves “doodling and putting watercolors down, playing around and seeing what comes up.” In his storefront studio on Broad Street in Kennett Square, Willard is often working on several pieces at once. “An easel would drive me crazy,” he said, so he uses a table in the middle of the room. Or Continued on Page 8 www.kennettsquaretoday.com | Winter 2015 | Kennett Square Today


Peter Willard... Continued from Page 7

sometimes the floor. Applying paint, then scratching and scuffing the surface and seeing what happy accidents take place is how Willard arrives at some of the astonishing landscapes that have secured his reputation in the county’s art world. They are made up of dynamic swirls of paint, dribbled and overlapping and scraped and turned this way and that, until the magic moment when they coalesce into a vast field or a muddy meadow. The best of them have sense of vast space and light. “My dad was a lawyer and a landscape painter on the side,” Willard said. “When I was about 10, he hired an artist to teach my brothers and me watercolors when we vacationed in Maine. My two brothers didn’t get into it, but with me, I guess it took.”



‘Tidal Inlet’

Willard doodled, took an art class in his senior year of high school and had art history at the University of Delaware, but is essentially self-taught. “We spent a month each summer in Maine, but I grew up in Wilmington my whole life, going to Tower Hill, away to boarding school, then the University of Delaware.” After majoring in economics-political science, Willard worked for

Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

‘Meadow Run’

Delaware banks and painted in his spare time. It was in 1998, while working as the comptroller for Wild Thyme in Centreville, Del., that he took a bunch of watercolors to the Station Gallery in Greenville. Continued on Page 10

‘Winter Trail’

www.kennettsquaretoday.com | Winter 2015 | Kennett Square Today


Peter Willard... Continued from Page 9

“I’d given lots of paintings away as presents and always gotten good reactions,” he said. “I’d gotten some framed and took them to the gallery and they showed them for a Christmas show. In 2000, for a group show of three artists, I was one of them. I had 10 paintings, and nine out of 10 sold. I thought, ‘Wow. Really? Who knew?’” Over the next years, buyers grew to love his spontaneous landscapes. He showed paintings at regional galleries and art shows, but art didn’t become his full-time passion until three years ago, when he was rocked

The initial doodle that turned into the portrait called ‘Albert.’ ‘Albert’

by three deaths of people close to him. “I thought I’d just go ahead and do the art thing,” he said. “It was time to jump off and do it.” Willard rented a studio space in Chadds Ford, but a flood last May inundated the building. “Everything on the floor was floating. It was like having somebody clean out your garage,” Willard said philosophically. He lost quite a few paintings and sketches, but he had plenty in reserve. When Carol Lesher moved out of the building at 105 South Broad Street in Kennett Square a year ago, an artist who had signed to move in backed out of the Continued on Page 12

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Peter Willard... Continued from Page 10

deal, and Willard “had a key to the place within the day,” he said. The workspace puts him in the heart of a vibrant community “where I know lots of people in town,” he said. “It’s a fun town. I can walk to get coffee, tacos and ice cream. That’s really all you need, right?” The window out front is where Willard displays an ever-changing lineup of paintings, and the small room is “where I jump up and down and work in the middle of the room,” he said. “I like putting paint right on the paper and then using things to scratch them. No rules. I crop things. I can start with a paper that’s 20 by 20 inches and it ends up being 8 by 5 inches. I’ll see one little part and say, ‘Now that’s a painting.’ “That one over there,” he said, pointing to “Meadow Run,” a majestic hillside view, “that has three other paintings behind it. It had a stream at one point. I kind of want to darken the sky, but I think it’s done now.” Through the internet and social media, Willard’s technique was used as an example of “sgraffito” in an art book that shows his work. Willard laughs at the idea of an art term being used for his scratching technique. The places he paints are sometimes inspired by actual landscapes,

‘Warm October’

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HENDRIX Photo by John Chambless


Willard sells these small landscapes to visitors who admire his work.

but they aren’t literal interpretations. “They’re sort of real places,” he said, “but everything’s in my head. Definitely the light and the feel of the place will be in there. I rarely do a blue sky. I like stormy skies. November-December is when you can really see stuff clearly.” And then there are the dogs. Willard does a great impression of a studio visitor surveying his framed work on the walls. “He’ll be going, ‘Hmmm,’” Willard said, peering intently at the landscapes until he comes to a graffiti-like painting of a cartoon dog on a sidewalk. “‘No. Don’t like the dog,’” he said, moving along quickly to more landscapes. The doodle-like portraits and grimacing dogs that have come to populate Willard’s work in the past year sprang from him playing around with an iPad drawing program that allows the user to draw over other pictures. Willard embellished famous faces of Picasso, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and others and then eliminated the underlying original image, leaving only his marks. The results made him happy. “It was like, ‘Whoa, where did that come from?’” he said. So he went on to try drawing things with his left hand (he’s right-handed), which gave the drawings a wobbling, earnest look that he has translated into large-scale portraits of people that distill personality down to the tilt of a head or the placement of the figure in the frame. “The eyes are the same, the button on the clothing is the same, but the geometry and background changes,” he said. He did about 10 of the portraits and was surprised to

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Peter Willard... Continued from Page 13

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find that they were selling. The dogs started out as doodled animals of some kind, inspired by the works of outsider artist Basquiat that were exhibited at the Brandywine River Museum of Art. The dogs have similar angry-anxious expressions as they stride along city streets. They are the sort of ultra-hip urban images that would look at home in a SoHo gallery. But they don’t look like they come from the same mind as Willard’s moody landscapes. He delights in tweaking people’s expectations. In two framed works in his studio, the dogs strut incongruously in front of placid green hillsides, slamming two distinct styles together with a wink and a smile. “It’s like this wild red dog wandered into somebody’s landscape,” he said. “I really don’t worry about sales. I think this all fits together, even though it’s different.” Just as three deaths and a flood have turned Continued on Page 16

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Peter Willard... Continued from Page 14

Willard’s career at crucial times, a serious bike accident this summer also altered his path. An avid cyclist, he was riding near Longwood Gardens on July 1 when a car struck him from behind, breaking his back and putting him in a back brace. After months of physical therapy and exercise, in late October, he got back on a bike for the first time. The potentially fatal collision has only deepened his resolve to pursue art. “It made me rethink some things,” he said. “I tell people I’m in the third year of a two-year art sabbatical. This past year, I’ve had more sales and shows than I’ve ever had. It’s like, ‘Wow, I guess this art thing is for real.’” Willard and his wife Sherry have a home near the Mendenhall Inn in Chadds Ford, but he now considers himself a Kennett Square artist. Given the way his adult life began with banking and now revolves around “playing with paint,” as he called it, Willard admitted that, “I’m basically a numbers person, but I paint, too. I’m right in the


Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

Photo by John Chambless

A shelf in Willard’s studio is stacked full of unframed watercolor landscapes.

middle. And I’m thinking about the two blank canvases I have right here in the studio,” he said, glancing over at the shelves. “I’m thinking, ‘OK, can I do those now?’ Who knows what’s coming after this?” For more information, visit www.troverninestudio.tumblr. com. To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email jchambless@ chestercounty.com.

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————|Kennett Square Recreation|————

Uniting scenic Chester County

Kennett nett Trails Alliance and conservation groups grou are building a trail system for everyone to use

Photo by Alessandra Nicole

Mike Bontrager and his daughter, Stephanie Almanza, at the beginning of the Parish Trail in Kennett Square.

By John Chambless Staff Writer


n 2009, Mike Bontrager and his daughter, Stephanie Almanza, were training for a marathon and ran 15 miles in Chicago, using a well-marked series of trails. “When we came back to southern Chester County


Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

the next weekend to do a 19-mile run, we almost got killed several times on the road,” Bontrager said, laughing. “It made me wonder. We have such beautiful places here, so why is there no place for people to get off the road and see these beautiful places? This is arguably one of the most beautiful places in the Continued on Page 20


www.kennettsquaretoday.com | Winter 2015 | Kennett Square Today


Kennett Trails Alliance... Continued from Page 18

country, and yet it’s really hard to get out and enjoy it.” It was that simple idea that has led to the rapidly growing Kennett Greenway, a series of trails linking established nature preserves and parks in the region. The ultimate goal is a 10-mile connected loop around Kennett Square and through Kennett Township that will eventually allow local residents easy access to a safe place to walk or run -- anywhere from Anson B. Nixon Park in the north to the Auburn Valley State Park at the Delaware state line. Like any great idea, the Kennett Greenway started with some basic questions: “Who’s involved in trails in our area?” Bontrager said. “Is it even possible to connect all these greenways? And can we get started on any real trails?” To start the legwork, Stephanie Almanza -- who was then a college student -- took the project on as an internship in the summer of 2010. “At the time, I was in school in Washington, D.C., and there were so many safe places to run in the city -- the National Mall, along the Potomac, Rock Creek Park,” Almanza said. “But when we’d run together back in Kennett, it was always, ‘Move over to the side of the road, because if a car comes along, we’re in trouble.’ “I started talking to people,” Almanza said. “I’d go on the computer Continued on Page 24


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Photo by Alessandra Nicole

The historical marker placed at the Chandler Mill Bridge, which will be added to the Kennett Greenway trail system.

Photo by Alessandra Nicole

The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County has marked the area of the Chandler Mill Bridge as a bird conservation area. At right, the pond at Anson B. Nixon Park, which will eventually be part of the Kennett Greenway.

Photo by Jie Lan

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Kennett Trails Alliance... Continued from Page 20

and gathered names, found out who was working on trails in Chester County. I talked to some urban planners, and everyone was working on their own ideas, but there was nothing to tie them together. Along the Brandywine you had the Struble Trail, Philadelphia had a lot of trails. Pocopson has a great trails network. But Kennett wasn’t doing anything. So we linked up with the Land Conservancy (TLC), and they have a couple of preserves that actually have some trails in them.” Bontrager added, “At that point, TLC wanted trails, but they didn’t have the resources. Their main thrust was open space and when we came in with the trails idea, they were like, ‘Oh, thank goodness.’ Right away, it was a great alliance.” Almanza said, “We presented to townships, we’d hold open meetings for people to come and give us their feedback. There was a community here that wanted this.” After the early research and discussions, the Kennett Trails Alliance was formed as a way to unite all the conservation and recreation groups. Today, the Kennett Greenway initiative involves the Kennett Trails and Sidewalks Committee, Kennett Township, Kennett Borough, the Land Conservation Advisory Committee Continued on Page 26


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Photo by Jie Lan

A wooded area in Anson B. Nixon Park.

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Kennett Trails Alliance... Continued from Page 24

and the Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County. The array of groups and advocates can be confusing, Bontrager admitted. Adding to the public-relations job is the fact that plenty of people don’t realize that some of these natural assets, such as the Stateline Woods Preserve or the Bucktoe Creek Preserve, even exist. “What we currently need is to build buzz and public support, more than money,” Bontrager said. “We’re always interested in funding, but there is grant money available for well-thoughtthrough plans to connect communities to nature.” In the past year, Kennett Township officials have been very encouraging, he said, as have local conservation groups who see trails as an ideal way to connect residents with beautiful places that have been preserved for their use, but have remained isolated until now. “The current supervisors have clearly made this a priority,” Bontrager said. “They realize that if you have to cut through red tape or if you keep kicking it back to committee, it will just never happen. They are a big reason why this is moving so well.” The result is the Parish Trail, a well-marked and scenic woodland trail. Walking with his daughter on the Parish Trail near the Pennock Ball Park in Kennett Square, Bontrager smiled and greeted Continued on Page 28


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Photo by Jie Lan

The pond at Anson B. Nixon Park.

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Kennett Trails Alliance... Continued from Page 26

two people who passed him on the wooded pathway on a weekday afternoon. The trail, which was dedicated in 2012, was the culmination of a lot of work by contractors, Boy Scouts, church groups and local residents who cleared a pathway through woods and laid down a trail that, at one point, meanders along a small stream. “This is a great example of the borough, which owns the land, being really supportive,” Bontrager said. “The easement here is held by the Land Conservancy, the land is owned by the borough, it’s in the township, and the Kennett Trails Alliance was the backbone to pull it all together. The trail currently extends down to Hillendale Road and then connects to Chandler Mill Road. We hope to eventually link this with the Chandler Mill Bridge,” Bontrager said, referring to the bridge that was recently acquired by the Land Conservancy. “It’s about connecting community assets.” The Kennett Trails Alliance is mostly run by Tom Janton now, with Stephanie McClure doing the marketing legwork. Bontrager is proud to have kicked off the idea, but he sees the project as too big to handle by himself at this point. Janton commented that, “The success of any longterm project like this depends on the collaboration of these key groups involved. No one group can do it alone. Collectively, we now have the necessary resources to make this vision a reality and connect our community to its natural beauty.” “Everybody loves trails, as long as they do not get too close to their property,” Bontrager said, conceding that some homeowners associations have been cautious about connecting sidewalks or trails to the Kennett Greenway. “A lot of the developments do have open space allocated to them,” he said, “and most HOAs want access. Most of them say, ‘If I can jump from my house to the trail, that’s a huge benefit.’ Our discussions with them have been, ‘How can we help you get this done?’” “The research does show that if anything, trails bring more awareness and community safety than they do danger,” Almanza said. “There is plenty of evidence that where there are public trails that are well maintained, that they do create more safety.” “The lands that we are going through are eased with the land owner’s permission,” Bontrager said. “There is no eminent domain. We’re not taking anybody’s property.” “We’ve had a lot of interest from people who’ve said, ‘How can I get involved?’” Almanza said. “We’re trying to find a way to best mobilize that.” 28

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Photo by Jie Lan

A trail circling the pond at Anson B. Nixon Park will be part of 10-mile trail system.

When asked about a time frame for completion, Bontrager laughed and said that the Kennett Trails Alliance initially estimated a decade to get the trail loop up and working, but that time frame is only to indicate that it will take patience and perseverance. “The goal is to have as many residences as possible have access to this,” he said. “We think we’re going to be able to deliver real, usable trails in the near term. But nothing happens quickly that lasts. We’re willing to stick this out and are in this for the long haul. We have a unique opportunity in time for Kennett to gain this tremendous asset or it will never happen.” For more information and updates, visit www.ksqtrails. com. To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email jchambless@chestercounty.com. www.kennettsquaretoday.com | Winter 2015 | Kennett Square Today


—————|Kennett Square Q&A|—————


Deb Schmittle, recruitment chairperson for Family Promise of Southern Chester County


Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

Deb Schmittle

November 1 marked the “opening day” for Family Promise of Southern Chester County—the first day, after nearly two years of planning, that the organization’s staff and volunteers, as well as church supporters throughout the area, would be mobilized to help families who are impacted by homelessness. Kennett Square Today reached out to Deb Schmittle, the recruitment chairperson for Family Promise of Southern Chester County, to talk about the efforts to launch this initiative to meet a community need, the support that civic organizations, businesses, and individuals have already given to the program, and the mission to help families in need transition to sustainable jobs and housing.

Courtesy photo

Board members, volunteers, and supporters from area churches at Family Promise of Southern Chester County’s signing event this past July, when local churches signed on to officially serve as host or support churches.

Q: Can you tell us about the effort during the last 18 months to get Family Promise of Southern Chester County launched? A: The efforts started when the current board members were part of a task force led by Melanie Weiler and Kate Uhler of Kennett Area Community Services, Carrie Freeman of United Way, Decades to Doorways and Oxford Neighborhood Services. We and others involved listened to the plight of families in Southern Chester County and the dramatic increase of homelessness here in the past three years. There are no family shelters in Southern Chester County. The Task force looked at a shelter model in Maryland and researched shelter models online. When we came across the Interfaith Hospitality Network and Family Promise, we felt that is would be a great model for our area. We visited the Family Promise Affiliate in Northern New Castle County, Delaware to see the model in action. We were impressed with the organization and how the churches involved felt that it was a wonderful way to do mission work right inside the walls of their own church. The volunteers felt that being involved has strengthened their community. We had a number of community meetings to educate the public and the area churches. Claas Ehlers from Family Promise National was invited to speak to us about the process for becoming a Family Promise Affiliate and we ran with it. This group in turn had more community meetings to see if the support existed in the community, Continued on Page 32 www.kennettsquaretoday.com | Winter 2015 | Kennett Square Today


Family Promise... Continued from Page 31

especially the churches. I am the recruitment chairperson for Family Promise of Southern Chester County and I started the process of recruitment with a team of many people that included board vice president Pastor Annalie Korengel of Unionville Presbyterian and Pastor Mark Terry of Oxford United Methodist Church. The recruitment team started by calling on all the churches in the area and asking to sit down with them so we could tell the story of families in our area and Family Promise. The host churches will house three or four families in the evenings for one week four times per year. The first church to become a host church here was Unionville Presbyterian. We now have 11 host churches and 15 support churches. We are still talking to both potential host and support churches at this time. We plan to have at least 13 host churches by the end of fall, and as many support churches as are willing. The Day Center team led by John Kriza secured the house that we now call our Day Resource Center. It is the former convent of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church in West Grove. We


Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

are very grateful to them for their generosity. It is here that the families will work with our executive director, Susan Minarchi, and our case manager, Rosa Quintana. They will receive whatever help they need—case management, credit counseling, life skills, parenting classes, nutrition and computer skills classes. This is also where children not yet school age will be with a parent during the day. The end game is to help these families transition to sustainable jobs and housing. John Kriza led the renovation process at the Resource Center, working with various civic organizations in the area, including the four southern Chester County Rotary Clubs, the Knights of Columbus and church members from various churches. Tri-M donated electrical help, Bill Simeral and Scott Zachary Plumbing donated their plumbing service, Lowe’s of Avondale discounted the purchase of washers and dryers, and Brandywine Valley Heating and Airconditioning donated a new furnace. We were also given an anonymous donation of money to be used to purchase a 14-passenger van. With the help of Sachs Auto Sales in

Oxford and Stoner- Wade Ford Inc. in Quaryville, we are now the proud owners of a beautiful, almost new, van. Bill Carl our board treasurer, Kevin McLean one of our board members along with our board president, Dave Haradon, have been working hard raising funds and securing all the things we need for Family Promise to be successful. We have had many generous donations of funds, and many helping hands to get everything ready. United Way of Southern Chester County is helping with our funding for the first few years. Board member Ann-Louise Jeffery has done a great job of setting up our Facebook page, our website, and getting the word out in the community about Family Promise. She is also our talented photographer. She has been a big help with fundraising by engaging area churches in the Lenten “Give, Serve, Restore” program of the Constellation Network, where over $38,000 was raised. We just held an Open House of our Day Resource Center in West Grove where over 200 people attended. It was an exciting and humbling evening where you could Continued on Page 34

Courtesy photo

Family Promise of Southern Chester County’s Day Resource Center is located in West Grove.

www.kennettsquaretoday.com | Winter 2015 | Kennett Square Today


Family Promise... Continued from Page 33

feel the excitement of the community. We are so grateful to all the people that are making this a reality here in Southern Chester County. Nov. 1st is our opening day and the church communities are gearing up and getting ready to serve the families. Q: Can you explain the need for Family Promise of Southern Chester for families in this area? A: In the 2013 -2014 school year, 494 students were impacted by homelessness in the Southern ChesterSchool Districts. Over the past year, Kennett Consolidated School District has seen an increase in the number of students impacted by homelessness of 77 percent, Avon Grove has seen an increase of 82 percent and Oxford has had an increase of 89 percent. There are no family shelters in Southern Chester County. Some families have to be split up to go to a men’s shelter or a women’s shelter, and the children have to be split between the parents. And that is if there is any room in the few shelters that exist. Our local agencies are swamped with families who need a place to go. Some are put up temporarily in motels and others sleep in their cars, couch surf, or stay with friends until they have overstayed their welcome. Family Promise’s mission is to help low-income families nationwide to achieve lasting independence, and address the underlying causes of poverty and homeless-


Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

DISCOUNT PICTURE ness. Family Promise keeps the families intact, allows the children to continue to attend their own schools, and gives the parents the tools for a successful future. Family Promise has been doing this successfully for over 25 years. There are over 188 affiliates in 41 states, with 160,000 volunteers and 6,000 congregations supporting 54,000 family members in 2013. There are 14 affiliates in Pennsylvania. Q: What about being involved with Family Promise of Southern Chester County gives you the greatest satisfaction? A: Working with all the churches and church members who are so excited and so willing to reach out to the families and make a difference in their lives. It is in serving others that we are all changed. It is my hope that this collaboration of churches and community members will spark other ideas and opportunities that will make our towns stronger. Q: What is the biggest challenge that Family Promise of Southern Chester County faces? A: If I were to guess, I would say that a future challenge for Family Promise in southern Chester County will be finding affordable housing as families exit the program. With that said, the number of people involved from the local churches allows us to create informal relationships that may be a great source for leads to affordable housing. Q: How could someone lend support to Family Promise of Southern Chester County, or help the local families who are in need? A: You can contact our Day Resource Center at 610345-1100 or via e-mail at info@familypromisescc.org or contact our director Sue Minarchi at sminarchi@familypromisescc.org. Q: What is your favorite spot in Kennett Square? A: Kennett Area YMCA Q: What three dinner guests, living or dead, would you invite to dine with you? A: Jon Stewart, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Oprah Winfrey. Q: What food is always in your refrigerator? A: Cheese



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Wardius Dental

provides health-centered dentistry for your entire family


hen patients seek dental care at Wardius Dental’s two state-of-the-art locations, they will be treated like family. Dr. Jay Wardius and his sister Dr. Patricia Wardius insist on it. “Our commitment to patients is to provide the highest quality dental care with compassion and integrity in a comfortable safe environment,” explained the doctors. “Making a patient smile is almost as important to us as improving one’s smile.” Wardius Dental provides general, cosmetic, and comprehensive dental care at both its convenient locations in Upper Chichester and Jennersville. Services offered range from complex implant full mouth reconstruction to six-month recare (cleaning) appointments, and adults and children are welcome. We perform a comprehensive exam on every

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the care they receive not only by the doctor, but the entire staff,” Wardius said. We are able to provide quality services to our patients because of our dedicated, caring team members. Wardius Dental utilizes state-of-the-art equipment to provide patients with the latest cosmetic and restorative options available. Digital radiography is just one example. Radiation is reduced to the patient by up to ninety percent, and the x-ray is much more diagnostic allowing the doctors to detect cavities early. This allows the doctors to treat patients more conservatively. Future invasive and costly procedures are avoided by early diagnosis. Most major insurance plans are accepted at Wardius Dental. However, if you don’t have insurance, ask about the in-house insurance options. Office hours at Jennersville are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hours for Upper Chichester are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. To learn more about Wardius Dental, or to schedule an appointment, visit www. wardiusdental.com or call 610-869-2040 or 610-494-3166.


patient to evaluate problems not just with the teeth and gums, but also with the bite. Each patient presents us with unique circumstances and gets a care plan to address his or her unique dental needs. We ensure your dental care is all about your happiness, your comfort, and your health. As health care professionals, we provide our patients with the most current services and techniques available to produce the best results. We are always taking continuing education courses to stay up to date on the latest procedures. Wardius opened his first dental office on Naamans Creek Road in Upper Chichester in 1991, and the second location in Building II on the Jennersville Regional Hospital campus in Jennersville in 2000. Dr. Patricia Wardius joined her brother in 2004, after a career as a physical therapist. Their older brother, Robert Wardius, who has his own successful dental practices, preceded them both in the profession. At Wardius Dental, the entire staff takes a great deal of pride in treating patients like they are extended members of the Wardius family. Post-care surveys show they are successful in leaving positive impressions on those they treat. “ Our patients tell us how satisfied they are with

“Making a patient smile is almost as important to us as improving one’s smile.

—————|Kennett Square History-|—————

Screen shot of Union Street from 1940 Kennett Square Homecoming movie.


Kennett Trivia By Carla Lucas


f you are from Kennett Square, you can probably answer a few easy trivia questions about Kennett Square. The newly painted water tower proclaims for all to see that Kennett Square is the Mushroom Capital of the World! You probably already know Kennett Township was named after Kennett Village in Wiltshire, England. It was one of the tracts divided from the Stenning Manor land grant William Penn gave to his daughter, Latitia. But did you know that the first recorded use of Kennett Township as the official name was in court documents in 1705? You may also know Kennett Square grew from a small village at the intersection of Lancaster Road (kind-of Route 82 now) and Nottingham Road (now kind-of State Street/Old Baltimore Pike) and Kennett Square Borough was established in 1855. But did you know it is a square, just a little over one mile per side? Or that the first recorded reference to Kennett Square was in an application for a public house of entertainment in 1765?


Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

Courtesy photo)

The welcome sign for Kennett, Missouri proudly touts it is the “Home of Sheryl Crow.”

Kennett trivia reaches far and wide. Did you know there’s a Kennett in Missouri, a color called Kennett Square, Pa., a flatware pattern named Kennett Square and a one-hour movie called “1940 Kennett Square Homecoming”? Details, for the next time you are confronted with Kennett trivia questions, follow. Kennett, Missouri Kennett, Missouri is located in the boot heel, or southeast corner of Missouri. Originally called Butler,

Courtesy photo)

Design Design, of Kennett Square, shares their interpretation of the color Kennett Square, Pa.

the name was changed in the late 1840s because too many other areas were called Butler, and there were postal delivery problems. It was renamed to honor the mayor of St. Louis at that time, Luther M. Kennett. Kennett, Missouri’s 2010 Census population was 10,932. Kennett, Missouri is the home of Sheryl Crow. The town is in an agricultural area that is known for producing watermelons, soybeans, rice and cotton. Continued on Page 44


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Courtesy photo

Close-up of Oneida’s Kennett Square flatware pattern.

Continued from Page 43

The color: Kennett Square, Pa. In 1985, the Color Marketing Group announced that a mid-tone gray with a suede look on the mocha side was one of the trending colors for the year. It was called “Kennett Square, Pa.” Created by Glidden Paints, the woman who named the color said a friend, who lived in Kennett Square, would send her fresh mushrooms. She didn’t want to name the color mushroom – the obvious choice –so instead she named it after the Mushroom Capital of the World.

company mergers, lost files, and the length of time the pattern has been discontinued, there is no record of how or why it was named Kennett Square. Today, pieces of Kennett Square flatware are available on eBay, and through various websites. For the right price, you can even get pieces from the pattern re-manufactured. Oneida is now a division of Everyware Global, Inc., along with Anchor, Buffalo, Delco, and Fire-King

The Flatware: Kennett Square In 1971 Oneida Co., released the Kennett Square stainless flatware pattern. It was manufactured in everything from various sizes of spoons, forks, and knives to specialty pieces such as oyster forks, olive spoons and ice tongs. The pattern was discontinued in 1985. Oneida’s customer service department says the pattern is still requested frequently, but no longer produced by them. The story of why this particular pattern was named Kennett Square is no longer available. With various

The Movie: 1940 Kennett Square Homecoming The Kennett Square Historical Commission recently posted a link to a YouTube movie on its website-- kennettsquarehistory.org. The movie is a glimpse into what Kennett Square was like in 1940. It was a time when The Garage, was a garage, when there was an operating dairy and a pork-packaging facility nearby, and the Kennett Quality Food Store was in town. The hour-long movie was produced as part of a large Kennett High School homecoming celebration that year.


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Middletown Life Magazine April 13, 2016 • September 14, 2016 www.middletownlifemagazine.com Landenberg Today Magazine April 27, 2016 • September 28, 2016 www.landenbergtoday.com Newark Life Magazine May 11, 2016 • October 12, 2016 www.newarklifemagazine.com West Chester & Chadds Ford Life Magazine May 25, 2016 • October 26, 2016 www.westchesterlifemagazine.com

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————|Kennett Square Business|————

Nicholas Anthony Salon and Day Spa

The healing power of human touch 54

Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

By Steven Hoffman Staff Writer


f you haven’t had a spa treatment at Nicholas Anthony Salon and Day Spa, you will want to experience it firsthand yourself! And once you do.. you will want to share the experience with your friends and family. Anthony DiFrancesco, owner of the salon and day spa located in the Willowdale Town Center in Kennett Square, has hand-selected an experienced team of spa therapists to work in tandem with his talented salon staff—a staff that has a well-earned reputation as a leader in the fashion forward industry. By doing so, DiFrancesco has formed a complete salon and spa team that meets the client’s beauty, and now wellness,

needs from head to toe and beyond to include the human energy field. “Our goal, explained DiFrancesco, is to provide the most caring and accomplished team of professionals in the beauty industry. Our philosophy is to truly listen to our clients needs, earn their trust and to provide a relaxing experience while enhancing the individual beauty of each and every client.” DiFrancesco’s spa team includes a massage therapist and three estheticians. Nicole Cutrona has been a key member of the team for Continued on Page 56


The comfortable day spa area.



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Coordinating and Managing Moves Since 1984! If you’re planning a local or long distance move, across town or across the country, then do what smart senior citizens and other residents have done for years and call TLC Moving Services, LLC at 610-268-3243. These professionals will pack your items with the utmost care, arrange to have them moved by a reliable moving company, then unpack them and place them in your new home where you desire. If you are downsizing, they can help you arrange a sale of your goods or assist you in donating to the charity of your choice. Once out of your old home, they can clean-up and make repairs so the house is ready for the new owners, or to be put on the market. If moving is in your plans, then your first move is to call TLC Moving Services, LLC. Put these professionals to work for you and call Caen Stroud at 610-268-3243.


www.tlcmovingservicesllc.com www.kennettsquaretoday.com | Winter 2015 | Kennett Square Today


Nicholas Anthony... Continued from Page 55

13 years and has a strong following of loyal clients. Nicole specializes in speed waxing and is a Dermalogica Expert in facials and body treatments. She enjoys the relationship she has with her clients and states that these relationships deepened over the years as she shares in their joys and sorrows. “It’s all in the little extras and the special care we provide here at Nicholas Anthony that our clients appreciate and has earned us their trust and patronage,” she explained. Nicole also said, “It’s our goal to go above and beyond. We provide state-of-the-art treatments and products, but we are different because we know the value Continued on Page 58

Miss Parker, Becki Cunane, Kathleen McCummings and Nicole Cutrona.

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Nicholas Anthony... Continued from Page 56

For that moment when time stands still

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of touch. Many spas are using equipment to provide such services, but we feel we can provide the same benefits and excellent results on a more personal level using the healing power of touch.” Miss Parker has been a massage therapist for over six years and states “I was born for this work, and I knew it when I was just 7 years old!” Parker’s enthusiasm shows in her appreciation of working for DiFrancesco and the team he has created. “I am so thankful to work in a team where the emphasis is placed on the healing powers of human touch and the care we take with our clientele,” she said. “We work well together because we all care about the well-being of our clients and the staff as a whole.” Miss Parker specializes in sports massage, therapeutic massage and aromatherapy. “It’s through our desire and pure intention and the clients’ desire to heal that the best results can be realized,” she said. “Most of our clients work hard at being healthy, eating right, exercising and detoxifying their bodies, we assist by the natural healing treatments we offer here.” Becki Cunane came on board as an esthetician earlier this year. Becki went through five interviews before landing the job of her dreams. “I knew working here was worth the intense process and I am honored to be part of the team,” stated Becki. She enjoys designing the perfect brow and doing corrective and rejuvenating facials. “It’s wonderful to be part of a team that truly cares about each other and our clients,” she added. “Working for Anthony is easy. He is eager to hear our ideas and is very involved with the staff. I am thankful to be working within a team that likes to share and encourages one another to be the best they can be.” Kathleen McCummings may be the newest member to the spa team, but she comes with over 23 years experience. Kathleen recently relocated back to Chester County and knew she wanted to work at Nicholas Anthony Salon and Day Spa. “I’ve know Anthony since we were in our 20’s having been a model and make-up artist for many hair shows then,” she explained. “Anthony is an amazing leader! He is extremely creative in his craft, and he has a good head for business. It’s rare that a person has both the creative edge and the business sense, but Anthony has both.” Kathleen’s esthetic career began in Seattle, Washington, where she was a resident for 25 years. In 1991, Gene Continued on Page 60


Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

Nicholas Anthony... Continued from Page 58

Juarez Salons & Spas, one of the largest salon and spa corporations in the nation hired Kathleen as a make-up artist. Within one year, Kathleen was promoted to Esthetic Educator and lastly Director of Esthetics, where she hired and trained over 70 estheticians into the company. In 2003, Kathleen opened her own business, Sacred Source Healing Arts, which was selected as “Seattle’s Best Local Business” in the Healing Arts category. McCummings specializes in holistic skin care and vibrational healing therapies. Vibrational therapy or energy work is performed by a certified therapist to work with the subtle energy field which surrounds and permeates the physical body. This type of therapy aligns the chakras, clears the meridians and restores the body back into balance to facilitate it’s own innate healing capabilities. Kathleen integrates energy work into her skin care treatments or it can be a stand alone service as well. Kathleen is a master esthetician, esthetic instructor and is certified in Reconnective Healing, Pranic Healing, Pranic Crystal Healing and Facial Reflexology. “We are excited to begin offering healing and vibrational/energy treatments here at Nicholas Anthony’s,” stated DiFrancesco. “The new services will be added to our spa menu in the coming new year. “We are currently looking for the perfect organic skin care line to accompany the integrated services that Kathleen is certified in.” DiFrancesco added, “We also plan to host some fun and creative events in the near future, like client appreciation night and happy hour spa events. Our goal is to continue providing excellent service and to keep growing and expanding our knowledge, services and standing in the community.”

Nicholas Anthony Salon and Day Spa 696 Unionville Road Kennett Square 610-444-7222

www.nicholasanthonysalon.com Hours of Operation: Monday 9 to 3 Tuesday -Thursday 8:30 to 8:30 Friday 9 to 5 Saturday 9 to 3


Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

Shop Schoolhouse Crossing

www.kennettsquaretoday.com | Winter 2015 | Kennett Square Today


—————|Around Kennett Square|—————

Kendal residents pen book about life at a continuing care retirement community By Steven Hoffman ff Staff Writer


ne evening last year, Peggy and Allan Brick were enjoying g a pleasant conversation over dinner with Bob and Betty Warner. The conversation turned to how moving into Kendal at Longwood, a Continuing uing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) near Longwood Gardens, had been a wise choice for both couples. “We were sharing stories of aging friends who, in spite of their unpredictable futures, seemed not to understand the independence dence and security they could have living in a Continuing Care Retirement ment Community,” Peggy Brick wrote in the introduction to “Experiences: nces: Life in a Continuing Care Retirement Community.” The idea for the book grew out of that conversation between the he Bricks and the Warners. They realized that there wasn’t a book ok that would tell senior citizens about the benefits of a continuing g care retirement community like Kendal. Forty years ago, a group

Courtesy photos

Above: A large book-signing event was held in August for the 45 residents who wrote stories that were included in the book. Right: Residents learn about some of the offerings at Kendal at Longwood.


Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

ok ng ity

of Quakers recognized the need for a new way of living as people age. They envisioned a community where people could first live independently in cottages, but then transition into an assisted-living facility where they could receive the care that they needed on the same campus. Kendal at Longwood is the result of that vision. The Bricks knew that the best people to tell the story were the Kendal residents themselves, so they sent out a request for stories. Those stories, which offer personal glimpses into daily life at Kendal, were collected in a 168-page book of 54 different stories penned by 45 residents of Kendal at Longwood. “They describe the safety, predictability and joy of living with others in a community that guarantees care throughout life,” explained Peggy, a 12-year resident of the community, who co-edited the book with her husband, Allan. The book is comprised of stories, essays, and poetry that, when taken together, reveal how life at Kendal allows the residents’ golden years to be truly golden. Bill Van Wie and his wife, Gail, who moved from upstate New York into Kendal five years ago, wrote about hosting their grandchildren at Kendal, and seeing the kids meet their friends, enjoy the library, the indoor pool, indoor games, and the campus of Kendal. The children had so much fun that they never even made it to local attractions, as they had planned. Their fourteen-year-old grandson concluded his visit by saying, “Grandpa, I won’t mind getting old.” At Kendal, it’s common for residents to say that they don’t mind getting old because they enjoy the camaraderie and activities at Kendal so much. “We moved here and our social interaction went through the roof. It was like a freshman year in college,” explained Van Wie. The book is divided into six sections: “Why Kendal?”; “From Past to Present”; “Our Outdoors”; “Favorite Places”; Creative Lives”; “It Happened Right Here!”; and “Our Caring Community.” Each section illustrates a different facet of daily life at Kendal. The book has many highlights, like Marilyn Van Savage’s thought-provoking essay on growing old titled “It Takes a Lot of Courage.” She wrote

Courtesy photo

There are dozens of different activities that the residents organize themselves. Here, Kendal singers are preparing for a performance.

Courtesy photo

Many residents enjoy hiking opportunities on the large campus with miles of trails.

Continued on Page 64 www.kennettsquaretoday.com | Winter 2015 | Kennett Square Today


Kendal... Continued from Page 63

about how living at Kendal affects her attitude in a positive way: “The beauty of this place takes my breath away and makes me realize something: this is one of the happiest times of my life.” Lark Worth, who helped form ACT in Faith of Greater West Chester to help residents who were struggling after the Great Recession, wrote about how she and her husband, Fernando, reached the decision to move to Kendal. Worth was very pleased that she was able to have raised beds in the community garden at Kendal, and many of the gardeners donate food to ACT in Faith. Bob and Betty Warner wrote about how delighted they were that Kendal had a chorus, just one of the many ways that people feel a sense of belonging. In the essay, “Kendal’s Animal Kingdom,” Gabrielle Griswold wrote about the animals that abound at Kendal. There are many dogs


Courtesy photos

Pottery is just one of the activities that can be enjoyed at Kendal.

and cats, of course, but residents can also see deer, foxes, and rabbits on the grounds. In Kendal’s accredited arboretum, Griswold wrote, “Our gorgeous trees are home to numerous wild birds: colorful cardinals, bluebirds, goldfinches, hummingbirds, and so many others…” Annie Hazard wrote about The Gateway Shop, one of her favorite spots at Kendal, and the work that she does there.

Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

In an essay titled “The Weaving Room,” Gabrielle Kimmel wrote about learning how to weave at Kendal, and the important role that the other residents played in the experience. She concluded her essay by writing: “So here is the question: Will I ever turn out a unique and beautiful tapestry? I hope so. I hope to be weaving for many years. But, pondering the word “tapestry,” I am struck by the comparison with the people at Kendal. What a beautiful, diverse, funny, hope-filled, generous-minded and interesting group of people are surrounding me in this adventure of living at Kendal. Even if I never produce that piece of fabric, the tapestry is here all around me.” Peggy said that she sees the book as a thoughtful response to the national trend of having geriatric professionals advocate that seniors should age in place—to remain in their homes and in their own community for as long as they can. Peggy said that it’s important that people be armed with all the facts about continuing care retirement communities, and the benefits that they can offer instead of working under the assumption that it’s always better to age in place. “There is so much that I want to share and so much that people need to know,” Peggy explained. “Fundamental to the decision to age in a new place by moving to a continuing care community is the acknowledgment that as one grows older we are likely to experience declining capabilities. Both

Residents explore the arts.

Courtesy photo

staff and fellow residents honor the worth of each individual here throughout that journey. This means that residents living in the Health Center are not segregated but, in so far as possible, are integrated into the community for meals, events and creative activities with those living independently.” Continued on Page 66

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Kendal... Continued from Page 65

Kendal is populated by a diverse group of people, including many retired teachers, doctors, lawyers, professors, or other professionals. There are a total of about 400 residents at Kendal: 300 in the independent living cottages, 50 in personal care, and 50 more in skilled nursing. The Van Wies made numerous visits to Kendal before they made the decision that this was where they wanted to live. “Kendal was held up to us as the one with no boundaries between independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing,” Van Wie explained. That is an important consideration for many couples who will have different health care needs as they age. “Here,” said Van Wie, “if one of us needs more care, we can get it right here.” Residents say that the Kendal community is one large family, and the people who are independent work frequently to help those residents who need some assistance. “The people in all three areas share facilities, and many Continued on Page 68


Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

Courtesy photos

There are many different activities for residents.

Kendal... Continued from Page 66

residents in independent living assist with programs in the assisted living and skilled nursing areas,” explained Van Wie. The staff plays an important part in the residents’ overall satisfaction. Kendal residents said that the people who work there are like extended members of the family. The residents believe that the excellent care that they receive not only makes for a happier life, it also makes for a longer life. The opportunities to remain active are very important to the residents. Kendal residents can enjoy pottery, woodworking, writing classes, and activities in the fitness and aquatic centers. There are no fewer than 100 different committees that residents can join to organize their activities. “We do not depend on staff for our activities,” Peggy explained. “We have more than 100 committees and we do it

Courtesy photo

Residents enjoy outdoor activities.

all ourselves. We decide. The key is that there is a role for everybody. Everybody contributes in some way.” Joan Stemmler and her husband, Edward, were introduced to the Kendal community when they would visit their close friends, Ed and Continued on Page 70

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Kendal... Continued from Page 68

Libby Rose. What they saw during the visits convinced the Stemmlers that this was the place for them when they wanted to move into a continuing care retirement community. The Stemmlers moved to Kendal in 2013. Joan Stemmler said that when she moved in, she knew that she wanted to join a trail group that helps the staff maintain the seven miles of wood trails, clearing downed trees and keeping the trails free of encroaching vegetation. A trail team member also leads weekly walks through the woods or on the campus, rain or shine. “In time,” Stemmler wrote in her “The Thrill of the Trail Team,” essay, “I began to meet the folks who turned out to be my naturalist teachers about these Pennsylvania woods…The pleasures of this extensive trail system, unique in a Continuing Care Retirement Community,


Sometimes, musicians perform in the dining hall.

Courtesy photo

are many. For the trail team, getting out in the woods with like-minded people and working in the open air is a joy and a rewarding way to contribute to our community.” Stemmler said that she was helped in writing her piece by a memoir

Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

writing class taught by Allan Brick. Brick’s classes are very popular among residents. Van Wie said that he majored in English and, after taking two of Allan Brick’s classes, he never had a professor who presented the material in as exciting a way. Kendal residents not only want others to know about the quality of life that can be enjoyed at a continuing care retirement community, they want other retirement communities to learn from the methods that are used by Kendal. “One of the things that we can do is model what is really important in caring for people,” Peggy said. While acknowledging that remaining in one’s home may be the only option open to many as they age, Peggy said, “The idea that independence is best preserved by ‘aging in place’ is a myth. The idealized old place will not remain the same: neighbors move away, friends die, grass grows and roofs leak. Inevitably, personal limitations, particularly the inability to drive, leave the older person increasingly isolated and dependent on others for the basics of life.” Peggy is glad that “Experiences: Life at a Continuing Care Retirement Community” shares the story about

Courtesy photo

Dozens of residents contributed to "Experiences: Life at a Continuing Care Retirement Community."

Kendal residents, and the experiences that they are having. There have already been conversations about compiling a second book. As Stemmler explained, “There’s so much more that needs to be told.” Proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the Kendal at Longwood Reserve Fund. The book can be purchased for $12 on the Kendal Outreach website at: http://tinyurl.com/plaxpd3. To contact Staff Writer Steven Hoffman, email editor@ chestercounty.com.

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————|Kennett Square Photo Essay|————


A glimpse of what it is happening in each of the schools in the Kennett Consolidated School District Photo Essay by Carla Lucas Each of the six schools works to prepare students to be responsible citizens and develop a lifelong desire to learn -- from their first year at Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center to the final year at Kennett High School.

Mary D. Lang Students in KCSD start their learning journey at Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center with a full-day program. According to principal April Reynolds, this is where the foundation for learning begins. It is about developing the “fire and desire” to learn.

The kindergartners voted between four characters for their mascot, and Langley the Lion won the vote. The school is creating a jungle mural on the entrance wall. Each lion represents one of the kindergarten classes, with the mane being made by each student’s handprint. Principal April Reynolds stands with Langley and a few of this year’s kindergartners by the mural.

In another classroom students practice the letter “T” in small sandboxes.

Above: In one class, students use sponges on chalkboards to explore the letter “T.” Right: A teacher works with a small group that is creating their own book to read. 72

Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

Kindergartners use computer programs to reinforce the day’s lessons.

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz Bancroft Learning happens everywhere at Bancroft, one of KCSD’s three elementary schools for students in grades one to five. A tour of the district’s newest school reveals a wide variety of strategies for helping each student reach their potential.

Second grade students follow the line of the tiles as they practice respectfully walking down the hallways while returning from their specials class (art, music, guidance, etc.).

In a language arts lesson, students “turn and talk” with a fellow student about a passage of the poem they just read. This technique gives all students a chance to respond to a teacher’s prompt.

Bancroft’s principal, Leah McComsey, stands with a few second graders by one of the signs posted around the school to reinforce the school’s expectations for each student: • Be respectful • Be responsible • Be safe • Be the best that you can be

During an afternoon recess, first-graders not only get a chance for some physical activity on the playground, but a chance to practice social skills with classmates.

Third graders work on reading skills in their STAR groups. STAR reading is a program in which small groups of students with similar abilities work together to build skills.

Students participate in small group math workshops to investigate and reinforce new skills. Continued on Page 74 www.kennettsquaretoday.com | Winter 2015 | Kennett Square Today


abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz Photo Essay...

Photo Essay by Carla Lucas

Continued from Page 73

Greenwood All of the elementary schools have a monthly Spirit Assembly. Greenwood Elementary’s October assembly is highlighted. It is the one time each month the entire school comes together to share an experience. Greenwood’s October Spirit Assembly included an awareness program on juvenile diabetes, and kicked off a fund-raising campaign for JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund).

Above: Principal Tracy Marino quickly quiets the students to begin the morning’s program. Right: Members of the fifth grade Ensemble accompany the assembly in singing the school song.

The gymnasium was filled with a sea of green shirts – green and white are Greenwood Elementary’s school colors -- for October’s Spirit Day. Hands are raised to show that students are quiet and ready to listen.

Kennett Township Police Chief Nolt waits with a fifth grade class to be introduced to the entire school. He was there to meet the students and let them know he will be visiting the school from time to time.

(Left) To encourage school spirit, one of Greenwood's teachers promises to wear the Eagle's tutu if the school raises $2,000 for JDRF. The students standing with him shared their story of living with diabetes at the assembly. Cutout sneakers, such as the one shown, will soon fill the walls of the gym as each person making a donation to JDRF will have a sneaker with their name on it placed on the wall. 74

Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

The students give Chief Nolt the thumbs-up for coming back to the school to play kickball with them.

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz New Garden Elementary School New Garden Elementary School principal Susan McArdle encourages not just the students, but teachers, parents, and everyone that plays a role in New Garden’s success to “Always be the best you cam be each and every day.” This is the goal at New Garden Elementary School as they work to support students. Buddy the Bulldog is the school’s mascot. He wears the school colors of blue and white.

A science experiment in second grade focuses on the concept of dissolving, with chalk being dissolved by vinegar.

First graders tell principal McArdle about the stories they wrote about what they like about fall, which included playing in leaves and drinking hot apple cider.

Above: In fifth grade, the teacher brainstorms with a group of students after assigning a project in social studies. Right: Colorful art projects hang on the wall from an after-school program, Art Club.

Fourth grade students study for a test with a game. One of the groups forms a question based on the topic of study. The group of students that answers the question correctly wins a point for their team. Continued on Page 76 www.kennettsquaretoday.com | Winter 2015 | Kennett Square Today


abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz Photo Essay...

Photo Essay by Carla Lucas

Continued from Page 75

Kennett Middle School After five years at one of KCSD’s three elementary schools, all students in the district come together at Kennett Middle School for the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. The school is filled with energy each day as students transition from single classrooms at the elementary level to the individual schedules of high school. Kennett PRIDE (Pride, Respect, Integrity, Dedication, and Excellence) is an initiative that begins at KMS and promotes the expectations desired for all students. KMS principal Lorenzo D’Angelis stands by one of the PRIDE posters with a few of the school’s sixth graders.

All students experience one semester of STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math), so they are exposed to hands-on science, and engineering projects in design, robotics and flight. Sixth grade students work with Auto Desk Inventor, a 3-D CAD program. One of the projects is to design something with Auto Desk and then “manufacture” it with the 3-D printer.

After school at KMS features the After-the-Bell program, where students can sign up for a variety of enrichment programs. On a weekly basis, about 280 students stay for one of the programs. 76

Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

In this seventh grade math class, the teacher integrates a Smart Board into her lesson for students to interact with as they discuss a new concept as a class.

The discussion in this eighth grade language arts class is about why people write. The teacher uses Twitter to help with the class discussion.

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz Kennett High School Students fill the halls of Kennett High School for their final four years in KCSD. The school offers a variety of choices as students choose their course work based on their interests and goals.

Students in a social studies class conduct independent research.

Students in a STEM class work with calipers to adjust a model. This elective track brings hands-on experiences in science and engineering to students who may be interested in pursuing science and engineering careers.

Students start to decorate a cake in a Pastry Arts elective. Students taking this course may be interested in a career in pastry arts, or just learning the skills as a future hobby.

KHS has a strong music program. It is big commitment for marching band students that goes beyond daily classes, since the band marches in parades and competitions, and plays at football games.

KHS is a school filled with tradition. Each day as students walk the halls, they pass the class photos and team photos from the school’s first year through to the present.

KHS students are a vital part of the community with their volunteer efforts. Most of these students are from KHS. They help make the annual Mushroom Festival run smoothly by pitching in to help where needed. www.kennettsquaretoday.com | Winter 2015 | Kennett Square Today


————|Kennett Square Athletics|———— After a stellar career at Oxford as a teacher, coach and athletic director, Sean Harvey now brings his ‘A’ game to Kennett High School, as its new athletic director

Different school colors, same approach By Richard L. Gaw Staff Writer


he thought of seeing Sean Harvey dressed in any other color but the rich maroon of the Oxford High School colors seemed unimaginable, so when he was spotted walking the home field sidelines at Kennett High School’s first home football game on Sept. 4 – wearing a navy blue shirt emblazoned with the letter ‘K’ – it looked like an optical illusion. Harvey was there, however, not to be the subject of illusion, but to further carry on the one mission that has guided him, ever since he first went into coaching at Oxford more than 17 years ago: to provide students with the fundamentals of how to succeed in life. In late August, after a stellar career at Oxford as a teacher, head basketball coach and former athletic director, Harvey was named as Kennett’s new athletic director, replacing Jeff Thomas, who became the school’s new assistant principal. Harvey’s arrival at Kennett was not a retread of the story told a million times, that of a burned-out coach looking for a new lease in life. Indeed, it was far from it; as late as this past summer, Harvey was about to embark on his 14th season as head basketball coach at Oxford later this fall, and despite a first-round loss in the PIAA District playoffs this past winter, he was excited to begin a new season. “But when I saw the position advertised at the and of July, I knew I had to go after it,” Harvey said. “Getting my principal certification was always a goal of mine, as was getting back into administration. As difficult as it was to leave my basketball players at Oxford, it had to be done, because the Kennett school district is phenomenal.” Harvey’s admiration for the Kennett community dates 78

Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

Photo by Richard L. Gaw

Former Oxford head basketball coach Sean Harvey was recently named the new athletic director at Kennett High School.

back, ironically, to basketball. More than a dozen years ago, as the Kennett basketball team was inching its way to an eventual state championship, Harvey, then a junior varsity coach at Oxford, was often in the stands, looking at the Xs and Os of how those Kennett teams became a success. “Following them around in the state playoffs, I began to enjoy the community support and enthusiasm the team received from everyone,” he said. “Getting to know teachers and coaches, they always said positive things about this district.” To Harvey, transferring to another district and returning

to athletic administration was a family decision. “My wife Nicole and I had been discussing me getting back to the administrative end of it, and I had her full support before I applied and made sure of that, because we’re a team,” said Harvey, 44, who also includes five-year-old son Chase and seven-year-old daughter Elizabeth as the other members of Team Harvey. For Thomas, Harvey was the perfect fit for the job. “From my experience, working with Sean for ten years when he was the AD at Oxford, he was organized, easy to work with, and knows about athletics and districts,” Thomas said. “He’s very familiar with the working of the job of an athletic director. He had all the intangibles to be the best person for the job.” To hear Harvey talk about the aspirations he is setting for his new role at Kennett -- divided into one-, three- and five-year goals -- is to hear the words “winning culture,” but not in terms of wins and championship banners to be hung in Kennett’s gymnasium. “I want the kids to have an unbelievable experience with their coaches, that doesn’t necessarily have to equate to wins and losses,” he said. “It’s so much more about competing, playing hard, and doing the right things on the field, in the classroom and the community.

I have always believed that the primary goal of any coach is to make his or her players better people.” Within three years, Harvey would like to pilot a leadership academy for Kennett student-athletes, to take place every summer. He sees the academy offering a full curriculum for the students that will not only take them to the weight room but to the classroom for courses on leadership, as well as creating opportunities for them to work as volunteers in the community – such as at senior centers and youth organizations. Within five years, he would like to share that program at high schools throughout Chester County. “We have a lot of sports captains, but we don’t know if they truly know how to lead,” he said. “Being good leaders requires reaching out, and not doing it alone but in partnership, because in order for something to work, it takes an entire village.” Harvey’s plans for the leadership academy fit the overall philosophy of the Kennett athletic program, Thomas said. “Sports allows young people to become lifelong learners, to learn how to deal with adversity in a team setting, to apply life lessons through athletics,” he said. “I believe Continued on Page 80

www.kennettsquaretoday.com | Winter 2015 | Kennett Square Today


Harvey... Continued from Page 79

Sean has that same goal as well. You talk to very successful people in life, and very often many of them will tell you that they learned about leadership and goal setting from being a member of an athletic team. Sean’s ideas will create opportunities for young people to realize that they can be leaders, not just on the field, but later in life.” On the afternoon of March 23, 2014, when Harvey faced his Oxford players moments after their ten-point loss to heavily-favored Philadelphia Roman Catholic in the first round of the PIAA Class AAAA playoffs, he knew that every athlete in that locker room had left everything they had on the court. More importantly, he knew that several had played their last game for him, and were about to embark on something larger than the often myopic breadth of a young athletic career. Overcome with emotion, he told his players that he loved them. Harvey’s connection to his players continues well beyond their playing days, and he keeps in close contact with several of them as they enter college or the working world.

“I don’t look at my former players from the standpoint of their playing careers,” he said. “I look at my former players in terms of who they are now.” One of his former players is now a 29-year-old man. Harvey had heard that the man was having difficulties, and that he had recently cut himself off from his friends. Harvey reached out to him. “He told me, ‘Coach, I’m embarrassed. I lost my job,’” Harvey said. “He told me, ‘I don’t want to see anyone or talk to anyone.’ I told him, ‘We’ll work on it. We’ll find a new job for you.’” The man eventually found a new job and the last time Harvey heard from him was to get the news that he had just received a job promotion. “I’m hoping that whatever sense of integrity I had as a coach played out with the way my players carried themselves,” Harvey said. “I truly care about people, and I enjoy building relationships, and I look forward to making those same connections here at Kennett.” To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail rgaw@ chestercounty.com .

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Movement and color and life By Richard L. Gaw Staff Writer


alph J. Morley was a builder of custom homes in the Upstate New York town of Oneonta. Throughout his life, he had the gift of being able to draw perspective -- to transfer angles and contours and dimensions from his mind onto the page -- in flowing, free form ease. It was a skill that easily found its way into his true passion as a woodworker, a talent he passed off to his young daughter, Rikki.


Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

Ralph had provided Rikki with a nearly idyllic childhood, one that blessed her with an appreciation for art and one that was wrapped over-abundantly by surrounding nature. It was not uncommon for young Rikki to spend precious hours admiring the way her father gracefully cut knives into wood, just as it was normal for her to disappear into the woods with her dog Snippy, and climb stone walls and apple trees, and sometimes, when the moon was just right, to sleep under stars, where she would see shadows and fading degrees of light.

She has been called a Renaissance Woman and a Shaker-Up of Things, but for Sculptor, Equestrian and Activist Rikki Morley Saunders, the activity of engagement has become her very definition

Nature was merely the extension of the living classroom Rikki was learning from her father. He had trained her eye to see the things in nature that are not easily placed into category -- the stuff that most of us never see. In time, as she became an artist herself -- and eventually a sculptor -- their connection deepened in a semblance of color and light and movement. Even though Rikki had moved to southern Chester County, it was as if the fivehour distance between she and her father had vanished. They became each others’ muse, and there it remained for decades. Years ago, Rikki -- now a wife, mother, artist and conservationist -- was designing and helping to build her home on the outskirts of Kennett Square. One day, she called Ralph in order to explain her frustrations, and moments later, he told her to call him back in five minutes. She did. “Rikki, pick me up at the Philadelphia Airport at ten this morning,” Ralph told his daughter. “I will spend the day with you, but I have to be back to the airport by five p.m.” He spent five hours helping his daughter with her home, then flew back to Oneonta. Continued on Page 84 Photo by Richard L. Gaw

Sculptor Rikki Morley Saunders outside of her home near Kennett Square.

www.kennettsquaretoday.com | Winter 2015 | Kennett Square Today


Rikki... Continued from Page 83

Two years ago, a week before he died at the age of 91, Ralph was still talking with his daughter about the pieces they were working on. He’s been with her ever since. He was in the car a year ago with Rikki and her husband Jesse on Route 842, heading toward West Chester. It was nighttime and it was raining. Suddenly, Rikki heard something hit their car’s windshield. Jesse stopped the car and backed up. Rikki saw a small dark object on the road. It was a tiny saw whet owl. She gathered the animal into her arms, where it died ten minutes later. Three months later, Bill Streeter, from the Delaware Valley Raptor Center in Milford, invited her to the center. There, she met a saw whet owl named Mortimer. She studied Mortimer for several weeks. She sketched its contours and its angles and its movement. Eventually, she disapperead into her home studio on the second floor of a barn on her property -- accessible only by a narrow staircase -- and there, she sculpted an interpretation of the owl, a copy of which now sits on a mantel in her home. It is really little wonder what draws Saunders to the work of sculpting moments in nature. She lives with Jesse on a farm, where dogs, Photo by Richard L. Gaw



Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

deer, herons, peacocks and horses roam relatively free, and where the deep thicket of woods seems to go on forever. It is where, for more than 25 years, she has practiced sculpture, and during that time, she has learned from and worked alongside some of the most acclaimed sculptors in the nation, and become a well-known name on the local and regional art circuit. Since 2007, Saunders’ work has been in selected exhibitions in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., New York City, Oradell, N.J., Middleburg, Va., Bolivar, Mo, as well as at the Somerville Manning Gallery in Wilmington. In 2012, the National Sculpture Society selected one of her pieces, a life-sized representation of a peacock entitled “Nureyev,” for its 79th Annual Awards Exhibition, as did the Hudson River Museum's, 54th Annual Exhibition of Society Of Animal Artists. Her work is also in private collections from Maine to California. There are dozens of other sculptures in her catalog, all finished in a luminescent bronze: “Tarka,” an otter; “Gift in Continued on Page 86 Photo by Richard L. Gaw

“Mortimer,” a Saw Whet Owl, in bronze.

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Rikki... Continued from Page 85

Velvet,” a Whitetail deer; “Alexander,” a peacock, and many more. For Saunders, arriving at a finished work involves first imagining the finished shape, and then using the right measurement concepts in order to get there. “When I see something, there has to be a moment in time that I need to capture,” Saunders said. “I have to spend time with the animal before I sculpt the image of it, so as to be able to capture not only its shape, but its spirit. It’s not a stuffed animal or a piece of taxidermy. It’s a life, with character. For me, I want to capture the animal’s soul, and I hope to do it so well that everyone will sense that. Everything I do is taken directly from life.” Saunders was recently riding her horse Duke near her property, when she came across a Great Blue Heron. She admired the bird’s wingspan, which appeared to her both prehistoric and elegant. “I don’t think there are barriers between people and nature,” Saunders said. “It’s more like a very thin veil. We are only different molecules and densities. When I can be really quiet, I am able to pick up so much more.


Our intuitive senses are heightened when we allow them to be.” The intersection of Saunders’ passions in life, inherited from her father, could not have melded more perfectly with her life in Chester County, where she has lived for the past 34 years. In a 2008 magazine article, Saunders was referred to as “Renaissance Woman,” an apt title, given that her life is an admittedly busy blend of activity that has not only inspired her art, but also her love of horses and her desire to conserve nature and open space. In 1984, newly arrived in the area, she began equestrian training with local teacher Bruce Davidson, where she focused on three-day event riding. Her talents in the equestrian arts got her nearly as far as the Olympics, where she was long-listed for the 1984 games in Los Angeles. In 1997, understanding the effect that the future transportation plans spelled out by PennDOT in southern Chester County would cause loss of farmland and degradation of our watersheds, Saunders created S.A.V.E. Continued on Page 88

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Rikki... Continued from Page 86

[Safety, Agriculture, Villages and Environment], which has since become a major presence in the grass roots effort to preserve natural lands and open spaces in southern Chester County. “It’s just so beautiful here,” she said. “I may not have been born here, but I chose to be here, so I feel very strongly about protecting it. I don’t want to see it just go to the benefit of a few to the detriment of the whole, and future generations.” Currently, she is in the beginning stages of her latest work -- one she will not yet reveal -- but imagines will be complete by January, sent off to the foundry for bronzing in Utah and returned to her by next spring. Eventually, she would like to include it as part of a 2016 exhibition of her work. Every day, Saunders rides at least one of her horses. She entertains friends at her home. She attends both art gallery openings and conservation meetings. She continues to work on her home. She takes particular care to design a flower arrangement. She loves spending time with her daughter and her three grandchildren in Utah. She

Courtesy of Rikki Saunders

Left: “Tarka,” a life-sized otter, in bronze [2011]. Right: “Gift in Velvet,” a life-sized Whitetail deer, in bronze [2006].

knows that while the other side of her life takes her away from her art studio, she looks at her work as a sculptor as merely an extension of a life toppling over with gifts. “My artistic voice is one of gratitude,” she said. “I feel very grateful for having been raised the way I was raised, and to be taught how to see, and how to be quiet. Just sitting and watching a leaf fall from the sky is an act of art. It doesn’t get any more beautiful than that. Saunders reflected, just moments before tending to Duke in the barn. “Why stop art?” she asked. “I can never imagine stopping what gives me so much joy. Besides, I come from a family that has never really known how to stop.” To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail rgaw@ chestercounty.com .

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Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

Saunders, an equestrian, with her horses on her property.

Photo by Richard L. Gaw

www.kennettsquaretoday.com | Winter 2015 | Kennett Square Today


————|Kennett Square Business|———— For most growers, the mushroom business is a family business. But Chuck Bartoli chose to enter the highly competitive industry on his own. More than a decade ago, he purchased nearly 100 acres and designed his ideal mushroom farm. Bartoli had ...

A vision for success

Photo by Steven Hoffman

Chuck Bartoli started his own mushroom business on a farm in Penn and Londonderry townships. CT Bartoli Mushrooms produces 400,000 pounds of mushrooms each week.

By Steven Hoffman Staff Writer


huck Bartoli’s introduction to the mushroom industry came when he was a youngster growing up in the Mushroom Capital of the World. “I went to Kennett High School,” Bartoli said, “and all my friends were in the family business – mushrooms.” By the time he was 12 or 13, Bartoli was putting in long hours on those mushroom farms.


Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

“All my friends were hard workers,” he explained. “We worked after school and on weekends. We picked mushrooms. We cleaned up. We did a little bit of everything.” That hard work continued through high school. By the time Bartoli was ready to embark on a career, he knew that he wanted to enter the mushroom business. Bartoli knew many of the families that operated multi-generational mushroom businesses – the Bascianis, the Guizzettis, the Valloranis. “We all grew up together and we all worked together,” Bartoli explained. “A big part of it is, when you go to school together and you’re friends first, then you do business together.” By working at different mushroom farms and doing virtually every job that a person can do, Bartoli learned the basics. “There is a skill to growing,” he said. “I learned early on how to make compost. Compost is necessary for good growing. Your production gets better and more consistent with good compost. It’s just like how a plant will grow better in good soil.” After graduating from high school, as Bartoli embarked on his career in the mushroom industry, he started buying canning mushrooms and selling them regionally. As mushroom imports increased, and the prices

Continued on Page 92

Courtesy photo

CT Bartoli Mushrooms is situated on approximately 100 acres on the border between Penn Township and Londonderry Township.

Courtesy photo

Construction of the mushroom farm took place between 2003 and 2004.

Courtesy photo

CT Bartoli Mushrooms during the construction phase.

www.kennettsquaretoday.com | Winter 2015 | Kennett Square Today


Bartoli... Continued from Page 91

that U.S. growers could get for canned mushrooms declined, the local mushroom industry focused more and more on growing, shipping, and selling fresh mushrooms. “I started hauling mushrooms to market,” Bartoli said. Eventually, an opportunity presented itself: Frezzo Brothers, Inc., had a farm with a composting operation that was for rent. Bartoli decided to partner with one of his longtime friends in the mushroom industry and rent the farm so that they could grow their own mushrooms.


“You had to buy and sell or you had to grow, and I thought that growing was going to be a better choice,” he said. After getting married in 1996, Bartoli wanted to go into mushroom growing fulltime on his own, so he bought out his partner on the Frezzo Brothers project, and CT Bartoli Mushrooms was born in the latter part of 1997. He and his wife, Lisa, grew the business and rented other farms throughout the area over the next few years. As their family grew to include three sons and a daughter, they envisioned owning their own farm.

Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

“It’s kind of like a house where you don’t want to pay rent forever,” he explained. Bartoli eventually purchased a property of nearly 100 acres on the border between Penn Township and Londonderry Township. After all the varied experiences on mushroom farms, Bartoli knew exactly how he wanted to design his own farm. When he went to go through the land-development process, he had plans for what the farm operations should look like when it was completely built out, so that he wouldn’t have to get approvals each time he expanded. He got the necessary permits to start construction work in 2003, and in 2004, he filled the first doubles on the farm. Bartoli decided to build his doubles at 12,000 square feet, whereas the conventional doubles in the industry are 8,000 square feet. That means that the 42 doubles that Bartoli has on the farm are equal to about 66 doubles at the conventional size. CT Bartoli Mushrooms produces about 400,000 pounds of mushrooms each week. His longtime connection to the Basciani family helped him develop the business. Bartoli grew up with Michael Basciani. Bartoli was expanding on the growing side, while Michael Basciani was working to increase the selling side of his family’s business. “They buy every basket of mushrooms that is produced on this farm,” Bartoli said. In the early days of owning their own business, Chuck and Lisa did all the administrative work themselves. The business has grown beyond that point now, but owning a mushroom farm is still very demanding. “It’s not like you can shut the doors on Friday and forget about the business,” Bartoli said. “There’s something going on all the time. It’s seven days a week and 24 hours a day. How much you have to work steers a lot of people away from the business.” Bartoli is not certain whether any of his children will want to make this a family business. “My children are all still in school,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to push any of them into this business. It’s a tough life, and you have to want to do it.” To contact Staff Writer Steven Hoffman, email editor@ chestercounty.com. www.kennettsquaretoday.com | Winter 2015 | Kennett Square Today



Kennett Square Today | Winter 2015 | www.kennettsquaretoday.com

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Kennett Square Today Winter 2015  

Kennett Square Today Winter 2015