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Home & Lifestyle Saratoga

Feb/Mar 2013


INSIDE Compliments of:

Home & Lifestyle Saratoga


Owner/Publisher Chad Beatty General Manager Robin Mitchell Production Director Richard Hale Managing Editor Andrew Marshall Advertising Chris Bushee, Jim Daley, Cindy Durfey Graphic Designers Eric Havens, Jessica Kane Writers Deborah Czech Chelsea DiSchiano Arthur Gonick Andrew Marshall Stefany McBrady Patricia Older Photographers Stock Studios Photography Published by Saratoga TODAY Newspaper Five Case Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 tel: (518) 581-2480 fax: (518) 581-2487 Saratoga Home & Lifestyle Magazine is brought to you by Saratoga TODAY Newspaper, Saratoga Publishing, LLC. Saratoga Publishing shall make every effort to avoid errors and omissions but disclaims any responsibility should they occur. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent of the publisher. Copyright (c) 2013, Saratoga TODAY Newspaper

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Contents Home& Lifestyle Saratoga


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2013 Saratoga Home & Lifestyle Show  Green Conscience Home & Garden  StoriedBoards 


20 Saratoga Lake Golf Club  22 Sweeney Company  32 Allerdice Building Supply  34 Empire Building Products 

Grateful Hearts, Helping Hands 


50 Frank Adams Jewelers  54 Toadflax Nursery  60 California Closets 

Cover photo courtesy of Randall Perry Photography

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March 1–3, 2013 at the

Saratoga Springs Home& Lifestyle City Center Saratoga


Presented by Saratoga Springs Rotary Club

General Information A variety of home and lifestyle businesses will exhibit on the main floor. Show hours are Friday, March 1, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, March 2, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, March 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adult admission is $6; children 5–12, $1; children under 5 free. All proceeds from the show benefit charitable causes through the Rotary Club’s donations. Thank you for your support!

Register for Prizes The show features lots of prizes, including: • • •

Door Prizes, sponsored by Allerdice Ace Building Supply Big Prize: $250 gift certificate from Granite & Marble Works Grand Prize: 50-inch flat-screen TV courtesy of Champion Window

Door prizes are drawn periodically throughout the weekend, while the larger prizes are drawn on Sunday afternoon at the show’s conclusion.

Exhibitor List and Discount Coupon Online See the website at for updated show information, including a listing and map of exhibitors, as well as photos and news updates about the show. Print out a $1-off coupon to save on adult admission.

Area Businesses Sponsor the Show The Rotary Club thanks the show’s generous sponsors for their support. The Adirondack Trust Company is the Show’s major sponsor. Other sponsors include Allerdice Ace Building Supply (door prizes), Champion Window (grand prize), Granite & Marble Works (supporting sponsor), The Saratogian (show program), Saratoga Today (show magazine), and (hospitality).

Save $5 on Friday Night Admission On Friday night, March 1, adults can receive a $5 discount on home show admission by showing a dinner receipt from a Saratoga Springs restaurant, dated between February 25 and March 1 (inclusive). The Home Show admission discount is good for up to two adults.

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“The Home and Lifestyle Show brings our whole community together, making it easy for consumers to talk to providers of home products and services, and helping our local businesses to reach their customers efficiently. It’s a fun event for all ages, whether you want to get right down to business or simply explore new ideas.” —Charlie Wheeler, Chair, 2013 Saratoga Home & Lifestyle Show “The Rotary Club’s goals are to provide a venue for local businesses to reach out to the community, and to create a fun family event during the late winter season. The continued support the Saratoga Home & Lifestyle Show receives from our exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees enables our Club to be a generous contributor to a wide variety of local community projects and activities.” —Matt Dorsey, President, Saratoga Springs Rotary Club

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Plan Your Saratoga Summer On Saturday, March 2, a “Summer Fun—Stay & Play Showcase” presented by the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce will offer “stay-cation” ideas with more than 30 summer hotspots featured. Entrance is included with show admission.

Preserve and Restore Your Historic Home The Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation is hosting a Restoration Corner all weekend, where local specialists will be available from several local businesses to discuss plans for historic homes.

Special Appreciation Several local organizations help to make this show possible. In addition to the sponsors noted above, the Club thanks: Saratoga Springs City Center,, Allerdice Party RentAll, Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Business Association, NYRA, AJ Signs, Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau, Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, Advantage Press, and Best Buy.

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Show’s 40th Anniversary Continues Rotary’s Tradition of Service T

his year’s Saratoga Home & Lifestyle Show marks the 40th anniversary of this important fundraiser, previously called the Home & Garden Show. In the decades since the original show was held in 1973 at the Saratoga Armory, the Show has made possible the significant financial gifts of the Rotary Club, as well as strengthening the community spirit of Saratoga. The Rotary Club expects to raise close to $100,000 from this year’s event, with proceeds being distributed to community organizations, youth scholarships, and international humanitarian projects.

Rotary Education Foundation, which raises funds for scholarship purposes.

Support for Local Non-Profit Organizations

Welcoming New Members

In addition to an annual Major Gift of several thousand dollars to a local non-profit organization, the Club makes smaller donations each month to a wide range of local organizations supporting youth recreation and education, food pantries and organizations that serve those in financial need, historical sites, cultural activities, and other endeavors.

Funds for Youth Scholarships As part of the Club’s dedication to helping local students pursue higher education, it now provides over $40,000 annually in scholarships to high school seniors. This work is done in conjunction with the Saratoga Springs

International Relief Efforts The Saratoga Springs Rotary Club also assists from time to time with disaster relief efforts, reflecting its belief of being involved global citizens. It also supports the efforts of Rotary International, and in particular Rotary’s effort to eradicate polio worldwide.

Membership in the Saratoga Springs Rotary Club offers an excellent opportunity for Saratoga area businesses and individuals to make a positive impact in the community and the world. Members of the Club meet every Wednesday from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. at Longfellows Restaurant for fellowship, lunch, and an informational program. Community residents and businesses interested in joining the club are invited to be in touch via or stop by the Rotary booth at the show for more information.

Rotary’s Worldwide Reach Rotary is a volunteer organization with 34,000 clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. It initiates humanitarian projects that address today’s challenges, such as hunger,

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poverty, and illiteracy. Rotary club members represent a cross-section of business and professional leaders around the world. These 1.2 million men and women donate their expertise, time, and funds to support local and international projects that help people in need and promote understanding among cultures. Rotary International is the worldwide association of Rotary clubs united under a motto of Service Above Self. Rotary’s flagship program, PolioPlus, is its effort to protect children against polio. It aims to eradicate the disease from the world. More information about Rotary International is at

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2013 Saratoga Home & Lifestyle Show List of Exhibitors Adirondack Appliance Adirondack Basement Systems Adirondack Carpentry Adirondack Overhead Door Adirondack Paving Adirondack Trust Company Aerus Electrolux Affordable Luxury Vacation Destinations AFSCO Fence Allerdice Building Supply Allerdice Rent All Allerdice Tool Division Aztech Geothermal, LLC Ballston Spa National Bank Basement Waterproofing, Inc. Best Dressed Windows In Town Bio Fusion Designs Branches Landscapes, Inc. Brookside Nursery Brownell Electric Budget Blinds California Closets Capitol District Supply Company Champion Window & Patio Champlain Stone Chestwood Remodeling CKH Industries Classic Interiors Classic Wall Finishes Clearview Exterior Cleaning Solutions Cleveland Brothers Landscaping, Inc. Comfort Windows Crawford Door and Window Culligan of Scotia Curtis Lumber Co. Cutco Cutlery Delanson Supply Inc Dil Sheji Mason Contractor Direct Buy Earl B. Feiden EasyLift Emerich Sales & Service Inc. Empire Building Products Enlighten Power Solutions First National Bank of Scotia First New York FCU Fridholm Painting & Remodeling Gallivan Companies Garden Time Granite & Marble Works, Inc. Grasshopper Gardens Green Conscience Home & Garden Huff ‘N Puff

Insurance Agency Group of NY LLC Invisible Fence Invisible Fence of the Tri-Cities and Hudson Valley Islander Pools JC Ehrlich Pest Control Jerome Roofing Siding & Insulation Inc. Lasting Impressions Landscaping LawnBott of the Greater Hudson Valley Mandy’s Spring Nursery Marshall & Sterling Mohawk Heating Monkey Bars Garage Storage Systems Monolith Solar Associated North Country Water Systems Northeast Awning & Window Decor Northeast Seamless Northeast Spray Foam O’Connell and Aronowitz, P.C. Otterbeck Builders Overhead Door Company of GF Patio Enclosures (Great Day Improvements) Queensbury Tile & Spa Racing City Realty Re-Bath of Albany Redbud Development, Inc. RM Fence and Deck Solutions Robins Nest Home Improvement Saratoga Consignment Studio Saratoga Modular Homes Saratoga National Bank and Trust Saratoga TODAY Newspaper Saratoga Sod Farm Inc SD Atelier Architecture Sherman Tile Co. Inc. Silverwood Smile Sanctuary/ Dr. Mark Moreau Steinberger Woodworks Stone Industries, LLC Storied Boards Suburban Service Group SunRoomLiving Teakwood Builders Inc. The Furniture House The Radiant Store Inc The Saratogian The Sweeney Company Time Warner Cable Toadflax Nursery Top Dog Pet Fence TRD Design V & H Construction Winslow Brothers

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Green Conscience Home & Garden A Saratoga TODAY interview with Karen Totino Overview/Mission:


reen Conscience strives to be more than just a retail store selling products. We hope to serve a source of inspiration and education for the community. If you have an interest in Green Building & Design please consider joining us for our free monthly Green Building and Design Mixers or join NY Passive House: Capital District Meet Up at NY-Passive-House-Capital-District-Meet-Ups. Also, please visit our website to learn more about regular workshops and educational events we host at the store. ST: What are the main products/services you provide? What are you known for that you provide exclusively or semi-exclusively in this region? KT: Green Conscience is a retail showroom, which opened in June 2009. It features nontoxic and sustainable interior finishes. We are a one-stop shop for people who are interested in a lifestyle of health and sustainability. We carry non-toxic, zero VOC (volatile organic compound) paint, plaster, wood finishes, flooring, counter tops, beds and mattresses. Recently we launched a “Green Nursery Registry” for expectant parents so that they can create a safe and nurturing environment for their baby. ST: What are some notable, perhaps unique, projects you have completed recently? KT: Green Conscience had the pleasure of working on the 1830 Peters-Lockrow House Renovation in Clifton Park.   In addition to achieving LEED Platinum, NAHB emerald, the project received NY Energy Star, EPA indoor Air Plus certificates and the 2012 GreenBuilder Home of the Year award.

  This was an especially fun and interesting project given the historical context of the project. Homeowners Joanne and Paul Coons had 3 goals: First, to keep the homes historic character, second, to build with green, sustainable and environmentally friendly materials, and third to generate enough energy to achieve net-zero performance.   We supplied the reclaimed wood flooring and finish, countertops, and American Clay Plaster was used as the wall finish in the home. But the best part was making new friends. Paul and Joanne have become more than just clients; they have become friends, fellow pioneers, and mentors to me. ST: Why did you start this business? KT: This new venture is the continuation of an organic lawn care business we started in 2005. While walking my children in a wagon around the block I noticed that painted above each storm drain was “Discharges to Stream,” and right next to the drains were the little yellow signs put by chemical lawn care companies. It was a light bulb moment for me.   The following spring I launched Green

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Conscience Organic Lawn Care.   I expanded to Green Conscience Home & Garden because I saw a greater need for products that would create not only a nontoxic landscape but also a non-toxic interior. I also find the store offers a platform for education that helps empower my community to make healthier choices.

ST: How wide an area do you serve? KT: We serve the Greater Capital District but we have clients come from Vermont, the Hudson Valley, Berkshires and as far west as Ithaca!

Green Conscience Home & Garden 33 Church Street Saratoga Springs, New York 12866 Karen Totino (518) 306-5196 Company founded in 2009 Employees: 2

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StoriedBoards A Saratoga TODAY interview with Tyler Russell


toriedBoards retails vintage reclaimed flooring, beams and barn board siding. We source structures, reclaim (deconstruct), process (mill) and retail all under one roof. StoriedBoards was founded on the simple idea that history should not be lost when materials are reclaimed

from their original source. That is why every product StoriedBoards sells is exhaustively researched, thoroughly documented and its provenance passed on to our customers. StoriedBoards is proud to give all of its products a voice, tell the stories of their past and allow our customers to write the next chapter in their life.

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ST: What are some notable, perhaps unique, projects you have completed recently? TR: Tyler Russell: StoriedBoards currently has products from four barns in inventory with new reclamation projects scheduled for the spring. One example is the reclamation process and product installation for the Symes Family 1880’s Barn in Ryegate, Vermont.   Robert Symes, son of first generation Scottish Immigrants, was born April 7, 1796 in Ryegate, Vermont and grew to be an esteemed member of the surrounding community and state. He was a farmer by trade, was chosen as the Captain of the Light Infantry Militia in 1826 and was a Justice of the Peace according to the 1845 Journal of the Senate of Vermont Records.   Robert’s fifth child, John H. Symes, was born December 5, 1833. John, following in his father’s footsteps, joined the local militia and enlisted in the Massachusetts Volunteers 45th Regiment Company H, fighting in three Civil War battles in North Carolina. John returned to Ryegate, and on March 25, 1876 entered into a lease agreement with his father for their farm and farmhouse.   Shortly after, John began work on the barn adjacent to his father’s farmhouse to improve the productivity of the land. Built three stories tall with mill-sawn lumber, a very lowpitched roof, supported by a cantilever frame, the structure was one of the most advanced barns in the world at the time. ST: Why did you start this business? TR: When developing the initial feasibility study for the business, we discovered that no business within the reclaimed lumber market sells products with their history accompanying each board. This is due to a convoluted supply chain where there are multiple, unneeded, middlemen. Sadly, once the lumber changes hands our competition neither knows, nor cares, where it came from. However, we know customers do!   Our products’ history is just as beautiful as the lumber itself, and the stories of the past need to be preserved. As a result, we set out to change the standard within the

industry—one where 100 percent of vintage reclaimed lumber is sold with its unique history attached. ST: What experience do your principals and/or key staff bring to a project? SB: Previously, Tyler was a Strategy and Operations Consultant with Deloitte Consulting in New York City, where he assisted clients in corporate brand evolution, retail improvement and social media strategies. Prior to his time at Deloitte Consulting, Tyler was the Manager of Passenger Marketing for JetBlue Airways. Tyler holds an M.B.A. from Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business and a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Boston University College of Engineering.   Whitney is presently a Field Engineer with New York State Department of State, responsible for the Adirondack Region of New York. Prior to his current role, Whitney

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was a Senior Training Technician for New York State, teaching building code certification classes. He also taught building construction courses with New York’s Board of Cooperative Educational Services and managed the Warranty Division for a large-scale homebuilder. In all, Whitney brings over 30 years of diverse construction experience in addition to a wide and developed industry network across the entire northeast.   Garrett is a recent graduate from Clarkson University in Potsdam, with a degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Garrett has diverse experience in customer-interactive rolls in various other retail and service industries and brings a highlevel of energy, attentiveness and entertainment to StoriedBoards each day.

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ST: How wide an area do you serve? TR: We focus our marketing on New York and New England, with the aim to keep our projects, products and their history local. ST: How would you concisely state your company’s “point of difference” or distinction? WR: We’re not just selling wood, we’re telling stories!

StoriedBoards P.O. Box 341 Lake George, New York 12845 518-227-0899 Company founded in 2012 Number of Employees: 4

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Empire Building Products Story by Chelsea DiSchiano Photographs provided


ounded in 2005 by Denny Giantomasi, Empire Building Products has grown to sell high quality windows, doors, hardware and screening solutions to a majority of upstate New York. The company represents major window brands such as Loewen, Semco, Mathews Brothers and Quaker and does work for both residential housing and commercial businesses. Empire Building Products (EBP) is also a distributor of the popular Phantom Screen brand, which are retractable screens that can be either manual or motorized for window and door openings. The screens are designed to pull or lower into place when required, and retract out of sight when not in use. EBP is a small company with only four full-time employees, though it does employ a few off-campus sales representatives. Each of his full-time employees has at least five years experience in the industry, with backgrounds ranging from sales development to construction, woodworking,

and glazing material sales. Denny Giantomasi decided to found his own business after spending years working in the industry. “I ended up going to work for a window company almost 30 years ago as an operations manager, which meant I was a liaison between sales and manufacture and delivery,” Giantomasi said. “From there I just stepped into sales and then management and then eventually my own company. It showed some good opportunity and I stayed with it.” Giantomasi said new technology and innovations in the window industry have offered new trends for his company to explore. “High transparency mesh screens are a big deal, because it makes your screens pretty much invisible, which is nice,” Giantomasi said. “Retractable screens have really become a big deal with windows and doors, and really just versatility. “We offer everything from aluminum product to

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clad-wood product to vinyl and fiberglass product, and there are more and more people focused on all of them now whereas they used to be focused on one,” Giantomasi continued. “They would come in and say ‘I know I want vinyl windows or wood windows,’ but the technology in the window industry has evolved so much that each one of those particular segments have something very different to offer.” Giantomasi added that EBP has completed two big projects recently. “We recently completed a school in the Syracuse area, and we are currently working on three pretty large residences,” he said. “We also recently completed a really nice renovation of an old school in downtown Albany that is now going to be turned into high-end apartments.” EBP serves the majority of upstate New York, covering all the way to Rochester in the West, up to the Canadian border in the North, the Pennsylvania border and Rockland County in the South, and all the way to the Berkshires in the East. After spending seven years in Schuylerville, the EBP headquarters have now moved to Malta. The new office is located at 7 Hemphill Place, Suite 132 in Malta, N.Y. Showroom hours are currently by appointment only. To make an appointment or to learn more about EBP, call (518) 400-1162.

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Saratoga Lake Golf Club Where Golf Meets Nature Story by Andrew Marshall Aerial photos courtesy of Stock Studios Photography others provided

“You are meant to play the ball as it lies; a fact that may help to touch on your own objective approach to life.” —Grantland Rice

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t requires quite a bit of one’s self to find any sort of success on the golf course. That being said, the phrase “success on a golf course” could mean something different to every person who has ever picked up a golf club. Whether you’re a weekend warrior squeezing in a few rounds before the sun goes down, or you’re simply hoping your next shot doesn’t embarrass you in front of the business executive you’re playing with, nothing comes easy. In many ways, the game of golf mirrors a lot of the frustrations we encounter in everyday life. It always looks easy as long as you’re just a spectator and to be truly great   requires a boatload of skill and patience, with some     healthy doses of good luck included along         the way. (continued on page 25)

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Saratoga Lake Golf Club first opened its doors in the year 2000. At the time, all that had been completed were the first nine holes, but reaching that point represented seven years of hard work, planning and dedication for the Mackay family. Carved from a few hundred acres of the Luther Forest in Malta, it is a labor of love for an entire generation of the family, which managing partner of the course, Alec Mackay, hopes stays that way long after he’s passed the torch. “There is a plan saying we were going to transfer [the course] to the next generation, so we decided to take a couple hundred acres and do something with it. My generation came together and we asked what everyone thought, and they decided it would be a fun thing to do. I put together a business plan, hired the consultants and went through the approval process to build a golf course.” This course and its entire history might have never come to be had Mackay been able to get a tee time elsewhere one fateful day in 1993. “The concept of a golf course came about when a longtime associate and I wanted to go out and play one afternoon, and we couldn’t get a tee time,” Mackay recalls. “Well, that kind of showed that maybe there was a need here. We got some professionals involved and performed a market

study to make sure it wasn’t an anomaly that we couldn’t get a tee time that day.” From there, the wheels for Saratoga Lake Golf Club were in motion. For the next seven years, the family would work toward making their vision a reality. Of course, like the game of golf, it didn’t come without its share of challenges. Mackay and his family also own the largest private water utility in Saratoga County, which during the early 90s was the subject of a huge legal battle. As the county attempted to take control by eminent domain, the family was still looking for financing for the golf course. “When we started the golf course, we couldn’t get financing because we were in the middle of this huge legal battle,” recalls Mackay. “No one wanted to lend us the kind of money it would take and that was very frustrating.” Not to be deterred, the family decided that in the meantime, they would roll up their sleeves and begin the bulk of the work themselves. “We took matters into our own hands and bought some equipment and started to clear and grade the land. Three or four of us spent two years clearing 70 acres of land. It was therapeutic, in a way. If you have a rough day, you go out and run a piece of equipment to try and vent. You can do a lot of venting with a large piece of

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equipment,” Mackay jokes. Venting aside, it was that time spent with his children and family that Mackay says meant the most to him. “The stories from those two years are irreplaceable to me,” said Mackay. “The people that were involved, the fun, the hardships, the stupid things that happened; we all came out of it with all our digits and limbs intact fortunately, but things like people going to the hospital with poison ivy, or someone’s tooth getting knocked out or almost flipping a piece of equipment—you look back and it was a lot of fun. At the time, it probably seemed like hell on wheels.” Mackay’s plan all along had been to transfer ownership and responsibility of the course to the next generation, which is comprised of his and his brothers and sisters’ children. While this came about late in his own life, the next generation of Mackays has known this course for practically their whole lives. “My kids watched us build it from the ground up, so

they’ve seen the attachment. They grew up on the property; they’ve seen everything that we’ve gone through as a family. You can’t rebuild that. There’s nothing artificial about that,” said Mackay. After six years of working toward the opening, in 1999 Alec would face his biggest challenge thus far: a cancer diagnosis. Though he’s now fully recovered, his family rallied around him and the project as they approached the finish line. “Fortunately, it was a long time ago and I’m healthy again. But to watch everyone rally around that to keep going and to keep pushing through—it was amazing.”

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Alec Mackay during the early phases of preparing Saratoga Lake Golf Club.

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At long last, the course opened. With Alec on his way back to full strength, the course opening meant that much more to everyone involved. “We did have a ceremony in July before the grand opening with all our family, friends and all the town officials that participated. I think every cart we had was full because we did a tour of the front nine, which was completed, and then a tour of where we were in construction of the back nine.” “It was a beautiful, sunny day. It was a great day.” * * *

With the process of building a golf course in his distant past, Mackay speaks about the course like a proud parent, offering his take on how the course plays for those who have never been there. “The 13th hole is probably the hardest on the course,” said Mackay. “It’s a long par four. It’s uphill all the way and it’s so hard to reach the green in two strokes. You have to have a perfect drive and a perfect approach. I play it for a bogey. If I’m lucky, I make it out with a double bogey. It’s probably the most frustrating hole on the entire course.”

Alec and his daughter Lauren.

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For those who might be thinking of making their way to Saratoga Lake Golf Club this season, Mackay offers this bit of advice: leave your driver in the bag. “The course, as a whole, is geared toward an accuracy game. If you try to get out your driver, and it

doesn’t go the way you want it to, you’re going to end up in the woods.” The course opens as early as the last weekend of March and has stayed open some seasons as late as Thanksgiving— weather permitting, of course. Saratoga Lake Golf Club sits

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within a working forest, which results in beautiful views, quiet surroundings and lots of fresh air. The Par-72 course sits a mere ten minutes away from downtown Saratoga Springs, making it an ideal destination for tourists and residents alike to get away for an afternoon. “Most people love the layout. It’s an optical illusion to some extent because we cut it from the forest. Obviously, the Luther Forest is a working forest. We manage it for timber and other things. So this was cut through mature trees, which causes the fairways to appear narrower than they are because of 60-foot trees on either side of them,” Mackay explains. Though he may be biased, Alec says he loves playing the course and tries to play a round at least once a week. When asked why people should come out and play at the Saratoga Lake Golf Club, his answer was simple: “It’s a lot of fun, come on out and play it. We have fun here and we treat it kind of like a family-run course. We’re professional, but with my family involved, we have that personal touch.” For more information about Saratoga Lake Golf Club, visit their website at, or call (518) 581-6616 to schedule a tee time.

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Sweeney Company A Saratoga TODAY Spotlight Overview/Mission:


he Sweeney Company has become a respected leader in the landscape and hardscape industry for the design and installation of concrete paving stones and segmental retaining wall systems. Sweeney Company constructs complete outdoor living spaces by utilizing retaining walls and paving stones including amenities such as pergolas, outdoor kitchens, built in grills, barbecue/fire pits, bar/dining area with counter top, multiple level patios, steps, landings, stairs, benches, knee walls and pool copings and patios. ST: What are the main products/services you provide? What are you known for that you provide exclusively or semi-exclusively in this region? SC: Sweeney Company designs and builds beautiful patios, walkways, driveways, stonewalls, stairs and planters that last.  Sweeney Company designs the landscape you will want to live in and love to entertain in.   Sweeney Company can design and build custom water features or a waterfall wall, including plumbing and water pumps.   Sweeney Company also specializes in the design and installation of paver driveways with radiant snow melting heating systems. Never shovel again!   Sweeney Company can lay your corporate

logo design into the paver surface. We offer text and graphic designs installed into the paver surface to augment art installations and formal garden walkways. ST: What are some notable, perhaps unique, projects you have completed recently? SC: Ski Windham—Sweeney Company rebuilt the retaining walls at Ski Windham following Hurricane Irene destruction.   The Paddocks of Saratoga—Tennis Courts and Pool Yard  Vly Road Condominiums—Sweeney Company built a 30 feet high retaining wall. The wall was so structurally sound that the condo builder built the condos on top of the 30 ft. wall.

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ST: Why did you start this business? SC: Jason Sweeney began doing yard maintenance and landscaping in 1990. He quickly learned there was a lack of creativity in outdoor living designs and decided to change his company’s mission to the design and installation of all the amenities surrounding a beautiful landscape. ST: What experience do your principals and/or key staff bring to a project? SC: The Sweeney Company is certified by the Interlocking Concrete Paver Institute (ICPI), National Concrete and Masonry Association (NCMA), Allan Block, Versa-Lok, Unilok, Oaks and other manufacturers. We maintain our staff ’s level of knowledge and expertise through manufacturer’s technical updates and the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). ST: How wide an area do you serve? SC: North to Lake George, South to the Catskills.

Our market area is about a 50-mile radius surrounding Clifton Park. ST: How would you concisely state your company’s “point of difference” or distinction? SC: Jason Sweeney has both the craftsmanship and artistic ability to design and install landscaping dreams. From patios and walkways to outdoor kitchens and wet bars, Sweeney can enhance your outdoor living experience.

Sweeney Company 73 Ushers Road Halfmoon, New York 12118 Jason Sweeney (518) 652-2034 Company founded in 1992 Employees: 7

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Allerdice Building Supply— Family and Business Rooted in History Story by Patricia Older Photography courtesy of and provided


t a time when most people begin to think about retiring, Wally Allerdice was thinking about what his next adventure would be. Buying a hardware store was not exactly on his list. But there he was, on a cold morning in November, riding in the car with Bill Grande on his way to the corner of Walworth and Division streets where the failing Milliman & Hall hardware store stood. It did not look promising—it

was old, the building was showing signs of age and neglect, and customers were going elsewhere. “This place was owned by the Grande family and other people were running it, but it wasn’t doing well,” explained Wally, owner of Allerdice Building Supply. “One day Bill Grande came to me and said ‘You’ve got to buy my lumber company.’” After a sleepless night, the former computer

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programmer decided he’d give it a try. Grande, he said, had offered him a deal he could not turn down. He would hold the mortgage at a rate below the 18 percent going rate for loans at the time and he had offered an incentive—if Allerdice was not happy with the store one year later, Grande would buy it back. So, on that cold November morning in 1982, the two men stood looking at the antiquated lumberyard and

exchanged a handshake, setting Allerdice’s life in a direction he never anticipated. “I didn’t know anything about running a hardware store,” said Allerdice, who had started a welding company after leaving a state job in 1980, and who readily admits he knew nothing about lumber or hardware. (continued on page 37) Saratoga Home & Lifestyle  |  35

Above, Keith Potter, left, talks with a customer at Allerdice Building Supply. Keith, along with T.R. Pennell came to work with Wally Allerdice a few days after he purchased the business from Bill Grande in 1982. Photo courtesy of

This 1876 Saratoga Springs city map shows the corner of Walworth and Division streets and the presence of a lumberyard owned by W.C. Barrett & F.E. Darrow. At Franklin Square, the home of Darrow can be seen. The map is scanned from the Combination Atlas of Saratoga & Ballston by Beers & Cramer. Image Courtesy of Collection of Saratoga Room, Saratoga Springs Public Library. 36  |  Saratoga Home & Lifestyle

But, he must have known something, because 30 years later Allerdice Building Supply not only survived that first year, it flourished. Along with his wife, Sue, Wally went on to start five spin-off businesses over the years—Allerdice Commercial Doors & Windows, Allerdice Glass & Mirror, Allerdice Milton, Allerdice Malta and Allerdice Rental, which he co-owns with two of his employees. He still has the welding business and a crane operation, as well as the gift shop and he is considering a division of Allerdice for cabinets. Wally Allerdice, a quiet and unassuming man, was born and raised in Saratoga Springs and came from a line of successful and savvy businessmen and women. His great grandfather came to the area from Scotland and settled in Milton, where William W. Allerdice, his grandfather, was born. At five, William and his family moved to Saratoga Springs. At 19, he began a business dealing in hides, wool and tallow—the Allerdice Hide & Tallow Company, which was located directly behind where City Hall stands today. William was a man on a mission at the turn of the century. A successful business owner, he was also active on the political scene and in the community. In July 1910, he was named Park Commissioner and was responsible for negotiating not only the purchase of

Congress Spring Park for public use, but Richard Canfield’s clubhouse, touted as “the most famous in America, and among the most beautiful in the world,” and presently known as Canfield Casino. The property, valued at the time to be worth upwards of $750,000, was purchased for a mere $150,000. William was credited with negotiating the deal with Canfield, making clear to the high-society gambler that the purchase of the property was necessary if the plans for a public park for all to enjoy were to be successful. William travelled to New York City to meet with Canfield and explained to the businessman that all Saratoga had to spend for the purchase was $150,000. While he considered the sale “for some time,” Canfield finally agreed. “I would dispose of the property to no individual for that price,” Canfield is quoted in a local newspaper as saying at the time. “But Saratogians and I have always been friends. In view of my money investment there, the price is small, but I am glad to do my part toward aiding Saratogians in their plans for the future.” Allerdice’s grandfather would also eventually go on to have East Congress Street closed; setting in motion what would become Congress Park as we know it today.

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Above left: An advertisement from the 1871 city business directory shows the property where Allerdice is now located, was owned by George Harvey and was called Adirondack Lumber. Above right: This early 1980s advertisement shows where Wally and Sue first purchased the Milliman & Hall store and are pictured with R.R. Pennell and Keith Potter. Both men still work for Allerdice and co-own Allerdice Rental with Wally Allerdice. When the Allerdice’s first purchased the hardware store, the entire store consisted of the tiny room where the gift shop is located today. Left Image Image Courtesy of Collection of Saratoga Room, Saratoga Springs Public Library; Right Image Courtesy of Wally and Sue Allerdice.

After Allerdice’s grandfather died at 59, his grandmother, Cora, took over the family business and was lauded for being one of only a few women in the country to be the executive of a business. Allerdice’s father, William, was also a businessman, taking over the hide and tallow business, but two months before Wally was born, died in a tragic accident at the plant. He was only 30 years old. His mother took over that business as well until its closure in 1959 and at one time, had an Allerdice Building Supply in Albany. The work ethic of his ancestors also flowed through Allerdice’s veins. After high school, Allerdice attended Hudson Valley Community College, graduated and nabbed his state job in 1964. He married Sue in 1969 and then in the early 1970s, while still working as a computer programmer, enrolled at Russell Sage, graduating from there in 1973 with a degree in Business and Economics. He left the state in 1982, the same year Grande approached him about the hardware store and history for the man and the property was once again in the making. Public records indicate the property where Allerdice stands has always been a working lumberyard, and prior to that, it is believed to have been a steam-run sawmill. One of the earliest records, dating 1869, shows it to be a lumberyard owned by George Harvey. The city directory from 1870 confirms Harvey owned a business listed as Harvey &

Falkenbury, lumber merchants at the corner of Walworth and Division streets. An 1871 advertisement has the company as Adirondack Lumberyard, Harvey & Co. They specialized in lumber and timber, but also offered sash, blinds, doors “and all kinds of building material.” In 1873, Harvey sold the lumberyard, and by 1874, it was under the ownership of Frank E. Darrow, offering pine, spruce and hemlock and “Building Materials Generally.” Records further show Ammi W. Wright owning it in 1882, the business becoming A.W. Wright who sold products reflective of Saratoga’s upscale building period with Norway Pine, Walnut and Cherry featured in sales advertisements. Edward Todd, who was an agent for Wright, eventually purchased the lumberyard and for the next quarter of century, it was known as E.R Todd Company. In 1922, the lumberyard and hardware business was sold again and became Milliman & Hall Lumber, a name that would stick under various owners until Allerdice purchased it in 1982. Sue, who is president of the company, worked alongside her husband, never questioning his decision to buy the fading business 30 years ago. “I didn’t say a word. I was behind whatever he wanted to do,” she said. Sue, now president of the company and bookkeeper since its inception, was a LPN for almost 16

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This image from the early 1930s shows the corner of Division and Walworth streets with the building that housed Milliman & Hall Lumberyard. The location was known as Milliman & Hall from 1922 until Allerdice purchased it in 1982. The old railroad tracks that were used to deliver lumber to and from the yard are shown in the very front corner of the image. Image Courtesy of Saratoga History Museum, George Bolster Collection.

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Above, the Allerdice Hide & Tallow Company can be seen. It was located directly behind where City Hall is today and was first opened by Wally Allerdice’s grandfather in the late 1800s. His grandmother, then his father and eventually his mother all went on to operate the company before it closed in 1959. Image Courtesy of Sue & Wally Allerdice and Michael L. Noonan.

years in the maternity ward at Saratoga Hospital, working the graveyard shift. After making the deal with Grande, Allerdice knew he needed someone with hardware and lumber experience, so he approached two men who had worked at a local hardware store that had recently burned and asked them if they wanted a job working for him. “I knew I needed help. I went to TR [Pennell] and told him I did not know hardware and I needed someone to help me who knew hardware,” said Allerdice, adding that TR said he was willing, but that Keith Potter was part of the deal. “TR said they went together, so I said sure.” That was on Thanksgiving Day 1982 and the men have been with Allerdice ever since, helping the business expand and flourish in a changing economy. TR became the store manager and Potter is manager of the lumberyard.

“People started to come in and they knew Keith and TR and that helped a lot,” said Allerdice, adding that as the business grew, so did the building and the expansion of the services offered. “When we took over this, there were six or seven hardware stores in town,” said Allerdice. “In 1984 we were 3,000 square feet and in 1988 we were 12,000 square feet.” Getting bigger and offering more products was not a guarantee to success though, especially when rumors of a Home Depot and Lowes coming to town began to spread. Even so, Allerdice didn’t blink and instead began to look at ways to keep his store grounded and in business. “It is more of a destination spot,” said Sue, pointing out one problem with staying competitive is that that while they are centrally located in the middle of town, newcomers to the area are surprised to learn a full service hardware

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Above, employees of Allerdice pose for photographer Michael L. Noonan in 2004 in front of the building supply company the corner of Walworth and Division streets. Noonan photographed the Allerdices and their employees for their annual company Christmas cards for 18 years. In many of the images, Noonan’s dog, Tudd, who appeared regularly in many of his local images, also poses. Image Courtesy of Michael L. Noonan.

store and lumberyard is right next door. “You have to know where we are to come here.” TR agrees, noting that one of their biggest obstacles to staying on top of their game is getting the word out. “One of our biggest hurdles is getting up to date on the new automation and technology,” said TR, adding that a loyal customer base is essential to their success. “Getting people to know who we are is important.” So Allerdice did some thinking and decided that in addition to the personalized and intimate customer service his employees offered, he needed to go after a corner of the construction business not readily addressed by big box stores. “Lowes and Home Depot were talking about coming, so I decided to look for something they did not do and opened the commercial door business,” said Allerdice, noting that he added a window and mirror company at the same time. “Almost all commercial projects need doors and glass.” Ground was broken for the commercial door and glass shop on Excelsior Avenue the same month that Lowe’s opened in Wilton. Allerdice’s vision worked. “We hardly knew [Lowes and Home Depot] were

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Pictured above are Wally Allerdice, III, Sue Allerdice and Wally Allerdice, Jr. in their hardware located on Walworth Street in Saratoga Springs. Wally, Jr. came from a long line of local businessmen who were committed to their business, families and community and are passing the legacy down to their sons, Wally III and William, not pictured. Image courtesy of

there,” he said. From there the Allerdices went on to open a satellite store in Milton, another at Saratoga Lake, and the rental shop, which is co-owned by TR and Keith. The Saratoga Lake shop, though, was too small to make it, so the couple closed it in 2002 and looked at Malta as an alternative site. That is when Wally and Sue began to eye the former Northway Travel Trailer building on Route 9. That 19,000 square-foot building is the largest to date of all their stores, but does not have the lumberyard and barns of the Walworth Street store. Another business savvy decision Allerdice made over the years was the switch from a partnership with True Value to one with Ace Building Supply. “When they built the warehouse at Exit 16, I switched,” said Allerdice, explaining that with a warehouse within a few miles, his company was able to fill larger orders more easily and quickly—a necessity in today’s marketplace. “For example, one day the state called and wanted 100 trash cans for a SPAC concert,” explained Allerdice. “We could get them right away because the warehouse is right there.” As an employer, Allerdice is equally savvy. Evidence of his easy nature and skill as an employer is the number of his employees who have been with him for over 20

years—nearly one quarter of the 95-plus who work for one of his businesses have stayed in his employment. “I could not have done this without the people who work for me,” said Allerdice, adding that Adirondack Trust and Bill Grande also played a vital role in the success of his business. “I like to give credit where credit is due. We are here because of our employees. They know how to treat people—they treat people like they like to be treated.” As for carrying on the family tradition, Allerdice’s oldest son, Wally Jr., has been an employee at the store since he was 15, learning the ropes.” “I’m as retired as I am going to get,” said Wally, admitting that he has passed off many of the daily duties of running the store to others. “We are just trying to teach our son the business and enjoy what we have.” Front page photo from left to right: Wallace Allerdice III, Wallace Allerdice, Kathy Desjardin, Keith Potter, T.R. Pennell, James Cameron III, Joseph Redding, Celeste Jacquard, William Hartloff, Cathy Fiore, William Curtiss, Rachel Forbes, William Arbogast, Rebecca Desjardin, Jennifer Frolish, Lettie Dickerson, Malcolm Snowden, Robert Robitaille, Brian Labelle, David Moen, John Vaughn. Front page image courtesy of Deborah Neary.

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Grateful Hearts, Helping Hands Story by Kate Towne Sherwin Photographs provided


wo summers ago, local mom Amy Urbaetis was feeling grateful: It was the first summer she and her then nineyear-old son Ben were going to be able to spend together since he was born without him going to daycare each day. In thanks, and to share their good fortune with others, Amy wanted them to spend some of that time giving of themselves to the community in some way. Her dad had died the previous fall, and she also wanted to honor his memory through the gift of their time and talents. And, as a mom, she wanted to teach and model for Ben the importance of helping others, as well as empathy, gratitude, a strong work ethic, and compassion. It was easy for Amy to choose Albany’s Ronald McDonald House for her volunteer efforts. She first connected with the house was when she worked at McDonald’s as a teenager—local franchise owner/operator Hugo Matson took the crew Christmas caroling to raise

money for the house. Years later, when she was working for General Electric, Amy’s department went to the Ronald McDonald House to bake cookies for their holiday party. “Once you are at the house you are hooked!” she says. One of the three core programs of the Ronald McDonald House Charities® of the Capital Region, Inc., the sixteen bedroom Ronald McDonald House on South Lake Avenue is “a home away from home” for families of seriously ill children who must leave their own communities to receive treatment at Albany Medical Center Hospital, St. Peter’s Hospital, St. Margaret Mary’s, and other medical facilities. As it notes on its web site, “the Ronald McDonald House provides a warm, safe, and comfortable home for sick children and their families.” It opened in 1982 as the 35th Ronald McDonald House; today there are over 240 worldwide. Over the years, families have visited from 37 New York Saratoga Home & Lifestyle  |  45

counties, 38 states, and 29 countries. Before contacting the Ronald McDonald House, Amy was a little worried about her ability to emotionally handle the work, and a little worried that it might be too much for Ben. She sat down with him to explain the services the house provides and to set expectations of what they might see and experience if they decided to volunteer there. When she asked him if he would be interested in doing so, Ben didn’t hesitate in saying yes. That first summer, Amy and Ben attended an orientation, and then shadowed an experienced volunteer for their first shift. Since then, they continue to volunteer at least once a month during the school year, and more often during the summer (shifts are three hours long during the week, and four hours on the weekend). Amy helps out in the reception area, answers phones, checks families in and out, helps families with their needs, does data entry, cleaning, and sometimes even just listens to a family who needs to talk, while Ben gives tours, cleans, sorts donated items, loads the soda/water machine, checks out DVDs and video games, and sorts soda tabs for the “Pulling for the Ronald

McDonald House” soda can pull-tab recycling fundraiser. “What we do when we are there differs each time based on what is needed,” says Amy. Ben, now eleven, seems to be handling it all just fine. “I remember leaving the house after our first shift,” his mom told me. “He turned and said to me, ‘Can we do a shift every day, Mom?” “I feel like I am doing an act of kindness,” Ben says. “I like going there because everyone is really friendly. It makes you feel really good when you are done.” Amy agrees. “It is amazing how brave these families (both the patients, their parents, their siblings) are … You hope as you see the emotions in their eyes (worry, sadness) that in some small way you are making some aspect of their life a little easier during such a difficult time.” Not only has Ben enjoyed volunteering at the house itself, he’s also brought the needs of the house out into his school community. For the second year in a row, Ben has arranged for his class at St. Clement’s—this year, Mrs. Shimkus’ fifth grade—to sell paper hearts for $1 each at

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lunchtime during Catholic Schools Week (January 27– February 2) for the “Help With All Your Heart” campaign; all proceeds will benefit the Ronald McDonald House. Last year his class raised $500—an amount he hopes they beat this year. There are other events that benefit the house throughout the year that Amy and Ben have participated in as well, like the Family Fun Festival held at the Saratoga Racetrack, and the Teddy Bear Banquet and Auction held in October. Amy and Ben feel their work is the least they can do. “There are so many people who do so much more,” Amy says, “but we do what we can. . . . It is unimaginable what these families go through. There are definitely sad times, but there is a culture there I am not sure I can put into words. It is an experience. It is called ‘The house that love built,’ and this statement says it all. Ben and I have met some wonderful people and enjoy our time there so much. I believe it is important to complete volunteer work for so many reasons. Personally, I have been very fortunate and if I am able in some small

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way to ‘pay it forward,’ that is important to me.” Surely a credit to his mother’s example, Ben sums up the benefits of giving of himself simply: “It helps other people. It teaches you responsibility.” For more information about Albany’s Ronald McDonald House or the Ronald McDonald House Charities®, please visit their web site:, or contact them at: Ronald McDonald House Charities® 139 South Lake Avenue Albany, New York 12208 Phone: (518) 438-2655 Fax: (518) 459-6529 Kate Towne Sherwin lives in Saratoga Springs with her husband and sons. She can be reached at

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California Closets A Saratoga TODAY interview with Joy Rafferty

ST: What are the main products or services you provide? What are you known for that you provide exclusively or semi-exclusively? JR:  California Closets created the custom home storage industry in 1978 and remains the leader today. They have been in upstate NY for over 20 years and are locally owned and operated by Joy and Sean Rafferty. Their showroom is in Latham and production facility in Colonie.   The California Closets process begins with a complimentary in-home consultation. An expert design consultant will measure the space and discuss the clients’ needs or wants. A custom design solution is then created with a California Closets software program, which

allows the homeowner to see a 3D image of what their project will look like. ST: What are some notable, perhaps unique, projects you have completed recently? JR: Everything we do in people’s homes is unique. All the projects that we design, build and install are custom. We, of course do closets, but we also create unique spaces like craft rooms and home offices.   In addition to the unique projects we do in people’s homes, we also work locally in the growing Saratoga Springs condominium market. We work with the builders and their clients to design and install closets and other spaces for both the Park Place condos

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(Bonacio Builders) and High Rock (Bette and Cring).

ST: Why did you start this business? JR: We took over an existing business that had been around but not a huge presence. Our goal was to devote all of our time to it and give it the attention it needed. Along with that, we wanted to create a great team of employees, while using our previous business experience/backgrounds (Finance/ Accounting and Marketing); we have been successful in building up the California Closets business and creating many happy customers in our area.   Our design consultants are specifically trained in space planning, as well as with our unique CAD (computer aided design) software to make the customer experience second to none. They are truly experts in what they do.

ST: How wide an area do you serve? JR: We service 33 counties in Upstate New York, including the Capital Region, Lake George area, the Catskills, and all of Central New York. We have an additional showroom in the Syracuse area. ST: How would you concisely state your company’s “point of difference” or distinction? JR: I like to tell our customers that when they contact us that they are getting the best of both worlds. They are working with California Closets, a well-known brand name. Because we are a franchise, we are held to very high standards of quality and workmanship that people have come to expect. But the icing on the cake is that we are locally owned and operated by a husband and wife team who care immensely about the success of this business. I run our showroom and all marketing efforts,

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while Sean runs the day-to-day operations. We have a great team of employees who are like family to us. We all work together to make sure that the clients we work with are treated exceptionally and end up loving what we have done for them. We get many referrals and repeat customers. I guess that says a lot for us.

California Closets Peter Harris Plaza 952 Troy-Schenectady Road (Route 7) Latham, New York Joy Rafferty (518) 785-5723  Sean and Joy Rafferty have owned the local California Closets franchise for nine years. The California Closets Company was founded in 1978. Number of Employees: 15

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Frank Adams Jewelers Story by Stefany McBrady Photographs provided


ife can be crazy sometimes. Bring the kids to the dentist, pick them up from gymnastics, cook dinner, and go to a parent-teacher conference; all while maintaining a high powered career. Balancing work and home life is not easy for anyone, including Kimberly Adams Russell, owner of Frank Adams Jewelers. When you see Kimberly, she looks well-rested and well put together, after getting a look at what her world is like you will wonder how she gets it all done. With a 15-year-old son, 10-year-old twin girls and a husband that’s always on the move, Kimberly has plenty to keep her busy. When you throw in the fact that she also owns two successful jewelry stores in the Capital District you truly wonder, “How does she do it?”

Kimberly is a third-generation business owner and operates Frank Adams Jewelers locations in Albany’s Stuyvesant Plaza and right here in Saratoga Springs. Passed down to her father from his father before that, Kimberly came to work for the family business after receiving a college degree and pursuing a career in communications. When she first started helping out around the store, Kimberly never expected it to become her life. A short time later, business was good. So good, in fact, that the small store in downtown Albany was no longer big enough. Before long, they opened their location in Stuyvesant Plaza. For a while, Kimberly and her mother ran that location together and (continued on page 57)

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Kimberly (center) with her mother and father David and Rochelle Adams.

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sales continued to soar. It was soon after, that Kimberly took on her family business completely. Success continued to come to Kimberly and Frank Adams Jewelers, which led to a renovation of the store in Stuyvesant plaza. Trying to oversee a renovation with a toddler and infant twin girls at home was proving to be exhausting. Although it was not a direct result of her busy lifestyle, it was around that same time Kimberly was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). “It was my body telling me enough is enough” said Kimberly. It was from then on Kimberly knew she had to have a better balance between her work and home life. With her kids growing up and a business that continued to grow since she took over, Kimberly’s life is no less busy than it was ten years ago, but now she has found a way to balance it all. So what is her secret to making it all work? It’s a great support system. “I am no different than any other woman trying to find a balance, but I have a support system,” said Kimberly. Kimberly’s husband Jeff is a huge part of her keeping her balance, playing the role of ‘Mr. Mom.’ Jeff Russell is a successful local entrepreneur who still finds time to take the kids to doctor’s appointments, or lacrosse practice.

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The extended family at a recent get together.

Not only does he help out at home, but Jeff also works part time to help run the Saratoga Springs location. Kimberly’s support system does not stop there; she also has a nanny who works 30 hours a week and has been working for her family for 11 years. Her support system at work also helps to keep everything running smoothly including the store manager and his wife who have worked for the business for over 15 years. Taking good care of her employees has helped Kimberly out tremendously because she has a supportive staff; most of whom have been with the company for at least ten years. “The staff is very important to our success,” said Kimberly. “They are family to me in every way.” On a regular basis local businesses are asked to donate items to various charities and organizations but Frank Adams Jewelers and Kimberly Russell Adams go above and beyond. Kimberly doesn’t just donate items but she also donates her time. Doing everything that she can to help as many organizations as she can, Kimberly likes to focus on supporting causes she knows her customers Jeff Russell spending time with his son.

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and staff are passionate about. One of her staff members is a kidney transplant survivor, so Kimberly shows a lot of support to the Kidney Foundation who will soon honor Frank Adams Jewelers for their contributions. Other causes Kimberly supports include the MS Society, Jewish Foundation and the Crohn’s & Colitis foundation. The support system around Kimberly has around her has worked well. Although she still tries to sneak in paperwork after she tucks the kids in at night she has also learned to take some time for herself. In between dropping her girls off at gymnastics and checking in on the Saratoga store, Kimberly finds time to take a hot yoga class or get a massage. Since so many of us are trying to find that balance between our work and home life, I asked Kimberly if she had any advice to give, to which she replied: “Take care of yourself because if you don’t you are no good to anyone else” said Kimberly, “Lean on people who are there to help and offer your help when you can”. Stefany McBrady is the Marketing Manager for Select Sotheby’s International Realty. She developed her affinity for the arts scene in Saratoga through local dance and theatre organizations both growing up in the area, and now as a young professional in Saratoga Springs.

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Toadflax Nursery Story by Chelsea DiSchiano Photographs provided


hether you’re looking for plants to accentuate your yard, are planning a completely new landscape design for your property, or simply need someone to maintain the upkeep of your current garden or landscape, Toadflax Nursery in South Glens Falls has you covered. Founded in 1990 by Rich Morris when he was only about 21 years old, Toadflax has since grown into a successful nursery and landscape design and build  business serving the upstate  New York  region from Lake George to Albany. “It’s one of those things where if you have a love for it, it comes easy,” said Rich Morris, founder and owner of

Toadflax. “I approached things like I would want them done myself and it just led to a whole different approach in how we look at landscapes today. We’re not trying to sell people plants—we’re trying to provide solutions for their lifestyle.” Claiming almost two acres of land, Toadflax Nursery now has 11 greenhouses along with a retail and garden center. Just across the street from its greenhouses is the landscape design division of the company where professionals meet with clients to plan out possible landscape designs for their homes. (continued on page 62)

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“The landscape division really began after we started the garden center and found that there was a need for people to know how to garden and figure out what they should do with their homes,” said Morris. Morris said that when his team works with clients to create a new landscape, they aren’t just designing a yard— they’re designing a new lifestyle. “We’re changing the view of landscaping from people who come with wheelbarrows and mulches to people who help plan how you’re going to interact with the outdoors and what your home is going to look like,” Morris said. “We spend an awful lot of time with clients trying to determine what they want and then design from there.” Morris also added that Toadflax works with clients from all different types of lifestyles to find the right fit for them. “Some people love to garden and other people hate it. Some people live in the woods in deep shade, and other people want edible gardens while some people want no maintenance. Others might want more of a European or old-world style,” Morris said. “So we spend a lot of time trying to figure out who the people are, how long they’re going to be there and then create a landscape that fits their needs and wants.”

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The employees at Toadflax Nursery also work with clients to create master plans for their landscape and either implement the designs all at once or in separate phases. If customers just want to add a few plants or a small garden to their yard, the nursery is the place to go. “[The nursery] has all the products to support the [landscape] division—all the plants, all the hard goods, the stone, the abilities—and we do full CAD renderings, so there’s a lot of ability within the company to help people pull off the simplest projects or projects that are very intricate,” Morris said. In addition to both the landscape and design arm as well as the main nursery, Toadflax Nursery also provides maintenance services for those who need a little help with the upkeep of their landscaping. “Some of our customers are only here on weekends, they’re busy, don’t enjoy it or they don’t know what to do, so we have a maintenance division for those clients,” Morris explained. For more information on Toadflax Nursery and its services, visit the website at or give them a call at (518) 793-2886.

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Saratoga Home and Lifestyle 2013  

The 2013 issue of Saratoga Home and Lifestyle

Saratoga Home and Lifestyle 2013  

The 2013 issue of Saratoga Home and Lifestyle