West Reading Avenues Summer 2022

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Greater Reading’s hub for arts, shopping and entertainment Summer 2022

Always Something Happening on the Avenues

June 14-18th

August 13th

Saturday, Sept 17th

Visit our new website!



Table of Contents CONTACT INFORMATION Publisher, Tracy Hoffmann Hoffmann Publishing Group, Inc. Design, Kim Lewis 2669 Shillington Road, #438 Sinking Spring, PA 19608 HoffmannPublishing.com 610.685.0914 Avenues@HoffPubs.com

ADVERTISING Alicia Lee 610.685.0914 ext. 210 Alicia@HoffPubs.com

BOROUGH BUSINESS West Reading Borough 500 Chestnut Street West Reading, PA 19611 WestReadingBorough.com 610.374.8273

WEST READING MAINSTREET PROGRAM West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation 20 N. 6th Avenue, 2nd Floor West Reading, PA 19611 VisitWestReading.org 610.685.8854 View the Digital Version of West Reading Avenues online at aves.hoffmannpublishing.com. The opinions expressed in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced electronically or in print without the express written permission of the publisher. West Reading Avenues is published quarterly {Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter}.

In Every Issue 3

Letter from the Manager

In the Know & On the Go 4 6

New and Improved West Reading Map

The Talk of the Town 8

Kristina Schurr, double sunrise yoga 10 Tina Shenk, Tina’s Salon and Day Spa, Winedown and the Whiskey Bar 14 Dr. Natalie Parisi, Reading Orthodontic Group 15 Mark and Joanne Camlin, Willow Creek Brewing

Arts & Culture in the Community 26 Summer Art Scene

Events 28 29 30 32

West Reading Farmers Market 2nd Friday Art on the Avenue 16th Annual Celebration of Peace and Walk For NO MORE to Kick Off Art on the Avenue 33 6th Annual West Reading French Fry Fest 35 Berks Opera Presents These Valleys and Mountains: Berks Legends 36 Event Calendar

In the Community

16 Charles Barbera, MD, Named Reading Hospital President, and CEO 18 A Retirement Plan could be Big for your Business 20 Wheelchair Pickleball Comes to West Reading

Eat Drink & Live

22 Scrambling for Supper? D&H Can Bail You Out

On the Avenues Find Us On: Spread the Word: #WestRdgAve

24 West Reading Craft Pretzel and Beer Fest Recap 25 5th Annual West Reading Fashion Show Recap

Cover Photo by Anthony Matz, Berks County Views



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Avenues Summer 2022

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Letter from the Manager West Reading on a Mission by Mark Ratcliffe, Main Street Manager, West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation West Reading is on a mission to improve. We live in a great community and West Reading looks to be a positive part of Greater Readings revitalization. With our branding and new identity complete, it is time to move on to physical improvements. We have initiated a facade improvement program, where the West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation (WRCRF) is helping businesses improve their facades by giving them $2,500 in matching funds. We know we need to compete with the new strip malls of today and our shop owners need help doing this. We have also hired Derck & Edson, LLC, an architecture firm based in Lititz, to assist them with their retail facade design. After that we will be working on cleaning up and improving our streetscape and gateway into West Reading. West Reading has an opportunity to be one of the most creative and fun communities in eastern PA. Pennsylvania has many great historic downtowns, but West Reading has the arts, and we look to build on that strength to create a vibrant community full of life, great food, entertainment and, of course, art. We are also looking to grow our public art to include sculptures, lighting, and interactive displays to help make West Reading a destination. The more we improve West Reading, the better we can be at helping our Greater Reading area grow and improve. I like to use the word sourdough starter. If you have something small that is working, it can help the surrounding area to grow and turn into one vibrant community we can all be proud to live, work, and play in.

Now that the Summer is here, take a stroll down Cherry Street Mural Corridor to see the new mural being painted at 5th & Cherry. QR codes are now on all of our 40+ murals in West Reading, so you can read about each mural and in some cases even hear from the artist themselves. Fall Fest is on September 17th, Small Business Saturday is on November 26th and don’t forget our 2nd Fridays and our Sunday Farmers’ Market. Summer is the perfect time to enjoy West Reading and we hope to see you soon!

When visiting our merchants tell them you saw West Reading Avenues magazine!

Speaking of pretzels, we were finally able to host our annual Craft Pretzel & Beer Fest. This was the first event to be canceled due to COVID in 2020 and the last to not be allowed on the Avenue in 2021. It was so great to finally see everyone out enjoying themselves with a pretzel and a beer (this is everything I love about this area). Next up is our 28th Annual Art on the Avenue on June 18th. We are increasing the size of our Plein Air competition this year bringing in even better artists (hard to believe) to our Main Street. They will be competing in a “Paint Out” this year. This timed competition should be a lot of fun to watch.



In the Know & On the Go New and Improved, plus Celebrating Business Anniversaries! If you’re opening a new Avenues business, celebrating a business anniversary, or want to showcase something new, please email us at Avenues@hoffpubs.com.

Four Corner Creative

Four Corner Creative’s move to West Reading was mainly to give owner, Kristen Demore, more work area for the wall design and custom picture framing side of her business. Seeing her current little brick building come up for rent meant she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to become part of the vibrant town she’s loved since moving to Berks County with her husband and son six years ago. With this space, a new dream developed of creating an area to connect and support local artisans. The space is currently being painted and spruced up to curate a collection of home accents and wall decor and Demore hopes to have a little retail area open to the public at least a few days per week by this summer (and always open by appointment!).

621 Franklin St West Reading www.fourcornercreative.com On instagram and facebook - @fourcornercreative

Refillable Goods LLC Refillable Goods is a Latina-owned small business committed to providing Berks County access to ecofriendly personal care and cleaning products. They offer brands that use toxin-free ingredients and low-waste packaging. Bring your own bottle or buy one of their reusable containers to refill your liquid household goods. Owners, Paola and Jaylene, grand opening weekend is May 27-29. 611 Penn Avenue, West Reading RefillableGoods.com Social Media: @ RefillableGoods


Avenues Summer 2022

Nonno Alby’s Mobile Catering

Nonno Alby’s new 1959 Classic Chevy truck features 3 taps equipped to serve beer or wine, as well as a wood fire pizza oven which was imported from Italy. The goal was to begin bringing a fun, mobile dining experience to clients. They can prepare fan favorites like pizza and wings, but have also introduced some new and awesome options like wood-fired s’mores straight from the pizza oven. The truck can accommodate smaller, intimate groups or large corporate groups, and events can be as casual or as fancy as clients would like - there is so much to customize! There is a team available to do custom balloon arches both around the truck and around the rest of the venue. Nonno Alby’s wants to bring the mobile catering experience to you. Direct Truck line: 610-781-2223 Email: Info@nonnoalbyswoodfire.com

Witmoyer’s Automotive

A move from Wyomissing to West Reading gave Witmoyer’s, a full-service auto repair shop established in 2011, a larger facility to best serve their customers. 230 Highland Street, West Reading 610-603-6220 www.witmoyersautomotive.com Mondays through Fridays, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Raven’s Corner Herbals and Enchantments

For the first few years, handcrafted items and other enchantments were offered mostly for clients coming in for services and classes or special events. Raven’s Corner came about in 2016 at Integrative Healing Art’s previous location when it started being open more to the public. Owner, Christina Rossi, opened her Etsy shop under that name that year. Raven’s Corner became the name for the boutique part of the studio to distinguish a difference between the services and classes’ part and the retail part of the business. When Rossi moved to her current location in 2017, she was located on the second floor. More space opened in the building in January of 2022, and she was able to take advantage of a larger boutique area and larger classroom area. A little-known fact about Raven’s Corner is that it was named after Rossi’s German Shepherd, Raven. When creating candles and other enchantments, Raven would be by Rossi’s side in a corner by my worktable. That corner became Raven’s Corner and the inspiration behind the name of the Etsy shop. Integrative Healing Arts Studio 546 Penn Ave, West Reading 610-451-9577, Text 42828 to join the email list for updates and events. www.IntegrativeHealingArtsStudio.org/healing-boutique Wednesdays and Saturdays, 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The Nest Collaborative The Nest Collaborative is a group of five yoga teachers sharing a beautiful space in West Reading above Baldwin Brass. It’s colorful, modern, spacious, light filled, and has a gorgeous view of the sky in the main classroom, The teachers offer yoga, meditation, breath work, study groups, peer groups and more. 629 Court Street, West Reading 610-763-1755 www.thenestcollaborative.com yoga@saritalindarocco.com visitwestreading.org


In the Know & On the Go 700 B LO C K

TO U R OU R TOWN The vibrant town of West Reading is a culinary and cultural hot spot that provides a lot to love in one square mile.

600 B LO C K



These public art installations and murals make the neighborhood a more beautiful place to live. 1 Cafe Scene

7 Frog Band

2 West Reading on the Move

8 You Are Here


3 Kline Street’s Secret Garden 9 The Roots of West Reading 4 Rainbow Garage Doors

10 Mural Corridor Mosaic

5 Kline Street Mosaic

11 Architecture & The Cosmos







36 37

38 42


H 7T



6 I and West Reading

10 11





CHERRY STREET MURALS 12 Maiden of the Stairs 13 Escape

14 Wake Up! 15 Sunrise Over Mt. Penn With Dandelions

16 17 18 19


27 Today is a Bright Night 28 The Knowledge of Athena 29 Watching Cedar Waxwings 30 Edge of a Nightmare 31 Phantasmagoria 32 Sea Spirit

Mosaic Sign

33 Viral Van Gogh

Art Making Futures

34 Funky Frog Trio

Golden Ratio of Timelessness

35 Una Mirada Sincera – A Sincere Gaze

200 – 300 200 Honeybee Gardens 610.396.9225

299 United Artists Salon and Spa 610.376.8481

300 Fonte’s Salon 610.376.2220

301 Mendez Flooring 484.577.0031

311 Barrer & White Orthodontics 610.376.3956

20 Celestial Delight

36 Gas Pump

396 Initials Only Awards & Boutique

36 Moonlight Jazz

22 WR 1850

38 Blue Moon

398 Double Sunrise Yoga

21 Cycle of Enlightenment 23 Hidden Faces

39 West Reading Is...

24 Overcoming Adversity

40 Cuba

26 Kandinsky Mosaic

42 Easy Rider

25 Barnes Mural


41 Walk In The Park


Along with street parking, West Reading has two public lots. One off of Franklin Street and one in the West Reading Shopping Center.


The Community Garden is one of West Reading’s most popular neighborhood features for residents.


Stay awhile at one of our hotels within a short walking distance of Penn Avenue, Courtyard by Marriott, Wyomissing or Candlewood Suites, West Reading.



400 400 Benchwarmer’s Coffee Company 610.374.2326 (F&D) 401 Aladdin Mediterranean Restaurant 610.685.6677 (F&D) 402 Kangen Reading Water Store 484.754.6758 (R&S) 404 Tina’s Salon and Day Spa 406 610.374.5991 (R&S) 408 Snazzy Beauty Boutique 484.651.3737 (R&S) 410 Chicken Supreme & Sammy’s Steaks 610.376.6149 (F&D) 411 The American Diner 610.376.5565 (F&D) 412 Betula’s Botanica (R&S) 484.516.2321


Avenues Summer 2022

414 Eyedentity Gallery 610.236.0577 (R&S) 416 West Reading Motor Club & Nitro Bar (2nd Floor) 421 G.N.A. Italian Ristorante 610.376.1155 (F&D) 424 Broken Chair Brewery (F&D) 426 The Farmhouse Kitchen 484.869.5193 (R&S) 428 Noodl 000.000.0000 (R&S) 430 Trinity Salon

610.374.2000 (R&S) 432 Cintrine By Kimberly 610.401.1727

434 JP Tailoring

610.478.0655 (R&S) 438 Swerl Designs LLC 484.897.6797 (R&S) 442 Fox + Fern Collective 610.816.5918 (R&S) 448 La Abuela Mexican 484.509.5778 (R&S) 449 [F1] Vertigo Music 610.320.9927 (R&S) 449 Tony’s of West Reading 610.898.1331 (R&S) 450 New Business Coming Soon

500 500 Georgio’s Pizzeria 610.750.7199

502 West Reading Precious Metals 610.371.0505

506 Van’s Café


508 Betsey’s Boutique 610.406.5490

510 Hawaii Kitchen 610.743.3631

512 MADE Jewelry Boutique & Studio 610.741.6676

514 Symbiote Collectibles 610.781.3859

516 Holistic Skateshop 484.577.4183

518 Regina’s


520 Origen Hair Studio 610.927.6761

522 Allison Clothing Co. 484.709.2563

525 Chef Alan’s American Bistro 610.375.4012

525 Rite Aid


528 Charming Nails 610.373.8189

530 Rebel Hive Meadery 610.376.6919

532 Great Wall


536 Studio West Salon 610.374.4006

538 West Reading Drug Store 610.375.4366

542 Sweet Ride Ice Cream 484.987.7338

544 Coral Reef Connection 610.743.5373

546 [F1] Double Click Computers 610.374.3355


500 B LO C K

400 B LO C K

300 B LO C K

200 B LO C K

P 23 28



17 22







4T H









12 16




CHESTNUT ST 546 [F2] Integrative Healing Arts

613 Lilibea’s

643 Willow Creek Brewery

548 [F1] Salon Avanti

614 Mazi Greek Cuisine

644 Reading City Church

548 [F2] Creative Vibes Tattoo Studio

615 Spoonful Thai Cafe

550 Simply Bold Cafe

616 Let’s Taco Bout It





600 600 [F1] Say Cheese! Restaurant 610.406.5390

600 [F2] Encrypted Escape Room 610.743.3041

601 Wm. H. Diller Jeweler 610.372.0019

603 The Olympian Ballroom: Dance Studio 610.373.4880

604 Art Plus Gallery 610.375.9122

605 Saylor House 610.816.7161

606 West Reading Tavern 610.376.9232

607 Paisley Moon 610.371.9998

608 Muddy Creek Soap Co. 610.816.7474








617 Taste of Crepes 610.685.2001

619 Beer Wall on Penn 610.743.5744

622 Winedown Café & Wine Bar 610.373.4907

623 Baldwin Brass Center 629 Baldwin Kitchen & Bath Center 610.358.2469

624 The Whiskey Room 610.373.4907

626 Kids Cuts

700 Bella Jules


701 [Court St.] Comalli Taqueria 484.869.2824

701 Nonno Alby’s Wood Oven Pizza 610.376.1011

703 Lucky Finds Consignment Boutique 610.372.1372

704 Fine Linez Barbershop 484.869.2702

705 Fleet Feet



709 Chen Vegetarian House


711 Cherry’s Jamaican Delight


712 Wendy’s


713 The Bar Cart


715 Rise Up Nutrition


719 Barley Mow Craft Beer House

628 Yarn Gallery 631 Ady Cakes

633 The Art Room 634 Arrowhead Emotional Wellness 635 The Gem on Penn



610.372.8905 610.376.2253 484.987.2482

609 Olde Penn Avenue Tattoo

637 Be Mine Boutique

610 Chatty Monks Brewing Co.

639 Dressed In Love

611 Refillable Goods

641 Celtic Myth and Moonlight

723 Texture Curl Bar

612 Zipf's Candies by Sweet Surprises

641 Empire Home Center

725 Drama Hair Studio










720 Serenity Boutique 610.741.4110



726 Fromthesix Fitness Our Time Salon

610.780.0432 / 484.577.4636

727 Shearer Technical 610.375.1676

728 Finch & Fern 484.869.5617

732 King’s Auto


734 Commonwealth Auto Tags 610.372.9998

739 Edward J. Kuhn Funeral Home 610.374.5440

Off the avenue 3rd & Spruce Drafthaus 238 South 3rd Avenue 610.376.5254

Allegro Dance

511 Reading Avenue 484.577.1788

B2 Bistro

701 Reading Avenue 610.898.4314

Brewer’s Bar & Grill

EmJ Pilates

718 Reading Avenue 717.201.3700

Encompass Media

97 S 5th Avenue 610.372.1010

Eternal Lotus Tattoo 52 S 5th Avenue

Hot Yoga West Reading

120 South 3rd Avenue 610.374.2659

IA Club

243 Chestnut Street

I-Form Fitness Studio

521 Reading Avenue 610.743.3163

LEO Design Gallery

9 South 4th Avenue 610.670.6502

Ezekiel 47 Cafe

10 South 5th Avenue 717.926.2417

McGinn School Apparel 12 South 5th Avenue 610.939.1503

Mecca Caribbean & Soul Food 116 Franklin Street

101 South 3rd Avenue 610.375.8760

Mom Chaffe’s Cellarette

514 Franklin Street 610.373.2968

Takkii Ramen

BT Gallery Retro Vintage Shop

148 Tulpehocken Avenue 610.374.5733

Candlewood Suites

36 North 6th Avenue 610.370.7434

55 South 3rd Avenue 610.898.1910

Corner Creative

621 Franklin Street

Customers Bank

701 Reading Avenue

The Nest Collaborative

629 Court Street

Trish’s Specialty Cheesecake

20 N 6th Ave

Whitmoyer Automotive 230 Highland Ave 610.816.5918

Talk of the Town Our businesses are truly The Talk of the Town!

Meet more business owners in each issue as we learn about their passion for the services they provide for their customers and neighbors along the Avenue.

The Talk of the Town By Karen L. Chandler

Kristina Schurr, double sunrise yoga

398 Penn Avenue, West Reading 484-352-3890 info@doublesunriseyoga.com www.doublesunriseyoga.com

WRA: When did you open the double sunrise yoga studio in West Reading? KS: Approximately three weeks prior to the world shutting down in 2020. We were, and continue to be, immensely grateful for our location in this community during this time. It is also what led to the creation of open-air yoga next to our studio location. Necessity that turned into something full of life and smack dab in the middle of our community and our timing created that. WRA: What led to your interest in yoga? KS: A hybrid of personal and professional occurring simultaneously. Short answer. I was an ultra-runner and solely began yoga as a vehicle to recover from an injury. Yoga was the stillness I required at that time. I fought it but was forced to do it, so to speak, and continued to integrate the practice in even after I went back to running, as there was something about it for more than my body. During that time, I practiced at studios locally and in my travels for work which led to my first yoga immersion in Sri Lanka at the end of a rather life shifting year personally. A few years later I spent a month in Mexico. The education and experience with yoga, meditation, soulful work, and physical nourishment took it to the next level. The interest ever evolving, as it was a healing process for me and everyone I was there with, differently. Truly accessible in some way to everyone. 8

Avenues Summer 2022

The professional parallel was that I was a wellness consultant for a local insurance company at that time and worked with companies studying claims, chronic pain, and disease. This was my actual community as I grew up here and I continued to see the same thing over and over which was something I could not shake. It bothered me. The universe had lined it up rather brilliantly. I was invested in the practice of yoga and complementary healing modalities personally, and at the same time the interest and necessity from a perspective of corporate wellness. I was immersed and that is when it all shifted to the mindset of education and awareness as well as solutions and service…which led to sunrise. WRA: How do you feel incorporating the practice of yoga helps to create a healthy lifestyle? KS: First thought that comes to mind is connection to yourSelf. Once you begin to do that, the rest is allowing what feels right for you. A definition of healthy lifestyle for each human varies, in my experience, so the connection and tuning in to Self allows that path to be a personal and thoughtful one…yoga. WRA: What makes your instructors special? KS: They show up as they authentically are and share what speaks to them, meaning every human that shares their gifts at

sunrise arrived on their mat differently. The common thread is that they were compelled to take that journey further in the form of study so that they could share that gift, formally, with others. To me, that is an incredible act in itself and special.

More Talk of Town Stories on Page 10.

Beyond that, they show up no matter what stage we are in at the studio. Even when the thought of taking it outside to an empty lot up the street occurred when the world shut down. They showed up and rolled out their mat and we did some yoga. Now we formally call it open air yoga and there are flowers and a carpet of grass, but it didn’t appear as it does when we began like most things in life. They kept on showing up and practicing and continue to do so. Without them, there isn’t a sunrise. WRA: If you could choose to spend a day working at another Avenue business, which would it be and why? KS: The Barcart. The passion, aesthetic, and craft that they bring to what they are creating is delightful and I dig the community collaborations that they have going on. Learning from knowledgeable humans in their field and being surrounded with that type of energy and magic… I believe I would love to spend a day there. WRA: What is your favorite summer beverage (with or without alcohol) and if there’s a recipe, can your share it? KS: Hopefully after my day working at the above, I could share more in regard to one with alcohol. Until then, summer favorite beverage, perhaps boring, but true, water. It can have bubbles or flat with fruit or cucumber, lemon and lime, name it. Water is the vehicle all summer long in any variation, so perhaps not so boring after all! ta daa! visitwestreading.org


Talk of the Town Tina Shenk, Tina’s Salon and Day Spa, Winedown and the Whiskey Bar Tina’s Salon and Day Spa 404 Penn Avenue, West Reading 610-374-5991 gototinas@gmail.com www.gototinas.com Winedown and the Whiskey Bar 622 Penn Avenue, West Reading 610-373-4907 info@winedowncafe.net www.winedowncafe.net Tina Shenk lives, works, and plays in West Reading and connects to the community as both a business owner and a strong supporter of the Avenues.

also buying the systems. It had a great reputation which was important to me so that I didn’t have to pick up pieces, and it’s been very successful.

“The thing is, if you’re going to invest in something, invest in something that you’re passionate about.”

WRA: Is there anything new happening at Tina’s, Winedown, or the Whiskey Bar that you’d like to share? Tina: Things are always happening in the beauty industry as far as products and things like that. We are looking forward to reinvigorating our spa because it really took a back seat during Covid. We see that people are starting to get massages and facials and we’re putting together some new and exciting pamper packages. There’s a new product out now called “gel tips” and the girls are excited that we’ve got that system in. What’s nice about Tina’s and what the staff really likes is that we’re always on the leading edge. As soon as you hear something is coming out, you have to jump on it. I was the first in the industry to do nails in Berks County with a nails-only salon, and I was the first to do lashes and permanent makeup. It’s for the clients that you’re always redecorating and have new things coming in. As far as Winedown and the Whiskey Bar, we are having events coming up. Often people have bridal or baby showers there. It’s a great place to have small events, so it’s exciting. We have a new cocktail list. Everyone loves whiskey and one of our staff is very educated on whiskey so he likes the idea to run an event where he can educate people about it. Educational and fun. I also want to do Barstool Bingo for charity. I like to give back to the community.

WRA: As the owner of several Avenue businesses, would you share when you opened them and a little bit about each? Tina: I opened Tina’s Salon and Day Spa in 1989 and we are a full-service salon and spa – hair services, nail services, every kind of beauty service that you need. I also own Winedown which is connected to the Whiskey Bar and I purchased that two years ago. We are opened for dinner, cocktails, and dessert . WRA: Both wine and whiskey are both so popular right now, so that was a great idea. Are those things you were passionate about before? Tina: No, I really didn’t know too much before. I know a little bit about wine because I’ve been to wine country and traveled, but as far as whiskey, I knew nothing. What was important to me was saving the business. It was a niche business in the community, and I knew the former owner. He had someone who was going to purchase it and it didn’t work out because Covid set in. I heard it was going back on the market and I called him, and he said you have 24 hours to make a decision. I thought, “here comes another investment in my community which I’m really passionate about.” He had all his systems in place, so along with buying everything in the restaurant, I was


Avenues Summer 2022

WRA: Can you talk about your career in the beauty industry and how that began? Tina: Unfortunately, with my upbringing I did not have the opportunity to go to college because it wasn’t affordable for my family. I was born and raised in a family of six in Reading, so I went to vo-tech in high school. When I graduated, I got my license right away and then just let it sit. I moved out of the house and in with my grandmother, but I was a party girl forever. It was a choice for me to become an alcoholic or a workaholic. One day my grandmother told me it was time to find a job and I told her to find me one. She found me a job doing nails and the lady hired me right away and it like I was born again. Then I became a workaholic. My clients saw something in me, and I was busy all the time. I opened my own salon where our nail salon is currently and came back and bought this building that was Firehouse Saloon. The salon was actually three buildings. I built a two-story addition and knocked buildings down and put a parking lot in the back. I worked 8 to 8 every day. I wanted everybody to come to me. That’s how I built my business.

Find Your Dream Home!

WRA: Will you fill us in on the L.O.V.E. Team of West Reading and how you’re involved? Tina: The L.O.V.E. Team is a non-profit and it stands for Leaders for Outpouring Vitality Every day. It was formed years ago with a group of business leaders who wanted to give back to the community. When we do events like the Wine Walk and bingo, the moneys we’ve accumulated we give back. We did Christmas decorations, Go Fish and Bistro 614 had fires and we gave money to them, we did things for the art and music program at the school. WRA: What fuels your love for West Reading? Tina: All the business owners are my friends and it’s my hometown. I moved from Wyomissing to West Reading and now I live, work, and play here. It’s neat because there’s nothing like it. It’s just four blocks and it’s just good energy. Are there things I’d like to see different? Sure. I think we need some different types of stores. I think we need some consistency where stores are opened at the same time, but that’s coming. We’re driving people here with social media and promoting. I chair the Business Association in West Reading and we meet once a month, but instead of meeting at borough hall, we meet at different businesses and we usually have thirty-plus people. People are getting on the same page. As soon as people open, we try to engage them. We try to get business owners to support other places on the Avenue. It’s a great community.


tent sale SAVE











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Peter specializes in customer service. Whether listing or selling residential or commercial real estate, Peter is dedicated to helping his clients. His personal attention to every aspect of the business has garnered him more than 200 five-out-of-five Gold Star independent reviews. “I have personally known Pete for close to two decades, and he is one of most conscientious, caring and outgoing people I know. He truly cares about his clients, and works harder than any other realtor I know. I highly recommend that you work with Pete.” – Dave R

Peter K. Heim, CRS, GRI

“Pete is attentive to every detail. He made a hard journey of selling my mom’s house easier not just because he is a skilled realtor but in how much he cares about the story and people behind the sale.” – Cathleen P.

Christopher Heim

“Always a great experience working with Pete and now his son Chris as well.” – Michael S.

Family is foundational, and having a perfect home for your family means everything. Having Peter Heim by your side to help you navigate through the multiple steps of buying or selling is key. Born and raised in Berks county, Peter is an award-winning Real Estate Broker with more than 35 years of experience. A family man, Peter has been married to his wife Michele for more than 30 years. They have seven children and two grandchildren. Pete and his family are involved with many Berks County organizations. This seasoned professional brings his hardworking yet fun personality to every interaction. Now Peter is proud to welcome his son Christopher onto his real estate team. Chris brings his unbridled enthusiasm, on-line savvy, and banking experience to the team. Let the Heim Team do the best job for you!

Peter K. Heim, CRS, GRI Associate-Broker

office: 610-898-1441 cell: 610-745-3378 email: pheim@kw.com www.peterheimrealtor.com

“Now more than ever HOME is important!”

Talk of the Town WRA: Do you have advice for other business owners looking for success in West Reading? Tina: The biggest piece of advice is that it’s very hard work and you have to do it on your own. You can’t count on someone else. The other thing is if you’re going to invest in something, invest in something that you’re passionate about. People ask me what I’m proud of and it’s that I’ve made so many other people successful, whether it’s buying homes, cars, or feeding their families, that kind of thing. Don’t ever quit. If something doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t just do it a little different. At the salon, if we run a promotion or a sale and people didn’t take advantage of it, I have to ask: did we word it right or was it the wrong time of year? Was it not the market we were going after? If we did an event and it didn’t work, did we try hard enough to market it? Look at other successful people, what are they doing? They’re consistent. In my initial job, the place was dirty. You’ll never find this place dirty, and the inspector said this is the cleanest salon he’s ever been in. I’m always on time. If your appointment is at one, you’re at one. We try to use the best products possible

Muddy Creek Soap Company

and we’re never out of anything. You don’t eat or drink in front of customers. All the things that were negative from my first job, I learned to never do. WRA: If you could spend the day working in another Avenue business, which would it be and why? Tina: LiliBea’s because I think I’m sexy and love being a woman. And who wouldn’t want to work in a lingerie store? WRA: What is your favorite summer beverage and if there’s a recipe, can you share it? Tina: My favorite would be a sangria. They have the recipes at Winedown, but definitely a white wine sangria for the summer. WRA: Are there upcoming events that you’d like to announce? Tina: On June 29th, we have our Red, White, and Blue Sangria Stroll through the L.O.V.E. Team. At the salon, the thing will be the new gel tips, the hottest product on the market, which will be great for prom and quick summer getaways, and my favorite thing to do right now is brows and lashes. More Talk of Town Stories on Page 14.

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Talk of the Town

Dr. Natalie Parisi, Reading Orthodontic Group

1268 Penn Avenue, Wyomissing 610-374-4097 braces@fantasticsmiles.com www.fantasticsmiles.com

WRA: When was the practice opened? NP: My father, Vince Parisi, joined Dr. Otto Rosenast in Wyomissing at 1168 Penn Avenue in 1966. They incorporated as “Reading Orthodontic Group” in 1969 and built the current location at 1268 Penn Avenue in 1972. WRA: How will your move to a new office benefit your patients? NP: We are currently remodeling the building at 840 Penn Avenue. I think the greatest benefit to our patients is we will now have more than adequate parking. We now have 45 parking spaces in our 2 lots so street parking will not be necessary. WRA: What is the most rewarding thing about working in orthodontics? NP: We have the ability to change people’s lives every day. Many people try to hide their smile when they don’t like how their teeth look and this can actually negatively affect one’s personality. We see these transformations every day when one of our patients sees their new fantastic smile for the first time. It’s not only a smile transformation but a life transformation. We believe this new confidence allows them to go live a better life - a life smiling. WRA: What makes ROG special? NP: There is a trend in medicine, dentistry and now orthodontics for doctors to sell their practices to businessmen or private equity firms. When this happens, the doctor no longer has the ability to make every decision solely on what is best for the patients. Dr. Mauro and I do not have these constraints. We own ROG Orthodontics and we focus on putting our patients’ needs first 14

Avenues Summer 2022

every day. We are here not only to make our patients’ smiles and lives better, but to make our community better. This is why you see us involved in so many community events. WRA: If you could choose to spend a day working at another Avenue business, which would it by and why? NP: I’m torn between Nonno Alby’s and Barley Mow. The food is so good there and they both seem to really enjoy interacting with their customers. I love places where you can see that the customers feel at home when they walk in. WRA: What is your favorite summer beverage (with or without alcohol) and if there’s a recipe, can your share it? NP: My new summer favorite is an Aperol Spritz. Light and refreshing and perfect for brunch or pre-dinner. A Spritz Veneziano is an Italian wine-based cocktail, commonly served as an aperitif in Northeast Italy. It consists of prosecco, digestive bitters and soda water. Main alcohol: Prosecco Ingredients: 1 1/4 oz Aperol, 2 oz Prosecco, Splash of Soda water Preparation: Build into glass over ice, garnish and serve. Served: On the rocks; poured over ice Standard garnish: Orange Wedge Drinkware: Old Fashioned glass IBA specified ingredients: 9 cl Prosecco; 6 cl Select/Aperol/ Campari/Cynar; Splash of soda water

Mark and Joanne Camlin, Willow Creek Brewing 643 Penn Avenue, West Reading 484-664-0368 willowcreekbeer@gmail.com www.willowcreekbeer.com

WRA: How did Willow Creek get its name? MC: The name Willow Creek comes from one of the original locations we tried to utilize that was on Willow Creek Road. The name stuck and we went with it. WRA: Being veteran-owned, you continue to serve by giving back to the community. Can you tell us about how you are doing that? MC: We make a point of reaching out to our community and have fundraisers for organizations almost every week. The West Reading Police, West Reading Fire Company, Reading Museum, Wyomissing Library, Keystone Military Families, Humane Society, Reading Pride, The House That Fur Built, are some of the groups that we have hosted in the past. WRA: What is your favorite summer beverage (with or without alcohol) and if there’s a recipe, can your share it? MC: We specialize in top fermented ales. We tend to get a bit funky and have combinations that are found to be both attractive and repulsive to some. A smoked bacon beer, rhubarb/apple beer, white chocolate covered strawberry, cucumber pineapple, peppermint patty, black cherry IPA, and a black Irish ale to just name a few.

WRA: When did you open in West Reading and when did you actually start brewing? MC: The journey for Willow Creek started in the late 80s. Mark was getting out of Active-Duty Air Force and had tasted great beers all over the world. The problem was that there were no great beers around in the 80s. There were exceptions like Sierra Nevada and Anchor Steam. Beers we have today didn’t exist in a common way. So, Mark started to make beer at home. This had some varying success, to say that there was no beer that blew up would be a lie. He honed the craft of making beer and opened a brewery in West Chester called Ugly Dog Brewing. Ugly Dog didn’t last long, regulations and unavailability of small brewing equipment became a limiting factor in success. (Ugly Dog is one of our flagship beers and is the most popular one.) Fast forward a few years and few kids...Mark ran a brewery for the Air Force and kept his big toe in the ocean of craft beer. We invested in a local brewing operation about six years ago and that never got off the ground. About three years ago Joanne and Mark decided to start the brewery now and not wait until retirement. Willow Creek Brewing was born. After searching Berks County for two years trying to make different locations work, West Reading became our home. We have a great location that has one of the biggest beer gardens on the Avenue. We have live bands that play most weekend nights.

Service Stability Strength SCHATZ ELECTRIC, INC. Jeff Schatz, Owner/President

“Tompkins VIST Bank will be with us in the future and help us grow even more,” Jeff says. Schatz Electric has been in business for 45 years. To keep the business growing, owner and president Jeff Schatz focuses on mastering new technologies and supporting customers 24/7—so he’s always on the go. That’s why he works with the team at Tompkins VIST Bank, who proactively offer products and services that increase efficiency, such as remote deposit.

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In the Community Charles Barbera, MD,

Named Reading Hospital President, and CEO


he Tower Health Board of Directors announced the appointment of Charles Barbera, MD, MBA, MPH, FACEP, as president and CEO of Reading Hospital, effective April 4, 2022. Dr. Barbera brings deep experience to the position, having served in a variety of senior clinical and executive roles during his more than 25-year tenure with the health system.

As president and CEO of Reading Hospital, one of the top 50 hospitals in the country, Dr. Barbera will be responsible for the hospital’s operations, clinical outcomes, employee and physician engagement, and service to the community. “With Reading Hospital’s well-earned reputation as one the top hospitals in the country, we had strong interest from many excellent candidates,” said C. Thomas Work, chair of Tower Health’s Board of Directors. “As we conducted the search, it became readily apparent to the Board that the best leader to move our mission forward was within our own ranks. As a highly respected clinician with strong leadership and business skills, Dr. Barbera brings a unique and impressive background to the position, including unsurpassed commitment to and knowledge about Reading Hospital and the communities it serves. We are thrilled to have someone of Dr. Barbera’s caliber and experience leading the hospital into the future.” Dr. Barbera joined Reading Hospital in 1996 and became the Chair of Emergency Medicine in 1999, a position he held for more than 20 years. Dr. Barbera was key in the creation and accreditation of Reading Hospital’s Trauma Center, developed a successful Community Paramedic Program, and was instrumental in the development of Reading Hospital’s Pediatric Emergency Department and Psychiatric Emergency Department. He was also the clinical leader in the health system’s expansive telemedicine efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. An active member of the Reading community, Dr. Barbera is regularly recognized for his dedication to patients and the region. In 2019, he received the Berks County Medical Society William J. Alexander Award for Contributions to Medicine and Community Service. He is the past President of the Pennsylvania College of Emergency Physicians and the Berks County Medical Society. He also received the Berks County American Red Cross Medical HERO Award and recognition from Becker’s Hospital Review on their list of 100 Physician Leaders to Know. 16

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“I am honored to serve as president and CEO of Reading Hospital, a bedrock of our community and unmatched leader in clinical excellence since 1867,” said Dr. Barbera. “As one of the finest healthcare centers in the nation, the hospital is a local treasure. I am deeply committed to working closely with our physicians, nurses, and support staff to bring about an enhanced era of collaboration – putting people first in everything we do. The team at Reading Hospital are my colleagues and friends, and I cannot wait to get to work supporting and empowering the incredible care they deliver.”

“Dr. Barbera embodies the values and culture that make Reading Hospital such a special place. He brings a powerful combination of clinical and business acumen, but what really sets him apart is his infectious energy and dedication to service and giving back to the community,” said P. Sue Perrotty, CEO of Tower Health. “As we move forward and build a new future for Tower Health, Dr. Barbera will be a collaborative and unifying influence that will advance Reading Hospital’s legacy of clinical and operational excellence.” Dr. Barbera received his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine and completed his residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Arts from LaSalle University, a Master’s in Business Administration from Alvernia University, and a Master’s in Public Health from The George Washington. He previously served as the president of Pennsylvania College of Emergency Physicians and The Berks County Medical Society and on the boards of Autism Society of Berks County, the American Heart Association, and the Children’s Home of Reading. Dr. Barbera currently serves as Chairman of the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation Board.



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In the Community A retirement plan could be big for your business

Business corner: Advice for the Business Community By Patrick R. Velekei


here are millions of small businesses in the United States. Many of them do not have a retirement plan in place for their owners or employees. Some think it is too complicated or costly. Others have just never gotten around to it because of more urgent priorities running their business. Whatever the reason, small business owners can be well served to consider the benefits of a small business retirement plan for their company. Many small business owners expect the sale of their business to provide a major source of retirement income, but they could fall short. Some people don’t get as much for their business as they believe they should, so it may be important not to rely on the sale of your business to fund all of your retirement needs. As an employer, a company retirement plan may help you: • Save for your own retirement • Attract and keep good employees • Deduct employer contributions from current taxes • Your employees (and you) may benefit because they can: • Invest for their future retirement • Realize tax-deferred growth of investments • Be more content and motivated by their benefits package


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Many business owners have questions about setting up a retirement plan, and may be interested to know: • Retirement plans exist for businesses of every size, whether you have many employees, or even if you don’t have any employees. • A number of retirement plans are more affordable than you might think. Small businesses may also qualify for tax credits as incentives to establish a retirement plan. • Not all small business retirement plans require the employer to contribute money. • Today’s small business plans are relatively easy to set up and operate. Some have no annual Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reporting requirements. Preparing for retirement may not seem like the most urgent issue to small business owners. However, there are many reasons that owners should consider putting a plan in place. This is often easier and less costly than many owners expect and may be very beneficial for both owners and employees. The information in this article is for educational purpose only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual nor does it take into account the particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs of individual investors. This material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax advice. Any tax advice contained herein is of a general nature. You should seek specific advice from your tax professional before pursuing any idea contemplated.

Summer 2022

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In the Community

Wheelchair Pickleball Comes to West Reading By Eli Schade

A conversation with Bill, a wheelchair pickleball player from West Reading. Fromuth Racquet Sports worked with the IM ABLE Foundation to provide two adaptable wheelchairs specific to pickleball for use at the courts. I had the pleasure of meeting two individuals with a unique story to tell in the Pickleball community. Bill Wellock, an adaptive athlete that has an enthusiastic spirit for the sport, and Brian Sutherland, a representative of the IM ABLE Foundation. Although Bill was my focus for the interview, Brian provided helpful insight of his own to facilitate the conversation. Q: When did you start playing pickleball? How did you discover it? Bill: About a year ago, there were limitations to being in a wheelchair. I played with my wife and friends, and with Pat Shields— he’d get a group together and serve balls to get me used to moving around. Q: How has pickleball been instrumental in your life? Bill: It’s the opportunity to get out there and socialize. Pickleball is an extremely social sport. It’s a lot of fun. My wife likes to play, she’s a big tennis player and plays pickleball. We get to go out and exercise together. It’s got a learning curve and I got to get used to moving around the court in a chair. Pat did that with West Reading Pickleball, he got some chairs to use and collaborate with IM ABLE. It helped get more adaptive athletes familiar with the sport. Q: What’s your favorite part about the sport? Bill: The opportunity to socialize and interact with peers and new people. As I said, pickleball is an extremely social sport. It’s been great. So is the cross-section of people, different age groups, different people I’ve been exposed to. Q: What people in your life have been supportive in continuing to play pickleball? Bill: Joe Garapola, I’ve hit around with him a couple of times, Pat a couple of times. Still learning how to move around the court in a wheelchair. Q: If there was one thing you could tell someone else who has a handicap and wants to be involved in a sport, what would it be? Bill: Specific to pickleball, just to have fun. Every individual, bar none, has been extremely patient as I’ve tried to learn the game and play. So be ready to have some fun. 20

Avenues Summer 2022

Brian: As it relates to the community, we have organizations and what Pat has done in providing two chairs. His interest in collaborating with other entities like IM ABLE to realize that collectively they can promote the sport, and promote the interaction in the adaptive athlete’s area, and show how great our community is. Inclusion is an awesome thing. Pickleball is a sport that’s accessible to people of a wide range of abilities. Really great to be inclusive and welcome the adaptive community into the sport, inclusion is everything. Access is important, it’s great for people to make that all willing to happen. At the newly opened West Reading Pickleball Courts in Pennsylvania, Chris Kaag, the founder of the IM ABLE Foundation, tries out pickleball with his son Carter. Q: If you were to give any new pickleball player a piece of important advice, what would it be? Bill: Be ready to have fun. It’s a ton of fun, there’s a short learning curve and it’s wonderful.

Although our interview was brief, the conversation with Bill and Brian has illuminated the importance of the comradery and spirit that is out there on those courts. It continues to amaze me how welcoming the community and its affiliates are, and the responsiveness to adapt and modify the experience for the needs of its players. Doing our best to reach outside the community and entice players from all walks of life and situations to join is what really makes Pickleball special. It’s why in a brief follow-up with Brian from IM ABLE Foundation, I asked him some questions on what could help other adaptive athletes get involved in a sport like pickleball. Q: What other things does the IM ABLE Foundation do to help adaptive athletes? Brian: People can come to the foundation for equipment. There’s a financial requirement, so we help determine what kind of equipment they might need, how to raise funds, and determine what they need after their application. Q: Do you know what kind of wheelchair Bill uses for Pickleball? Brian: Bill’s daily chair isn’t suitable for Pickleball, but thanks to Fromuth and the Shields Family Foundation, we’re able to buy two Pickleball-specific ones. They come with Camber wheels, which allow for more stability and are more responsive. Some of the equipment we have is expensive, which is why equipment is available for loan by contacting the IM ABLE Foundation. We have a wide range of equipment, including intro to sports equipment so adaptive athletes can get a feel to see if they want to play before investing. Q: Any final thoughts that you would like to include? Brian: The IM Able Foundation wants to celebrate people of all abilities, push themselves to reach their goals. We want them to feel grateful for whatever ability they do have and help the community.

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Eat Drink & Live

Scrambling for Supper?

D&H Can Bail You Out By Susan N. Denaro, Esquire


he Easy Button. It’s something all of us look for to get us out of a jam. I reach for it frequently, especially when the kid, who runs the equivalent of a half-marathon a day, is home from university and texting “what’s for dinner?” in the late afternoon while I’m still at the office and haven’t a clue what to tell him. Those late afternoon texts signal two things: 1. He’s surprisingly not made plans to go out with friends to dine, and 2. he’ll want to eat almost as soon as I get in the door. Luckily, Dundore and Heister (the “D&H”) is the Easy Button that never fails. For the uninitiated, it’s a true nose to tail, farm to table, butcher shop that is also a mini-market for high-end nibbles and treats. Located at 1331 Penn Avenue in Wyomissing, it picks up where the former Banco’s butcher store nearby on Evans Avenue left off. Prior to all the Covid craziness, I occasionally used D&H around the holidays to merely supplement what I bought at the Fairgrounds Famers’ Market or Shillington Farmers’ Market. Typically, I would order a fresh turkey for Thanksgiving, or one of its fabulous hams for Easter. When I found shopping at the farmers’ markets uncomfortable during the pandemic, I started patronizing D&H more regularly to put a little variety on our table. We love their dry aged beef. Before the need to social distance, if I wanted a $35 steak, I’d go to a white linen restaurant. But now, we find we prefer buying D&H’s high-end cuts of beef and making them at home where the drinks are shaken just how we like them and we don’t have to worry about the stranger with a cough at a nearby table. Some of our favorite things to buy at D&H are the traditional English sausage rolls and pork pies. These staples can be found in a case by the cash register every Thursday. The sausage rolls are the largest I’ve ever seen and boast a flaky buttery pastry. 22

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One with a dollop of HP Sauce and a side salad makes for a light supper dinner. The pork pies are decidedly heavier and just as tasty. The pie crust has never been soggy, even if we eat them a couple of days after purchase. Although my son can eat a pork pie and a sausage roll in one sitting and still be hungry enough to eat again before bed, we’ve been known to split a pie as they are very filling. The smallest of its pies are beef and lager, or mushroom and chicken, hand pies they call Crescent Pies which are served with a worthy Hex Sauce. Unlike the others, these are on offer daily and are sold warm which makes them one of the most unique fast foods on offer in Berks County. Part of the fun of shopping at D&H is that they have a freezer full of bone broths, soups, and other treats. I admit that I always have a container of its Revive Bone Broth in my freezer. It is a dark chicken broth that has lemongrass, ginger, and coriander flavoring and is perfect for sipping to keep away the sniffles. We are also partial to D&H’s creamy baked potato soup. It’s silky and layered with herbs and spices like rosemary, thyme, parsley, and nutmeg. The vegan tomato soup is wonderful as well, and a container of it is usually nestled beside the bone broth in my kitchen freezer. If you don’t want to buy frozen soup, D&H always has a hot cauldron of a satisfying soup behind the counter. You can buy either a cup or a pint. Two other soups worthy of a mention are the turkey curry soup, and the creamy cauliflower soup that comes with a swirl of either garlic sauce or roasted red pepper sauce. A cup of soup and a Crescent Pie make for a great meal on the run.

sells Shuey’s Pretzels? I know everyone has his or her favorite local pretzel maker, but mine has been Shuey’s from the first time I tried them. However, I could only ever get them at the Shuey store front in Lebanon, which is open rather limited hours and a trip there must be timed to arrive before the daily allotment sells out. Thanks to D&H, that problem has been solved. The pretzels pair well with some of Jeni’s ice cream flavors such as its High Five Candy Bar. Because D&H specializes in whole animal butchering, rather than buying cases of specific cuts from a wholesaler, it is best to put in an advance order if you want a specific cut of meat. It’s local sourcing of animals and produce means that while the prices are higher than the farmers’ markets, the quality and freshness of its offerings is unsurpassed. D&H also has a loyalty program that gives a $10 credit for every $200 spent – the equivalent of a free pint of Jeni’s. When those late afternoon texts take me by surprise, my D&H Easy Button never disappoints, especially when my son responds, “I don’t care” or “anything” when asked what he’d like to eat. I simply don’t have recipes for “whatever.” However, D&H always satisfies in a pinch even if I merely pick up some burgers for the grill and a pack of its brioche buns.

The case beside the meat case is filled with an assortment of premise-roasted vegetables such as carrots, Brussels sprouts, red beets, sweet potatoes and the like as well as homemade mac and cheese and other starches. There are also some readymade meals, such as salads and meat loaf in the case. When I am really pressed for time, I pick up a couple of D&H’s sides and the convenience helps me get dinner on the table for my ravenous kid quickly after work. On a recent visit, I discovered Jeni’s ice cream. Its flavors are anything but typical. The browned butter almond brittle is a favorite as is the lemon and blueberries parfait. Although it is a bit pricey for ice cream (about $10.00 a pint), it’s still cheaper than a couple of desserts in a high-end restaurant. The large, refrigerated cases beside the freezer case are always filled to bursting with farm-fresh eggs, milk, cheeses, pickles, and all manner of specialty beverages. I always seem to spot something enticing each time I shop there. But I do have other staples that are a must: did I mention that D&H also visitwestreading.org


On the Avenues

West Reading Craft Pretzel and Beer Fest Recap Crowds turned out for the annual West Reading Craft Pretzel and Beer Fest at the end of April. The West Reading Revitalization Foundation (WRCRF) hosted the festival which highlighted pretzels and beer. The event spanned several blocks along Penn Avenue. The Reading area is known as the Pretzel City. A new unique beer was born from Chatty Monks Brewing Company. “Split Face” is a split pretzel-style amber lager that Chatty Monks Brewing Company brewed with using Unique Snacks pretzels. Visitors had a chance to enjoy some pretzels, beer tastings, and live music.

Photos by Anthony Matz, Berks County Views


Avenues Summer 2022

5th Annual West Reading Fashion Show Recap The West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation (WRCRF) and the West Reading Merchants hosted their 5th West Reading Fashion Show in early March. This was the first event held on the exclusive thirdfloor space at Nitro Bar. Eight Penn Avenue boutiques participated in the show as well as Albright College Fashion student Amanda Castanon presented looks showcased at New York Fashion Week. Many thanks to the event sponsors.

Photos by Lindsey Hart Photography



Arts & Culture in the Community

e n e c S t r A Summer


What’s hot at Art Plus Gallery

here’s always something new at Art Plus Gallery, 604 Penn Avenue. The exhibit in the main gallery changes every two months to showcase new work from all 25 members of the artist cooperative. On top of that, each month their Featured Exhibit Gallery is devoted to a single artist or group. Art Plus Gallery is open every day except Monday. For hours and special events visit www.artplusgallerypa.com.

Extended exhibit runs June 21 through July 31 at Art Plus Gallery, Say Cheese! and the West Reading Tavern. Reception: Friday, July 8 at Art Plus, 5-8pm.


Plein Air West Reading 2022 The center stage of Art on the Avenue gets an extended show at Art Plus The 7th annual Plein Air West Reading competition drew artists from six states to capture the character of Berks County on canvas. Following the Patrons Preview and Awards Ceremony on Friday, June 17, the exhibit moves out to the heart of Art on the Avenue, in a 50’ tent in front of the Olympian Ballroom. And the show goes on. Following Saturday’s street festival, the exhibit will be showcased in three 600 block venues through the remainder of June and the month of July: the Gallery Room at Say Cheese! Restaurant, the main dining room of the West Reading Tavern, and as the featured exhibit at Art Plus Gallery.

David Finnell’s watercolor “Cherry Street Sunrise” earned a first place award in the 2021 competition.

AUGUST FEATURED EXHIBIT Double Exposure: The Real and The Surreal Photographs and Paintings by Jay Ressler

Another new feature of this year’s event will be the first “West Reading Paint Out!” On Friday afternoon, all 50+ artists who applied for the juried competition will be given three hours to start and finish a painting anywhere in between the 400 and 800 blocks of Penn Avenue and Cherry Street. The exhibit will open to the public at Art on the Avenue, in a tent in the 400 block. The entries will be judged by Allison Shannon, artist and owner of Allison’s Clothing Company at 522 Penn Ave. Following Art on the Avenue, the artwork will join the juried Plein Air paintings for the extended show at the West Reading Tavern.


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Long known for his award-winning multilayered pictures, encaustic works and infrared photographs, Jay Ressler introduces yet another dimension to his artistic repertoire: oil paintings.

With a characteristic penchant for total immersion in a new passion, Jay spent much of the last year developing his painting skills in workshops, his studio and the field. His tenacity quickly produced results. In April, his oil painting “The Tales Old Houses Tell” was awarded first place in Oil/Acrylic/Watercolor at the Keystone Fine Art Juried Exhibition at the Walk In Art Center Schuylkill Haven. Juror Jason Travers “found this painting to be captivating and likely the most engaging piece in the exhibition…An exceptionally moving piece.” Among the surreal paintings in Double Exposure are several derived from earlier composite photographs, along with newer photographic manipulations reflecting his surreal aesthetic. Double Exposure traces the continuity of evolution of Jay’s work over the years. During the show’s August 12 reception, Jay will discuss influences by Impressionist and Surrealist painters and photographers. Exhibit runs August 2-31. Reception: Friday, Aug. 12, 5-8pm at Art Plus Gallery.

SEPTEMBER FEATURED EXHIBIT Memories of Distant Lands Mary Burke’s watercolors and oils, inspired by the coasts of Ireland and Maine.


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and illustration to watercolor and multimedia, often combining abstraction with realism. Each piece starts from a combination of images from sketches, drawings, and photographs.

Originally scheduled for March, Mary Burke’s “Memories of Distant Lands” is making its much anticipated splash on the Avenue in September. Though she is often landlocked in her Pennsylvania studio, the sea has always been another home for the Ireland-born artist. “The primary influence of my work comes from the landscapes and coastal regions of Ireland and Maine, but especially Ireland, where I grew up,” explains Mary. “There is a raw beauty to that landscape that never fails to touch me at a deep level. It is almost a mystical or spiritual experience.”

“These are starting points as I am not trying to capture the physical image precisely but trying to express the mystical experience and the essence of a landscape or the mesmerizing quality of the sea. This way of working is very liberating and exciting, where the process of the painting itself is becoming as important as the idea, “ says the Art Plus Gallery member. The results have been stunning, earning such descriptors as “vibrant energy,” “ethereal air,” and “hauntingly beautiful.” Mary belongs to the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society, Oil Painters of America, Lancaster County Art Association, and Studio B Gallery. Show runs September 1-30. Reception: Friday, Sept. 9 5-8pm at Art Plus Gallery.

The creative process has become increasingly important to Mary. She has shifted her focus from highly realistic oil painting




West Reading Farmers Market The West Reading Farmers Market is open weekly, every Sunday from 9am-1pm and highlights the very best in locally grown food. The producer-only market features locally grown fruits, vegetables, sustainably raised meats, poultry and farm fresh eggs, fresh cut flowers, artisan baked goods and breads, local beer & spirits, kombucha, hand-made pasta, local honey, and value-added products made with locally sourced ingredients. We are committed to supporting and promoting the rich agricultural history of Berks County!

Market Schedule

Weekly markets, 9am - 1pm: EVERY Sunday, May-Dec 2022 500 Block of Penn Ave + 6th Ave between Penn & Cherry Visit www.GrowingRootsPartners.com/West-Reading for upto-date information, including a weekly line-up of producers or to subscribe to the market newsletter.

The Reading Education Foundation Presents Together for the first time….

RHS Basketball Greats Stu Jackson and Lonnie Walker Talking about their days at RHS, with the NBA, and Beyond

WHEN: MONDAY, JULY 18th WHERE: Miller Center for the Arts TIME: VIP Reception: 5:45 PM Program: 7 – 8:30 PM Tickets: MillerCenter.racc.edu Or call the Box Office Monday, Wednesday, Friday Box office Phone: 610-607-6270 Tickets: $30 • VIP Tickets: $150 (VIP Ticket includes VIP seating, a private reception, and an ad* in the Program if purchased by June 15th. VIP tickets limited to 50 guests.) *Ad should be 2 ½” x 2”(w x l) and can be a personal congratulations or a Business ad. Send your ad to Stella.Leonti@ReadingEdFoundation.org.


Avenues Summer 2022


B & H Organic Produce Bleiler’s Produce Patch Fungified Farm Keim Orchards Amazing Acres Goat Dairy Wyebrook Farm The Rustic Bunch


The Daily Loaf Green Lion Breads Heart Stone Pastry Le Petit Macaron Shoppe


Digga’s Hotties Gourmet Peanut Butter & More Healthy Delight Cooking Oils Oley Ravioli Sundry Mornings Spice Co.


Deer Creek Malt Five Saints Distilling High Point Kombucha Hill Road Coffee Roasters Locust Lane Craft Brewery Perk Up Truck Sleepy Cat Urban Winery Under the Bridge Cider


Bee Our Guest - Beeswax Wraps Betula’s Botanica

Join Us!

Every 2nd Friday of the month, the West Reading shops and restaurants celebrate with “2nd Friday on the Avenue” hosted by the West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation (WRCRF).

2nd Friday on the Avenue is a time to celebrate and recognize our independent shops and locally owned restaurants! Find events and more by searching Visit West Reading on Facebook and Instagram!

LIVE MUSIC 6-8pm at 6th & Penn Avenues

June 10: Cloud Party July 8: Mr. Nice Guy August 12: Emme Ryan

West Reading is 100% committed to serving our community. We invite the public to share their 2nd Friday adventures on our social media. Tag us on Instagram: @VisitWestReading #visitwestreading #liveyourwestlife Facebook: Visit West Reading Twitter: @VisitWestRDG

Printing. Printing. Reimagined. Reimagined.

101 South First Avenue | West Reading, PA 19611 | Ph: 610.375.8581 | Fx: 610.375.4102 riecksprinting.com 101 South First Avenue | West Reading, PA 19611 | Ph: 610.375.8581 | Fx: 610.375.4102 riecksprinting.com



Events Art on the Avenue

Saturday, June 18th, 2022


est Reading will host Berks County’s premiere art and music festival, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., on Penn Avenue. The event, sponsored by Customers Bank and Tower Health is rain or shine showcasing the work of local and regional artists, crafters, vendors, West Reading businesses, and musicians.The entire festival, spanning four pedestrian friendly blocks and boasting upwards of 200 artists and vendors, is free and open to the public. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

Prior to the opening at 11 a.m., Safe Berks (formerly Berks Women in Crisis) will hold its “Walk for No More” against domestic abuse, which begins at the 700 block and will continue east on Penn Avenue to the 400 block.

Art on the Avenue is hosted by the West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation (WRCRF), a non-profit organization. West Reading’s Main Street Manager, Mark Ratcliffe noted, “We are excited to have this new mix of businesses out on the Avenue and we look forward to a great Saturday.”

The week of Art on the Avenue, 50 artists from across the country will spend time capturing the beauty and character of West Reading and Berks County on canvas. Their best work will be unveiled Saturday across from Art Plus Gallery at 605 Penn Avenue.

The Official Art on the Avenue Artist, Crafter, and Vendor Maps by block and the June 18th Online Marketplace to connect with all our participants will be posted closer to the event date.

For more information: https://visitwestreading.com/art-on-the-avenue/


Avenues Summer 2022

Music Lineup

MEDUSA’S DISCO (original Rock / Jam Band / Alternative) Lancaster, PA.

Stephanie Grace Band (Country and Pop originals and covers) Douglassville, PA. North End (Post-Rock / Fusion) Reading / Philly / Denver Colorado 25th Hour (original Alternative / Pop Rock + Covers) Birdsboro / Lancaster Very Fine Gentlemen (Swing / Jazz / Big Band influenced original band) Harrisburg click. track (Harry Dean / aka DJ Q-Ball of the 10x platinum selling band Bloodhound Gang performing a nonstop eclectic dance set with a live drummer, Anthony Garbarino) Collegeville/ Pottstown Poppy (Indie / Post-Grunge) Philadelphia The Punkabillys (Bluegrass / Part Punk....Part Billy / acoustic) Phoenixville RootSetters (After-Party at Nitro - 7 PM) (Reggae / Dub/ Jam Band) Zion / King of Prussia Skylar Love (Original and covers / acoustic guitar + drummer duo) Downingtown Violet Coup (Rock / Alternative) Reading Lose Today (Emo / acoustic solo covers and originals / Joel Sharp) Reading Emme Ryan (Americana Singer/ Songwriter) Reading

Who? What? When? Why? Werewolves? (Intense, emotional, indie-folk-bluegrass) Drexel Hill/ Philadelphia Melanie Alana & Rick Tomlinson (Acoustic duo guitar / drums) Reading, PA.


Your life at your fingertips. Helping you keep what matters most safe and in your control.

20 2

Trash Juice (Jazz! Funk! Rock! Jarunk!) Lancaster

23rd Annual

Locally owned and operated since 1988

Justin & Glenn (Acoustic guitar and vocal duo) Reading, PA. www.sahinc.com sales@sahinc.com 610.372.8872

Security | Fire Protection | Camera Systems | Low Voltage Systems visitwestreading.org



16th Annual Celebration of Peace and Walk For NO MORE to Kick Off Art on the Avenue Saturday, June 18th, 2022

Join us on Saturday, June 18th as we say as a community; NO MORE domestic violence! NO MORE sexual assault from 9am to 11am at the corner of Penn Avenue & Park Road in Wyomissing. The event is free and open to the public. Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center and the Olivet Boys & Girls Club of Reading & Berks County will be honored with the Voices for Change awards. This award honors individuals and institutions whose work makes a significant contribution to furthering the mission of Safe Berks. At this event, we will also thank our generous Annual Sponsors. Immediately after the Celebration of Peace awards ceremony, Award winners will lead participants as we Walk For NO MORE to the 400 block of Penn Avenue. The Walk For NO MORE will kick-off West Reading’s annual Art on the Avenue. The Safe Berks Walk For NO MORE is an opportunity to raise much-needed funds for Safe Berks, to help us continue providing free services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. You can start your own Team, join an existing Team, or participate as an individual. If you choose any of these options, you will receive an email from Francine Scoboria, Communications Coordinator at Safe Berks, with additional information. You can also email any questions to FrancineS@SafeBerks.org.


Avenues Summer 2022

6th Annual West Reading French Fry Fest

Saturday, August 13th, 2022 11am – 6pm

The West Reading French Fry Fest is an outdoor event showcasing each participating restaurant or vendor’s take on everyone’s favorite food: French Fries! Located on 6th Avenue between Penn Avenue and Franklin Street, the West Reading French Fry Fest has something for everyone; an amazing summer event that continues to grow in size and popularity! Admission is FREE. French fries are pay-as-you-go.

Shop Local. Support Local. Enjoy Local.



Class of


Class of 2022 IS PROUD OF TH









ING 1801 N 11th ST., READ 1801 N 11th ST., READING


Printing & Copying | Signs | Direct Marketing | Creative Services Mailing Services | Finishing & Binding | Promotional Products

2530 Penn Avenue West Lawn, PA 19609


sirspeedyprint@comcast.net www.sirspeedy.com/westlawn visitwestreading.org


Events Berks Opera Presents These Valleys and Mountains: Berks Legends Friday, June 17, 7:30pm

Mountain Mary left a legacy of loving spirituality and profound healing. Matthias Schaumbacher left the opposite: a legend of greed and violence. How have the seeds planted in the stories of these two people, who lived such different lives, grown in this place we call home? A new opera by Chris Heslop, with libretto by Vicki Haller Graff, and direction by Joel Richard Gori. Berks Opera Company recently received a grant from the Arthur Judson Foundation for the Spring 2022 production “These Valleys and Mountains: Berks Legends”.

Learn more at www.berksopera.org TICKETS : $25.00 Adult $10.00 Student Event Description Livestream available, priced per family! TICKETS $25 Livestream

TONY’S al taglio is now ...

Wednesday - Saturday: 11:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. Sunday - Tuesday: Closed

610 - 898 -1331 449 Penn Ave., Rear Suite | West Reading, PA 19611 tonysaltaglio.com

Whatever ring and thing you need, we’re your jeweler. 601 Penn Avenue West Reading 610-372-0019 dillerjewelers.com 34

Avenues Summer 2022

Same great taste, new look!









About ten years ago, Dean Rohrbach approached me to help create a “Mural Corridor ” on Kline Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. This cluster of six artworks in a one-block space brought together neighborhood residents with local artists. Cherry Street became a second location and grew into an extensive collection of over 30 artworks in three blocks. This notable public art collection is now named Dean’s Way in memory of the man who had the vision and tenacity to create it. I hope you enjoy seeing our public art collection and learn more about it through this tour. visitwestreading.com/public-art for more information. Public art is important to a community. We like our public art

to be serendipitously iscovered as residents and visitors wander around West Reading. Public art adds vitality and liveliness to our community, and best of all, public art is freely accessible. -DEAN ROHRBACH










A P P R E C I AT E 10

WR 1850
























West Reading Mural Walk June 10 at 6:00 p.m. 6th and Cherry Streets

Summer 2022 will be brighter than ever along the Avenues with an exciting calendar of events! Head to one of your favorite venues or check out something new during the warm weather months. Visit the websites for venues’ full schedules and event details.

JUNE Weekday Star Show Schedule

Mondays through Fridays at 2:00 p.m. Reading Public Museum, Neag Planetarium 500 Museum Road, Reading

Sunday Star Show

Sundays at 1:00 p.m. Reading Public Museum, Neag Planetarium 500 Museum Road, Reading

Rhonda Counts Exhibit

June 1st through 30th Holleran Gallery, Hours: Mon-Fri: 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Sat: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Sun: Closed Yocum Institute for Arts Education 3000 Penn Avenue, West Lawn

Voices from Stonewall - Reading Theatre Project June 2nd at 7:00 p.m. GoggleWorks for the Performing Arts 201 Washington Street, Reading

Rainbow Crawl, Presented by The LGBT Center of Greater Reading

June 4th from 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. West Reading

Sic Amo, Sic - Reading Theatre Project

June 9th at 7:00 p.m. GoggleWorks for the Performing Arts 201 Washington Street, Reading

It Was 50 Years Ago Today, A Tribute to the Beatles

June 9, 8:00 p.m. Santander Performing Arts Center 136 North 6th Street, Reading 36

Avenues Summer 2022

Floyd Final Fridays

June 24th 7pm – Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here 8pm – Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon 9pm – Pink Floyd: The Wall 10:15pm – Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon Reading Public Museum, Neag Planetarium 500 Museum Road, Reading

Berks Opera Presents – These Valleys and Mountains: Berks Legends

Friday, June 17 at 7:30 p.m. Miller Center for the Arts – Reading Community College 4 North Second Street, Reading

Evita – Sponsored by Sweet Street Desserts

June 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 25, Sundays at 3:00 p.m., all other nights at 7:30 p.m. Genesius Theatre 153 North 10th Street, Reading

Red, White & Blue Sangria Stroll

June 29th 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. West Reading Tickets $15 at Loveteam.eventbrite.com

JULY Joe Gatto’s Night of Comedy July 10th at 7:00 pm Santander Performing Arts Center 136 North 6th Street, Reading

Garden Volunteer Day: Summer Solstice Celebrations

July 16th at 10:00 a.m. GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, Classroom gardens at the corner of Walnut and North 3rd streets. Please contact Tiana Lopez, garden studio manager with any questions, at tlopez@goggleworks.org.

Winter Wedding Expo July 28th at 6:00 p.m. Santander Arena 700 Penn Street, Reading

AUGUST West Reading Summer Sidewalk Sale

August 6 at 11:00 a.m. West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation Penn Avenue, West Reading

Three Days Grace Explosions Tour

August 3rd at 7:00 p.m. Santander Arena 700 Penn Street, Reading

Buddy Guy with Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram

August 12 at 7:30 p.m. Santander Performing Arts Center 136 North 6th Street, Reading

Sat. June 18, 2022

Voices for Change Honorees Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center Olivet Boys & Girls Club of Reading & Berks County


Educate • Advocate • End Abuse

Jekyll & Hyde - Sponsored by Sweet Street Desserts

August 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, Sundays at 3:00 p.m., all other nights at 7:30 p.m. Genesius Theatre 153 North 10th Street, Reading

Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán 125 Aniversario Tour 2022

24-Hour Hotline: 844-789-SAFE or text SAFE BERKS to 20121

For more info visit www.SafeBerks.org, click on Events!

August 14th at 7:00 p.m. Santander Performing Arts Center 136 North 6th Street, Reading

Mary Chapin Carpenter

Tuesday, August 16th at 7:30 p.m. Miller Center for the Arts – Reading Area Community College 4 North Second Street, Reading

Ted Nugent

August 21st at 8:00 p.m. Santander Performing Arts Center 136 North 6th Street, Reading


Art Plus Gallery… artplusgallerypa.com Berks Jazz Fest… berksjazzfest.com Santander Events… Santander-arena.com Miller Center for the Arts… millercenter.racc.edu Reading Public Museum… readingpublicmuseum.org GoggleWorks… goggleworks.org Genesius Theatre… genesiusdifference.org Yocum Institute for Arts Education… www.yocuminstitute.org visitwestreading.org


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