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“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind.” –Calvin Coolidge

Press PUBLISHER Dan Mathers dan@thewcpress.com ADVERTISING MANAGER Nick Vecchio nick@thewcpress.com EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Skye McDonald skye@thewcpress.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Nazarena Luzzi Castro nazarenaluzzi.com CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Kate Chadwick kchadwick@thewcpress.com STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Sabina Sister sabinasister@gmail.com CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Amy Tucker amytuckerphotography.com

COLUMNISTS WC Food Co-op wcfoodcoop@thewcpress.com Becca Boyd bboyd@thewcpress.com Jamie Jones jjones@thewcpress.com Andrea Mason amason@thewcpress.com DJ Romeo romeo@thewcpress.com Published By... Mathers Productions 12 E Barnard Street West Chester, PA 19382 mathersproductions.com 610-344-3463 The WC Press is a monthly magazine distributed free of charge to more than 250 businesses. For a free digital subscription, visit thewcpress.com. For more information about specific distribution locations, visit thewcpress.com/distribution.



Our no-nonsense table of contents


WELCOME TO WEST CHESTER Pure Fire Pizza is our favorite new addition to the borough


MAKING SPIRITS BRIGHT Highlighting the organization bringing Christmas to kids in need


OWNERS OF THE MONTH Mixing family & business at Dia Doce & Cathey's Coffee Bar


2017 HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE Inspiration for shopping locally this holiday season


BARTENDER OF THE MONTH Chatting with Tara Baladay of Ram's Head Bar & Grill


PHOTO HUNT Find the five differences between two pictures and win!






from the


Dan Mathers shares some personal insight about this month’s theme

Like most people, I’m always struck by the spirit of this season, inspired to give, willing to do more for both strangers and the people I love than at any other time of year. Typically I'm a prolific gifter: I have a spreadsheet with names, price points and possibilities. But for many reasons, this year is far from typical. For one, Thanksgiving isn't usually a holiday I have to give much thought. The day before, I head to Giant, buy a five-pound bag of potatoes, a pint of heavy cream and a pound of butter, and I make mashed potatoes. The next day I show up at Grandma's, and she reheats the Pyrex. Holiday done. But this year my girlfriend and I are hosting Thanksgiving. Not only does properly defrosting and brining a turkey require several more days forethought than mashing potatoes, but with family visiting from out of town, we began preparing months ago. There were towels to purchase, air mattresses to find, and we decided that our island gas range was now in need of an exhaust hood, because with all those people and all that cooking, the house was gonna get hot. Considering everything on my plate, I didn’t give a single thought to Christmas until November was gone. Most years I really splurge on presents, but my current budget won't allow for that. As a new homeowner, most of my disposable income is diverted towards renovating a 53-year-old house. Throw in a couple major, unforeseen expenses, and I’ll be allocating a full decimal place less to gifts this year than last (although my HVAC guy’s family is going to have a very Merry Christmas). And so, with a limited budget and a limited time frame, I’m going to be scrambling to come up with the perfect gift for a list of people notoriously hard to buy for. I mean, what do you buy for your adult cousin who works for a Silicon Valley tech firm that he wouldn’t just buy for himself? What can I possibly get my Nana that she hasn’t already acquired sometime in the last 80 years? What on earth am I going to buy my dad, who doesn’t really like anything besides Carson Wentz but who adamantly declares that the experience of watching from his couch far exceeds any trip to the Linc? Well, I’m hoping the answers are in this gift guide. The truth is that, if you’ve got the budget and weeks to burn, you can purchase anything—and I do mean anything—on the internet. As atypical as it may be for me to be unprepared, I know there are plenty of other people out there who are watching their bottom line, running short on time, and not entirely certain who wants what. Hopefully all of us will find this Shopping Guide is a gift in itself, full of excellent items and plenty of inspiration. No matter your situation this season, the one constant is the joy we take in giving. While I won’t be blowing big bucks, I intend to put as much thought into my holiday shopping as ever. Because, whether you’re a first grader snagging a “World’s Greatest Dad” mug at your elementary gift sale, or a grandmother giving out single pairs of socks with a check hidden inside, we can all agree the greatest gift of the holiday season is just how much giving we’re all willing to do. —dan@thewcpress.com





Welcome to

West Chester PHOTO Sabina Sister INTERVIEW Skye McDonald

Meet George Zeppos (L) and Tom Strauss, who've just brought their personalized pizza concept, Pure Fire, to the borough What was most exciting for you about opening in West Chester? George Zeppos: It’s exciting to be a part of an energized, beautiful community. We want to grow within the community. Tom Strauss: You have the college kids, and you have the West Chester business community. I love the diversity. What was your inspiration? G: Tom and I have been friends for a long time, and we’re very entrepreneurial and passionate. We always went out for pizza, but it was a nightmare deciding what we all wanted, so I thought it would be a cool idea to build your own pizza.

T: We came up with sheets and sheets full of names, and my wife, Diane, came up with Pure Fire Pizza, and we loved it! G: When we say “Pure Fire Pizza: Fresh, Fast, Perfect,” it symbolizes our ingredients—the best you can find, fresh, responsibly sourced—and it’s fast, about 90 seconds for a pizza. How did you get the idea for all of these different toppings? G: It comes down to asking, “What would we picture on a pizza, and what would people love on a pizza?” Let’s provide that. T: So many people have come to us with suggestions; that’s why we have tofu, broccoli, anchovies, chickpeas, Thai noodles. G: We feel that we know people, but it’s about listening to them, too. After all, they’re the ones who are creating the pizza. Without our customers, we’re nothing. The beauty is you can create your own masterpiece with unlimited toppings for one set price. T: And people rave about our cauliflower pizza because it’s so unique. Cauliflower pizza? Tell me more. G: We use cauliflower as the base to

create a unique gluten-free crust. You can’t even tell the difference—there's a very good crunch to it. We offer organic white, all-natural wheat, cauliflower, and gluten-free crust. How long have you been in business? G: We opened two units in about a year, one in Collegeville, and one here. T: We also have our Pop-Up Pizza Parties too, simply to just be involved in the community. G: We hold these parties for people who have inspired us. We like promoting the synchronicity between business, pizza, and the community. Sometimes you just need to feel good about yourself and surround yourself with positive people and good food. What do you take the most pride in? G: I’m proud of how we've joined into this community. They realize we’re locally owned and operated. And that our staff is very diverse. They all come in here wanting to make it better. The restaurant industry is a very honest business. If you’re passionate about people and you love what you do, you’ve got a shot at it.







Sonia Nolasco shares info on local food and the upcoming West Chester Food Co-op

When people must choose between keeping the lights on or filling their bellies, purchasing fresh produce is hardly a priority. It doesn’t mean, however, that they don’t wish they could. That’s why West Chester Food Co-op is committed to providing access to fresh local produce. Since its first full year in operation (2016), the Co-op has helped to ensure that hundreds of households get their hands on local, organic produce through support of two hunger relief programs—"Neighbors Feeding Neighbors” and “Friday Night Supper”—operating out of Church of the Holy Trinity in the Borough. The Co-op runs a Local Food Program (LFP) out of Holy Trinity, offering a variety of local foods for purchase by pre-order (pick-up on Tuesdays from 3-7pm). The LFP has a very popular (over 45 subscribers) CSA from Crawford Organics, and as the CSA administrator, the Co-op donates its produce shares to the Church’s hunger relief efforts. In addition, the Co-op also arranges for “less than perfect” produce from Crawford to be donated to the Church. In 2017, donations of local organic produce exceeded $2,600, not including weekly produce from shares that CSA subscribers fail to pick up, which are also diverted to the church, insuring that nothing goes to waste. ACT in Faith—an interfaith organization that supports those in need with housing, food, counseling and other services—administers the “Neighbors Feeding Neighbors” program. Hallie Romanowski is the group's executive director, and she explained how the donations help: “These produce donations allow us to get fresh fruits and vegetables into the hands of about 300 households that otherwise could not afford it. It has added a whole new level of service to our program, giving people the chance to have higher-quality produce than they would get at a grocery store without undermining their ability to pay their bills. It’s phenomenal.” Romanowski also noted that demand for fresh produce has increased as low-income clients begin to change their eating habits and seek out fresh ingredients. Additionally, the produce is used in the bulk meals that Joe McAllister, senior churchwarden, outreach minister and a professional chef, prepares for the program. They're portioned for freezing by volunteers and distributed at the ACT in Faith cupboard. When there is a surplus of produce, volunteers lay out a mini grower’s market for the folks on Friday, who can fill a bag of produce to take home. Joe McAllister also runs the Friday Night Supper program. “Friday Night Supper functions as a fine-dining experience replete with linens, silverware and glasses," he said. "When our guests sit down, a waiter comes to the table and takes their order. We’re trying to make it as close to a restaurant experience as we can." Local organic produce donations contribute to that experience. –wcfoodcoop@thewcpress.com For more information about how you can help the Co-op during this season of giving, visit our website: www.wcfood.coop





The hearts and hands at the

Delaware Valley Children’s Charity spread joy to area families story Kate Chadwick photos Chris Saello



is that which ou y h it w e k ta n ca “ All you you’ve given away.”


l Life — It’s A Wonderfu


And usually that stress comes in the form of things like hosting the whole family, or making small talk at the company holiday party, or figuring out why your presents always look like they've been wrapped by a five-year-old. But imagine for a moment the stress of being out of a job and having no money for a roof over your children's heads, never mind for gifts. That is where the Delaware Valley Children's Charity comes in. The Delaware Valley Children’s Charity is, in a nutshell, a volunteer-driven organization that exists solely to better the lives of area children and their families facing various challenging circumstances—abuse or neglect, homelessness, or dire financial need. And that mission kicks into overtime at the holidays. “While our largest ‘giving" program is the Holiday Program, we do assist children and families in need 365 days a year with everything from food, to housing, utilities, back-to-school, summer camp and so forth,” said Janie Wermuth, the founder of the Delaware Valley Children’s Charity. “All of it is on a case-by-case and 100% needs basis.” DVCC’s Holiday Program matches children in need with local groups—businesses, churches, schools, and individuals, who can sign up on the charity’s website to sponsor a child. The children’s names are provided by more than 30 area human services agencies. A child is assigned, along with corresponding information such as age, gender, and a wish list. The sponsor is given a packet which includes a bag and a ribbon in which to put the wrapped gifts, and the gifts are then assembled for distribution on “Delivery Day” to the children. DVCC’s thoroughly comprehensive website even offers suggestions for gifts broken out by age group and current trends, along with spending guidelines and answers to frequently asked questions. (Side note: if you’re not currently feeling the holiday spirit, spend a little time on this website. That will cure you right quick.) In the course of writing a magazine story, one of our jobs is to find—or to create—the photos to go with it. When we approached Janie about taking her photo for this article, she politely—but firmly—declined. It was only later when putting the story together that we realized just why that is, as the evidence piled up—like gifts under a tree—of the selflessness, genuine humility, and generosity of spirit that goes along with an undertaking of this magnitude. Now in its 32nd season—an astounding achievement in and of itself—Janie is not only the heart and soul behind the operation, she continues to be the driving force. We

Over the years, Delaware Valley Children's Charity has received thousands of thank you notes from parents, from the agencies with whom they've partnered, and others. They are a moving and powerful testament to the value of the work that DVCC is doing, and they speak volumes more than any story we could ever write. As such, we've chosen to share them separately, throughout these pages. We reccommend keeping a box of tissues nearby as you read them.

“I lost my job in November, and my husband is on a leave of absence after being diagnosed with a tumor inside his skull. We didn’t think we were going to have a Christmas this year. We don’t know what we would have done without your help.” DECEMBER 2017 THEWCPRESS.COM




as to what “Since my husband left us, I have been concerned to provide for kind of Christmas gifts (if any) I would be able called to come the children. Imagine my surprise when I was ful that they and pick up all of the beautiful gifts (how wonder ited these days!) were all wrapped, extra time for me is very lim the gifts, turned After the children were tucked in, I brought out bed.” out the lights, thanked God for you and went to “This is our family’s first Christmas at home (no hospital stays or surgeries) and this year will be a wonderful dream come true thanks to you.”

“Thank you for reaching out to ou r families and helping make this such a sp ecial time for them. We had a lot of tears as the parents saw all of the wonderfu l gifts for their children. We cannot thank you enough.”

“I had many parents in tears as they loaded their cars. I hope you all realize the happiness you brought to so many families.”

“Thank you for helping with the wishes of our neglected and hurti ng children. Your concern touches the hearts of our staff and brings joy to the lives of the children.” asked about her staff. “I am the only fulltime person, and I am a 100% volunteer, and have been since our inception,” she said. “We do have small pockets of hired part-time help throughout the holidays, as it’s become far too big for one person to handle any longer.” How big is it, you ask? Started with a mission to help five children, this year the expectation is that upwards of 7,000 kids will benefit from this program. Janie assesses the total number of children the DVCC has impacted over the years, estimating “Doing the math, we’d have to humbly say…well over 100,000.”

Obviously, one woman—no matter how compassionate and driven—can’t handle all of that. Even Santa has helpers. “We exist only because of volunteers,” Janie said. “From our sponsors to all the helping hearts and hands that drive and fill the trucks, make the packets, and deliver the gift bags, and everything in between, and they are all volunteer.” That breaks down, according to Janie, to about 500 people for the delivery and sort days, “but if you include our sponsors, it’s in the thousands.” One of those volunteers is Chris Saello, who has been pitching in with DVCC for the past 28 years. “It’s the

longest volunteer involvement I have had with any organization,” he told us. “While I volunteer with other non-profits, I’ve continued with DVCC for so long because it’s extremely well run, has a very loyal following of volunteers that I’ve become friends with, and it gives families hope. I’ve spent my entire career in the non-profit world, and I have never seen anything like it, ever. It is a perfect example of ‘a little, plus a little, plus a little, equals a lot.’” Another volunteer, Chris McKee (who is the DVCC’s “Santa”), concurs. “It is maybe the least-known organization that is positively affecting under-





privileged children in Pennsylvania. But then again, Janie has never sought publicity, as her genuine humility wouldn't allow it, unless it benefited her kids,” Chris told us. “The donor and (beneficiary) base that she has developed and maintained over the last 30-plus years is remarkable.” McKee’s involvement as Santa with the organization was a happy accident. “I’ve been fortunate to have been involved with DVCC almost from the beginning,” Chris said. “And I just happened to have had a borrowed Santa Suit in my car on the annual DVCC Delivery day about 25 years ago. For me, that day was life changing. Afterwards, I went out and bought my own Santa Suit, and have used it many, many times for DVCC, day care centers, senior centers, youth groups and multiple other charities.” Indeed, one of Chris Saello’s most enduring memories of his work with DVCC’s holiday program is Santa-specific. “I’ve seen many special moments; we always have Santa with us and there are a few moments that will stay with me forever,” he said. “I’ll never forget a time when we were at a domestic violence center and Santa ran into a child in the lobby. Santa had the young boy sit on his lap and he asked the child what he wanted for Christmas. The child responded ‘I want the kids at school to be nice to me.’ Wow, of all the things he could have asked Santa for he just wanted someone to be nice to him. I watched the power of Santa that day transform that child from a dejected young man into a smiling happy kid, if only for that moment.” Saello further stated that he’s seen children ask Santa for food, for eye glasses, and even for a bed. “While all of those kids had mountains to climb at such a young age, it has never been lost on me the magic of Santa and how he has the ability to bring happiness, if only for a while. He restores hope to people when they’ve lost it.” “Santa” not only agrees with that assessment, he takes it a step further. “You see, what DVCC has provided for over 100,000-plus needy children over the years is so special, so undeniable, and yet so obvious,” McKee said. “What

“We send a big warm thank you for making this Christmas season en joyable for those who thought it would not be possible. Please know that your generosity has touched many hearts. We thank you for your kindness and concern. We commend you for your support and great attempt to make all dreams imaginable.”

“The children kept on asking ‘did Santa really come?’ You made some very sad faces come to life.”

“The generosity demonstrated brings a glow, which lasts all year. It exemplifies the best in people.”

“What you did was an absolute, selfless, generous thing to do. May God bless you always. Every gift was perfect, just as if you knew them personally.”

“If it weren’t for your awesome organization I don’t think there would have been Santa this year for my children. It’s good to know that there still are people who care in this world! And that is a lesson I will teach my children as they grow.” DECEMBER 2017 THEWCPRESS.COM




“You made this little boy’s wish come true, and if had a camera I would have taken a picture so you could see his face when he saw his bike.”

“My heart was overwhelmed with joy and I began to cry when I saw what was provided for my babies. I truly believe that Angels do exist in the hearts of men.”

“The families that receiv ed gifts from our agencie s were so grateful to be the recipie nts of such carefully ch osen gifts. They expressed their gratitude with hugs and tears of ha ppiness as they picked up the gifts . Often they were silenced by the generosity of the sponsors. Please know that what yo u did made a difference to many child ren who may not have ha d anything to open at Christmas time.”

“Your kindness and generosity not only provided wonderful gifts, clothes, shoes, and toys, but taught us all about the power of giving from a loving heart. We look forward to the day we will be able to do for other as you have done for us.” might not be as recognizable is what Janie has provided to the tens of thousands of donors and volunteers over the same number of years. Being able to go shopping with a coworker on behalf of a needy child that you will never meet is a special bonding experience. Being able to take your own children with you to shop for the wish list items of an underprivileged child that they will never meet is a tremendous opportunity to teach and demonstrate values, like caring for and sharing with others who are in need. And getting to take a day or two off from work, to share it with friends and strangers alike, loading or unloading dozens of trucks with thousands of bags full of holiday presents—it’s tremendously reward-

ing... not to mention great exercise! Janie has given all of us volunteers a valuable situation, to earn true happiness and joy by doing things for others less fortunate.” According to Janie, not much has changed in terms of the things that people request over the decades that the program has been in place—although there is a section on the sponsoring tab of the website that specifically addresses electronics these days. “It’s funny, the needs after 32 years seem to remain the same: a winter coat, a bike, a gift for someone else in the family. Very traditional, overall.” And when we asked Janie just what it is that drives her, or even what prompted

her to start this organization, her answer was pretty simple and straightforward. “It’s just how I was raised,” she said. “You know, 'To whom much is given, much is expected.' Any of us who are not on these lists are the lucky ones. And every year, we are amazed by some impossible feat or mission that just works out. It’s so, so special.” Even Santa agrees with that assessment. “In my world, DVCC Delivery Day has been just about the best day of every year, for the last 25 years, and God willing, a few more,” Chris McKee told us. “For me, volunteering for Janie Wermuth and the Delaware Valley Children's Charities is truly priceless.”





Near and Far

Jamie Jones of Whirlaway Travel explores some travel options abroad and highlights their local counterparts

A few years back the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce came out with an app for local businesses to connect with the community and visitors to our vibrant downtown. To kick start the project the chamber held a contest on Small Business Saturday. Shoppers could check in on the app at each store they visited and the most check-ins would win $250 to be announced at the Old Fashioned Christmas Parade the following week. Always up for a challenge, I made it my mission to check in to as many businesses as I could and win that money. The Saturday morning after Thanksgiving I bundled up my daughter and stepdaughter, and we headed into town. The borough was bustling with shoppers, all of whom I was sure were vying for the prize. I can’t recall how many businesses we visited that day, but I do remember the highlights: devouring slices for the first time at Benny’s Pizza, scoring Pandora-style beads for my mother-in-law at Penwick Design, getting delicious olive oil and fancy salt at A Taste of Olive for our family pollyanna and conversing with Larry at Mainline Custom Clothiers about making an investment into the improvement of my husband’s wardrobe. As far as holiday shopping goes, we got a lot accomplished that day, and it was much more fun than sitting behind a computer and clicking items into a cart. My daughters were able to choose unique and personalized gifts for their grandparents, and I was able to support local businesses in our community. It was a winwin for the day, but more importantly, the contest inspired me to try and shop small on a more regular basis. When I travel, I try to find something special to bring home to remember my journey, and I strive to shop small abroad, too. On a recent trip to Spain I stumbled into a tiny espadrille shop, Yake Bolsos, on a side street off of one of the many squares in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. Every time I slip into those handmade shoes, I am transported back to a cobblestone street filled with smells of hot chocolate and churros. While in the tiny town of Cordoba I got lost and wound up in an artisan co-op where I found the most gorgeous handmade bowl with a carved bull tail wrapping around the rim. It sits in my bedroom and reminds me of the time spent with my mom. Each purchase was local and supported a small business. Of course, no European trip is complete without a few Kinder Eggs for the kids, but those are purchased with my leftover Euros on my way home. The Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce did a lot more than run a contest for the most check-ins in 2015. In one day they fulfilled their mission statement and connected small businesses and the community. They got people away from the ease of clicking through online stores and coerced them into local shops to connect, support, and inspire growth in our communities. We should all strive to do the same. Oh, and just in case you were curious, I won. —jjones@thewcpress.com



Owner(s) of the


PHOTO Sabina Sister INTERVIEW Skye McDonald

Chatting with Thais Viggue (L) and Cathey Slayton, the minds behind the café collaboration between Dia Doce and Cathey's Coffee Bar How long has your collaboration been around? Thais Viggue: Since September 2013 Cathey Slayton: We just celebrated our fourth anniversary. How did you and Thais decide to go into business together? C: Thais is married to my son. They came to me at my job one day and said, “Cathey, do you want to quit your job and open your own coffee shop?” Do you think there’s a unique family dynamic here? C: Absolutely!

T: Because as much as you frustrate each other, you still love each other... C: ...and we spend a lot of time together. What makes Dia Doce special? C: It’s Thais. Truly, it’s her. T: People love our cupcakes, our coffee, and our consistency. It’s the place, it’s the atmosphere, and the truck, which has been around since 2011. The truck got our name out there, so when we opened the store, people already knew who we were. What're the most popular cupcakes and coffees? C: Peanut Butter Blackout is the most popular cupcake—a little piece of heaven. T: And the most popular coffees are the espresso and the cold brew. And every cupcake is made from scratch everyday? C: Thais gets up at 3am every morning, but if there are a lot of orders, she’ll be here by midnight. Our customers know if the lights are on, they can knock. Your shop is constantly running? T: Yes. We have our first customer, Roger, at about 4am every day, and then others start trickling in at 6am.

How'd you come up with the concept? T: We used to live in New York. Mike, my husband, worked at a hair salon. I would make cupcakes and bring them to the salon and people freaked out about them. So, we came up with the idea of a cupcake truck and went for it. What do you like about being located in West Chester? C: We love the people, honestly. Are there any particular events that stand out in your minds? T: Once we had an order for Johnson & Johnson: 8,000 cupcakes! And they had to be delivered simultaneously, the next day, to three locations. We worked all night. C: We also do Cupcake Wars parties on weekend evenings. There’s about 16 little girls, and their parents are judges. Thais puts together the dry ingredients, and the girls use them to fill and decorate cupcakes. It’s a two-hour party, and the girls have a great time. Did you always know that this is what you wanted to do? T: I had no idea, but I can’t imagine anything different.





ideas and inspiration for shopping locally this holiday season





ARTISTIC EYEWEAR 127 N High St 610.738.7150 artisticeyewear.com

$850 Dita Statesman 5 These stylish frames with blue on the top and brown on the bottom can complete any outfit. Darker blue tones are perfect for winter, but the lighter brown will fit into summer too. Quality frames that are made to last.

BLINK 136 W Gay St 610.431.2212 shopblink.com

$220 Misa Floral Top Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean floral patterns go out of style. This floral top by Misa will add a little color and sophistication to your wardrobe. You can easily pair it with classic blue jeans, shoes... and a candle too.





CARY GALBRAITH FINE ART 717.606.4378 carygalbraithart.com

$200 Dog Portait This portrait of a cute and fluffy Maltese Poodle will brighten up your home. You can also request a painting of your own pets, which Cary will produce from provided photos.

CHESTER COUNTY RUNNING STORE 24 S High St 610.696.0115 runccrs.com

$120 Brooks Canopy Jacket Made from ultra-breathable material, it’s wind- and water-resistant, making it the perfect layer for runs that take you from cloudy to clear skies. This jacket is sustainable for all seasons and types of weather, making it an essential part of your running collection.





DISC HOUNDS 323 E Gay St 610.696.8668 dischounds.com

$50 Digitized Photos and Slides Pictures and 35mm slides wear out over time, so make sure you get yours digitized. For this price, you can get up to 250 photos or 35mm slides scanned in high resolution.

THE 5 SENSES 133 W Market St 610.719.0170 the5senses.com

$110 Sonia Ferland Hand-Crafted Bracelet This bracelet was handcrafted using pewter, glass, resin, stone, and pearl adornments by Sonia Ferland from Osmose Jewelry in Quebec. It can also be worn as a necklace with a silver chain extension.





GEMELLI GELATO 12 W Market St 484.557.8482 gemelligelato.com

$18 Gourmet Hot Cocoa Give the gift of tasty, gourmet French hot chocolate. This gift includes the jar, eight servings of hot chocolate mix, semisweet chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, and instructions, and our guarantee you’ll make the best cup of cocoa you’ve ever had.

GIUNTA’S FURNITURE 513 E Gay St 484.887.8271 giuntasfurniture.com

$50 Wreath Holder with Flame Taper Illuminate your door with this unique wreath and candle-holder all in one. It can also expand to hold different-sized wreaths, and you can choose between a red or white candle to place in the hanger at no additional cost.





H. ROSE KIDDOS 141 W Gay St 484.887.0085

$48 Mila Reversible Vest Whether you’re just going out to the store or going to work, this vest should be your go-to. You have business on one side—plain white that you can coordinate with any top—and a party on the other side, with a fun, funky and casual pattern.

JANE CHALFANT 123 N High St 610.696.0290 janechalfant.com

$88 Inspire Design Necklace This long-chain, fashionable piece can coordinate well with any outfit, whether it’s a fancy dress for a work gala or a casual night out on the town. And you can’t beat the fact that it is 100% manufactured in the USA!





KALY 37 W Gay St 610.436.8272 kalyclothing.com

$30 Nirvana Faux Fur Earmuffs These teal earmuffs will keep you warm without hurting any animals—a perfect blend of form and function. They go nicely with any winter outfit, or with this matching pair of knit cable crochet handwarmers, also by Nirvanna.

KAPLAN’S FINE JEWELRY 111 W Market St 610.431.4640 kaplansfinejewelry.com

$999 Double Bar Diamond Necklace A classic, diamond necklace paired nicely with a whitegold, double-bar chain. Simple and elegant, it completes your professional look.





KREUTZ CREEK VINEYARDS 44 E Gay St 610.436.5006 kreutzcreekvineyards.com

$18 Holiday Wassail Made from Vidal Blanc grapes and pumpkins, with additions of cinnamon and cloves for a little spice. This sweet and savory wine can be served warm or chilled, perfect for any holiday gathering.

LAMONT COFFEE & TEA CO. 1139 Phoenixville Pike 610.692.2173 lamontcoffee.com

$50 Holiday Gift Basket Includes Lamont and Turk’s Head’s Fair Trade Organic Mexican Chiapas coffee and their French Roast Colombian Supremo Huila coffee, along with a selection of teas, hot chocolates, espresso beans, fudge, and peppermint sticks.



A vast array of one-of-a-kind products including... Hip Clothing, Bags, Accessories & Jewelry Incense, Oils and Candles Tapestries, Blankets & Home/Dorm Decor Grateful Dead, Bob Marley & 60s Merchandise Tiedyes & T-shirts Handblow Glass & Local Artwork Tobacco Accessories 130 West Gay Street 610-431-6607 www.moonflowershop.com Portion of proceeds benefit pro-peace and environmental charities 10% Off With Student ID



MAINLINE CUSTOM CLOTHIERS 129 W Market St 484.905.7098 mainlinecustomclothiers.com

$249 “Hybrd” 2-in-1 Jacket This new jacket from Mainline is both a suit jacket and a zipper-up sweatshirt. The bright, royal blue can coordinate nicely with their stylish, cashmere scarf, too.

MALENA’S VINTAGE 101 W Gay St 610.738.9952 malenasboutique.com

$150 1960s Mink Stole Travel back to the 1960s with this fashionable mink stole. You’ll feel chic, as you can wear it to a formal event or a casual hangout with jeans. It’s very comfortable at one-sizefits-all. Plus, it comes with pockets!






UPGRADED SWIM LESSONS PROGRAM! The YMCA teaches youth, teens and adults to swim so they can stay safe around water and learn the skills they need to make swimming a lifelong pursuit for staying healthy. The YMCA is a cause-driven charitable organization that provides financial assistance for programs. Ask your local Y for details. Photos from the 2017 YMCA Fashion Show

Register today! www.ymcagbw.org/swim WEST CHESTER AREA YMCA 610-431-9622 • OSCAR LASKO YMCA AND CHILDCARE CENTER 610-696-9622 branches of the YMCA of Greater Brandywine



MOONFLOWER 130 W Gay St 610.431.6607

$10 each Auric Blend Fine Perfume Oils These multi-purpose oils are great home remedies for some natural ailments, or they can be used as perfume for a night out. With a sweet fragrance, you can purchase each 1/3 fluid oz. bottle locally.

THE PAINTED PLATE 104 W Market St 610.738.0603 paintedplatepottery.com

$9 each Paint-Your-Own Ornaments Brighten up your home with these hand-made and handpainted ornaments. These are just a few ornaments you can purchase, and they make great, inexpensive, and personalized holiday gifts.



Dave's Automotive Repair has served the West Chester, PA area with a commitment to service and value for over 40 years. We appreciate your interest and look forward to earning your business.

Our services include: ■

Auto Body & Collision Repair

Full Auto Detailing

PA State & Emissions Inspection


Engine Replacement

Oil, Lube & Filter Changes

Full-Service Machine Shop

Brake Service & Repair

Fleet Accounts

Tires & Alignments

Paintless Dent Repair

Belts & Hoses

Exhaust & Mufflers

Windshield Repair and Replacement

Shocks & Struts

Discounted Rental Car Rates

4-Wheel Drive & AWD Diagnostics & Repair

Free Estimates

Same Day Service

Local Shuttle Service

Transmission & Clutch Replacement

Engine Diagnostics

Fuel Injection Service

Visit our website to make an appointment online.

610-696-7153 www.DareAuto.com 301 S. Bolmar Street, West Chester, PA 19382 8:30-5:00 Monday-Friday | 8:30-4:00 Saturday



PHINEAS GAGE 29 S High St 484.266.7344 phineas-gage.com

$149 Tailor Vintage Quilted Jacket This flannel jacket from Tailor Vintage can be worn as a layering piece or as a jacket for the mild fall and winter days. Plus, being reversible, you can coordinate it with many different outfits for any occasion.

THE PRANA HOUSE 109 N Church St 610.436.1407 thepranahouse.com

$17 Jacque Maldonado “Be Well� Syrup This immune-boosting syrup is made with elderberries, astragalus, echinacea, alfalfa, ginger root, cinnamon, cloves, apple cider vinegar, and local raw honey. A shot a day is what you need for preventative care for you and your entire family.





SPAZ BEVERAGE 1015 W Chester Pk 610.696.6320 spazbeverage.com

$21 Sam Adams Winter Classics 12-Pack Enjoy the holiday season with a dark, cold beer from Spaz. They sell different varieties, including Samuel Adams Winter Classics, which goes nicely with a holiday meal. Each pack includes 12oz. bottles.

STERLING OPTICAL 40 E Gay St 610.692.9289 sterlingoptical.com

$299 Cliff House Frames Be classy and cool with this new pair of stylish blue aviator frames from the Maui Jim’s ophthalmic line. Perfect for anyone in any season, you can wear these frames with just about any outfit.





SUNSET HILL JEWELERS & FINE ART 23 N High St 610.692.0374 sunsethilljewelers.com

$195 Destination Hook Bracelet A unique and fitting tribute in precious metal. Symbolically stylized letters in historical font are hooked together by the likeness of the historic courthouse. The union of these elements represents the “hook” that West Chester has on all our hearts.

TISH BOUTIQUE 138 E Gay St 610.692.7500 tishstyle.com

$22 Capri Blue Candles This holiday season, enjoy the aroma of Tish’s volcano scented candles, one of the boutique’s favorite. This earthy, rustic candle will make you feel like you’ve just hiked Maunaloa without moving from your living room. They’re the perfect size for stocking stuffers, too!



The WC.Dec.2017.qxp_Layout 1 11/12/17 2:53 PM Page 1

Artful Gifts & Cards

Gift Cards Wrapping Shipping




Mon-Wed \10 am to 6 pm Thurs-Fri \10am to 8pm North American Handmade Sat \10 am to 5 pm Functional Works of Art Sun \12noon to 4 pm


133 West Market Street, West Chester, PA • 610.719.0170




TWIG GARDENS 131 W Gay & 131 N High 610.329.6033 twiggardens.com

$25 Customized Plants Both plants and art enliven your home, and these custom plant containers from Twig Gardens are the perfect combination of the two. Available at both the Brow Bar and Spence CafĂŠ, you purchase various plant holders like this cute, black box for your bonsai, or any plant you choose.

VISUAL EXPANSION GALLERY 132 N High St 484.436.8697 visualexpansiongallery.com

$65 West Chester Map Coasters You can examine these maps of the town in the palm of your hand without an electrical screen.. and you can get it wet and rest your drink on it. Try that with a cell phone. The set comes with four Coasters, all with a different historic map.








Becca Boyd shares tips on life and cooking on her blog at homebeccanomics.com


When the weather outside is frightful, I bake... obviously. I have two much-loved (and oft’-replicated) recipes to share with you this month. The first will be a welcome addition to any brunch table and stands apart from the more typical dishes, and while it tastes like dessert for breakfast, it’s still relatively healthy. And, last December I used this toffee recipe to make gifts—tied up in large mason jars with raffia, it was a hit! Plus, if you’ve never made caramel then you’re in for a mad-scientist treat. Enjoy! –bboyd@thewcpress.com

Pumpkin and Walnut Steel-Cut Oatmeal serves 16 4 tbsp. unsalted butter 1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice 15 oz can of puréed pumpkin 2 tsp. baking powder 2 large eggs 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 2/3 c. maple syrup 2 c. raw steel cut oats 4 c. milk or almond milk 1 c. walnuts, chopped 2 tsp. vanilla

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick spray. 2. Melt butter in large glass mixing bowl. Add pumpkin and whisk to combine.

3. Add eggs, maple syrup, milk and vanilla. Whisk to combine. 4. Add pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine.

5. Stir in oats. Transfer to prepared pan. 6. Bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with

walnuts, and bake for another 30 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve. Bittersweet Chocolate Almond Toffee 2 c. sugar 1 c. bittersweet chocolate 1/2 c. water chips, chopped 1/2 c. butter 1 c. almonds, chopped, roasted 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and salted 1 tsp. vanilla

1. .Line a large, flat baking sheet with parchment paper. 2. Combine sugar, water and butter in a small, heavy sauce-

pan over medium heat. Stir until butter melts and mixture is combined. 3. Bring to a boil. Cook, WITHOUT STIRRING, until syrup turns golden brown and bubbles become small. Remove from heat and stir in salt and vanilla. 4. Pour mixture onto parchment lined sheet and spread to desired thickness. 5. Let toffee cool (at room temp) about 30 seconds, then sprinkle with chocolate. 6. Let sit 3-5 minutes, and then spread melted chocolate over caramel. 7. Sprinkle chocolate immediately with almonds. Let sit (at room temp) at least 1 hour or until completely cool. Break into pieces.



Happy Holidays from West Chester Public Library ‘Tis the season to give

back! Shop for gifts online with Goodshop or Amazon Smile to donate a portion of your purchase price to the Library at no extra cost!

Care to make a bigger impact? Donate to our Annual Appeal & keep our Library growing! wcpubliclibrary.orgg

Never doubt that your public library can change lives! Your place for connection, collaboration & enrichment 62


Bartender of the


PHOTO Sabina Sister INTERVIEW Skye McDonald

Chatting with Tara Balady of Ram’s Head Bar & Grill about Jameson and jokes What’s the best part of working at Ram’s Head? I can completely be myself behind the bar. It’s cool that I can laugh and make people laugh. There’s always entertainment. You just never know what to expect at the bar, epecially in this town. How about the job itself? I love the energy bartending provides and adapting to whatever the job throws at me. I love the adrenaline rush. I hate routine, so this is perfect. And working in West Chester generally? West Chester has my heart. I love how tight-knit it is. Everyone in this industry is friends, and we’re all inclusive.

How long have you been bartending? For two years here, but four years total. I’ve actually been in the restaurant business for 12 years. My dad had a store in the Poconos, and I remember making a bunch of cookies and eating cookie dough while I was working. When do you normally work? Mostly nights, except Sundays for Eagles games. I’m naturally a night owl, so coming in at 6pm and not leaving until 3am or 4am isn’t too hard for me. It’s a crazy sleep schedule, but you get used to it. Do you have a favorite drink? My favorite cocktail here is our Ram’s Head Bee Sting—tequila, honey and lime. And Levante Cloudy & Cumbersome is my favorite beer. Though if I had to choose a liquor I love the most, it’s Jameson. Any memories that stand out? I like when we have events. The holiday season is huge for us—we have a lot of private parties. I like being busy because it helps the night go by faster. The Mayweather Fight Night was definitely my favorite. That fight was huge for us because we were one of the only bars in town that showed it. How many people were here? We were max capacity from about 8pm to 1am—we

had a standing-room crowd. Some people didn’t pay the $20 cover; they just watched from the window. We never have a cover, but we charged for pay-per-view. Did you go to school here? I did. I graduated with a liberal arts professional studies major with a minor in psychology. I’m looking more into complementary and alternative medicine in the psychology field. Can you use the skills you’ve learned from psychology here? Yes, definitely. I love making people laugh, and it’s fun to make people feel good about their day. You never know if someone’s coming in for a social drink, or if they had a bad day. You have to pick up on that and try whatever you can to make sure they’re walking out the door smiling. I listen to them, give them advice... or I don’t if someone just wants me to hear them out. I like to consider this fieldwork experience. Do you think you’ve changed since starting work here? I’ve gotten funnier. You can only tell the same joke so many times, so you gotta be quick on your feet. Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to bartend? Own it. Have fun with it. If you have the personality for it, go



Discover the Spring House Lifestyle Bright, Spacious Apartment Homes in West Chester

Why live at Spring House?

Unique resident events bring the community together

Renovated apartments with gas cooking

Newly Upgraded 24 Hour Fitness Center

900 Reisling Lane • West Chester, PA 19382 leasing@springhouseatbrandywine.com • (610) 628-2297 www.springhouseatbrandywine.com



Design Dilemmas Andrea Mason of Perceptions Interiors is a professional interior designer who wants to help you upgrade your space

Where did this year go? Thanksgiving has come and gone, and now it’s time to start thinking about your Christmas tree. I have a few helpful tips and tricks on how to turn an ordinary evergreen into a dazzling work of art that will wow your guests this holiday season. Layering: Your tree will look lovely with these five layers: lighting, garlands, ornaments, a tree topper, and (let’s not forget) the tree skirt. Step by Step: Yes, there is a proper order in which you should be applying elements to your tree. 1. Hang your lights. Make sure to string them from the inside of the tree, and then move towards the outside, starting from the bottom. This will give the tree more dimension and will drape better on the heavier interior branches. 2. String your garland through the tree using the same method as the lights. Garlands can be substituted with beads, ribbons, or raffia, whichever embellishment your heart desires. 3. Hang your ornaments. Start with your “filler” ornaments, which are your generic solid colors. Follow by hanging your special one-of-a-kind ornaments. Using the same method as the lights and garland, start from the inside to the outside so that the entire tree is filled, not just the branch tips. 4. Top the three. Your tree topper can be any flair you wish. 5. Finally, you have your tree skirt, which is essentially the anchor of the tree. You can choose a skirt that compliments your theme or my favorite, which looks great with everything, is a traditional red-and-green plaid pattern. Proportions: If you are wondering how many ornaments you should put on your tree, there is a basic rule of thumb: around 15-20 “filler” ornaments nd 5-10 special ornaments for every two feet of the tree. Themes: An easy way to produce a beautiful tree is picking a theme and sticking to it. You can go with all silver, all gold, or all white for a very modern look, or even pick and pair consistent colors, like green, red and gold. Just remember to stick with the theme throughout. I have seen some tasteful, classic trees, strung with vintage ornaments and popcorn garland. Family: If you have children, get them involved and excited about the decorating process. If you are feeling crafty, there are plenty of DIY ornament and garland ideas out there. Paper snowflakes, dipped pinecones and felt ribbon garlands are great options. Water: Most importantly, keep your tree alive and healthy through the holiday. The first couple days you will have to water it multiple times, but then you can start to taper off as it soaks up less. Remember, no matter how you go about decorating your tree, the appearance is as important as the experience. Make sure to keep the spirit of the season alive in your designs. Happy Holidays from Perceptions Interiora! —amason@thewcpress.com





Spot the five differences between these images of a kid’s Christmas morning dream, then send your answer to contests@thewcpress.com for your chance to win a Barnaby’s gift certificate. Congrats to October winner Andrew Martin who identified all our brewery changes.





Holiday Playlist DJ Romeo previews a few new Christmas albums from big-name artists. This month, I thought I’d switch things up. Rather than spouting off another list of holiday classics, I want to introduce you to some newly released Christmas albums. From boy bands to rock ‘n’ roll hall of famers, here are five albums to deck the halls with. Thanks to these artists we now have some “new” tunes to enjoy. Happy Holidays Everyone! djromeo@thewcpress.com

www.djromeo.fm | @DJRomeo24

Sia – Everyday is Christmas Get ready for a Sia Christmas, as the pop star has released a new album of 10 original holiday songs. Sia co-wrote all the songs with well-known producer Greg Kurstin and claims her new album will correct the shortage of “good Christmas music.” Cheap Trick – Christmas Christmas Four months after releasing their last studio album, these Hall of Famers will help you rock in the season with covers of classics from The Ramones to Chuck Berry, as well as newly penned offerings like the joyous lead track “Merry Christmas Darlings.” 98 Degrees – Let It Snow The veteran boy band gets back into the Christmas spirit with its second holiday album. Nick Lachey and his bandmates new album is full of fresh takes on timeless classics like “The First Noel” and “Please Come Home for Christmas.” Hanson – Finally It’s Christmas It’s been 20 years since Hanson released their debut Christmas album Snowed In, but their long-awaited follow up has arrived this year to keep you warm all Winter long. The new album includes 14 songs ranging from Christmas classics like “Blue Christmas” and “Winter Wonderland,” to four new, original holiday tunes. Lindsey Stirling – Warmer in the Winter The electronic violinist’s first Christmas album will pair classics with originals written by Stirling and featuring Sabrina Carpenter, Trombone Shorty and All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth. This album is filled with cheerful holiday classics and Stirling has done a remarkable job of bringing her creative innovation to these songs while still retaining the essence, spirit and nostalgia that made them favorites in the first place.







Profile for The WC Press

The WC Press Holiday Shopping Guide - December 2017  

Voice of the Borough

The WC Press Holiday Shopping Guide - December 2017  

Voice of the Borough


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