MONTCO & HOMES, GARDENS
The Three Chocolatiers
BY THE FIRESIDE • JENNIFER FINCH DINING OUT • PETER WENTZ FARMSTEAD A HAPPY HOUSE • LIGHTING • FLOORS
TASTEFUL 405 Bridge Street | Phoenixville 1-800-66-TAGUE | TagueLumber.com Kitchen Cabinetry | Windows | Doors | Moulding & Millwork | Decking | Building Materials & Lumber
MONTCO Issue 4, Volume 3
MONTCO HOMES, GARDENS & LIFESTYLE
Departments 5 FROM THE EDITOR 6 TRENDS 8 NOTEWORTHY 12 WHAT TO DO 23 ART 25 IN THE GARDEN 56 JAUNT 60 STYLE 63 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
70 HOME 72 STAYING FIT 74 DINING OUT 80 FINALE
Features 27 GETTING FLOORED
Making our indoor spaces comfy and cozy.
CREATING PERSONAL SPACE
The designers at Le Blue Goose Design for thier cusotmersâ€™ needs an desires as seen by the rooms in their Skippack Estate
46 THE THREE CHOCOLATIERS Three chocolate makers
50 LET THERE BE LIGHT
Discover some new ways to brighten up your design spaces from three area lighting professionals
On the Cover This beautiful winter scene in Montgomery County is painted by our artist-in-residence Jennifer Hansen Rolli.
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Shake Things Up p.
Publisher William N. Waite
Associate Publisher Frank Boyd Executive Editor Bob Waite
Art Direction BCM MEDIA CO., INC.
Advertising Director Vicky M. Waite Administration Melissa Kutalek
Calendar Editor Mary Beth Schwartz
Cover Artist Jennifer Hansen Rolli
Contributing Writers Beth Buxbaum, Patti Guthrie, Lew Larason Lisa Minardi, Frank Quattrone, Lori Rose, Mary Beth Schwartz, Bob Waite, Vicky Waite Circulation BCM MEDIA Co., INC.
Contributing Photographers Jess Graves, Melissa Kutalek, Paul Wesley Account Executives Frank Boyd, Lisa Bridge, Kathy Driver, Lisa Kruse Ann Ferro Murray
Our Christmas Trree e Grove boasts a wonderful seleection of p preemium q qualityy treees fea aturing g Stayy-litÂ® lights g and Ea asyy PoleÂ® technolo e gy for worry-fr - eee lighting and easy set-up.
DELAWARE VALLEYâ€™S MOST M INCREDIBLE CHRISTMAS SHOP & GIFT BOUTIQUE! G
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1057 N. EASTON RD, DOYLESTOWN, PA 215.766.7800 | BUCKSCOUNTRYGARDENS.COM
MONTCO Homes, Gardens & Lifestyle Magazine, 309 W. Armstrong Drive, Fountainville, PA 18923, phone 215-766-2694 â€¢ Fax 215-766-8197. www.montcomag.com. Published quarterly by BCM Media Company Inc., Fountainville, PA. All contents copyright by BCM Media Company DBA/Montco Homes, Gardens & Lifestyle Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Published quarterly. Four-issue subscription for U.S. is $15.95, in Canada $35.00, U.S. dollars only. Standard postage paid at Lancaster, PA. Single-copy price is $4.95 plus $3.00 postage and handling. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to MONTCO Homes, Gardens & Lifestyle Magazine, PO BOX 36, Morrisville, PA 19067. This magazine welcomes, but cannot be responsible for, manuscripts and photos unless accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed return
From the Editor
remember reading or hearing that the feeling chocolate gives a person is similar to falling in love. And I guess that’s why chocolates are considered a romantic gift. No one brings jelly beans on a first date, nor do we give them to our sweethearts on Valentine’s Day. No, it is always chocolate. I also read or heard that chocolate is good for our hearts and that it may even be good for our brains, so I thought that a candy that aids both romance and health ought to be looked into. The Person I chose to do this was Patti Guthrie, who not only loves chocolate, but was curious about how it is made and what kind of lucky people get to do such wonderful things. Her story, “The Three Chocolatiers,” tells us about three local chocolate makers and what led them into such an interesting way to make a livelihood. Our featured house the Winter 2017 issue of MONTCO Homes, Gardens & Lifestyle is actually an incomplete house, in the sense that the design team from Le Blue Goose in Skippack hasn’t finished putting their magic in every room. However the rooms we were able to get photos for show interesting nuance and subtle touches that only professionals are able to accomplish. The interesting thing about these designers is that they work, completely from their clients’ desires. They push no particular style but instead, try to locate what style their client likes and what colors and what kinds of furniture they need. In other words, they are refreshingly committed to making the customer happy and in showing customer many options and design schemes that articulate what the customer couldn’t. The story, “Creating Personal Space,” tells the story in photos of this very interesting design project. Sometimes we think of winter as a dead zone when it comes to our homes. The additions, the gardens, the paver paths and outdoor rooms wait for every season but winter, yet winter is a great time to think about some very important things that go into the keep of our homes. Two of our features deal with things that can and maybe should be handled during the winter. One is flooring, which is an inside job and allows for winter work. In our article “Getting Floored,” by Mary Beth Schwartz, you will see learn about new trends and will meet with five local flooring retailers to see what they have and do. Our other article, also by Mary Beth, is about lighting. And in her article, “Let There be Light,” Mary Beth lets you discover some new ways to brighten up your home, both indoors and outdoors. In our departments you can read about a model railroad hobbyist, a local artist, fireplaces, bird feeders, the Peter Wentz Farmstead, two fine area restaurants, and many fine places to go and things to see. I have a correction from the last issue: The correct spelling of the coowner of Moore’s Furniture is Heather Devine. I apologize for misspelling your name, Heather. Bob Waite Editor
MAN WITH CHALKBOARD ... Man with Chalkboard handcrafted Caroler® figurine with removable “Merry Christmas” sticker. Remove the sticker and use the attached chalk to write your own holiday message! Available at The Byers’ Choice Gift Shop, 4355 County Line Road, Chalfont, PA 18914; 215-822-6700; www.byerschoice.com.
... Chicago based artist, Patricia Locke, creates these contemporary pieces to reflect every girls style! Whether it's classic ... contemporary ... edgy ... or refined, there's a piece for every girl in this amazing collection. Available at Accent On The Rocks, 4064 Skippack Pike, Skippack, PA; 610-615-5901. 6 MONTCO MAG . COM
… give a gift of locally made fruit butters—no preservatives or additives— just the natural goodness of the fruit. Apple Butter, Pumpkin Butter, Apricot Butter, Strawberry Butter and many more. Available at Bauman Family Fruit Butters, 116 Hoffmansville Road, Sassamansville, PA; 610754-7251; www.baumanfamily.com.
THE PERFECT DIAMOND ... Rosnov Jewelers has been serving the Philadelphia area for over 110 years. Let our expert gemologists help you select the perfect diamond and then design you the setting of your dreams. Come and experience five generations of quality, craftsmanship, and renowned service. Rosnov Jewelers is located at 320 York Road, Jenkintown, PA 19046; 215-885-4218; www.rosnov.com.
CLEANING UP SNOW … Littles’ is pleased to offer Honda and Ariens walk behind snow blowers and snow throwers, from single stage push models to self-propelled two stage wheel driven or track driven models, Little’s has a snow unit to meet your needs. Little’s also provides service on most makes. Available at Robert E Little, Inc., Route 29 & Little Rd., Zieglerville, PA 19492; 610-287-9643; www.relittle.com.
COLORFUL BRACELETS ... Elyn Blake, handmade jewelry featured at Artisans 3 Gallery ...is inspired by her mother’s 1950’s antique handbags and has evolved to include many different shapes and sizes ... pairing quartz drusy with sterling silver or 14k gold. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.Artisans 3 Gallery is located at 901 N. Bethlehem Pike # B, Spring House, PA; 215-643-4504; www.artisansthreegallery.com.
THE MULTICADE ... this arcade game comes with 60 of the best games from the ’80s including Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Centipede and Millipede and more. All of the games are family-friendly and fun. It is sure to create laughter, smiles, and entertainment for the entire family. Available at Royal Billiards, 2622 Bethlehem Pike, Hatfield, PA 19440; 215-997-7777; www.royalbilliard.com. WINTER 2017
What’s Happening in Montgomery County
Stylish & Comfortable
oore’s Furniture introduces the Amy sofa and Riley recliner that adds comfort and style. It’s easy to see why the Amy sofa is everyone’s friend. It works nicely with so many different pieces, like the Riley recliner that is shown. Riley is perfectly at home paired with your contemporary sofa or left to showcase a corner entirely on its own. Comfortable too, you’ll appreciate the inviting curves and luxurious cushioning. The Amy sofa and the Riley recliner are available in the fabric of your choice and are on display at Moore's Furniture. Moore’s Furniture is located at 90 Pottstown Pike, Chester Springs, PA 19425; 610-458-8001 or Moore's Furniture, 3291 W. Ridge Pike, Pottstown, PA 19464; 610-4955252. To learn more about Moore’s Furniture, visit www.mooresfurniture.com. You can also send an email to email@example.com.
American Treasure Tour
aks, Pennsylvania's own favorite attraction—the American Treasure Tour—received the "Best Weird Museum of 2017" award from the prestigious Philadelphia Magazine this Fall. Not only is this a great honor for our museum to win this fantastic award from such a notable publication, but it is highly unusual since Philly Mag rarely gives honors to destinations outside of the city proper. The American Treasure Tour is an all-indoor massive collection of Americana from antiques to kitsch to pop culture. Two of the primary exhibits include mechanical music and preserved classic automobiles. The mechanical music display explores hundreds of machines, such as nickelodeons, band organs, and music boxes. In addition to seeing the sights, you will hear the great sounds of music from days gone by. Additionally, we have a jampacked display of store window animations, dolls, doll houses, model airplanes, circus and patriotic art, holiday items, and many more wonderful surprises. The American Treasure Tour is 100,000 square feet of pure joy. Visitors climb aboard an electric tram for a ride through an amazing collection of classic cars, circus art, mechanical music machines, and other collectibles sure to conjure smiles regardless of your age. They will also have plenty of time to explore other areas of the Tour on their own, where they come faceto-face with familiar and new popular culture memories. The American Treasure Tour is open for general admission on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00a.m. to 3:00 p.m.. The American Treasure Tour is located at One American Treasure Way, Oaks, PA. For more information, visit www.americantreasuretour.com.
8 MONTCO MAG . COM
Meet the Sport Glide
n 1954, Tom Hannum, Jr. was so passionate about motorcycles that he convinced his father, Tom Sr., to sell his automotive business to purchase a Harley-Davidson franchise. In the 63 years of business there have been many exiting changes, but few have been as impressive as the all-new 2018 Softail lineup, which retired the iconic Dyna class to make room for the new Freedom Machines. Hannum’s Harley-Davidson is now selling the new Harley Davidson Sport Glide™. This brand new Harley-Davidson model was just released in time for the Holidays. The allnew Sport Glide™ will take all your wanderings to a higher level. Whether you’re exploring the open road or cruising around town, the all-new Sport Glide will take you anywhere you need to go with its powerful Milwaukee Eight engine and detachable front faring and saddlebags. Hannum’s Harley Davidson is located at 1011 W. Baltimore Pike, Media, PA. For more information about the Sport Glide™, call 215-257 6112 or visit www.HannumsHD.com.
Retro Candy & Nuts
dwards Freeman Nut Company has been making delicious peanut butter, chocolate, dried fruit, nuts, gift baskets, and much more here in the United States since 1899. All of their products are fresh and you will never find anything that has been sitting on the shelves for a long period of time. So enjoy the delicious taste of their proprietary nut butter that’s made in-house, which they sell and distribute to other companies. They have nut butter in flavors for all types of tastes, including almond butter, cashew butter, chunky, chocolate, cappuccino, hazelnut and butterscotch peanut butter. Entering the outlet is like taking a trip into the past, because they also sell retro candies that are not available in most stores anymore. A trip to Edwards Freeman Nut Company is an enjoyable experience. Edwards Freeman Nut Company is located at 441 Hector Street, Conshohocken, PA 19428. For more information, call 610-828-7440.
A Perfect Setting for a Wedding
he James A. Michener Art Museum is housed in a beautifully restored historic site that began in 1884 as the Bucks County prison. Today, the Michener has been transformed into a welcoming center of culture and beauty. A perfect setting for a wedding, gala, or corporate party.The exclusive venue partner, Catering By Design, offers custom menus inspired by dishes and flavors from around the world. During your celebration you and your guests may stroll through our galleries. The Museum is completely accessible, air-conditioned and offers ample free parking. Audio-visual equipFor more information, call 267-785-0002 or vist http://michener.cbdevents.com.
Koziar’s Christmas Village
elebrating 70 years of Season's Greetings, Koziar's Christmas Village has grown to a mammoth and extraordinary seasonal attraction drawing visitors from great distances as well as local families who have made Koziar's part of their Christmas tradition for three generations. William M. Koziar, the creator of Christmas Village, began decorating his home and property in 1948 for the pleasure he and his wife, Grace, and their four children derived from the unusual display. People appreciated and applauded the beauty of the Koziar home and began to refer to it as the "Christmas House." Mr. Koziar added new and unique items and lighted displays to the original layout each year. He began decorating the lake, walkways, trees, fences, and
Ethan Allen’s Design Pros
buildings, as well as continually adding to the barn and house. By popular demand visitors were granted access to the premises for a closer look. Thus, Koziar's Christmas House became known as Koziar's Christmas Village. Koziar’s Christmas Village is located at 782 Christmas Village Rd. Bernville, PA 19506. For more information, visit www.koziarschristmasvillage.com.
than Allen’s furniture store in Montgomeryville offers a broad range of furniture and accessories, including quality living room furniture, dining room furniture, bedroom furniture and home décor. Create the look you'll love from classic to contemporary with free interior design help from the design pros. They are creative professionals who excel at personal service, and they’ll work with you as much or as little as you like. One perfect piece? No problem. A whole-house plan? Of course they can. They’re approachable, creative, and great at what they do. With their help, you can do no wrong— we’ll make sure of it. Design service is our gift to you, with our compliments—and ours won’t be the only ones. At Ethan Allen in Montgomeryville four designers are available to help you create that special look that you'll love. Schedule an appointment to get the most out of our free interior design help from our design pros. Ethan Allen is located at 668 Bethlehem Pike, Route 309, Montgomeryville, PA 18936. To schedule an appointment or find our more about Ethan Allen design services, call 215-368-3099 or visit www.ethanallen.com.
10 M O N T C O M A G . C O M
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Photos: Valleyâ€ˆForge Tourism & Convention Board
What to do
Left: Philadelphia Flower Show. Right: Winter drill at Valley Forge.
A N T I QU ES Alderfer Auction December 5: Open Valuation Event December 7: Discovery Art Auction December 14: Estate Auction 501 Fairgrounds Road, Hatfield, PA. 215-393-3000; www.alderferauction.com. Pook & Pook, Inc. December 9: John Rexroad Collection January 13: Americana & International March 17: Toy Auction 463 East Lancaster Avenue, Downingtown, PA. 610-269-4040; www.pookandpook.com.
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The Philadelphia Furniture Show April 13-15: This annual show highlights artisan quality furniture and furnishings to suit all tastes. Admission. 23rd Street Armory, Philadelphia, PA. www.philadelphiafurnitureshow.com. The Philadelphia Antiques & Art Show April 20-22: This prestigious show offers diverse furnishings and decorative arts for both the peri-od and modern American home. Admission. The Navy Yard, 11th Street and Kittyhawk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. www.philadelphiaantiquesandartshow.com.
ART Berman Museum of Art Through July 29: Jan Tichy: Gnomonics Through March 18: On Being: How the Avant-Garde Reflects Our Humanity Through March 18: Real Estate: Dwelling in Contemporary Art Ursinus College, 601 East Main Street, Collegeville, PA. 610-409-3500; www.ursinus.edu.
DEAR GARDEN ASSOCIATES, INC.
DISTINCTIVE DESIGN, INSTALLATION & MAINTENANCE
The Barnes Foundation Through March 12: Kiefer Rodin 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA, 215-278-7000. www.barnesfoundation.org. Philadelphia Museum of Art Through March 4: Patricia Urquiola: Between Craft and Industry Through February 19: Old Masters Now: Celebrating the Johnson Collection Through December 3: Marcel Duchamp and the Fountain Scandal 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA. 215-763-8100; www.philamuseum.org. Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital Through January 28: Annual Art Ability Exhibition and Sale 414 Paoli Pike, Malvern, PA. 484-5965607; www.mainlinehealth.org. Woodmere Art Museum Through January 21: A Grand Vision: Violet Oakley and the American Renaissance 9201 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. 215-247-0476; www.woodmereartmuseum.org. Brandywine River Museum of Art Through January 7: A Brandywine Christmas Through January 7: Dylan Gauthier: highwatermarks January 27-June 3: The Way Back: The Paintings of George A. Frolic Weymouth 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford, PA. 610-388-2700; www.brandywine.org. Main Line Art Center December 1-January 3: Members
Bill Dear, Horticulturist • 215.766.8110 PA • 609.919.0050 NJ www.deargarden.com PA LIC #PA063572 - NJ LIC #13VH05607800 WINTER 2017
C RA FTS Byersâ€™ Choice Ltd. Through December 31: Byersâ€™ Choice Christmas Experience December 9-10: A Christmas Carol with Gerald Dickens 4355 County Line Road, Chalfont, PA, 215-822-6700; www.byerschoice.com. Christkindlmarkt Through December 23: This noted Lehigh Valley holiday market offers aisles of handmade works from around the globe. Visitors also can enjoy live Christmas music, food, craft demonstrations, and St. Nicholas. PNC Plaza, SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, PA. 610-332-1300; www.artsquest.org. Kringle Christmas Shoppe December 1-3: Plan on attending this annual holiday event by the Haycock Historical Society. There will be work by over 50 locally renowned juried contributors, books by local authors, fine art, sculpture, jewelry, sweet treats, and much more. Admission is free. Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Haycock Community Center, 1014 Old Bethlehem Road, Quakertown, PA. www.haycockhistoricalsociety.org.
Exhibition January 12-February 15: Professional Artist Members Exhibition March 12-April 15: Annual Betsy Meyer Memorial Exhibition 746 Panmure Road, Haverford, PA. 610-525-0272; www.mainlineart.org. Historic Yellow Springs December 8: Holiday Stroll Route 113, Chester Springs, PA. 610827-7414; www.yellowsprings.org.
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Wayne Art Center December 9-January 27: Craft Forms 2017 February 11-March 10: Expressions of Radnor March 16-April 28: Art Quilt Elements 2018 413 Maplewood Avenue, Wayne, PA. 610-688-3553; www.wayneart.org.
Sugarloaf Crafts Festivals March 16-18: Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (Oaks, PA) Admission. www.sugarloafcrafts.com.
EN T ERTAI N M EN T Peopleâ€™s Light & Theatre Through January 7: Aladdin: A Musical Panto Through December 3: Lights Out: Nat â€œKingâ€? Cole January 10-February 4: Morningâ€™s at Seven February 21-March 31: The Diary of Anne Frank March 21-April 15: I Will Not Go Gently 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, PA. 610-644-3500; www.peopleslight.org. Montgomery Theater Through December 10: Plaid Tidings
124 Main Street, Souderton, PA. 215723-9984; www.montgomerytheater.org. Playcrafters of Skippack Through December 2: InLaws, Outlaws, and Other People Who Should be Shot 2011 Store Road, Skippack, PA. 610584-4005; www.playcrafters.org. Act II Playhouse December: My Very Own Polar Bear December 12-31: Bad Dates January 9-28: A Few of Our Favorite Things February 27-March 25: I Ought to Be in Pictures 56 East Butler Avenue, Ambler, PA. 215-654-0200; www.act2.org. Wolf Performing Arts Center December 1-2: Willy Wonka Kids December 8-10: The Miracle Worker January 19-21: The Phantom Tollbooth 1240 Montrose Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA. 610-642-0233; www.wolfperformingartscenter.org.
Steel River Playhouse December 1-17: A Christmas Carol December 17-30: Santaland Diaries February 2-18: Boy March 2-18: To Kill a Mockingbird 245 East High Street, Pottstown, PA. 610-970-1199; www.steelriver.org. Dutch Country Players December 1-16: Miracle on 34th Street 795 Ridge Road, Telford, PA. 215-2340966; www.dcptheatre.com. The Colonial Theatre December 3: City Rhythm Orchestra Holiday Style December 10: Holiday Theatre Organ Concert December 15-16: Firebird Theatre Holiday Revue December 21: Charlie Brown Jazz 227 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, PA. 610-917-1228; www.thecolonialtheatre.com. Keswick Theatre December 3: Todd Rundgren December 9: Holiday Doo Wop Vol. 3
January 13: Steven Wright January 20: Kathleen Madigan February 16: Vicki Lawrence & Mama March 11: The Righteous Brothers March 29-31: Jesus Christ Superstar 291 North Keswick Avenue, Glenside, PA. 215-572-7650; www.keswicktheatre.com. Bucks County Playhouse December 8-31: Ebenezer Scroogeâ€™s Big Playhouse Christmas Show 70 South Main Street, New Hope, PA. 215-862-2121; www.bcptheater.org. Pennsylvania Ballet December 8-31: George Balanchineâ€™s The Nutcracker March 8-18: Swan Lake The Academy of Music, 240 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA. 215-893-1999; www.paballet.org. Mitchell Performing Arts Center December 14: ANC Christmas Concert January 27-February 4: Godspell February 18: Bryn Athyn Orchestra
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Peddlerâ€™s Village Through January 6: Gingerbread House Competition and Display December 2-3: Christmas Festival January 1-31: January Sales Event January 12-14: Bavaria in Bucks February 12-14: I Love PV March 5-9: Lahaska Restaurant Week Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska, PA. 215794-4000; www.peddlersvillage.com. Mount Hope Estate & Winery Through December: Holidays at Mount Hope 2775 Lebanon Road, Manheim, PA. 717-665-7021; www.parenfaire.com.
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ÂŠÂĄÂžÂŽÂ¤ÂŁá€– Â—ÂœÂœÂĄÂ“ÂšÂšÂ‘Â‘á€–ÂœÂŚÂšÂšÂ¤Â¤ÂŽÂĄÂĽÂœÂ?ÂŁ á ťá šá šÂœÂŚÂŚÂ¤Â¤Â’ÂŠÂ“ÂšÂ¤á€”ÂŠÂŠÂĄÂĄÂ—ÂŽÂÂÂŁÂŁÂ¨Â“Â—Â—ÂŽá€‘á€‘á€‘á šá‚ á źá źá ťá ťá‚€ á şá šá ˝á€–á şá ˝á žá€–á‚€á‚€á źá žá€ťÂŞÂŞÂŞÂŞÂŞá€”Â‹ÂŽÂĄÂ‘Â‘ÂŽÂŽÂÂĹšĹšÂœÂœÂĄÂ“ÂšÂšÂ‘Â‘á€”ÂŒÂœÂ˜ ÂœÂŚÂŚÂĄÂĄÂŁá€“ÂœÂšÂ?ÂŠÂŠÂÂá€–ÂŚÂŚÂŽÂŁÂ?ÂŠÂŠÂÂá‚ ÂŠÂŠÂ˜ Â˜á€–á ˝Â?Â˜á€ť ÂŽÂŽÂ?ÂšÂŽÂŁÂ?ÂŠÂŠÂÂĹśÂ’ÂŚÂŚÂĄÂĄÂŁÂ?ÂŠÂŠÂÂá‚ ÂŠÂ˜á€–á‚€Â?Â˜ Â˜á€–á žÂ?Â˜á€ťÂŠÂŠÂ¤Â¤Â§ÂĄÂĄÂ?Â?ÂŠÂŠÂÂá‚ ÂŠÂŠÂ˜ Â˜á€–á şÂ?Â˜ ÂĄÂ“Â?ÂŠÂŠÂÂá‚ ÂŠÂŠÂ˜ Winter Concert February 23: ANC Winter Arts Night 800 Tomlinson Road, Bryn Athyn, PA. 267-502-2793; www.mitchellcenter.info. Sellersville Theater December 16: Glen Miller Orchestra December 17: Judy Collins February 16: Phil Vassar February 17: Gary Puckett & The Union Gap February 18: The Association 16
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24 West Temple Avenue, Sellersville, PA. 215-257-5808; www.st94.com. The Choristers December 17: Handelâ€™s Messiah Trinity Lutheran Church, Lansdale, PA. 215-542-7871; www.thechoristers.org. The Village Players of Hatboro January 12-27: Arsenic & Old Lace March 9-24: Lost in Yonkers 401 Jefferson Avenue, Hatboro, PA. 215-675-6774;
Fun in Skippack Through December 22: Illuminaire Nights in Skippack Skippack, PA. www.skippackvillage.com. Events in Lansdale December 1: Annual Tree Lighting December 2-21: Santa House December 3: TubaChristmas Concert December 12: Hanukkah Celebration December 19: A Charlie Brown Christmas Concert Lansdale, PA. www.lansdale.org. Quakertown Alive December 1: Christmas Tree Lighting Festival February 14: Properties of Merit Quakertown, PA. 215-536-2273; www.quakertownalive.com. Ambler Main Street December 2: Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting December 7: Santa Arrives by Train at Ambler Station Ambler, PA. 215-646-1000; www.amblermainstreet.org. Christmas in Bucks County December 2: Perkasieâ€™s 108th Christmas Tree Lighting December 2: Yardleyâ€™s Olde Fashion Christmas Parade December 3: McCaffreyâ€™s Newtown Holiday Parade
American Consumer Shows January 5-7: Greater Philadelphia Spring Home Show (King of Prussia, PA) March 23-25: Bucks & Montgomery Spring Home Show (Warminster, PA) 888-433-3976; www.acsshows.com. Philly Home Show January 12-15, 19-21: The 2018 Home Show features guest appearances by DIY celebrities, along with designed rooms and the Cooking Stage. The Xfinity Experience Stage featuring presentations on remodeling, renovation, organizing, dĂŠcor, gardening, and outdoor projects. Admission. Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA. www.phillyhomeshow.com.
Philly Home + Garden Show February 16-18: Visit this annual show for decorating and remodeling ideas, learn more about companies, and stroll through gardens by area landscapers. Admission. Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Avenue, Oaks, PA. www.phillyhomeandgarden.com.
FAM I LY Philadelphia Zoo Ongoing: Visit the nationâ€™s first zoo, complete with over 1,000 animals, many of them endangered or rare. 3400 West Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. 215-243-5254; www.philadelphiazoo.org. Please Touch Museum Ongoing: Visit the Childrenâ€™s Museum of Philadelphia, where the key word is play. Families can enjoy over a dozen themed exhibits, theater, art, music, special programs, the carousel, and storytime and character appearances. Admission. 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia, PA. 215-581-3181; www.pleasetouchmuseum.org. Northern Star Farm Winter: Custom old-fashioned sleigh rides 96 Third Avenue East, Trappe, PA. 215859-7302; www.northernstarfarm.net.
The Franklin Institute Through March 4: Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor 222 North 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA. 215-448-1200; www2.fi.edu. The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University Through January 15: Tiny Titans: Dinosaur Eggs and Babies December 27-30: Dino-mite Winter 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA. 215-299-1000;
www.ansp.org. Koziarâ€™s Christmas Village Through January 1: Come visit one of areaâ€™s greatest Christmas displays. Celebrating sixty-plus seasons, this holiday destination features more than a half million Christmas lights adorning buildings, gift barns, and landscape. The various buildings are filled with decor, Christmas displays, souvenirs, baked goods, refreshments, even miniature train displays. Be sure to visit Santa in WINTER 2017
137 West Knowlton Road, Media, PA. 610-876-7116; www.linvilla.com. West Chester Railroad Through December 23: Santa’s Express December 3, 10: Christmas Tree Train 230 East Market Street, West Chester, PA. 610-430-2233; www.westchesterrr.com. Elmwood Park Zoo December 2-23: Brunch with Santa (weekends) 1661 Harding Boulevard, Norristown, PA. 800-652-4143; www.elmwoodparkzoo.org. Bucks Country Gardens December 4-18: Visit Our Barnyard Animals December 8: Visit with Our Reindeer 1057 North Easton Road, Doylestown, PA. 215-766-7800; www.buckscountrygardens.com. PEEPSFEST December 30-31: This interactive twoday family event highlights PEEPS. The festival culminates December 31 at 5:15 p.m. with the dropping of the 200pound PEEPS chick to welcome in the new year. SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, PA. 610-332-1300; www.artsquest.org.
his headquarters on Santa Claus Lane. Admission. 782 Christmas Village Road, Bernville, PA. 610-488-1110; www.koziarschristmasvillage.com. Colebrookdale Railroad Through December: Ride the rails of the historic Colebrookdale Railroad. There is Santa’s Polar Bear Express, ’Twas the Night Before Christmas train, and the Snowflake Special. 101 East 3rd Street, Boyertown, PA. 610-367-0200; www.colebrookdalerailroad.com. 18
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Lehigh Valley Zoo Through December 31: Winter Light Spectacular 5150 Game Preserve Road, Schnecksville, PA. 610-799-4171; www.lvzoo.org. Linvilla Orchards Through December 24: Cut Your Own Trees December 9, 16, 23: Wassailing Caroling Hayrides
Tyler Arboretum Ongoing: One of the oldest and largest arboreta in the Northeast, this yearround destination has 650 contiguous acres and 20 miles of hiking trails. The Arboretum’s collections include rare plant specimens, ancient trees, and historic buildings. Educational programs are offered year round. 515 Painter Road, Media, PA. 610-566-9134; www.tylerarboretum.org. The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania Through March: Winter Wellness Walks Through December 31: Holiday Garden Railway December: Friday Night Lights Admission. 100 East Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. 215-247-5777; www.morrisarboretum.org.
Longwood Gardens Through January 7: A Longwood Christmas Through January 7: Garden Railway January 20-March 25: Orchid Extravaganza Admission. 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, PA. 610-388-1000; www.longwoodgardens.org.
The Gift of
Winterthur Through January 7: Yuletide at Winterthur Admission. 5105 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, DE. 302-888-4600; www.winterthur.org. Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens Through December 30: Sculpted Earth: An Exhibition & Sale of Ceramic Sculpture 631 Berwyn Road, Devon, PA. 610-6478870; www.jenkinsarboretum.org. The Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College December 1: Green Wreath Workshops December 2: Holiday Sale January 14: Winter Celebration Admission. 500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA. 610-328-8025; www.scottarboretum.org.
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Hershey Gardens December 2, 9, 16: Visit with Santa December 3, 10, 17: Craft & Storytime Admission. 170 Hotel Road, Hershey, PA. 717-534-3492; www.hersheygardens.org. Linden Hill Gardens December 2-3: The Ottsville Holiday Festival 8230 Easton Road, Ottsville, PA. 610847-1300; www.lindenhillgarden.com. Bartramâ€™s Garden December 2: Handmade Holiday Greens Sale 5400 Lindbergh Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA. 215-729-5281; www.bartramsgarden.org. Camden Childrenâ€™s Garden December 9, 16, 23: Breakfast with Santa Admission. 3 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ. 856-365-8733; WINTER 2017
Fine hand-crafted chocolates since 1935
www.camdenchildrensgarden.org. 2018 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show March 3-11: This year’s flower show, “Wonders of Water,” blends the beauty of horticulture and water. Admission. Pennsylvania Convention Center, 12th and Arch Streets, Philadelphia, PA. www.theflowershow.com.
H I S TO RY Pottsgrove Manor Through January 6: Twelfth Night Tours December 10: Pottsgrove Manor by Candlelight 100 West King Street, Pottstown, PA. 610-326-4014; www.montcopa.org. WE OFFER PERSONIZED BOXED CHOCOLATES & CANDY FOR HOLIDAY GIFTS, WEDDINGS, BIRTHDAYS & SPECIAL OCCASIONS HANDCRAFTED CHOCOLATES (BUTTER CREMES, CARAMELS, MINT PATTIES, NUTS,ETC.), PARTY FAVORS, WEDDING FAVORS, SUGAR-FREE CANDIES, COUNTER CANDIES (SPEARMINT LEAVES, GUMMY BEARS, LICORICE ALLSORTS, NONPAREILS, MALT BALLS ETC.)
Accepting Cash, Checks (with ID), Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover
BERGIN’S CHOCOLATES 2634 Morris Road • Lansdale, PA 19446 215.699.3420 • www.beginschocolate.com
Open Monday - Friday 8am-5pm, Saturday 8am-4pm
Morgan Log House Through December 30: How It’s Made: Furnishing the Log House December 9: Candlelight Night 850 Weikel Road, Kulpsville, PA. 215368-2480; www.morganloghouse.org. Pennypacker Mills December 1-January 7: Holiday Tours December 9: Victorian Christmas Open House February 10: Valentine Workshop for Kids 5 Haldeman Road, Schwenksville, PA. 610-287-9349; www.montcopa.org. Mennonite Heritage Center December 2-30: Fine Crafts & Art Sale December 2-3: Christmas Market 565 Yoder Road, Harleysville, PA. 215-256-3020; www.mhep.org. Goschenhoppen Historians December 2-3: Christmas Market Red Men’s Hall, 116 Gravel Pike, Green Lane, PA. 215-234-8953; www.goschenhoppen.org.
Your Classical and Jazz Station www.wrti.org
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Hope Lodge December 2: Holidays at Hope Lodge and Beer Tasting December 9: Guided Christmas Tours 553 South Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, PA. 215-646-1595; www.ushistory.org/hope. Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center December 2: Christmas on the Farm
22 Luckenbill Road, Kutztown, PA. 610683-1589; www.kutztown.edu. Peter Wentz Farmstead Society December 2: Candlelight Tours December 6: Childâ€™s Play Series: Holidays 2030 Shearer Road, Worcester, PA. 610-584-5104; www.peterwentzfarmsteadsociety.org. The Highlands Mansion & Gardens December 3: A Visit with Santa February 25: Tea & Symphony 7001 Sheaff Lane, Fort Washington, PA. 215-641-2687; www.highlandshistorical.org. Graeme Park December 7: Ladies Night: Gingerbread Houses Admission. 859 County Line Road, Horsham, PA. 215-343-0965; www.graemepark.org. Daniel Boone Homestead December 8-9: Christkindlmarket 400 Daniel Boone Road, Birdsboro, PA. 610-582-4900; www.danielboonehomestead.org.
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Valley Forge National Historical Park December 19: March In of the Continental Army January-April: Join the Continental Army February 19: Washingtonâ€™s Birthday Party 1400 North Outer Line Drive, King of Prussia, PA. 610-783-1077; www.valleyforge
N AT U R E Bucks County Covered Bridge Tour Ongoing: The Bucks County Conference & Visitors Bureau and the Bucks County Covered Bridge Society present this selfguided tour of Bucks Countyâ€™s covered bridges. The tour begins at Washington Crossing Historic Park. The 90-mile tour makes a large circle through Bucks County and is designed so that travelers can start at any one of the bridges. GPS coordinates are given for each of the bridges. Pick up a copy of the brochure Visit the Historic Covered Bridges of
â€œHydrangeas with Pearsâ€? oil 18â€? x 24â€?
â€œStill Life with an Inner Glowâ€?Exquisite Textural Classics by
JUNE L. MAXWELL, PSA, Master Pastelist Original Paintings in Pastel and Oil
215-884-2401 email: JuneLMaxwell@aol.com www.junelmaxwell.com
Tues-Sat by Appointment
Bucks County at locations throughout Bucks County. www.visitbuckscounty.com; www.buckscountycbs.org. The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education December-February: Winter Wellness Walks December 9: Winterfest January 6: Winter Bird Census February 10: Owl Prowl 8480 Hagyâ€™s Mill Road, Philadelphia, PA. 215-482-7300; www.schuylkillcenter.org. Lorimer Park Through December: Audubon Bird Town Bird Walks 183 Moredon Road, Huntingdon Valley, PA. 215-947-3477; www.montcopa.org. Norristown Farm Park Through December: Full Moon Hikes December 5: Reindeer Guide for Kids December 10: Natural Ornaments December 19: Discover Winter 2500 Upper Farm Road, Norristown, PA. 610-270-0215; www.montcopa.org.
Churchville Nature Center December 2, 9, 16, 23, 30: Saturday Morning Bird Walks December 3: Holiday Craft Show December 10: Sunday Naturalist Walk December 15: Owl Prowl Campfire December 16: Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count 501 Churchville Lane, Churchville, PA. 215-357-4005; www.churchvillenaturecenter.org. Bowmanâ€™s Hill Wildflower Preserve December 2: Holiday Wreath Workshop December 9: Edible Ornaments for Birds December 21: Winter Solstice Walk 1635 River Road, New Hope, PA. 215-862-2924; www.bhwp.org. Bucks County Audubon Society at Honey Hollow December 2: Holiday Decorating Open House December 27-29: School Holiday Camp 2877 Creamery Road, New Hope, PA. 215-297-5880; www.bcas.org. Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Through December 15: Autumn Hawk
Watch December 2: Christmas Bird Count for Kids 1700 Hawk Mountain Road, Kempton, PA. 610-756-6961; www.hawkmountain.org. Green Lane Park December 2: More Holiday Crafts 2144 Snyder Road, Green Lane, PA. 215-234-4528; www.montcopa.org. John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove December 3: Holiday Open House December 23: Christmas Bird Count 1201 Pawlings Road, Audubon, PA. 610-666-5593; www.johnjames.audubon.org. Lock 60 at Schuylkill Canal Park December 9: Holiday Luminaria 400 Towpath Road, Mont Clare, PA. 610-917-0021; www.montcopa.org.
To learn about more about new construction and active living options at Pine Run, call 800.992.8992 or visit PineRun.org EOE 22
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777 Ferry Road, Doylestown, PA 18901
Jennifer Finch Jennifer Finch used to think that art was a family curse, but now she admits that it’s a proven blessing by Frank D. Quattrone
Even stripped of foliage and laden with the weight of snow, the trees exude energy. They appear to be expectant, dancing, poised in the elusive colors of winter, certain that spring will come again. Even the blue, yellow, and peach— the sky, the air, the icy earth—pulsate with promise. This is what a fine artist can do. This is what Jennifer Finch has created in “Dormant Fruit,” the oil on wood featured here. Ironic, too, in that Jennifer is not the least bit fond of winter. She says, “Winter can be so oppressive.” But her art—she works in pastel, charcoal, acrylic, oil, and more and says she feels “compelled to paint every single day”—takes her everywhere. Born in Texas, Jennifer lives in Ivyland and works as an art therapist and teaches art classes at two senior resident facilities in Montgomery County. WINTER 2017
“I used to look at art as a family curse,” she says. “But it’s proven a blessing. Unlike the typical impression people have of artists, I never saw my family not working.” Her mother, Ellen Hall, is a successful artist and founder of the Ivyland Art Group, who lives and paints in Bucks County. Her father, Richard Finch, she calls “one of the top five wood carvers in the U.S.” His exquisite lifelike sculpture of an owl with extended wings sits in Jennifer’s living room, a testament to genetic coding. And her paintings of animals, mostly companion cats and dogs she has owned and loved, grace the walls, stairwells, and every niche you can find in her cozy home. Animals—she turns and flips them over, carefully observing every subtle expression and movement. Then she “photographs them” in her mind, sketching what she saw and later painting a composite. “I love to ‘meet’ each dog and cat I paint. Each has a unique personality.” On her website she writes, “Each animal encompasses a specific energy, which is believed to offer lessons or impart healing properties.” But animals, and her parents, are not the only influences on Jennifer Finch. Even her stepfather is an artist, a cartoonist, to be exact. And for a time, she considered cartooning and illustration as a career path, as she would “always have work.” Always entranced by the fine arts, she was naturally drawn to Manhattan, where she lived a Bohemian lifestyle not unlike her mother’s hippie youth, and where she also studied classical ballet and entertained thoughts of a career in dancing, until injuries led
her back to art. She received her MFA in Fine Art from the School of Visual Arts in New York City and later returned to earn her M.A. in Art Therapy from New York University. It was Tom Gill, the Dell Comics’ cartoonist who drew The Lone Ranger for 11 years, who encouraged Jennifer to perfect her technique in art school. And it was Bob Stanley, the brotherin-law of celebrated pop artist Roy Lichtenstein, who became her mentor and who has kept in touch with her ever since she graduated from art school. It must have been in the stars. She’s been painting since she was a little
It was Tom Gill, the Dell
It was in upstate New York, in fact, where Jennifer first encountered, and climbed, the trees featured in “Dormant Fruit.” She says it’s a pear tree in front, surrounded by golden delicious, red delicious, and MacIntosh apple trees, and a peach tree “that was later split by an ice storm,” she recalls. Despite her antipathy for winter, Jennifer says she did enjoy the winters in upstate New York and became “inspired by white.” She says, “White is a prism of all the colors, I learned from a ballerina I once befriended. And I realized that white, which can be so subtle, is a challenging color to work with. One of my favorite paintings, where white is prominent, is a Monet of a magpie on a fence.” Jennifer is fascinated by the infusion of blue or yellow into white. She says that each color reacts to the colors next to them, pointing out, in her living room, a painting of “China,” a white cat she has known, with perceivable hints of yellow and blue that clearly enhance the character of her feline friend. She says that every artist has “a unique voice.” Point welltaken. Take the time to check out Jennifer’s figurative subjects—her landscapes, her portraits (you’ll love the “Duke of Woodstock”), her sculptures, and perhaps most warmly, her “canines” and “felines,” and you will understand why she was told as a young girl, “being an accountant would be absolutely rebellious in this family.” Check our Jennifer Finch’s art on her website: http://www.jen niferfinchfas.com.
Comics’ cartoonist who drew The Lone Ranger for 11
years, who encouraged
Jennifer to perfect her technique
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in art school.
girl. Her mother taught her how to paint murals. And a later mentor, Melissa Bridge, taught her other techniques and how to work in different media. Even her son, Ben, who attends William Tennent High School in Warminster, has become, according to his mother, “quite a nice cartoonist.” Over the years, Jennifer has done decorative paintings and ornamental work (like tree studies). She has painted murals, sculpted a public work called “Animal Square” at Union Square Park in the Big Apple; and her work has been shown in many solo gallery exhibits both locally and in New York.
Frank Quattrone is a an author, newspaper editor, teacher and freelance writer from Montgomery County who writes about local history, food, art and people.
In The Garden
Winter Bird Feeding Feeding birds during the winter not only attracts beauty to our yards but it also helps the birds to get ready for nesting in the spring by Lori Rose
Add some color, movement and fun to your dreary winter landscape. Put up a bird feeder! You'll be amazed at how many birds will appreciate your kindness, and you'll wonder where they all came from. So find a bird identification book and follow these tips to get started. Birds are most likely to eat where they feel safe. Bird feeders should be sited a few yards from, but within a short flight of trees and shrubs. The birds will wait for their turn to eat there, and feel protected from predators. It's a delight to see them fly from shrub to feeder to tree and back again. Of course, the best position for a bird feeder is one where you can watch the birds from a window. WINTER 2017
Ground level feeding is the easiest – simply scatter a nice bird food mix on the ground and wait. If your mix does not have sunflower seeds, squirrels should leave most of it alone. Look for mourning doves, sparrows and juncos eating on the ground Cardinals, finches, and jays prefer to eat a bit higher. There are many designs of bird table to choose from, or make your own from plywood with a small rim around the edge to hold the bird food. Attach it to a pole, fence post, or mailbox post. Drill a hole for a twig into the table for birds to perch on while feeding. You can even hang additional feeders from hooks around the edge. On this feeder you can offer millet, sunflower seed, cracked corn, and peanuts. Spread seed out so it is also accessible to ground-feeding birds – they enjoy platform feeders too. Hanging feeders will attract finches, chickadees, sparrows, and the adorable titmouse. When choosing food for hanging feeders, remember that wild birds are selective in their food choices. Millet and black oil sunflower are attractive to a great variety of birds. Small birds like goldfinches love thistle. Check the content of any seed mixes you buy, as fillers like milo and rapeseed will go to waste because songbirds won't eat them. Some popular mixedseed feeders are tube feeders, with several ports equipped with perches, and hopper feeders —a seed bin with a tray attached for the birds to feed from Suet feeders offer suet, or animal fat, as a high-energy food for insect-eating birds like downy and hairy woodpeckers, flickers, chickadees, and nuthatches. Suet is especially important in winter when insects are less available for these birds. You can pick up suet from the butcher, but commercially prepared cakes, often with seeds, fruit and nuts added, are easier to handle and a lot less messy. Hang a suet feeder from a platform feeder, shepherds crook, or in a tree. Watch these birds
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hang upside down and sideways while they eat. Try smearing some suet or even peanut butter on tree trunks. It's great fun to watch them climb the tree trunks—sometimes they even climb down head first. It can take time for these birds to find your suet feeder, so be patient. It's worth the wait. Small window feeders give you a chance to observe wild birds at close range. Window feeders are usually small and lightweight, and attach to the window with suction cups or hooks. They are easy to fill – you may
tent, but don't worry if you must stop feeding briefly—while traveling, for example. Wild birds will find other food in your absence, especially in suburban areas, where other bird feeders are just a short flight away. If you live in a rural or isolated area, however, try to arrange to have a neighbor maintain the feeders in your absence, just as you would have someone look after your pets or houseplants. Outwit the Squirrels: Locate bird feeders at least ten feet away from any possible jump-off point like
not even need to go outside – and you can choose which birds you'd like to lure by what kind seed or other treat you offer. Some birds cannot see windows, and can fly right into them and knock themselves out. If you use a window feeder on a window that does not have grids, use spray "snow" or plastic window clings to make the window more visible. It is important to provide a source of fresh water too, and birdbaths are ideal. They are especially important in winter, when open water can be hard to find. Equip your bird bath with a heater and keep the water fresh and the bath clean. A water feature, particularly if it is dripping or flowing, attracts a great variety of birds. Feed more often at times of peak energy demand, such as during temperature extremes, nesting season, migration, and in late winter or early spring, when natural seed sources are depleted. Keep your feeding schedule consis-
branches or deck rails Top your feeder with a domed squirrel baffle. It will also keep the seed dry. Grease the bird feeder pole with Vaseline and watch them slide right down. Place a window feeder up high where squirrels can't reach it. And scatter sunflower seeds, dried corn-on-the-cob and other squirrel treats on the ground to occupy them. Having wild birds in our yards bring us the beauty and activity that we need so badly when cabin fever sets in. Feed the birds often in late winter and early spring, when natural seed and insect sources are depleted. This will help the birds to get ready for nesting in the spring, and they will already enjoy coming to your garden. Lori Rose, the Midnight Gardener, is a Temple University Certified Master Home Gardener and member of the GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators. She has gardened since childhood, and has been writing about gardening for more than 15 years.
Literally holding us and everything else in our homes, floors made and covered right present the foundation of every room’s appearance by Mary Beth Schwartz When the winter months bring on the chill, we look to make our indoor spaces comfy cozy. One way to add warmth and style to the homestead is to update flooring. I recently chatted with the Tanja Kern, Editor of Floor Trends. Kern shared with me some of the top flooring trends for 2017. Let’s take a look.
Hardwood In the area of hardwoods, Kern noted some interesting
porcelain tiles that emulate the look also continue to be a trend.
Vinyl Kern pointed out that luxury vinyl flooring has become one of the fastest growing categories in flooring. Advancements have taken place in terms of design as well as performance. There is room for more growth with manufacturers investing in technology and domestic produc-
changes. “Trends in wood floor finishes continue to evolve in
tion. “Homeowners today are looking for the perfect floor-
response to advances in technology, fashion, and consumer
ing solution that has the appearance of natural hardwood or
demand,” she said. Lighter colors, textured surfaces, and
stone, but is practical enough for today’s busy lifestyle. They
lower luster finishes are playing up the raw, natural beauty
want the look and feel of hardwood, without all the mainte-
of wood. According to Kern, creativity in product develop-
nance and costs associated with it.” Kern added that these
ment among suppliers is opening up design possibilities and
products are offering great durability and scratch resistance
offering today’s consumers more options that ever before to
showcase their personal style. “Three of today’s hottest trends are longer, wider planks, wire brushed surfaces, and cerused visuals. We are seeing more of the natural character
Carpet With the rise of hard surface flooring, Kern said that there
of the wood. There is a trend toward minimal applied dis-
is an increased use of area rugs and runners to add softness,
tressing and decreased saw marks. However, we are seeing
texture, and acoustical benefits to spaces. Kern pointed out
less uniformity with more of the natural of the grain, knots,
that stair runners are moving towards more contemporary
and splits showing.”
and simpler patterns. Carpeting continues to get softer, and
Tile With tile, Kern said the question is not what is trending in
technology has increased stain resistance and durability of these flooring products. “People are going for broadloom carpets that are cut specifically to the size they need for the
the category, it is what is not trending. “There are so many
space. In terms of carpet, we are seeing elegantly nuanced
ceramic and porcelain tile sizes, styles, and designs on the
neutrals, various textures, and tone-on-tone patterns that
market. Some of the top looks we are seeing include the evo-
add depth and beauty to a space.”
lution of porcelain tile that emulates the look of wood looks (the natural look of wood grains or wood grain looks colored with lush blues and greens); the interpretation of mod-
Color Design According to Kern, gray remains in favor as the fresher
ern materials such as concrete; tiles that emulate natural
neutral. “The trend started on the West Coast and has been
stone; large format and plank sizes; slightly warmer color
embraced across the country. Tones range from light pebble
palettes that move from light to dark; and slightly textured
colors to deep saturated charcoals. Gray tones complement
and metallic looks. Kern added that encaustic cement tiles or
many design styles and palettes and can go cool or warm,” she concluded.
Five area flooring professionals:
Carpet, Floor, & Countertops Abram W. Bergey & Sons, Inc. Entering four generations, Abram W. Bergey & Sons, Inc. has been in business since 1950. Covering residential and commercial clients in Bucks and Montgomery counties, along with surrounding areas, the company offers carpeting & area rugs, vinyl flooring, countertops, bamboo & cork flooring. They also sell hardwood flooring, laminate flooring, as well as tile, including ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone. “Trending right now is luxury vinyl planks and porcelain planks. These planks give the look of hardwood flooring, yet are more durable and water resistant,” pointed out President Randy Bergey, Abram W. Bergey & Sons, Inc. At Abram W. Bergey & Sons, Inc., they cover everything for sales to installation. “We are committed to upholding the highest standard of business practices. We build long-term relationships with our customers. We specialize in finding the right products for our customer’s individual needs, with quality workmanship at competitive pricing,” Bergey added. Abram W. Bergey & Sons, Inc. is located at 311 Main Street in Harleysville. They have over 15 trained specialists to install their products at your home or business. You can call them at 215-2568846. For more information, visit their Website at www.bergeyflooring.com. You also can log onto Houzz to see some of their favorite projects.
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Opposite left, The front of Abram W. Bergey & Sons, Inc. Opposite center, carpeted steps and hall. Opposite right, Randy and Micah Bergey. Above, Randy showing a customer hardwood flooring samples. Below, a view of the showroom.
Hardwood Plank Flooring Colonial Plank Floors For over 14 years, Owner Rick Spengler has been offering homeowners handcrafted, hand-finished hardwood plank flooring in a Colonial or farmhouse style. His wide plank flooring has been installed in 250-year-old farmhouses, restaurants, offices, and newly constructed homes. “Our handcrafted flooring is designed to add a sense of tradition and warmth to your home or business.” With clients from Maine to Arizona, south to Georgia, and everywhere in between, family run Colonial Plank Floors recently produced their seven hundredth flooring project. Their shop is located in Colmar, north of Philadelphia, in Montgomery County. “We create planking using historically true methods from the eighteenth century. Our planks are crafted from solid, kiln dried hardwoods from Pennsylvania and surrounding states harvested with environmentally friendly practices,” Spengler noted. He went on to tell me that his craftsmen take great pride in their craft. In fact, much of the cutting on the wide planking is done by hand using eighteenth century tools, just as it was done in the past. “Our finishes are one hundred percent hand applied and hand rubbed to achieve a look that cannot be duplicated by sprayed on stains and finishes.” The plank floors are characterized by long boards, up to 13 feet, an average of nine feet. They are prefinished with European oil. Width of the solid wood flooring, predominantly in white oak, is six to 10 inches. You can call Owner Rick Spengler, Colonial Plank Floors, at 215-9973390. His shop is located at 151 Discover Drive, #104, in Colmar. For more information visit www.colonialplankfloors.com.
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Opposite left, beautiful period handcrafted flooring. Above, a balcony with rustic flooring. Below, a living room that shows off Colonial Plank Floorsâ€™ work.
Fair Trade Rugs Ten Thousand Villages
Store Manager Bonnie Moyer flips through the hand knotted rugs she has in her Ten Thousand Villages store located at 781 Route 113 in Souderton. A hand-spun wool Kazak tribal with bold geometric patterns. An intricate floral Persian with more colors than the eye can count. A naturally dyed, handspun wool Chobi Natural Dye Tribal in a stylistic floral pattern. Each corner lifted reveals another rug more stunning than the last. “Artisans make their own artistic and technical decisions. Just as we wouldn’t ask a painter to make 150 copies of the same painting, we wouldn’t ask our knotters to knot 150 of the same rug.” All of the rugs at Ten Thousand Villages are hand knotted in Pakistan by fairly paid adults. Arranged by size, Ten Thousand Villages in Souderton has rugs in both classic and contemporary patterns, from sizes ranging from 2’ x 3’ to 10’ x 14’, including hallway runners. The Ten Thousand Villages Rug Room is a partnership between Ten Thousand Villages and Bunyaad, a fair trade artisan group in Pakistan. Bunyaad means “foundation” in Urdu. Over 50 percent of the rug artisans are women. According to Bonnie Moyer, Bunyaad provides a foundation for women by paying them a living wage to knot heirloom quality rugs on looms set within their homes. Women can work on the looms around their other household chores, like caring for children, preparing meals, and tending their home. Work on the looms gives women year-round stable employment that they have control over. With this income, women are finding increased financial independence and can financially contribute to the success of their family. They are able to send their children to school and plan for the future. Having a wage-earning skill gives these women a sense of pride as well as an avenue to true social change for themselves and their family. “When you purchase a rug at Ten Thousand Villages, you not only acquire a beautiful piece of functional art, you also support lives, culture, and education in Pakistan,” Moyer said. Ten Thousand Villages is a non-profit, fair trade retailer with more than 100 stores in North America. All products sold at Ten Thousand Villages are fairly traded, a system that offers artisans a fair living trade for their work. Each purchase provides income for skilled artisans and their communities in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Ten Thousand Villages has been in the fair trade movement for over 60 years. You can visit the Souderton location at 781 Route 113. The store number is 215-723-1221. For more information, visit http://rugs.tenthousandvillages.com.
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Opposite left, artisan Sabah working with a loom. Opposite right, rug crafters in Pakistan. Above, Souderton year-round Rug Room at Ten Thousand Villages. Below, a Persian silk rug.
Hardwoods & Carpets Roy Lomas Carpets & Hardwoods For over 60 years, Roy Lomas Carpets & Hardwoods has been serving the Tri-State area. Since 1956, the company’s customer base has grown to include homeowners and businesses in the outlying Philadelphia suburbs, South Jersey, and Allentown regions. Roy Lomas Carpets & Hardwoods maintains 35,000 square feet, which includes a designer showroom, remnant room, and numerous warehouses, where hundreds of flooring styles are always on display and allows for warehouse-direct purchasing. The designer showroom features full flooring samples of the latest styles and colors of both residential and commercial carpet, vinyl, hardwood, and laminates. Next to the showroom, there is a 5,000 square foot carpet remnant room and a 25,000 square foot warehouse, housing more than 600 carpet remnants and hundreds of rolls of carpet and vinyl flooring at close-out prices. Here customers can buy “Warehouse Direct.” Some of the brands featured include Armstrong, Aladdin, Beaulieu, Bruce, Congoleum, Dixie Homes, Fabrica, Hollytex, Karastan, Mannington, Masland, Mohawk, and Shaw. In keeping with the Go Green Movement, the company offers a variety of flooring options that are more environmentally friendly. The family owned company not only emphasizes on recycling, but gives back to the community. Roy Lomas Carpets & Hardwoods has donated products to charities such as Habitat for Humanity, the Extreme Home Makeover television show, and to victims of natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. The company has received numerous Best of Houzz Service Awards. Roy Lomas Carpets & Hardwoods prides itself on customer service and features a full-time service department. Throughout the project, customers will receive such services as free floor measurements, professional floor installation, and cut and binding services for custom area rugs and runners. Customers can visit Roy Lomas Carpets & Hardwoods at 2150 Detwiler Road in Harleysville. Their phone number is 215-256-9575. On the Web, you can visit their Houzz page or their website, www.roylomascarpets.com.
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Opposite left, Opposite left, Lomas carpeting in a spaceous living room. Opposite right, a traditional oak floor. Above, this breakfast nook looks free and unencumbered with hardwood flooring. Below, the carpet in this room, installed by Lomas, is what puts the room together in terms of decor.
Floor Coverings Galore Barb-Lin CarpetOne Family owned and operated, Barb-Lin CarpetOne offers a vast selection of floor coverings. Since 1948, the Doylestown business has served homeowners and businesses in Bucks, Montgomery, Philadelphia, and Lehigh counties in Pennsylvania, along with Mercer and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey. Barb-Lin CarpetOne offers sales and installation on such major manufacturers as Karastan, Pergo, Mannington, Armstrong, Bigelow, Stanton, Mirage, Masland, Fabrica, and Lees. Their relationships with these companies not only allows quality products, but the guarantees and warranties that come with these products. Awarded Best of Bucks-Mont for 18 years in a row, Barb-Lin CarpetOne has the carpet, hardwood, vinyl, tile, laminate, area rugs, even window treatments, that you are searching for. They also offer some exclusive services. For example, if you want to shop from home, they will bring the showroom to you and your home. A measurement and estimate then are given at the visit. All projects come standard with The Beautiful Guarantee. Barb-Lin CarpetOne invites you to browse their site, www.barb-lin.com, for design ideas, budget tips, and other helpful resources, including the Stain First Aid App for those worrisome stain emergencies. The company is headquartered on 640 North Main Street in Doylestown. For more information, call 215-348-8116. MARY BETH SCHWARTZ IS A FREELANCE WRITER WHO CONTRIBUTES TO REGIONAL PUBLICATIONS.
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Opposite, Armstrong hardwood flooring, American Scrape. Above, Armstrong laminate, Coastal Living. Bottom, Armstrong vinyl tile, Pryzm.
Creating Personal Space The designers at Le Blue Goose design for their customersâ€™ needs and desires as seen by the rooms in this Skippack estate by Bob Waite 38 M O N T C O M A G . C O M
Cindy Brody has been an interior designer for 35 years,15 which have been in Skippack running
getting what best serves the customer, rather than having any kind of agenda.
her successful design business, Le Blue Goose.
Le Blue Goose does design anywhere. Cindy
Whenever her phone rings you can hear the goose
says, “We have clients in Philadelphia, Mont-
that symbolizes her business, a business she loves,
gomery County, the Poconos, the Lehigh Valley,
especially the details that most of the uninitiated
the Shore and even further. Le Blue Goose’s de-
don’t even think about when buying furniture or
signers are willing to travel.
setting up a room on their own. “I love fabrics and
The house that we are showing in this article is a
I get excited when see new fabrics.” She also loves
large estate in Skippack. It is in process, and only
meeting people and getting to know about them
some of the rooms are done, but the family is hap-
through her specialty. “Design is very personal. We
pily living there and enjoying the changes made to
have to learn a lot about people to help them create
their living space.
the living space that fits their needs and desires.”
Le Blue Goose is located at 4013 Skippack Pike,
Le Blue Goose has three full-time designers,
Skippack, PA. To make an appointment or inquiry,
Cindy Brody, Amber Verazin and Monica Magal-
call 610-584-9800. For more information, visit
haes. Both Amber and Monica also love interior de-
sign. Amber, an art major in college, sees interior design as similar to painting, which she also does in her spare time. “Space is like a canvas,” she says. “When a room is finished I say, ‘Wow! Look what we just created.’” Monica also loves the creative process. She says, “I started out being an interior designer when I was a young girl and I would always be changing things in my mother’s house. I like making my space feel right for me and giving back to others by making people feel good and comfortable.” The design philosophy of Le Blue Goose is simple. The designers at Le Blue Goose design for their customers wants and needs. Cindy explains, “We are not trying to push styles. We have to find what they like to create the space.” This involves spending some quality time with a prospective customer finding out what they need, what colors they like and kinds and styles of furniture they enjoy. Amber admits, “They may not know what style they like, but we find out by looking at what they like in their space now and showing them different styles and fabrics.” Time spent with the client involves an appointment, an on-site appointment and lots of preliminary questions to help the designers make their suggestions on wall color, furniture, rugs, accessories, fabrics and, of course, function. They sometimes are able to show a client something that the client never would have thought of liking. Amber tells of a client who said she didn’t like stripes but when she was shown a room with a certain kind of stripes, was dazzled and embraced it. The point is
The Hearth Room, in the left foreground, is a leather ottoman from Hekman Furniture with a nail head trim design. There is a tray on the bottom that fits on top of the ottoman for serving. The chair with its teal and tope background was designed by Amber and custom made by a firm in North Carolina. The custom designed couch is cream, coffee and brown with velvet stripes. The fabric is from Fabricut. The rug is from Beatrice & Martin in Philadelphia. The colors were picked by Le Blue Goose designers.
The eat-in kitchen has table and chairs from Habersham. It is a trestle based table with a hickory tabletop. The chair fabric is custom made from Verrain and the rug is a Beatrice & Martin custom size. The cotton blend table runner is from Fabricut. 40 M O N T C O M A G . C O M
In the Hearth Room, cabinets by Habersham Company are hand painted with French Vanilla color and artfully distressed.
In the library are bookshelves and a chair from Lexington Chairs that has a Moroccan style. The tangerine fabric is from Fabricut. The Oriental rug, made at a local boutique, has jewel colors picked by designers.
40 M O N T C O M A G . C O M
In the Formal Living Room the custom designed window treatment is made of fabric from Highland Court and trim from Scalamandre. Amber designed the eggplant chair, which included drawing it and sending all the dimensions. The fabric is velvet from Verrain. The ottoman is custom made in North Carolina with silk fabric from Highland Court.
Formal Living room corner with secretary desk and two traditional chairs kept by the homeowner. WINTER 2017
In this guest bedroom is a window treatment with Dravet gold embroidered scroll fabric. The rug is a hand-knitted Oriental. The bedding is from Eastern Accents with shades of gold, brown, spa blue and teal. The bench in front of the bed is custom made in cream damask fabric and the pillow on bench is from Pierre Frey Bolster.
In this guest bedroom is a table from the Pottery Barn. The rug is a hand knitted Oriental rug, pale blue, brick red and cream. On the bed are custom Euroshams and bed skirt made with fabric by Stroheim in brick red and tope. The shams have a blue trim. The decorative pillows are custom Stroheim fabric. The duvet cover is custom made by Highland Court with a decorative cord by Fabricut. The lamps are from Uttermost. 44 M O N T C O M A G . C O M
The powder room has a hardwood floor. The curtain is Beacon Hill with Highland Court tassel trim. The three paintings on the wall are from Ashton & Company. WINTER 2017
As three chocolate makers in MONTCO agree, chocolate making is an art that makes everyone happy, especially those who practice it by Patti Guthrie
Chocolate! Just saying that word conjures up warm happy memories for nearly anyone. Chocolate was consumed only as a beverage for several hundred years until the Swiss developed the first appealing eating chocolate in the 1800s. Philadelphia, chocolate companies soon were flourishing, Whitman founded in 1842, Wilbur in 1865 and Asher’s in 1892. By 1917, the candy-making industry in the City of Brotherly Love had exploded from 20 small stores in the early 1800s to more than 130 a century later. Not all produced chocolate. However, with such a rich history, is it any wonder that this area is rife with fabulous chocolatiers? Here, we’ll profile three that provide sweet chocolate confections to please everyone. Bergin’s Chocolates, a small family-owned company in Lansdale, has been in business for 83 years. Presently co-owned by third generation Mike Snyder and his cousin Joe Bergin are two of the three full time employees, Mike’s sister Roxanne Parke being the third. According to Mike, “When my grandfather was around 12, he worked with a candy-maker in the Olney section of Philly. He and my grandmother moved to Lansdale in 1928. During the Depression, he worked for a company that provided boxes for candy makers. He decided to start making candy for extra money. They started in the kitchen, making butter creams and caramels with chocolate.” Mike continued, “At some point, he was able to quit his day job. He’d go door to door in a wagon to sell their candy. They outgrew the kitchen and set up a shop in their basement.” In 1948, Bergin’s Chocolates moved to their present location on Morris Road, into a 3,800-square-foot building that could house their 80-foot-long enrober or coating machine. The kitchen is in the back along with a storage area.
Photos by Melissa Kutalek
Top, at Berginâ€™s Chocolates, butter cream filling ready to fill chocolate candies. Above, delectible chocolate butter creams made by Asherâ€™s. Bottom right, recently made fudge candy on pans at Bridge Street Chocolates.
“Most people know us for our butter creams. They’re our signature chocolates,” said Mike. They also make many other confectionary treats, including turtles and chocolatecovered pretzels, starting the latter around 15 years ago. Their business has changed a lot as the area around them has been developed. Mike explained, “Most of our business used to be wholesale to churches and other groups for fund-raising. But, now we have an open shop because there are so many more people in the area. These days, most sales are retail.” During their busy times, they employ three to five parttimers. “Christmas and Easter are super busy for us,” he said. Bergin’s Chocolates are available not only at their store but also at Merrymead Farm, the West Point Deli and Maple Acres. Mike continued, “We’re a little busier for Mother’s Day and at the end of the school year because people want teacher and bus driver gifts.” When asked about Valentine’s Day, he replied, “It’s busy only for a few days and only if it doesn’t snow!” Stop in to Bergin’s Chocolates if you want a sweet treat or visit their website at www.berginschocolate.com. Bridge Street Chocolates in downtown Phoenixville just celebrated their seventh anniversary. Said owner Gail Warner, “We’re a community chocolate shop, a throwback to older times. Years ago, every time we went to a different town, I visited the chocolate store,” adding, “Tradition is important to me. I’m a Jersey girl from Titusville. My parents instilled an appreciation for history, culture and manners. In seven years, I’ve seen our customers get engaged, married and have babies who now are toddlers. We’re part of their family tradition. That’s nice. We’re providing something wonderful and special.” When she was younger, she dreamed of opening her own chocolate shop. “I was in Lambertville, NJ at a place on Bridge Street ready to sign a lease when reality got in the way. I suddenly realized I didn’t know anything about chocolate or running a business. Instead, I entered the corporate world, doing better than I ever imagined with my career in financial services,” she said. At 47, she experienced an “Ah-ha” moment, “When I was 18, my dad died suddenly. He was 48.” Her dream of her own chocolate shop re-emerged. “We’d moved to Phoenixville. I parked on Bridge Street and counted the cars passing by. There were a lot. So, I went to the Chocolate Academy in Chicago run by Barry Callebaut, one of the most acclaimed chocolate-makers. The training lasted a week. I then opened my shop. The community of chocolatiers is a great group of people who help each other. I belong to the Retail Confectioners Association of Philadelphia, founded in 1918. Asher and Hershey were founding members.
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Above, an assortment of chocolate covered pretzels made by Asher’s. This is almost a signature candy and is sold throughout the area in most candy stores. Opposite top, (inset) Mike Snyder (left) and his cousin Joe Bergin behind the counter at Bergin’s Chocolates. Below them in their shop are shelves stocked with candies. Opposite bottom, (inset) Gail Warner and an employee behind the counter at Bridge Street Chocolates. Below them are several pieces of their chocolates.
continued on page 79
by Mary Beth Schwartz
During those dark winter months we look to the lighting in our homes for uplifting spirits. According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), there are three basic types of lighting that work together in the home. The first is ambient or general lighting. This level of lighting offers a comfortable amount of brightness without glare. Homeowners can achieve ambient lighting from chandeliers, wall-mounted or ceiling fixtures, or outdoor lanterns. The second type is task lighting. You might use pendants, lamps, and under cabinet, track, or recessed lighting. This lighting should restrict shadows, glare, and eye strain while you are doing everyday tasks such as reading, preparing cuisine, or grooming. Accent lighting is the third type of lighting. According to the ALA, it is used to draw the eye to houseplants, paintings, sculptures, and other prized possessions. It also can be used to highlight the texture of a brick or stone wall, window treatments, or outdoor landscaping. When it comes to lighting design, many homeowners like to be up on the latest trends. The ALA has teamed up with Better Homes & Gardens to offer these families their trend watches for the year in Lighting 2017 magazine. Here are some of their design chart toppers.
Let There Be Light
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Discover some new ways to brighten up your design spaces from three area lighting professionals WINTER 2017
Above, the overhead pendant lights that give this room a warm glow from Arteriors are
carried by Kody Lighting. Opposite top, the
kitchen lighting by Bergey Electric, Inc. takes into account both beauty and function, recognizing that proper lighting is essential in
the kitchen. Opposite bottom, Tech Light-
ingâ€™s modern pendants are retailed by Denney Electric Supply.
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Screens Lighting fixtures are increasingly including patterns of dots for visual appeal. These dots can be colored, bent, even cut out.
Cool Colors This lighting has hues bright and bold in the green and blue families.
Sputnik These lighting fixtures are both modern and retro. Their design makes one think of the sun.
Crystals Crystals remain an element of lighting fixtures. Todayâ€™s designs might mix sizes and materials to add more contrast.
Barn Aesthetic Materials and form from our farming past make an appearance in these contemporary yet rustic lighting fixtures.
Criss-Crossed Geometry According to Lighting 2017, shapes tumble, stack, and bisect, creating new to lighting shapes and forms that focus on dynamic movement as well as sculptural silhouettes on ceilings, tables, and floors. With some research in your pocket, it is time for the real fun to begin. You are ready to go shopping at some of the areaâ€™s lighting showrooms.
Above, indoor or outdoor, Bergey Electric, Inc. has lighting solutions that can make spaces friendly and inviting. Opposite top, Palisades South-Hope Bluetooth Lantern squares to make an outdoor space look exotic are available at Denney Electric Supply. Opposite bottom, Hinkley outdoor lighting available at Kody Lighting. 54
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Denney Electric Supply
their headquarters, Denney Electric
Owners Steve and Brenda Thornton
Supply has clients in all of Bucks and
have been in business for 79 years.
Montgomery counties, Philadelphia,
With eight locations, Ambler being
continued on page 59 W I N T E R 2 0 1 7 55
Photos by J. Haeberle
Peter Wentz Farmstead A visit to the Peter Wentz Farmstead can be like stepping back into our Revolutionary period history and in December, you may even encounter the infamous Belsnickel by Frank D. Quattrone
MONTCO MAG . COM
George Washington slept here.” You’ve undoubtedly heard that expression so many times that you’ve begun questioning its accuracy or authenticity. And although Valley Forge National Historical Park draws the lion’s share of attention because of the seminal encampment directed by Washington during the harsh winter of 1777-1778, there are many other attractions in the region where the great general’s presence has served as a lightning rod for historic preservation. You’ll find one such hidden gem in Worcester Township just one block east of bustling Skippack Pike. One of several educational and recreational locations administered by the Montgomery County Division of Parks, Trails, & Historic Sites, the Peter Wentz Farmstead has most likely survived the vagaries of time and neglect just because Washington once camped there. Site administrator Dianne Cram describes the site as “a bucolic, pastoral farm where Peter and Rosanna Wentz, humble farmers raising their family as well as
livestock here since 1744, opened their doors to General Washington during the month of October 1777. No doubt the daily routine of three generations of Wentzes living here at the time was upset by Washington, who arrived with guards, servants, couriers, and more. Yes, there was a war going on. But it was also harvest season for the Wentzes. They would have been harvesting apples to crush into apple cider, pickling vegetables and canning fruits to help them through the winter. Plus, Peter Wentz could have been
Opposite, Peter Wentz Farmstead in the snow has a dignified appearance that is consonant with its noble history. Top, eighteenth-century cooking demonstrations are given regularly at the Farmstead. Bottom, lambs and other farm animals can be seen on the grounds.
charged with treason had the Revolution gone the other way.” Away from the vehicular traffic and cares of our everyday life stands this sturdy Georgian-style stone farmhouse that reflects both the German heritage and the relative wealth of this prosperous farming family. That it still stands, according to Cram, “is a testament to the greatness of Washington, a true hero who held this fragile group of colonies together during some of its darkest days.” It remained in the Wentz family until they sold it to Devault Bieber, a distant relative, in 1784. He, in turn, sold it to Reverend Melchior Schultz, a minister of the Schwenkfelder faith, ten years later. The farmstead remained in the Schultz family until Montgomery County purchased it in 1969, restoring it to its appearance in October 1777, when Washington rented the property as temporary headquarters shortly after his forces lost the Battle of Brandywine not long after the fall of Philadelphia to the British. During his brief sojourn at the farm, the general and his lieutenants planned the Battle of Germantown. Unfortunately, the British held sway in that encounter as well, precipitating the Revolutionary force’s winter encampment at Valley Forge. A jaunt to this attractive, nearly 275-year-old farmstead reminds visitors how important it is to preserve history in this manner, as it provides insight into early American history. To this day, it is a real working farm of 100 acres (it was 300 during the Wentzes’ day), owned and operated by the county. There are chickens, horses, and cows on the premises, in addition to six sheep, some of which are hand-sheared in the traditional eighteenth-century style during a special weekend every spring in one of the most popular and well-attended of the farmstead’s annual and periodic
events. Agricultural experts are also training oxen to pull a plow. At various featured programs, visitors can also attend eighteenth-century cooking demonstrations, learn how the Wentz family spent their time on winter evenings after sundown, hear a stirring reading of the Declaration of Independence, accompanied by cheers, musket firings, songs and toasts, and much more. Perhaps the most heralded annual event at Peter Wentz Farmstead is the holiday Candlelight Tour, which takes place this year on December 2. Guided by the soft glow of candles, guests can experience the farmhouse while being serenaded by seasonal music, complemented by a visit from Belsnickel, a Pennsylvania German St. Nicholas in full fur regalia. The following week, preschoolers can learn about historic holiday traditions and make crafts to take home. But any time of year except Mondays and major holidays, visitors can tour the house, which retains the original hallway floors and much of the original woodwork or, at least, wood from the eighteenth century. In the parlor, where the Wentz family would entertain guests, most of the furniture was made in Philadelphia. Silhouettes on the wall here and elsewhere in the house depict members of the Wentz and Schultz families. Visitors will also walk through a room that could have been used as an office, a storage area, or an extra guest room, no doubt accommodating some of Washington’s entourage during his stays on October 2–4 and again on October 16–20, 1777. Rosanna Wentz and her daughter, who cared for the house, the small children, and the garden, also grew herbs for medicines, preserved fruits and meats, collected eggs from the chickens, and prepared the family’s four daily meals. The primary kitchen contains a spacious re-built walk-in fireplace. In the stove room adjacent to the kitchen is a fascinating German-made five-plate
stove, whose sections depict the temptation of Joseph in a scene from the Old Testament. This stove would have generated a fair amount of heat to keep the family warm on cold nights. During our October visit, when the house was set up as it would have been during Washington’s stay, museum assistant Ted Edgar next led our group into the family room, where Mrs. Wentz might have done her spinning. The furniture in the room was military issue, which means it would have been relatively portable, easy to assemble and disassemble quickly to accommodate wartime needs. Carefully ascending the narrow winding staircase to the second floor, we arrived at the master bedroom, also known as “the Washington Room.” We learned that the Wentzes gave up their bed for Washington’s use. Fold-up military beds and trunks were also on display. Across the hall is a bedroom, originally the children’s room, then used by the Wentzes’ married son Matthias and his wife and featuring a trundle bed and a cradle for a child soon to be born. There are two other rooms on this floor, one containing a huge loom (the colonists made only twenty percent of their own clothing, we learned; the other eighty percent was still being imported from England), the other probably serving as a storage area or a bedroom for a Wentz daughter. The furniture and furnishings are all from the eighteenth century or reproductions from that era. Watch your head in the big, dark final room on the second floor. Its slanted roof is a challenge. This room could have been used for storage or to sleep servants. Climb down the stairway and you’ll soon be in the outer kitchen, featuring another walk-in oven. It was here that laundry might have been done and where slaughtered livestock would be cut, salted, and prepared for meals or winter use. Bread would be baked here once a week. continued on page 73
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LET THERE BE LIGHT continued from page 55
trades. According to General Manager
He likes to keep his clients educated.
Brian Kody, they have been known since
Here are a few of those terms.
and the surrounding region. The com-
shades where clients bring in their lamps
pany specializes in decorative lighting,
to be professionally fitted. They also offer
home decor, and electrical supplies. “We
a full repair and restoration department.
reveal colors of objects in contrast to nat-
offer hanging fixtures, landscape lighting,
Covering Delaware, Montgomery,
ural light. “If it is high, 89 to 90, your skin
their existence to stock over 5,000 lamp
Color Rendering Index (CRI) This is the ability of the light source to
portable fixtures such as lamps, specialty
Bucks, Chester, and Lancaster counties
tone will look great. If too low, you will
lighting, whole house controls/automa-
in PA, as well as nationwide, Kody Light-
look half dead,” Nyce noted.
tion products, LED products, and every
ing has designer lighting brands for any
kind of bulb you could imagine,” said
price point. Some of their major manufac-
Marketing Coordinator Jill Weiskopf
turers include Arteriors, Tech Lighting,
PureEdge, and Hinkley. You’ll also find
Customers have access to nearly all
LED recess lighting, LED landscape
major lighting manufacturers, namely
lighting, even LED linear lighting for
Driver “This is what is driving the LED chips to light and stay lit.”
Integrated Light Sources
Hinkley, Progress, Kichler, and Quoizel.
coves, under/in cabinet, and custom clos-
“There are two options for LED fix-
Their staff can assist in locating hard-to-
ets. One of the latest trends that they offer
tures, lamps (bulbs) or integrated. Inte-
find items. “We also can consult lighting
is color tuning. This is the idea that you
grated fixtures are a wave of our future
design/layout, as well as styles and trends.
change the color of LED lighting for the
where the light is built right into the fix-
In addition, we offer support in vendor
impact on one’s health and well-being.
ture. The biggest difference is how the
price negotiation and can recommend area contractors.”
Kody Lighting is located on the Main
light is dispersed. Integrated illuminates
Line at 530 West Lancaster Avenue in
the entire fixture, while the lamp option only does a portion of it.”
According to Weiskopf Noga, the
Wayne. Their phone number is 610-687-
lighting industry always is evolving. “LED
4201. For more information, visit them on
has dramatically changed the industry.
the web at www.kodylighting.com.
Bergey’s Electric, Inc.
The trend is white and bright and dimma-
There are tons of new LED products with warmer color options. Plus, we are seeing
“This is the color of the light source.
a variety of new finishes coming out from
In business for 80 years, Bergey’s Elec-
ble for control. 3000K is that color and
all manufacturers—wood, rope, beads,
tric, Inc. specializes in LED lighting inside
has become the standard for residential
matte metals. More ceiling fan choices are
and out, appliances & parts, and electrical
fixtures. 2700K is equal to the old incan-
available now than ever before. For the
needs. With residential and commercial
descent lamps or bulbs (yellowish) that
outdoors, manufacturers are offering more
clients in Bucks and Montgomery coun-
we are used to seeing in the past. 4000K
wet- and damp-rated fixtures to illuminate
ties, the full-service electrical contracting
spaces. If you have a large space to fill,
and HVAC company has its own appli-
there are oversized chandeliers for home-
ance and lighting showroom. Customers
owners who want to add drama and visual
can shop online at www.bergeyslighting-
“How bright is this fixture? You will
interest. Even gold is back in a big way.
showroom.com or in the store. Bergey’s
see 650, 800, 1,000 lumens. These num-
The new modern looks are far from the
Electric, Inc. is a diamond dealer of Hink-
bers are comparable to bulbs that we used
shiny brass lamps that adorn more tradi-
ley lighting products.
to know as 60, 75, 100, etc. Watts.”
Dave Nyce, Lighting Specialist for
Denney Electric Supply is headquar-
Bergey’s Electric, Inc., is ready to help
You can visit Dave Nyce at Bergey’s
tered at 61 East Butler Avenue in Ambler.
customers with indoor and outdoor light-
Electric, Inc. The company is headquar-
Their phone number is 215-628-8880. You
ing design. “Today’s fixtures are not only
tered at 2880 Penn Street in Hatfield.
can visit them online at www.denney
beautiful, sometimes compared to art, but
Their phone number is 215-723-5518.
electricsupply.com for further inspiration.
they run more efficiently than ever be-
For more information, visit their website
fore. Your creativity can be endless, and
we can help.”
For 68 years, Kody Lighting has spe-
According to Nyce, some of the new
cialized in residential and commercial
lighting terminology can be confusing.
MARY BETH SCHWARTZ
IS A FREELANCE WRITER WHO
CONTRIBUTES TO REGIONAL PUBLICATIONS.
specification for consumers and the WINTER 2017
Photos by Paul Wesley
Brian’s Small Trains
Model railroad enthusiast Brian Coleman’s love for N-scale trains was kindled as a child when one Christmas morning he found a postage stamp train set under the tree by Lew Larason
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When he was asked why he built such a large and elaborate train lay-out, Brian Coleman’s simple answer was, “I like trains.” When he was a child there was always a train under the Christmas tree. One year there was a new train under the tree—a postage stamp train. Brian got hooked on small model trains. He has Nscale trains, that scale being 1:160 gauge. The engines are about three and a half inches long, the track fiveeighths of an inch wide. And, all of his buildings, automobiles, trucks, people, animals and so on are in the same scale. Add to this that his maternal grandfather worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad. With a smile, Brian said, “That tells you why there are so many engines and cars with PRR on them.” Trains are in Brian’s blood. Brian started building his first lay-out about 25 years ago. It was four feet by eight feet. And he used it for at least 15 years in the basement of his previous home. When he moved to his present, larger house, he dismantled it to move to it his new basement. He has
Opposite, these N-scale cars are lined up on track at Brian Colemanâ€™s home. Top, Brian is moving scenery. Bridges and other scaled scenery make the railroad look very authentic. Right, Brian is checking the track, since even something as thin as a hair could create problems.
Henning’s Trains In 1939, Harry Henning, Sr., an admitted tinkerer, began repairing model trains part time. Harry, Jr. had the same love for them and talked his parents into allowing him to turn the garage behind their home in Lansdale into a hobby store. The rest is history. Today, the third and fourth generations of the Henning family are running the business. They’re a long-time authorized Lionel train dealer and service center. Along with Lionel, they also sell a variety of new and used trains and accessories for K-Line, MTH, Williams, A.F. and many more. Henning’s also has an extensive repair business for model trains, including Lionel O and Standard gauge. They also stock HO and N-scale trains and accessories, along with USA made track, the same as Lionel did 100 years ago. In addition, they offer their own paint line, Collector Colors. These are authentic old”toy colors for touch-up or duplication. They’re an Alkyd enamel paint, are plastic compatible and come in ½ pint cans. This 1,600-square-foot store is packed with colorful “toys” and everything a model railroader could want. Between their website and eBay store, they do as much business on line as they do in the store. They feel many people still want to see and touch the trains. Also, talking to a real person, surrounded by such colorful toys, is much nicer. Henning’s Trains is located at 128 South Line Street, across from Memorial Park, in Lansdale. Look for the trains running in front of the store or the large train mural on the building side. Their website is www.henningstrains.com or call them at 215-362-2442.
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been adding to it ever since, one section at a time. He now has an assemblage that is 32 feet long by 10 feet wide. In the N-scale that he uses, it’s one mile long and about a quarter of a mile wide. Brian has added the new sections in such a way that he can dismantle them if he needs to. They’re in eight-foot lengths and bolted together from the underside. Also, he has large pinned hinges on the outer surface where each section joins the next. If he needs to take them apart, he removes the bolts and then pulls out the pins. The sections then are free. When it’s time to reassemble, the first thing Brian does is connect the
cluding steam, diesel and electric. As for train cars, there are a minimum of 125 coal-hauling ones, many stored in the coal yard, plus passenger cars, tankers and box cars, some with sliding side doors. There also are coal tenders and cabooses. He has seven tracks in the freight yard, plus 10 more on the lower level and five on the upper, including a figure eight crossing. In addition, he has two tracks in sidings. Brian’s lay-out is, in his words, “Sort of the Susquehanna Valley and Gulf Summit.” Brian has designed the lay-out with tracks that will take the trains smoothly from the lower level to the upper and
His present lay-out is on two levels with
nine tunnels and lots of landscape such as mountains, stone walls and forests, along with several buildings. He has at least ten engines, including steam, diesel and electric. As for train cars, there are a minimum of 125 coal-hauling ones, many stored in the coal yard, plus passenger cars, tankers and box cars, some with sliding side doors.
hinge halves and drop in the pins. That way, all of the tracks line up perfectly. As he said, “If the tracks don’t line up correctly, there will be derailments. And that’s a mess with so many very small cars.” He added, “Something as thin as a human hair can derail an engine and all of the cars behind it.” Since even dust could create a problem, he is extra careful. Brian often vacuums the tracks to make sure stones or anything else aren’t on them. His present lay-out is on two levels with nine tunnels and lots of landscape such as mountains, stone walls and forests, along with several buildings. He has at least ten engines, in-
back again. A line of cars on the tracks will disappear into a tunnel and come out of the other end on a different level. He said, “At the figure eight, I have to be careful when there are several trains running. I don’t want more than one at that crossing at the same time for obvious reasons.” Brian has made most of the landscape he’s using. The mountains are framed with wood, then covered with screening such as that used in doors and windows. Next, he covers the screen with joint compound. He commented, “After the compound dries, I paint it in earth colors and add rocks, continued on page 69
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BRIAN’S SMALL TRAINS
genial server Secora Johnston recommended, for Eve’s entrée, a superb Pan-seared Mahi-Mahi. Wild-caught, the tender fish was served with spinach and mandarin oranges in a Thai chili ginger sauce. Also available on the menu are appetizers like Baby Baked Brie Cheese served with candied pecans, raspberry sauce, and crackers; and entrées that include Crab Stuffed French Chicken Breast, Sautéed Lobster Tail Franҫaise, and Beef Wellington Tenderloin in Puff Pastry. Our desserts—the fudge-like Flourless Chocolate Cake and a Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake— were also excellent. Although the Rising Sun is closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, guests can enjoy an a la carte New Year’s Eve dinner, with live music provided by the popular local band Big Shot from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. And for those who missed the restaurant’s most recent bimonthly Wine & Food Pairing event, holiday gift cards are available for the first event of the new year, at a January date to be determined. Just check the inn’s website for updates on special events, including concerts, fundraisers, wedding packages, chef appearances on local television, and more. It’s not hard to understand why the Rising Sun Inn, this bastion of Americana at its best, continues to thrive after more than two centuries of community service.
grass, trees and other textures.” He crafts stone walls the same way. If a mountain or stone wall is at a joint where two sections meet, he builds them so there is a flat area of plywood on each section. When they are in place, he conceals the joints with material which he colors. If a section has to be moved, Brian carefully can cut the material at the place where the two pieces of plywood join. The mountain or wall can be split. A few of the textures Brian uses he buys from a supplier such as Henning’s Trains in Lansdale. But, he also fabricates a lot of what he needs. For example, most of the trees are dried sedum, which he grows, cuts and dries. He stores the pieces in a container. When he wants a tree, he sprays the dried flower head with glue and then dips it into a mixture of ground up sponge that has had color added, pointing out, “This makes a very realistic-looking tree.” Brian’s lay-out, including the tracks and train engines, are computerized. Each engine has a micro-chip. He can control the speed, lights and sounds such as whistles and the noises of a real train engine. He also can listen to talk between the engineers in the trains and the people in the stations. “I can stand any place in the room and control the whole set-up with this remote,” he said as he showed how to operate the trains. The electronic and computer hardware and remote are from a company called Digitrax that specializes in such things. Also, there are several track switches that must be set correctly or there will be derailment problems. These are controlled by small levers along the outside rails that support the system. As he disappeared under a rail, he said with a laugh, “This is called a duck under. The lay-out is designed so the
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The Rising Sun Inn is located at 898 Allentown Road, Telford, PA 18969; 215-721-6350; www.risingsuninn.net. Open for lunch: Saturday & Sunday, from 11:30 a.m. until dinner. Dinner: Wednesday & Thursday, 5 – 9 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 5 – 10 p.m.; Sunday, 4 – 8 p.m. Reservations recommended for dinner. Happy Hour: Wednesday-Friday, 4 – 6 p.m., & Sunday, 9 – 11 p.m. Bar open: Wednesday – Friday, 4 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Saturday, 11:30 a.m. – 2 a.m.; Sunday, 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.
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center of the 10-foot platform is open. That way, I can reach everything easily, either from the center open area by ducking under or along the outer perimeter.” The bottom of the platform is about thirty-six inches from the floor. So, it’s a serious duck. Brian buys unpainted scale size houses and other buildings. Then, he paints them to suit himself. He uses an airbrush whenever possible. However, when it comes to the details such as window sashes, door frames and so on, he paints with a very small, size 000 artist brush. He uses modelers enamel paints. “The color pigment is ground very fine,” he pointed out, adding, “If I used regular paint, the pigment would look like sand on the buildings. That’s why I use these special enamels.” His gas works building is of particular note because of its extreme realism. In addition to buying what he needs from Henning’s Trains, he also purchases when he goes to train and craft shows, saying, “I’m always looking.” He recently bought several sets of new, easier rolling wheels. “The smoother the wheels move, the less drag on the engine that is pulling several cars,” he said, as he gently pushed a car with the new wheels that rolled along with very little resistance. Everything with this railroad is very small. A tiny set of wheels is less than 3/8” long. He has a small workbench and a few tiny tools. Watching him in action, it becomes obvious that he’s devoted to his trains. His attention to detail is incredible. Brian loves his hobby and spends a lot of time working on his railroad. When he was asked if his lay-out is open to the public, he smiled and replied, “No, but I’m thinking of having an open house some time. But, I still have some work to do before that.” LEW LARASON IS A FREELANCE WRITER WHO SPECIALIZES IN ANTIQUES AND FURNITURE.
By The Fireside
Sitting by the fireside, keeping warm on a wintry day is a dream that can become a reality when visiting the showroom at Dreifuss Fireplaces by Bob Waite
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Dreifuss Fireplaces has a distinguished history that began in 1876 when the Dreifuss family changed a sundry store in Philadelphia down the street from Independence Hall. It began to specialize in selling cast iron Franklin stoves. The building eventually collapsed and is now a parking lot. This makes it one of the oldest fireplace companies in the country, and for 141 years the store has held to its original credo of putting the customers first. Now owned by David Waldman, the store sells and installs fireplaces by the best manufacturers in the world. David Waldman, simply put, is a nice guy. He loves his employees and his customers and is well-respected in the community. On his desk are photos of his three children: Asher age 9, his daughter Arden age 6 and Austin age 7. His dog, who sits quietly in his office is named Dawkins and is one and a half years old. Davidâ€™s wife, Amy is a pediatric neurologist. David loves fireplaces and to prove it, he says, â€œI have one in every room; the living room, family
Opposite left, a gas fireplace, installed by Dreifuss Fireplaces heats this comfortable living room. Top, Dawkins, Dreifuss Fireplaces owner David Waldmanâ€™s dog enjoys the fireplace in one of the of the many rooms in his home that have fireplaces. Left, David Waldman with Dawkins in the Dreifuss Fireplaces Showroom. Right, rooms with fireplaces installed by Dreifuss Fireplaces.
Staying Fit at Any Age
TWIST, ROCK & ROLL
BY VICKY WAITE
eing a long-time user of the AB Doer since 1997, and hearing about the advanced AB Doer 360 fitness system I knew right there and then, yes, this one I would gladly want to review. I contacted John Abdo, and while John is very busy being the award-winning inventor and product formulator he still took his time to say Hey Vicky, great to hear from you. And, of course the feeling was mutual. He went on to say he hopes everything works out with my review. I knew everything would work out since I’ve owned the original for so long. And, I know John puts out some high quality productive products. This guy has so many creations. John has trained numerous Olympic athletes for the winter and summer Olympic Games. He is an inductee into the National Fitness Hall of Fame. So of course, I was anxious waiting for my AB Doer 360 to arrive. Upon arrival of the AB Doer 360 I was willing and ready. So was Bill waiting patiently with his tool box. It only took a few minutes to assemble and Bill was back on the couch in no time watching the Eagles game while chowing down a chocolate mildshake. The AB Doer 360 comes with a quick start guide, nutritional guide, motivational calendar, DVD with instructions and the complete workout program. I began my workout with the AB Doer 360 Fitness System, moving along I began to feel more muscles being worked with the dynamic fluidity seat. This seat is such an improvement from the original AB Doer. The comfort groove takes the pressure off your pelvis, tailbone, and hip joints. The Abductor grip supports your thighs along with the effective swiveling action. As I twist away, the included dual foam roller system is stimulating my core and spinal muscles, as I am moving with a dynamic comforting back massage. The elevated bars help the body’s alignment while doing the exercises so you can improve your flexibility and eliminate back discomfort no matter of age, weight, or fitness level. It has a nice padded seat along with a 360-degree movement. And, how neat is this, massage while exercising! You basically twist, rock and rotate your core. The new feature is the “fluidity seat.” The floating padded seat wobbles when you sit on it which makes you correct your position by using your core muscles. I am feeling a greater range of twisting motion more so than the original. Those out there with back issues, may very well benefit since the AB Doer 360 has constant back support. And, with that being said, just great for those that have spinal arthritis. This is a good fit for seniors or those with mobility issues. The
AB Doer 360 is simple and effective with a lot of stability and flexibility. You can choose your own program from beginner, intermediate, and advanced. The AB Doer 360 is made of gym quality and heavy gauge steel. This machine while being designed for your abdominal muscles, it really does work your legs, thighs, glutes, and chest. There are many exercises to give you a total workout. You really can build up a sweat. You are comfortable while not risking injuring your neck like you would with regular crunches. And, it’s built for any age to use. You can work out at your own pace. You can trim down those love handles, get tighter abs and strengthen your back. This is a great cardio workout. I would recommend the AB Doer 360 as a complete workout system for anyone or an add on to the home gym. Bill said he will test it after the New Year. Just too many football games getting in the way. For more information, visit” Getabdoer.com. And, as with any exercise program, always consult your physician before you begin.
Above, John Abdo with his new AB Doer 360.Below, he sits in his original Ab Doer over 20 years ago.
room—everywhere in my house is a fireplace.” Yet, David didn’t come to own Dreifuss Fireplaces out of a love for fireplaces. He did, however grow up with a love for retail business. “I grew up working in a retail pharmacy and hobby shop owned by my father,” he says. Yet after college he became a CPA and worked as an accountant for Price Waterhouse. He didn’t care for working in the corporate world and wanted to return to retail sales. His opportunity came while he was looking for an investment and he found Dreifuss Fireplaces. He decided to buy it in 2000 and has been loving it ever since. Fireplaces are an acquired love for David, whose primary motive in buying the business was simply to find a good business that he could grow using his education and knowledge of business. Now he smiles from ear to ear when talking about what he sells and loves—fireplaces. The fireplaces that David sells fireplaces at his large showroom in Northeast Philadelphia include gas, wood burning, and electric. Although they range from affordable to very high-end, his fireplaces are all made by top manufacturers like Montigo, Mendotta, Majestic, Empire, Regency, Big Green Egg and about 16 more. While Dreifuss has always been the expert in traditional fireplaces, they h have expanded their product lines to embrace the modern, linear fireplace movement that features contemporary designs and shallow footprints for unique installation areas, including seethrough or peninsula fireplaces to separate living spaces with warmth and style. We have dedicated half of our 5,000-square-foot showroom to the modern fireplace, and offer models from more manufacturers than any other competitor around. Clean, sleek, and innovative designs make for a perfect, modernized home. The trends keep changing in the fireplace industry. The linear fireplace is on
the cutting edge and now there is a new kind of linear fireplace, the frameless linear fireplace, on which you only see glass and no frame at all. This goes very well with the newer minimalist home decor, but also adds some zest to traditional furnished homes. David is very excited about the new trends but continues to sell more traditional fireplaces. In fact, coming into his large showroom, if you turn right you will see a more traditional look, but turning left from the entranceway, you will see the newest linear products. All the fireplaces can be installed in cabinets and many are stand alone. It depends on what the customer wants. They can be picked up at the store for self-installation or installed by professional installers who work for Dreifuss Fireplaces. Dreifuss employees are friendly and obviously happy about what they do. Some have worked for the company for over 25 years. Working for Dreifuss Fireplaces are 9 full time employees and one part-timer. There are four installers, three who work in sales, and one who does accounting. What sets Dreifuss Fireplaces apart from the competition is their knowledgeable staff of NFI-certified in-house technicians and installers, who have more than 90 years of combined experience installing and servicing fireplaces, stoves, and gas logs. Dreifuss continually moves with the times, designing and installing fireplace structures that are safer, more efficient, and environmentally friendlier than ever before. they incorporate the latest technologies for a unique and energy-efficient experience. Dreifuss Fireplaces’ showroom is located at 6610 Hasbrook Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111 or visit them online at http://www.dreifussfire places.com. BOB WAITE IS THE GARDENS & LIFESTYLE.
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Once you’ve completed your tour of the farmhouse, there’s still plenty to see outdoors, where you’ll find several restored outbuildings, including a sheep fold, a privy, a late eighteenth-century barn (a reproduction), a smokehouse, and a rebuilt nineteenth-century icehouse. There’s also a charming re-created foursquare eighteenth-century Pennsylvania German kitchen garden, where, in season, you can enjoy the scents and sights the Wentz family enjoyed back in their day, including fruits and berries (think gooseberries and currants), vegetables (like Swiss chard and Jerusalem artichoke), herbs (like lavender, lovage, and mint), flowers and ornamental plants (from roses to hops). Finally, before you leave, you must visit the museum shop, where you can pick up locally made crafts, and then take a stroll along the mile-and-a-halflong Zacharias Creek nature trail. By the time your jaunt has ended, you will feel enlightened and fully appreciate the lifestyle of the Wentzes and other farmers who lived in the early days of the republic—whether Washington slept there or not. Peter Wentz Farmstead is located at 2030 Shearer Road, Lansdale (Worcester Township), PA 19446; 610584-5104; www.peterwentzfarmstead society.org/. Open Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., and Sunday, 1–4 p.m. Closed Monday and major holidays. Tours every hour on the hour until 3 p.m. Admission is free, but $2 donation is appreciated. Frank Quattrone is a an author, newspaper editor, teacher and freelance writer from Montgomery County who writes about local history, food, art and people.
Dining Out by Frank D. Quattrone
Photos by Paul Wesley
uido Abbate, the congenial chef-owner of Marzano’s Ristorante, is the consummate handson family man. With ample assistance from his beloved father, Francesco, Guido personally handcrafted the lush woodwork on his tables and walls, the classic bar, the muted tiles, and the stately wooden doors separating the kitchen from the main dining room. In the process, the Abbates transformed the sprawling, hyperactive Buca di Beppo, the previous occupant of that space, into a comfortable, if not intimate, setting for his newest restaurant. That was in 2014. Since then Marzano’s has become one of Jenkintown’s most popular dining destinations.
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But Guido understands that it’s not just a comfortable environment that builds loyal clientele. It’s also the presentation and freshness of the food and the quality of the service. He’s learned immeasurably from countless years of experience in his family’s and in his own businesses, starting in 1989, when he came to America from Calabria, Italy, for a brief vacation, and decided to stay, to work in his family’s pizzeria. Since then he has worked at his uncle’s and cousin’s restaurant Sapphire (opened in 2005, called Craft Manayunk since 2014), his uncle’s Bella Trattoria in Manayunk, Trio’s Fresh Italian, in Glenside (reputed to make the best tomato pies in the region), and his recently opened Ristorante Luca, in Southampton.
As for service, Guido has entrusted the front of the house to his longtime friend and general manager, an outgoing and capable Tunisian named Medi. A veteran of twenty years in the business, Medi treats the training of the staff and the cleanliness of the restaurant with the same pride you find in European bistros, where restaurant employment is still considered a profession and not a job. Yet Marzano’s is not the least bit fussy or stuffy. In addition to warm and well-informed servers like Sam Pritchard, who trained at both Marzano’s and Vernick Food & Drink,
one of Philadelphia’s top-ranked restaurants, you might find Guido or Medi at your table to answer questions about the menu or the evening’s specials. The night of our second visit to Marzano’s (the first was a special evening with trusted friends who highly recommended the restaurant), Eve and I really began to understand Guido’s approach to cooking. He likes to say, “Simple
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RISING SUN INN
pecializing in North American bison, the Rising Sun Inn delivers one of the region’s most distinctive dining experiences. A bastion of Americana, the historic Telford restaurant once hosted the Liberty Bell overnight during its passage to safety away from British-occupied Philadelphia in September 1777. At the time it was known as Gerhart’s “Rising Sun” Hotel, after Peter Gerhart, its original owner. The inn later served as a stop along the Underground Railroad prior to the Civil War. But these days, the charming country inn has become a major community center in Franconia Township. In the lovely, spacious restaurant or refurbished red barn, weddings and celebrations of every kind take place, fundraisers sound the charge for charitable causes, live music often fills the air,
and buffalo sometimes roam just beyond the fences of the complex. And here is one area in which the Rising Sun shines. Longtime executive chef and co-owner Fred Duerr, with the support of co-owners B.J. and Gary Shuler, has fashioned an outstanding menu of American favorites, featuring, in several dishes, bison, a meat rarely appearing on local menus. According to Fred, bison, which is farm-raised, is not that easy to come by, but he is blessed by the proximity of the Shulers’ Hillside Farms, where they not only raise North American bison but also breed the rare Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs as well as gorgeous Paso Fino horses. Why bison? Fred Duerr, now celebrating his thirtieth year in the business, informs us that bison is low in cholesWINTER 2017
MARZANO’S RISTORANTE is better. The simpler, the better! Like most of my family, I don’t use cookbooks. I cook by taste.” For our antipasto, we tried his signature Crab-o-Cado, a visually stunning arrangement of jumbo lump crab ceviche appetizer served in avocado halves, accompanied with thinly sliced strawberries and drizzled with balsamic. Guido told us it was a dish he created for himself one night, and it tasted so good he decided to put it on the menu. For our pasta course, we enjoyed another special—Tortolloni stuffed with spinach, ricotta, and sun-dried tomatoes in a light basil cream sauce. Our entrées were a perfect surf and turf match. Eve’s eyes opened wide as our server fileted a fresh Bronzino tableside (Dover sole and orata, also known as gilt-head seabream, are also available). Served with roasted potatoes and sautéed broccoli, zucchini, and carrots, it was exquisite. My Osso Buco, served with haricots verts, car-
rots, and mashed potatoes, was also a treat. We’d have to wait for another visit to enjoy other Chef Guido favorites, such as the relatively rare Arancini, an appetizer of rice balls mixed with ground beef and mozzarella cheese, with marinara on the side; Burrata, a plate of fresh mozzarella cheese and heirloom tomatoes topped with shaved Parmesan; Melanzane Parmigiano, made with Japanese eggplant, which Guido asserts is much better because it’s not bitter; and Vitello Milanese, the classic lightly breaded veal medallions, served with arugula, tomatoes, and shaved Parmesan; and his legendary artichoke appetizer. (Don’t ask. Just order it. We’ve had it before. Amazing!) But when asked for his favorite menu item, Guido laughs and doesn’t hesitate. “That’s easy. Pastry. My aunt, Anna Presta, is my pastry chef. She’s incredible!” So we passed up her rich Lovers’ Spoon Cake, her enticing tarts (chocolate, pistachio, or Limoncello),
Triple Chocolate Mousse, Crème Brûlée Cheese Cake, and Limoncello Mascarpone, opting instead for the divine Pineapple Coconut Cake and Peanut Butter Cheese Cake. Needless to say, we left Marzano’s very happy, fully expecting a return visit. Named after the prized Neapolitan tomatoes considered the tomatoes of choice for the best-flavored tomato sauce, Marzano Ristorante delivers a superb dining experience—simple, unpretentious, accommodating. It’s the perfect setting, after a busy week or troubling day, to chase those clouds away. Marzano Ristorante is located at 309 Old York Road, Jenkintown, PA 19046; 215-277-7480; www.marzanoristorante.com. Open for lunch and dinner. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Reservations accepted. Extensive catering opportunities: weddings, showers, parties, corporate luncheons.
RISING SUN INN terol, high in iron, and free of antiobiotics and steroids. He says, “It’s America’s original red meat. It’s what beef wants to be.” He enjoys substituting bison for the other red meat in appetizers like Buffalo Pot Stickers, served with sweet Thai chili sauce, and in specials like Bison & Crab, which offers petite bison tenderloin steak topped with jumbo lump crab meat, mushrooms, lemon butter, and demi-glace. But the specialty of the house, which we enjoy each visit, is Sautéed Medallions of Bison “Champignon,” served with a brandied mushroom demi-glace over a wild rice blend with traces of carrots and pineapple. In addition to an eight-ounce gluten-free Grilled Bison Filet Mignon served with béarnaise sauce, and gluten-free Braised Bison Pot Roast served with a horseradish demi-glace, the regular menu also features Smoked Buffalo Tenderloin Plate, drizzled with truffle oil and served with brie, capers, onions, and horseradish cream on flatbread crackers; Blackened Buffalo Burger Garden Salad; Pappardelle Bolognese (with ground buffalo replacing ground beef in a savory garlic and basil marinara); and Baked
Buffaloaf, leaner than your grandma’s meatloaf, served with mashed potatoes and topped with demi-glace. But as much as Eve and I love the smooth, lean taste of bison, that’s not the only story at Rising Sun Inn. Fred Duerr is a classically trained chef who also loves German food (not a bad idea in Pennsylvania German country!). He has worked side by side with two fine mentors, Horst Herold, former owner of the famed Century House, and, more importantly, with legendary Chef Tell Erhard, one of America’s pioneering television chefs. Taking a cue from his mentor—as he did at his Vernfield Station restaurant, which featured traditional and Pennsylvania German cuisine for several years (the German Sausage Platter Trio is a recurrent special on the inn’s menu)—Fred has become a regular guest chef on WFMZ, Allentown TV69’s “News at Sunrise.” He appeared on the show recently to share his recipe for Buffalo Chili, another popular recurrent special at the restaurant. The Rising Sun Inn also offers a wide range of dishes to satisfy any appetite. During our most recent visit, our continued back on page 69
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D I NI NG O U T G U I D E Blue Bell Inn, 601 W. Skippack Pike, Blue Bell, PA; 215-646-2010 www.bluebellinn.com. The Blue Bell Inn began welcoming guest in 1743 and a regular patron was George Washington. Now recently remodeled, yet retaining its historic integrity, the Inn is known for fine Contemporary American food, which includes premium cuts of meat, a raw bar and seafood and outdoor dining on the flagstone patio is available by request. Hours: Monday–Thursday 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m., Friday–Saturday 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m., Sunday brunch 10 a.m.–2 p.m., and dinner 5 p.m.–7 p.m.
Capone’s, 224 W. Germantown Pike, Norristown, PA; 610-279-4748 www.capones-pa.com. For over 40 years Matt Capone and his family have provided the East Norriton area with great food at a great price.The restaurant is familyoriented with a touch of sports bar, primed with some of the best beer you can find in the region.Our extensive menu includes traditional pub fare, delicious entrees, and even a kids menu. For the beer connoisseur in all of us – take a moment and visit our Bottle Shop in the back of the restaurant to browse our incredible selection of beers from local micro breweries, domestic craft breweries, and international micro breweries.
Gourmet Seafood & Grill, Skippack Village, 4101 Skippack Pike, Schwenksville, PA; 484-681-0838; 484-991-8130; www.gourmet seafoodgrill.com. Gourmet Seafood & Grill is a family owned Mediterranean cuisine destination with freshest seafood for all cuisine and delicious pastries. Culinary master Chef Jimmy uses his talents, knowledge and love for food to transform the space into a relaxed destination where you can experience the best of various cuisine flavors, spices and cooking techniques.With over 50 combined years of food and restaurant experience, the owners of Gourmet Seafood & Grill, are bringing a culinary adventure worthy of Skippack’s foodie’ community. Serving brunch and dinner, along with
catering services, the Gourmet Seafood & Grill offers a varied menu rich in traditional Mediterranean favorites. From Bronzini to New York Strip, crab cakes, stuffed grape leaves and more, the menu is sure to have just the thing to entice your taste buds. For the less adventurous crowd, Gourmet Seafood & Grill also has burgers, pasta, salads and a kids menu! Dinner daily 5 p.m.–11 p.m. Lunch Tues.–Sun. 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Gypsy Blu, 34 East Butler Avenue, Ambler, PA; 215-283-6080. www.GypsyBluRestaurant.com. Upbeat & Lively Atmosphere with an Eclectic Menu that ranges from Small Plates to Delectable Entrees. Beautiful Patio. On-Site & Off-Site Catering. Full Bar. Serving lunch and dinner 7 Days a Week. Serving brunch every weekend. Hours: Monday & Tuesday Kitchen 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Bar until 12a.m.Wednesday & Thursday: Kitchen 11:30 am-10 p.m. Bar until 2 a.m. Friday: Kitchen 11:30–11 p.m. Bar until 2 a.m. Saturday: Kitchen 10 a.m.–11 p.m. Bar until 2 a.m. Sunday: Kitchen 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Bar until 12 a.m. Live music every Friday & Saturday. Reservations accepted.
La Pergola, 726 West Ave, Jenkintown, PA; 215-884-7204 www.viewmenu.com. La Pergola’s international cuisine takes you to culinary fare around the Mediterranean.Testing the unique authentic dishes and appetizers, would make you feel as if you are sitting at a sidewalk cafe or restaurant in Tel Aviv or Athens.Enjoy contemporary cosmopolitan cuisine based on pure pleasure. La Pergola Restaurant offers healthy and delightful dishes from every corner of the Mediterranean.We offer casual fine dining at reasonable prices. Hours: Monday–Friday 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m.–9 p.m. Ristorante San Marco, 504 Bethlehem Pike, Ambler, PA; 215-6545000; www.sanmarcopa.com. Dining in a 19th century schoolhouse on a small hill. San Marco’s regular menu emphasizes traditional dishes from Southern Italy and Sicily.There
Dine with Santa Sun. Dec. 10th Frank Sinatra Christmas with Rich DeSimone Wed, Dec. 20th New Years Eve Dinner & Dancing with Dirty Dozen Band
D I NI NG O U T G U I D E
Alessio’s Al Alessio’ Alessio Alessi Aless Ales Ale Seafo Seafoo Seafood S Se Sea Seaf Grille G Gr Gri Gril Grill B OOK
An Italian Touch YOUR
H OLIDAY PARTY N OW !
Happy hour everyday 11-5. Shimpt, Oysters & Wings. Oysters only 1.25 each, shrimp, wings & clams only .80 each.
Fresh Italian Seafood Delicious Appetizers and Flavorful Sauces Homemade Italian Specialties Catering for all occasions
Winner 2016 & 2017
827 Easton Rd.,Warrington, PA 267.483.8500 / alessioseafoodgrille.com is a beautifully appointed piano bar featuring nightly live music. Private parties for special occasions. Open Mon.-Fri., 11:30a.m.–3 p.m., 5p.m.–10p.m., Sat. 5p.m.–10p.m., closed on Sundays.
Joseph Ambler Inn, 1005 Horsham Rd, North Wales, PA 19454;215-362-7500; www.josephamblerinn.com. Exquisite cuisine, attention to detail, and an award-winning wine list combine to make Joseph Ambler Inn one of the most popular places to dine in Eastern Pennsylvania.The restaurant’s random-width hardwood floors, handcrafted cherry tables, Windsor chairs and original, exposed stone walls create the ambiance for savoring a fine meal.Joseph Ambler Inn has earned a welldeserved reputation for its eclectic lunch and dinner menus, which offer many creative flourishes. Featuring only the finest quality fresh meats, fish, and produce, and seasonal herbs and vegetables, every dish is a delight. Hours. Lunch: Mon.– Fri. 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Lite Fare Luncheon: Sat. & Sun. Noon to 4 p.m. Served in the JPUBNo Reservations Necessary. Dinner: Mon–Sat 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Reservations suggested. Accepts all major credit cards. Skippack Village Italian Market 4101 Skippack Pike Skippack 610-584-4050;
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http://www.skippackitalianmarket.com. Full service dining room and outdoor patio. Gourmet hoagies and salads, Specialty desserts, and Coffee bar. Homemade meatballs and roast pork, Italian Deli items. Wooden shelves fill the front room, packed full of the authentic Italian groceries, and packaged sweets that keep hungry visitors coming back.The Italian Market is a great place to have lunch, shop for groceries, or just browse for snacks. On and off site catering is available for any size function. Open Monday through Thursday 10 a.m.– 7 p.m. Friday, Sat. to 8 p.m. Sunday to 6 p.m.
Tex Mex Connection, 201 E.Walnut St., North Wales, PA; 214-699-9552; www.texmexconnection.com. Tex Mex Cuisine: Characterized by the adaptation of Mexican food by Texan cooks. Often exemplified by the extensive use of meats and spices (foreign and native) resulting in creative seafood dishes, great steaks, tender ribs, and juicy pork as well as our interpretation of standards like chile con queso, nachos and fajitas. Not Mexican, not Texan, just Tex-Mex. Dining Room: Monday–Saturday 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Sunday 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Bar: 11 a.m.–2 a.m.
William Penn Inn, 1017 Dekalb Pike, Gwynedd, PA; 215-699-9272; www.williampenn.com.
We Deliver Now
Established in 1714 as a public house, the William Penn is an historical venue based in the rich tradition of hospitality.The Inn is renowned for its dedication to a tradition of continental country dining in a relaxed, cordial atmosphere along with exquisite cuisine, fine wines, personal service and flawless coordination. Lunch: Monday-Friday 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m, Saturday 11:30 a.m–2:30 p.m. Dinner: Monday-Friday 5 p.m.–10 p.m., Saturday: 4:30 p.m.–11 p.m., Sunday Sunday: 2 p.m.–8 p.m. Sunday brunch 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Zakes Café, 444 Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, PA; 215 654 7600; www.zakescafe.jimdo.com. Zakes Cafe is an American Fusion Restaurant featuring an innovative cuisine. It has been said of Zakes Cafe that they are a hidden Gem–an under the radar BYOB. Lunch–homemade soups, quiche, specialty salads & gourmet sandwiches. Dinner–warm and inviting, the pace is more relaxed and the menu has an eclectic American/Asian flair.The Dessert Case at the Cafe is worth the trip to Zakes on its own. Every day we feature a selection of our desserts individually sliced and in whole cake form for you to take home and enjoy.Whether you are buying one or two slices or a selection to offer your dinner guests, this is a great way to sample Zakes Cakes.
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Gail said, â€œOur two signature items are our red Hawaiian sea salt drops, discs of dark chocolate with a pinch of sea salt from the Alaea beaches in Hawaii, and our gourmet marshmallows in various flavors, among them bourbon cinnamon, coconut butter rum, peanut butter and drunken turtle.â€? Their confections also are available at Di Bruno Borthers, Kimburton Whole Foods, Petalâ€™s Florist at King of Prussia Mall, Blooms & Buds in Blue Bell, the Steel City Coffee House in
Chester turned the busi-
ness over to his sons who,
by the 1960s, had it nearly bankrupt. Jessâ€™ father and
uncle stepped in, meeting
with the company suppliers who agreed to work with them. â€œMy dad handled
marketing, my uncle pro-
duction. They were able to
turn things around,â€? he said. Phoenixville and Christina Maserâ€™s in Lancaster. They have 5-7 part-time employees, more over the holidays. Said Gail, â€œWe have good chocolates, a necessary luxury. But, what sets us apart is our customer service.â€? Added employee Catherine, â€œWe have fun!â€? To learn more, go to their website at www.brid getsteetchocolates.com. In 1892, Chester Asher founded the candy company that still bears his name, now run by the fourth genera-
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tion, his great-grandson Jess Asher who would say, â€œComing to work is like another day in Paradise.â€? Chester was an Ontario farm boy. He moved from Canada to Boston, working at Whitmanâ€™s, before coming to Philadelphia to open his own company. In the 1920s and â€˜30s, they manufactured confections for stores in 10 locations. Said Jess, â€œInitially we made candy, ice cream and grape juice. But, by the late â€˜30s, weâ€™d stopped the last two.â€? Instead, they concentrated on their chocolates, developing secret â€œfamily recipesâ€? for the centers that still are used today. Chester turned the business over to his sons who, by the 1960s, had it nearly bankrupt. Jessâ€™ father and uncle stepped in, meeting with the company suppliers who agreed to work with them. â€œMy dad handled marketing, my uncle production. They were able to turn things around,â€? he said. When Jess got involved, Asherâ€™s was being run by his dad and uncle, along with Jessâ€™ cousin. He explained, â€œOne reason I wanted to come into the family business was because I wasnâ€™t groomed for it. I began by working with my father. He represents years of experience and knowledge, a great resource. Over time, Jess has bought out his uncle and cousin, saying, â€œIt was hard to come to
a consensus with four of us. Nobody was in charge, kind of like trying to steer a ship with four captains.â€? Twenty years ago, Asherâ€™s moved to their present 100,000-square-foot facility in Souderton. When they bought Goss Candies, they gained a second 100,000-square-foot plant in Lewistown. He said, â€œOur Souderton facility is more mechanized, while the Lewistown one is for labor-intensive confections like butter crunch.â€? They employ around 200 during their â€œpeakâ€? season, from late summer to Easter. When asked what their flagship piece is, he replied, â€œOur chocolatecovered pretzels. Weâ€™ve been making them for 50 years. We buy chocolate made to our specs. And, the pretzels, also to our specs, are from a bakery in Reading, an old brick factory upgraded to state-of-the-art.â€? Jess said, â€œWe have to keep re-inventing ourselves, to follow the customers. How can we be relevant to 30-year-olds, competing against calorie awareness? More portion control and smaller packaging.â€? With a smile, he added, â€œWe make a darned good piece of candy thatâ€™s affordable.â€? To learn more, visit their website at www.ashers.com. PATTI GUTHRIE
IS A FREELANCE WRITER AND ANTIQUES
DEALER FROM CHALFONT,
A Given Purity The purity of freshly fallen snow is a symbol, a visual metaphor pointing to something beyond our own fallen attempts at a spotless existenceâ€”an Eden not guarded by cherubim wielding flaming swords. Nature is a palette illustrating truths that come from above, letting us muse about an untainted life that we cannot grasp but can only receive from an alien presense by divine imputation â€”a gift that requires the Ultimate to shed His blood.
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Holidays in Montgomery County, PA