The WC Press Green Thumb Issue - March 2019

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“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people” –Steve Jobs

Press PUBLISHER Dan Mathers


COLUMNISTS Becca Boyd Jamie Jones Andrea Mason DJ Romeo Rotary Club of West Chester Chester County Historical Society Published By... Mathers Productions 12 E Barnard Street West Chester, PA 19382 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 For more information about specific distribution locations, visit



Group worksh o prov id es tool p s& strateg ies behav i to make or cha happen nge .

Our no-nonsense table of contents


BARTENDER OF THE MONTH Tim Pendergrast talks about life behind the bar at Ryan’s Pub


SEASONAL, LOCAL, SUSTAINABLE A guide to eating food that’s as good for you as it is for the planet


Tony D’Antonio has built his business from the asphalt up


Five area florists make your flower picking easier


These local folks are the area’s gardening experts


Our guide to what’s going down this month


Find the five differences between the two pictures and win!






from the


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

My girlfriend and I have established a fair and equitable division of labor within our home. For instance: I do the cooking, Morgan does the dishes; I take out the trash, she remembers when it needs to go to the curb. The most rewarding of these arrangements has come outside the house: we agreed that, if I built a garden, Morgan would maintain it. Not content to start small, the raised bed of our garden rises 18 inches above the rest of the yard, and it’s frame covers 128 square feet. It took an entire weekend to build, including three treks to fill the 6.5ft bed of a full-size Toyota Tundra with topsoil. I’m unsure how many trips to the truck I made with our wheelbarrow, but my soft hands — well adapted for life on a keyboard — have never been more blistered. Since then, Morgan has done her part. Even before veggies go in the ground, she starts seedlings atop our windowsill, and the second the last frost has gone, she’s out there tilling the bed, planting her marigolds and onions, and preparing the ground for another growing season. She checks and waters her “planties” each morning before work and again after she gets home. Despite the effort, it turns out that neither of us has a particularly green thumb. Past experience had already shown I could kill a Cast Iron Plant, an evergreen whose hardiness is explained in the name, in a matter of weeks. Morgan, on the other hand, had her high hopes trampled. She filled every square foot of that garden with zucchini and jalapenos, tomatoes and tabasco, cucumbers and habaneros (I’m sure you’re seeing the theme), but within a few days, half the garden had died. It turns out, the topsoil I’d purchased was a bit too nutrient rich: it was highly acidic—about the pH of vinegar—and the resultant decomposition caused the soil temperature to climb. Only the peppers survived. Thanks to a whole lot of lime, we’ve since found some success, but it still feels like a battle. We’re yet to turn out a single zucchini, and while we’ve grown cherry tomatoes in abundance, our Beefsteaks seem to burst or rot before we get them off the vine. We’ve learned a lot about patience and perseverance. I have so much respect for the farmers who turn out cash-worthy crops when we’re yet to harvest a cantaloup. A green thumb isn’t a godgiven talent—it’s a hard-earned badge of honor, and it’s one the folks we profile in this issue have put decades into perfecting. Despite the struggle, gardening is rewarding, and the taste of our tomatoes has caused me to question what I’d been buying all these years. True to form, it’s been my duty to craft cuisine from Morgan’s war with the soil, and I’ve learned to get creative with the limited list of our harvest. We may never grow more than we buy, but that garden’s become central to our meal planning. Even if we’ll always need to purchase our zucchini from a more qualified source, I’m content with the meals we manage and certain that no grocery store will ever compete with our salsas and hot sauces and pickled jalapenos and... well, you get the idea. —






of the Month PHOTO Amy Tucker INTERVIEW Courtney Potts

Tim Pendergrast talks about life behind the bar at Ryan’s Pub. How long have you been here? I’ve been working at Ryan’s for eight years now, and I’ve been bartending for about three. Have you worked at any other restaurants? I always worked in the service industry. I bussed tables at Anthony’s in Malvern before this job, when I was 14 years old. What made you want to start working at Ryan’s? My father actually went to UPenn and worked in the city at Smokey Joe’s for Pat Ryan, the owner here. So, when I began college here, my dad called Pat and asked him if he had anything open. He said he had an opening for bussing tables, so I took it.

So you started out bussing tables; did you do any other jobs here before bartending? I bounced for a little while, and then bar-backed for a couple years. The opportunity to bartend presented itself, so I stepped up. What do you enjoy most about working here? Ryan’s has a lot to offer. There’s so much that I’ve learned since I started working here. I’ve noticed that there’s definitely an interesting divide between the mature dinner-hour crowd compared to the mayhem that is the university crowd later at night. You get to see a little bit of everything here — it’s nice. You have a set schedule? I have sort of a mixed bag of shifts. I work Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. My shift usually starts at 6pm or 9pm, and then I close. What’s your favorite shift? Saturdays are always good because it’s busy the whole time; being busy means making money. Sundays are unique and may be my favorite shift — we have a lot of regulars who come in, and I get a little more time to talk and get to know them better.

What’s the biggest tab you’ve ever seen somebody ring up? We have a regular named Joe Cook who has a party every year for the Christmas parade. Between him and his friends, they run up a hefty tab. I’m always happy to see them come have fun here. What’s your favorite drink to make? I like to pour a Guinness, the right way. There’s two steps to the pour. The difference is in the head of the beer — if you do it right, the head won’t go anywhere. Do you have any special drinks you experiment with making? I learned some tips and tricks along the way. Sometimes my girlfriend will come in and ask me to make something exciting, and I’ll give it a try. What do you do on days you’re not behind the bar? I still take classes here at West Chester and play a little blues guitar. I enjoy going outdoors and hiking, too. What’s your favorite meal? Picking one favorite is pretty tough — the food here is so good. The prime rib is always amazing. But for me, I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you the wings. Everybody here knows I eat more than my fair share.








a guide to eating food that’s as good for you as it is for the planet BY BECCA BOYD MARCH 2019 THEWCPRESS.COM







ISCLAIMER: My family eats loads of bananas. Bananas are not, nor will they ever be, local to PA. I will not let my zest and zeal for eating locally transform into a crusade against the modern age of food production, and I hope you don’t either. We can be grateful for the developments that bring us tropical fruit mid-winter while still supporting our local farms and even sowing some seeds of our own. With that in mind, I’d like to examine what a sustainable, local diet might look like, in a practical, real-world application. Before we go any further, it’s important to consider what buzzwords like local, sustainable, and seasonal really mean — and why is it important to consider them? Obviously, food is considered “locally grown” if it is grown in the region where it’s being consumed. How “local” is really up to the consumer; specific definitions vary from 100 to 400 miles, but regardless, the mileage differs vastly from the global food model. If the tomatoes at the grocery store come from Chile, it would be hard to believe they were freshly picked from their vine just the day before, and produce loses nutrients within 24 hours of being picked; if you’re not growing it yourself or buying it at

a market or CSA, your produce is indeed less nutritious. The word sustainable, when it comes to food production, means consuming food mindfully in a way that conserves the environment, both locally and globally, and enhances the quality of life for the farmer and the consumer. When we eat sustainably we partner together with growers to act as stewards of our environment with a shared goal of creating a safe, healthy future. An easy way to embrace sustainability is, firstly, to eat more plants and less meat. Second, eat a variety of plants from sources as close by as possible. Lastly, waste less food. The average household throws away 30% of its food, which not only inflates demand but also adds unnecessary food waste to dumps. With all this talk of eating locally, you may be gazing confusedly outside at the brown, barren PA landscape and wondering, “How does one eat locally in March?” Well, most vegetables harvested in autumn have the ability to be stored for months, if kept at optimal temperatures. Potatoes, apples, radishes, parsnips, cabbage, hearty greens and a variety of squash are available throughout

INGREDIENTS • 3 acorn squash, halved stem to tip and seeds scraped out • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts • 1 tbsp. olive oil • 1 white onion, diced • 1 c. chopped bell pepper • 3 cloves garlic, minced • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt • 1/4 tsp. black pepper • 1/2 tsp. chili powder, cumin, oregano, and brown sugar • 1 (15) oz. black beans, drained and rinsed • 2/3 c. prepared salsa • 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided • Cilantro, optional, for garnish INSTRUCTIONS 1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Place squash, cut side up, onto foil. Spray with nonstick spray and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes. Remove and let cool. 2. Bring small pot of water (about 1 qt) to boil. Add chicken breasts; reduce heat to a bare simmer and cook ten minutes. Remove and shred or dice. 3. Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic and saute 5 minutes or until softened. 4. Add salt, pepper, chili, cumin, oregano and brown sugar. Stir and let cook 1 minute. 5. Add beans, chopped chicken, salsa and 1 c. of the cheese. Stir to combine. 6. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Fill cavities of squash with filling and top with remaining cheese. 7. Bake for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and mixture is heated through. Serve, topped with optional cilantro as garnish






INGREDIENTS • 4 eggs • 6 oz (about 3/4 of a box) stick rice noodles * • 1 tbsp. olive oil • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced • 1 tbsp. minced garlic • 1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger • 1 bunch scallions, whites and green parts divided • 1/4 c. sweet white miso paste • 2 tbsp. hoisin sauce • 2 tbsp. tamari or soy sauce • 5 c. water • 1/2 lb. baby bok choy, trimmed and chopped • Juice of 1 lime • 1/3 c. toasted cashews • Sriracha, optional


*This can be made with traditional linguini. Cook 8 oz (half a box) as directed and add at the end.

the winter months, right until the first fiddleheads poke through the cold ground in April. Spring is a bit easier. I head to markets with high expectations in April, but am somewhat disappointed—though the produce has begun to grow, it’s not always ready to be harvested. That being said, horseradish, ramps, fiddleheads, watercress, pea shoots, baby bok choy and mushrooms are ready to usher in the season, and most require minimal cooking. Next up: summertime. This is the time to get growing in your backyard gardens. Last summer in the land of tall, broad trees where I live, I managed to grow a fine zucchini plant (with enough zucchini to make countless batches of Zucchini Basil Soup), three string bean plants, and enough basil, parsley, and mint to give bunches away to neighbors throughout the summer. If you have sunshine on your property, then there’s really no limit to what you can grow. Tomatoes do wonderfully — just make sure to plant them with stakes and prepare to tie them up as they grow. Peppers, cucumbers, cantaloupe, blueberries, kale, and lettuces are just a few

of the many options for summer growth in West Chester. Just wait and see — nothing tastes sweeter than the fruits of your labor.


Lastly, the fall in PA is actually my favorite season of eating. The peaches, corn and tomatoes are still widely available and pumpkins are starting to make an appearance. Fresh herbs hold on until the first frost, and parsley even longer than that. The apples are at their most crisp and sweet, and the Brussels sprouts are tender, small, and absolutely delicious when roasted in a high-

INSTRUCTIONS 1. Fill a large bowl with boiling water. Add noodles. Set aside. 2. Boil a small saucepan of water. Add eggs and reduce heat to low. Simmer 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl filled with ice water. 2. Meanwhile, heat a dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add oil, garlic, ginger, and white parts of scallions. Saute, stirring, occasionally, about two minutes. 3. Add carrots along with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Saute until softened, stirring occasionally. 4. Add miso, hoisin, tamari, and water. Stir to combine and turn heat to high. When mixture boils reduce heat to low and simmer for 8 minutes. 5. Add bok choy and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes. 6. Drain noodles and add to pot, along with lime juice. Taste for seasoning and add salt as necessary. Let simmer for several minutes to meld flavors. 7. Meanwhile, peel and slice eggs. 8. Ladle noodles into bowls and top with cashews, sliced eggs and the greens of the scallions. Add Sriracha if using. Serve immediately.







heat oven. If you still don’t like Brussels sprouts, it’s probably because you’ve never cooked them the right way (no offense, but you’ll thank me in the end). I would love to say I have a green thumb, but alas, I have not been blessed with the ability nor the desire to grow plants. It could be my crippling fear of things that slither and crawl that keeps me out of the dirt, or the fact that without much sunlight in my garden, my options are limited. This does not, however, keep me from finding value and beauty in the idea. Luckily, there are some great local resources to help, especially if you’re as unskilled in the garden as I am. First, we are blessed to be home to the West Chester Growers Market, located on the corner of Church Street and Chestnut Street, every Saturday from 9-1pm (and first and third Saturdays of each month between January and April, 10-12pm). It’s Chester County’s original producers-only market, begun in the summer of 1995, and hands-down my favorite place to be on a Saturday. Walking down the rows of vendors on a muggy August morning is an

all-out assault on the senses. I come home holding my bags like a pack mule and announce to my family that I now know what blueberries are supposed to taste like (insert melon, tomatoes, sweet corn or Honeycrisp apples for blueberry and you’ll get the picture). I get most of my produce there, not to mention our bread, eggs, and sometimes meat. I need to add that I keep cost in mind when I food shop, and the price is right at the WCGM. The organic eggs cost less than you’ll find at any grocery store, and the (seasonal) produce is comparable in cost to their non-organic grocery counterparts. It was here that I learned that, for the yolks in Axel Lindenhof’s eggs to be the most gorgeous orange color you’ve ever seen, he feeds them alfalfa and lets them get all the sunshine they want. Also, why do Keith Fahnestock’s Granny Smith apples have such a sweetness to them? He picks them when they take on a blush, whereas other growers pick them when they’re green throughout. Peg Dearolf from Blueberry Hill Farm told me that the reason her mint is fuzzy and lush, whereas the one I grew was a bit lackluster, was that hers

INGREDIENTS • 1/4 c. olive oil • 1 large (or two small/medium) onions, diced • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press • 1 tsp. kosher salt • 3/4 tsp. black pepper • 2 lb. zucchini (about 3 medium), ends trimmed and chopped • 4 c. low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth • 1/2 c. packed basil leaves • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed INSTRUCTIONS 1. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium high heat. Add garlic, onions, 1 tsp. of salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Saute, stirring occasionally, about five minutes. 2. Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, about five minutes. 3. Add broth and turn heat to high. When liquid reaches a boil reduce heat to medium low and simmer about 10 minutes until zucchini is tender. 4. Add basil leaves and beans and puree using a stick blender or by transferring to a food processor or blender. 5. Return to pot (if transferred) and add salt to taste. is spearmint, mine is peppermint. We get our tree each year from Kevin’s Christmas Trees and Wreaths. The freshly sawed tree ushers in the holiday in the most fragrant of ways. Community Supported Agriculture, or CSAs are another great option. Unlike typical shopping, CSAs require you to pay a lump sum upfront, then pick up the freshly harvested produce each week throughout the growing season. It’s crowdfunding for local crops. When it comes to picking a local CSA, you might be struck with choice overload: Thornbury Farm Market and CSA, North Star (which you can pick up at the WCGM), Crawford Organics, Highland Orchard, Sancanac, Kimberton and Misty Hollow are all potential options. The best part of a CSA is that when the season peaks, you have so much gorgeous








produce and are taking home varieties you might not have snagged at the grocery store. Of course, that cuts both ways — some weeks you’ll be unsure of what to do with your fifty pounds of rhubarb. (Hint: crumbles, pies and cocktails galore). Although much of what I espouse requires getting to work in your own kitchen, we all need a break now and then; nothing’s a bigger treat for me, as the cook of the family, than a night out to dinner in town. West Chester restaurants are

getting onboard with eating locally: Split Rail Tavern sources their burger beef from Dutch Meadow farm, which is less than 30 miles away in Paradise, PA (speaking from experience, you can taste the difference); The Couch Tomato sources 90% of their products locally — Kombucha from Baba’s Brew in Phoenixville and cheeses from September Farms in Honeybrook are worth sampling; Andiario boasts a menu that is sourced from as many local spots as possible, with their famed Pocono Trout a standout entrée; Roots was and is a pioneer, as they’ve been serving up local and seasonal fare since 2011, and they’re happy to provide diners with info on the sources of their meals; the dairy farms on the chalkboard at West Chester Coffee and Ice Cream Bar are recognizable — creamy milk from nearby cows makes for superb ice cream; and at D’ascenzos Gelato, not only is the milk and cream from Bailey’s Dairy in Pocopson, but I personally know that when their scrumptious fig and ricotta flavor is available, it’s because the fig tree in their friend’s backyard is ripe and ready. As the demand for local, seasonal fare increases, so does our town’s supply.

INGREDIENTS • 2 lb. Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and halved • 1/4 c. olive oil • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes • 1/3 c. pine nuts • 6 oz. slab or thick cut bacon, diced • Block of Parmesan Cheese INSTRUCTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheets with foil or parchment paper. Toss sprouts with olive oil and arrange, cut side down, on baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper flakes. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. 2. Meanwhile, toast pine nuts over medium low heat in dry skillet about 5 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally and watching carefully. 3. Remove pine nuts when toasted and add bacon to pan. Cook over medium-low heat until fat is rendered and bacon is browned. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. 4. Layer sprouts with bacon and pine nuts in serving bowl. Top with shaved parmesan cheese, to taste (shave with vegetable peeler). Food has the ability to nourish and heal. In this day and age, we spend so much time worrying about whether our beauty products and cleaning supplies are “clean” or “organic,” yet often — for the sake of ease and time savings — we put things into our bodies that have no business being there. Getting back to basics, to whole foods with simple ingredients, can do more for your waistline, your wallet and your environment than you may realize. If this is new to you, and the idea of stepping away from simply purchasing whatever strikes your fancy at Wegman’s seems overwhelming, then I’ll leave you with this advice: start small. Look up the next market day, grab a coffee to go and head for the West Chester Growers Market. Pet the cute dogs, introduce yourself to the vendors, and buy one item you’ve never bought before. It’s a small deed, but it could spark great change.





Near and Far

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

As I’m sitting in my kitchen looking outside, it’s hard to imagine that in just a few weeks all of the snow on the ground will be replaced by young blades of grass, budding blooms on the trees and tulips pushing their way through the newly thawed ground. Every year we look forward to getting out into the yard, trying to create an outdoor retreat for enjoying the warmer months. When we first moved in, we made use of the hostas. Then we tore them out. Last year we planted Hydrangeas, a vegetable garden, and some new perennials. This summer we plan on working on the front of the house to up our curb appeal. When Bobby and I got married we wanted to have the ceremony and reception at my parents’ farm. We envisioned a refined yet laid back celebration with incredible cuisine and competitive horseshoe games. Leading up to the event my parents hired Flowers and More Inc to turn the farm into a blooming wonderland that gave Longwood Gardens a run for its money. Renee, Dominic and their team designed and executed a landscape in a few short months that a home gardener could never pull off. Now, nine years later, there are still remnants of that beautiful day that come out of hibernation every spring. Flowers and More doesn’t just design landscapes — they also offer spring clean-up services, ongoing maintenance or “a cleaning lady for the outside of your house,” holiday light decorating, hardscaping, pond installation and container services. We hired them a few years ago to clean out a lot of overgrowth and debris that had accumulated in the back of our yard. What would have taken my husband a month of weekends was completed in one day. If all of that doesn’t keep Renee and Dominic busy enough, they are also the presenting sponsors of the annual Barclay and Friends Secret Garden Tour, held in September. Speaking of garden tours, many of those who travel with us visit destinations specifically for the flora. Japan hosts an annual Cherry Blossom Festival that draws visitors by the millions. Garden Tours through England are wildly popular. Holland welcomes visitors annually to the Dutch Tulip Festival and the opening of Keukenhof Gardens, where tulips bloom through the month of April. Bulbs are planted three deep to ensure that there is a consistent array of tulips. Artistic displays indoors are a fragrant sight to be seen. With festivals come hordes of people who can turn what was planned as a flower-lover’s dream into an agoraphobic’s nightmare. I recommend hiring a private guide to navigate through the masses and get some insider access to areas not available to the general public and knowledge that only a true expert can offer. Traveling for festivals and gardens can be a memorable way to experience a new destination and see its natural beauty. Whether you plan to travel for flowers or have Flowers and More create an oasis of colorful wonder at home, be ready to embrace springtime and the rebirth of the green earth. It is only a few more weeks away… I hope. —






of the Month PHOTO Amy Tucker INTERVIEW Courtney Potts

Tony D’Antonio has built D’Antonio Automotive from a side job in his driveway to a sought-after specialty business. How would you describe your company? We are a restoration and prepare facility for classic, exotic, and special-interest vehicles. Basically, anything cool, we work on. How long have you been in business? It started as a side job in my driveway, when I was 19, but this month marks eight years that I’ve been working full time. Do you like what you do? Yes, I love it. I have the greatest job on the planet. It doesn’t feel like work to me. I say to people, “I don’t work; I get paid to play.” What’s your favorite part about the job? I love the interactions with the peo-

ple here. I love seeing a person’s dream come true. Cars people have had since they were a child, or their father’s car, we bring back to life. Seeing the interaction and the reactions of these people is the most rewarding thing on the planet. What is one of the hardest projects you’ve worked on? We never say “no” to any project, ever—it will get done. However, it may take us a while to fix it. For instance, we have a 1940 Mercury Woody Wagon on the lift right now that’s been here for about three years. The car is one of like ten left in the world. It was also used as a lot car for Paramount Pictures or MGM studios. It has carried around some of the most famous actors of our time. A lot of the parts on that car we’ve had to make ourselves, because the car is so rare and nobody has the part. The project has been a one-step-forward and threesteps-back process. My goal is to finish it by the end of this year. Do you give back to the community? I am huge on philanthropy. My shop goes above and beyond to benefit youth organizations. I also believe

in sponsoring the local fire, EMS and police departments. They are the ones who protect us. We offer 10% off to all county employees as a thank you. It sounds like you are kept busy. What’s a typical day for you? If you need me, I’m there. I’m basically your 24/7 car guy. I help with people’s small or big car problems, all day long. So at 6:30am, my cell phone starts ringing, and this goes on until about 9pm, then I try to force myself to put the phone down for the day. I think it’s that dedication that’s brought us a lot of high-end clients, including professional athletes, political figures, and even celebrities. In fact, we had Chris Brown’s Lambo in our shop about two weeks ago. Any struggles along the way? There have been many roadblocks throughout my life. I don’t know if you noticed, by I have a stutter. I was told by many people that being a business owner wouldn’t be possible for me, because an owner’s main job is communicating with people. It motivated me. I wanted to prove them all wrong. Looking back, it’s crazy to think how far I’ve come.












id you receive flowers on Valentine’s Day this year? If so, whoever sent them to you—statistically, most likely a man—contributed to what is the single biggest day annually in the U.S. floral game. According to the Society of American Florists, Valentine’s Day accounts for a whopping 30% chunk of the industry’s annual transactions and 28% of its dollar volume compared with other holidays; it’s followed closely by Christmas and Chanukah, with Mother’s Day rounding out the top three. In 2018, over a quarter of American adults — 28% — bought flowers on Valentine’s Day, or 41% of men and 15% of women. And, according to the National Retail Federation, consumers were on track to spend approximately $1.9 billion (that’s billion, with a “b”) in 2019 on February 14 — Hallmark holiday or not. That’s a lot of roses (an estimated 250 million of them) because, yes, red roses are the flowers of choice to express one’s affections, but pink, white, purple/lavender, yellow, peach/coral, and orange ones saw plenty of action as well, in that order. Any bozo can bounce into a grocery store—or even a gas station—at the last second when the dawning realization strikes that one should really “say it with flowers.” But if you want to put a bit more care into your blooming “I love you” or “I’m sorry” or “Congratulations!” message, there are some fantastic florists for the picking right here in WC. We caught up with a few of them—not an easy feat during the lead up to their busiest time of the year—so kudos to them for taking the time to talk with us.

K TWIG Gardens Bridal showers are one of those social obligations that get a bad rap for being…. well, tired. Food, presents, ooh, ahhh, repeat. When Carly Manning-Smith and her mother Mindy Hamond were planning Carly’s wedding in the summer of 2015, that bridal shower ennui was a pitfall they set out to avoid—little did they know that a business would be the result. Carly “didn't want a bridal shower full of ‘things,’” she told us. Instead she wanted a collaborative experience with her friends and family. “We didn't see this being offered in the area, so we made it happen,” Carly said.

The pair had already selected the centerpiece containers—all repurposed or recycled—for the wedding. So for the shower, guests were asked to bring plants, soil, and clothes in which they would be willing to get dirty, and voila—the first TWIG workshop and wedding was born. The mother-daughter team soon realized they had something unique and began research on sourcing Pennsylvania-specific plants and learning how they could (nearly) only use repurposed, natural or recycled vessels. They began building inventory and scheduling events, making TWIG Gardens an official LLC in 2016. “Our business is divided into three sections: single-purchase sales, workshops, and weddings,” Carly said. While the pair “dream of a storefront one day,” for now, they work around it. “We love the small businesses we’ve built relationships with in town. They provide us space to sell our gardens and bouquets, and in exchange


A their space is given some green life!” Carly told us. “Many of our workshop and wedding clients are people who learned about us through those small businesses. So even though workshops and weddings are the largest segments of our business, they would absolutely not exist without the support we receive from our fellow local businesses.”





Among those supporters are The Brow Bar’s owner Tara Giorgio (“We use her windows during the warm months to sell our gardens”); Spence Café owner Andy Patten (“We decorate his tables with bouquets, and with gardens that are available for purchase leading up to holidays”); Blaze Salon owner Bridget Panichello (“We decorate the salon with pieces that are all for sale”); and Velvet Hair Studio’s Keyana Cellucci (“We've decorated their salon space with permanent gardens and naturally-built structures—we hung a huge tree branch on the wall that has many airplant gardens now hanging from it, and a big wooden toolbox full of succulents that is now three-plus years old and going strong!”) The TWIG philosophy is simple: second-hand containers and vessels that are naturally found and/or repurposed, and striving to use only Pennsylvania-grown succulents and flowers. “We’re proud to say that our only exceptions have been when we needed to order flowers for some weddings in the colder months,” Carly said. “Our clients either come to us because they already know this, or they’re pleasantly surprised to learn that these 'green practices' are possible at the same price (or less) than florists who order wholesale flowers and containers. We know who grows our plants, we know how they grow their plants, and we purposely source containers that already exist in the 'recycled' market. Green is our game.”

W Kati Mac Floral Designs If you know the downtown WC landscape, you know that Kati Mac Floral Designs is a bright spot on High Street in the heart of that downtown. Indeed, according to shop manager Ashlee Smith, “As the last florist left within the borough, we’ve enjoyed being a part of West Chester families’ important occasions for more than 11 years.” What you may not know is that, effective nine or so months ago, Kati Mac’s been under new ownership,


A partnering with Chester County’s EBS Children’s Therapy (, even implementing a “Best Buds” program to support transitioning young adults with meaningful and purposeful work opportunities, according to Ashlee. “One of the things we’re most proud of is that all of our profits go right back into children’s programs right here in the community. As a business and as individuals, we’re very conscientious of our neighbors. We eat and buy local, and support as many community events as possible. We truly see the borough as our extended family.” A full-service florist, Kati Mac specializes in weddings and events. But they’re also open to the public Monday through Saturday for grab-and-go as well as custom bouquets (attention, aforementioned bozos), as well as small house plants, succulents, and traditional dish gardens. “Our designers are true artists with great natural talent and are educated by some of the finest designers in the country,” Ashlee told us. “Our work is recognizable, and we’re very proud of it. We’re dedicated to both classic floral design as well as putting a unique spin on things, something our customers love. We often hear something along the lines of ‘Give me a dozen roses, but please put your spin on it!’ which, as a florist, is the greatest compliment. I believe we’re the last flower shop left in the borough because we’re continually working to stay current, recognize the need for tradition, and put our customers first.”






Kati Mac is a small business in a town full of them, and “we know the importance of supporting each other,” Ashlee said. “In addition to our EBS Children’s Therapy partnership, we’ve teamed up with Dia Doce cupcakes on special occasions, such as this past Valentine’s Day.” There’s a catch to being surrounded by other great borough businesses, though. “We’re all very close in the shop, but if there’s one thing we might argue over, it’s where to eat lunch! There are so many choices, and we all have our favorites!”

i Flowers by


the Greenery When Judy Shaw bought Flowers by the Greenery in October of 2006, she wasn’t just taking over a small business; she was shifting gears entirely. “I had a career in corporate accounting,” she told us. “I have an accounting degree and an MBA in management information systems.” She acknowledges that it’s a “bit of a bananas story.” In a nutshell, when she got laid off from her corporate gig, she did some consulting work, but something was missing. She remembers telling her then-boyfriend/now-husband, Kevin, that she wanted a brick-and-mortar business. “My mom had a candle business when I was growing up, and I wanted something like that, a store. So I found a business broker and started crossing things like delis and food-related businesses off the list, because I knew that required more training than I had. Then Kevin said ‘How hard can a flower shop be?’” Well, Kevin, she learned just how hard in a hurry. “I lost 35 pounds in the first few months,” Judy told us. “My first 90 days as owner included Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day, and on that first Valentine’s Day there was a blizzard. And as many times as I’ve told this story, it’s funnier every time. It’s like ‘what the hell were you thinking??’” A purely pragmatic decision had given way to a jarring reality. “I’d really never done retail before, and it’s an entirely different animal from corporate. Literally anything can walk through the door.” She’s learned that you can’t prop up the business on one particular aspect, like


A weddings. “That almost has to be a small percentage of your revenue,” she said. “It’s the everyday stuff, and it’s the relationships you have with your customers that make the business work. You start out with one loyal customer, and ultimately you can get their family and friends as well.” And sometimes her own friends get pulled in. “My dear friend Michael ended up making a delivery for me during that Valentine’s Day blizzard. He got a $20 tip from a woman who said ‘Thank you for risking your life for my flowers.’ I’m stunned that there isn’t a sitcom about a flower shop. A writer could just sit here for a week and have plenty of material—particularly

during a full or new moon.” At the suggestion that there are probably a preponderance of “I’m sorry” bouquets bought or sent during those moon phases, Judy immediately agreed, adding “Yes—some of which are declined.” [Reporter’s note: this has never occurred to me, although I have given flowers to someone else.] “I had one driver—I believe on his first delivery ever—who negotiated with a woman who declined the flowers. ‘Why don’t you just take the flowers and I’ll keep the card, so you don’t have to deal with whoever sent them?’ Others have said ‘I don’t want these, but I’ll give them to my mom.’” Flowers by the Greenery is essentially a one-woman operation, running the shop and employing three part-time drivers. So this how-hard-can-it-be? business has taken over her life. “Sometimes people ask me for recommendations for places in West Chester, and I have to be honest with them. I really don’t get out much!”






A Matlack Florist Jennifer Matlack opened Matlack Florist as a total startup, “from scratch,” in 1978, when she was just 24 years old. Not only that, she did it on her own, and the shop is now in its 40th year. “I didn’t find a job — I created my own,” she told us. She was dating her now-husband. “He was kind of my financial advisor,” she said — he was a salesman for IBM at the time. About eight years after her shop opened, however, he left his job and now works with Jennifer for the business she built. It’s probably not an accident that Jennifer was drawn to the flower field (pun intended). “As a child I was into crafts and interested in nature and the outdoors,” she said. “When I was in college, as an English major at University of Delaware, I took one elective course at the agricultural school, and it was flower arranging.” The rest, as they say, is history. “I got my ‘easy A,’ and started working part-time in Phoenixville as a florist while I was still in college.”

Having spent decades in the industry, we asked how she thinks cut flowers remain in demand in the present ‘reuse/ recycle’ culture. “I think because they’re a beautiful reminder of rebirth and growth, of beauty and nature. Flowers are something people take comfort in for during happy occasions like weddings and birthdays, and sad ones like funerals and getwell situations. It’s always a wonderful and lovely gesture, going back to Victorian times, and even before, when a gentleman would bring flowers to a lady.” And even though funerals have changed in recent times, with more cremations[than interments these days, “flowers have been a constant in a way to celebrate a life. We can incorporate things like a fishing rod in an arrangement for a man who loved fishing—we’ve done baseball gloves—something that will remind you of that person.” Matlack Florist is a big operation, and Jennifer has a team of more than 30 employees. “I think it set us apart. We’re larger, we have great relationships with our suppliers, and can get flowers very quickly — on demand, basically, every day — so our availability for product is very good,”


A Jennifer said. “We can react quickly to last-minute occasions, like forgotten birthdays or anniversaries.” Still, there remains that “from scratch” feel to Matlack. “I think our style is different,” Jennifer said. “We don’t use stock images; if you look at our website, you’re not going to be linked to Teleflora. We do all of our own photography and our own features (reporter’s note: the Black Tie collection, omg), so we’re a little more individualistic that way. When I started, we were in the middle of nowhere. We’ve grown right along with West Chester.”





Making a Difference Rotary Club of West Chester’s column is written this month by Bill Friedmann who continues exploring the organizations that are making a difference.

During the first half of the 20th Century, there were few things that Americans feared more than polio. Extremely contagious, polio attacks the nervous system and can render the victim paralyzed within a matter of hours. While it may strike at any age, most victims are children, particularly toddlers under the age of five. The summer of 1952 saw the worst outbreak of polio in the United States with more than 58,000 cases reported and upwards of 3,000 deaths. In 1955, a physician named Jonas Salk introduced his polio vaccine to the world — he knew that widespread vaccinations could prevent the disease from spreading and created a campaign to distribute his vaccine everywhere. He felt a moral obligation to eradicate the disease and left billions in potential profits on the table in favor of making the vaccine accessible. To-date, there is no patent on the polio vaccine. His efforts had an immediate effect. By 1979, the United States and Canada were declared polio-free. The rest of the world is another story. Poor sanitation coupled with lack of medical care and access to the vaccine left many areas susceptible to the virus. International travel, slow and uncommon in 1955, poses a great threat, with a new outbreak in the developed world just a plane ride away. In 1985, Rotary International launched its Polio Plus campaign — the organization’s first and only global initiative — to eradicate polio from the world. Since its inception, Rotary has contributed $1.7 billion and raised another $7.2 billion toward the fight. More than a million Rotarians have traveled the world to immunize over 2.5 billion children. Rotary has entered into partnerships with The World Health Organization, U.S Center for Disease Control, and UNICEF. In 2009, Rotary joined forces with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that pledged an immediate $550 million and matches every dollar raised with an additional two. Currently, there are only three nations in the world that have not been declared polio-free. Nigeria has not had a new case since 2016, but 2018 saw 21 new cases in Afghanistan and 12 in Pakistan. This represents a reduction of 99.9% since 1985, when 1,000 new cases were reported each day. While the results have been tremendous, these handful of cases still represent a dangerous and problematic challenge. They are the most difficult to prevent, due to poor infrastructure, armed conflict and governmental and cultural barriers. Rotary’s “This Close” campaign is aimed at raising awareness as well as the funds to cross the finish line and wipe polio from the earth. In 1985, the eradication of polio seemed like an impossible undertaking. The fact that the goal seems within reach is a testament to the power of Rotary’s 35,000 clubs (including four right here in West Chester) working together to solve a global threat. Because of Rotarians working together, we are indeed “This Close” to ending polio. – If you are interested in making a difference, please feel free to check us out. The Rotary Club of West Chester meets every Thursday at noon at the West Chester Country Club.




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“A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.” -Liberty Hyde Bailey


horticultural aficionados STORY MICHAEL LYNCH




ave you ever wondered why people who enjoy plants and gardening are referred to as having a “green thumb”? Well, I have, and while conducting research for this article, I uncovered a couple answers. One explanation comes from the fact that algae growing on the exterior of a terra cotta pot will discolor a person’s thumb or fingers from handling enough earthenware. For that reason, anyone who is always tinkering with flower pots has a green thumb. For all of you history buffs, a second theory is that it comes from the reign of King Edward I of England. He was so fond of green peas that he kept multiple servants shelling them during the season. The servant who had the “greenest thumb” won a prize. Whichever explanation rings true, one thing is for sure: spring is near, and for those of us who have an affinity for horticulture, our thumbs will be changing to that leafy and lovely shade of emerald soon enough. When it comes to springtime in Chester County, another perennial truth is that the borough in bloom is undoubtedly something to see,

and our town has a vibrant gardening community that is rich in history. From the West Chester Garden Club and the grassroots community garden scene, to the backyard enthusiasts and the businesses they rely on, for anyone with a fondness for all things floral, this town is the place to be.

West Chester Garden Club The richness in gardening culture here in West Chester perhaps stems from one of the oldest gardening clubs in the country. Nearly one hundred years since its inception, the West Chester Garden Club’s mission continues to encourage horticultural knowledge, to conserve local resources, and to improve the quality of the environment through active participation. The organization was established in 1925, and the club has always made civic involvement a priority. The WCGC has multiple projects to which members devote their time, ranging from the Chester County Hospital Courtyard Garden and the West Chester Public Library, to the Brinton 1704 House, and the Bran-

West Chester Garden Club’s Pat King Memorial Pollinator Garden focuses on local greenery that benefits area bees and butterflies. dywine Red Clay Native Plant Garden, among others. The club holds monthly meetings from September through June which typically include a guest speaker, and they also conduct horticulture-focused workshops throughout the year. All meetings are held either at a member’s home or at organizations such as Longwood Gardens, Stroud Preserve, ChesLen Preserve, Winterthur and Birmingham Meeting House. I recently caught up with the organization’s president, Gail Warner-Lidondici, to chat about the history of the club, as well as their recent activities. “We have become strong proponents of planting native plants in both public and private gardens,” she said. Gail explained that it is the belief of the organization that native trees, shrubs and perennials are critical to the survival of our birds, bees,





butterflies and other critters. “Birds rely on insects for survival, bees and butterflies rely on specific pollinator plants. Without pollinators, plants that produce our everyday foods will be lost,” she added. Gail also commented on how they try to educate the community about the importance of planting natives in various ways — a number of members have lectured at Longwood Gardens, Winterthur, and the PA Master Gardener meetings on a variety of topics including mosses, natives and conifers. For anyone interested in supporting the West Chester Garden Club, mark your calendars for a couple events coming up that the organization will be sponsoring. On April 16 and 17 the WCGC will be holding their annual Flower Show at the Chester County Hospital. Members submit entries in two categories: Floral Design and Horticulture. Floral Design

offers three classes of floral arrangements. The Horticulture classes offer cuttings of spring flowers, branches, and examples of ways to propagate plants. Members of the public are welcome to visit the show in the afternoon of the 16 and during the day on the 17. On May 3 and 4, the West Chester Garden Club will be holding their annual Paula Latta Coyne Plant Sale in the Landhope Farms parking lot at the intersection of Rtes. 926 and 82 in Kennett Square. At this event, the club sells native plants, treasures from members’ gardens, perennials, annuals, vegetables, herbs, and a small selection of trees and shrubs. This is the primary fundraiser for the year, and the proceeds from this sale enable the club to fund their numerous civic projects. The West Chester Garden Club is not only dedicated to gardening and conservation but also contributing to the community through many hours of volunteer services. I think Gail best captured

West Chester Garden Club hosts workshops and lectures the spirit of their organization when she said, “We are a small club, but we have achieved some remarkable things.” For more information about the West Chester Garden Club, check them out online at

West End Community Garden Another West Chester organization committed to conservancy and sustainability is also doing some amazing work. In 2008, residents in the area near West Gay and North Wayne Streets came together as a group and called themselves the Historic West End Neighborhood Association (HWENA). Interested in improving their neighborhood and strengthening their sense of community, HWENA created the West End Com-





munity Garden — bordered by W Gay, N New and Potter Alley — as an opportunity to bring neighbors together to garden and to socialize, as well as to provide better use for the old water tower site.

Eileen Farrell Robertson’s blooming beds offer a little bit of paradise in her backyard.

I spoke with borough resident Jenn Ross, a member of the garden for the last 10 years, about the space. “The garden currently contains 23 raised beds, wine barrels of herbs, wild flowers, raspberry bushes, a fig and a peach tree,” she said. One of the beds is a gleaning bed, and Jenn pointed out that all produce harvested in this bed is donated to the Food Cupboard on Gay Street. Members of the West End Community Garden share in completing garden chores and can harvest herbs, raspberries, figs and peaches from the shared areas. Rain water is diverted from a neighboring house’s gutter and is stored in a large tank. Jenn mentioned that the garden also helps to raise money for the West Chester First Fire Co, and that the fire department fills up the storage tank if the garden ever suffers a drought. The West End Community Garden holds an open house every year — usually the same Sunday as Super Sunday in town — and their annual meeting will be held on Saturday, March 9 at 10am at the First West Chester Fire Company on 70 S. Bradford Ave. The garden still has two plots open for the 2019 season, and anyone interested can contact the group via email:

Backyard Enthusiasts The elegance of West Chester’s flora is boundless, and walking through the beautiful alley ways of our town in recent seasons you may have sneaked a peak at the countless backyard botanical beauties scattered between the detached garages and carriage houses. West Chester resident Eileen Farrell Robertson spoke with me about her love of gardening and its associated creative energy. “I love being outside digging and planting and playing in the dirt, nurturing all that green life and seeing it thrive. During the colder months, I manage a small collection of plants that I bring indoors and propagate just to hang onto the feel of gardening,” she said. Eileen reported that the biggest challenge in her backyard is that the chipmunks get most of the strawberries she grows. “We have not figured out how to defeat them yet,” she conceded. Avid vegetable grower Steph Anderson described the excitement she feels when routinely checking in on her plants, a feeling that many gardeners can identify with. “It’s like Christmas each morning, waking up, putting on my boots and trudging out in the dewy grass to see what has changed since I last checked on the plants. It’s truly amazing how each day brings something new,” she mused. Steph explained that she has exclusively grown veggies over the years but has different plans for this season. “This year I’m dipping my toes into the world of flowers, and I’m excited to see what I can learn and grow,” she said. Just outside of town, gardener and suburban farmer Kenny Markford has been expanding his garden every year and also takes part in the rapidly growing trend of raising backyard chick-





A hard-working gardener prepares his family’s plot at West End Community Garden. ens. “We have three chickens: Miss Pattmore, Cocoa Puff and Lox, who share a good-sized run in our backyard,” he said. Kenny’s chickens lay two to three eggs a day total from about March until November, as the amount of daylight they get controls whether they are actively laying or not. Each chicken can produce one egg approximately every 27 hours. “Our yard backs up against woods, so the primary concern is predators like foxes, hawks and raccoons. To keep the chickens safe, we have built a fortress around their coop,” he added. Kenny explained that the chickens will eat just about everything, and they’re fed most of the household’s table scraps, which they love. Kenny also disclosed that raising chickens has led to a peculiar pastime. “We have a couple of chairs by the coop we like to sit in and have a drink and ‘watch the ladies,’” he said. “They are fascinating.”

Local Experts If Punxsutawney Phil’s prognostication is correct, we’ll all soon be dusting off the gardening gloves and beginning preparations for the season. Whatever it is that you’ll be growing this year, there’s no need to rush off to Home Depot or some other big-box supplier—all of your backyard project needs can be met with the assistance of the friendly folks running a few local establishments. Since 1985, Agway at 956 South Matlack Street has been one of the area’s leading gardening and landscaping suppliers. The store was built in 1976, mainly as a farm and feed store, yet multiple changes and facelifts have occurred at the facility to meet a changing and growing customer base. Owner Corey Mattia has been providing a complete line of lawn and garden, pet, wild bird, nursery, and farm and feed supplies since taking over ownership in 2000. Keep your eyes open for Agway’s spring sale around mid-March when Chris and his team will be offering multiple sales on fertilizers, soil and mulch to help you get your beds and gardens looking less like January and more like July.

Jami Weir is a big fan of Agway and commented on its friendly atmosphere and helpful staff. “My kids love helping me pick out everything from veggies for our raised bed, to flowers for around the house. The staff is very knowledgeable and always available to answer any questions,” she said. In their parking lot, there is a large koi pond, which is always a big hit with the little ones. “The kids especially love being given fish food on their way out to feed the koi fish in their beautiful ponds,” she added. Across town at 720 West Strasburg Road, Ace Hardware of West Chester is another gardening and landscaping retailer that can help you get a jumpstart on your planting. From seeds and soil to outdoor patio and lawn furniture, the crew at Ace

— along with golden retriever and shop mascot, Gracie — are always there to help you find what you’re looking for. Frequent customer, Christine Campbell, loves the customer service. “They’re always very helpful. If they have it, they will get it, and the store is easy to find your way around,” she commented. As Mother Nature slowly begins to extend daylight’s curfew, it is truly an exciting time of year to watch the plant life, flowers, and the beloved dogwood and cherry blossom trees around town wake up from their winter slumber. For all the green thumbers of West Chester, we know that this time of year also means that we’ll be tending to the soil soon, and that the best fertilizer is always a gardener’s shadow. So get out there and get dirty!





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

There are so many reasons why bringing greenery into your home is essential. It adds not only an element of the outdoors—which helps boost your mood and health—but also adds a textural element to your decor that you can’t find anywhere else. Choosing the right plant can be determined by examining a few different factors: current trends, maintenance, and where in the house it will thrive. The plants below will look fantastic in your home, and with some TLC they’ll grow into beautiful plants. FERNS: These low maintenance plants come in an array of varieties. Their fluffy and airy fronds add dimension to any space. They require medium to low, indirect sunlight, and you only need to water these beauties weekly. Hang them from the ceiling or keep them in a planter—the choice is yours. DWARF MEYER LEMON TREE: During these long winter days, this citrus tree will boost your mood with its potent smell and pop of color. They need as much sunlight as you can give, so the best place is directly in front of a window. Move the tree outdoors once the weather warms. These plants are a little more high maintenance and require pollination and pruning for the fruit to actually grow, but they are well worth the hard work. UMBRELLA PLANT: This houseplant is all the rage right now. It has a tropical look that can blend into any home, traditional or modern. You should water it deeply but infrequently, a few times per month. Depending on the variety, they come in differing heights and sizes. For optimal placement, find a bright room, but not in front of a window. ANTHURIUM: Add some color with this indoor tropical plant, also known as Painted Tongue or Flamingo Flower, that has a beautiful bright red flower. They grow in any level of indirect light, making it perfect for multiple surface options in your home. TRIED & TRUE OPTIONS: The Fig Leaf Plant, Monstera, and Succulents have been popular the last few years. It is no surprise that you will continue to see them as beautiful top choices when selecting indoor greenery. Local Sources... TWIG GARDENS: This mother-daughter duo create beautiful terrariums and interior gardens. They work with a variety of plants, including succulents, jade, aloe, and Chinese money plants. These talented ladies use repurposed containers, making their creations unique and customized to the client. KEEP IT GREEN INTERIORS: Mostly working with commercial interiors, this is a great resource to help you transform your office space. Owner Lynn is knowledgeable on all things green and her living wall creations are something to get excited about. —





Can’t-Miss March Events 3/2

March 2

10th Annual West Chester Celtic Crawl It’s that time of year again, time to pull on all things green and celebrate the Irish ancestors you may or may not have. The day will be filled with, music, exclusive t-shirts, drink specials, prizes and more. The event involves several bars downtown, including Barnaby’s, Más, Ram’s Head, and Kildare’s. Prizes will be awarded to the best dressed, so don’t be afraid to get creative. General admission is $22 a person online in advance, or $25 at the door. West Chester Sports Leagues

March 7

Baked Dine and Donate Looking for an excuse to get your cookie dough on? Well here it is! Baked will be hosting their very first Dine and Donate from 10am to 11pm—20% of sales for all orders will benefit Aid to South Africa, a

nonprofit that benefits a variety of charitable organizations within South Africa. Before or after you place your order, make sure you mention the foundation! Baked Cookies 32 S High St -- 610-981-1457

go-to caterers, John Serock Catering. The event is free, but an RSVP on their Facebook event page is encouraged. Faunbrook Bed & Breakfast 699 W Rosedale Ave -- 610-436-5788

March 13 March 10

Faunbrook Open House Beyond being an incredible venue for private parties, weddings and events, Faunbrook B&B is a property rich in West Chester history—it was built in 1860 and purchased in 1867 by the Darlington family (whose name everyone in West Chester will recognize). So, if you’re interested in hosting your next big event there, this month offers a great opportunity to take a tour of the famous property during an open house. They will be offering wine tasting from One Hope Wines, a specialty cocktail, and even small plates from one of their

Scoundrels SING! The Resident Theater Company is hosting a cabaret night, where members of the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels cast will sing Broadway favorites in an intimate setting. Members of the audience will be chosen to come up on stage with the cast and be part of the show. After the performance, there will be an after party where you can meet and greet the performers. The event starts at 6:30pm and will last until 9pm. This is a one-night event, so you won’t want to miss it! The Resident Theater Company






March 15

Kenny White Featuring Janie Barnett Kenny White, a very talented pianist, singer and songwriter will be performing at Uptown! this month. As a NYC-based record producer, he has performed, written and produced several musical hits. His compositions have featured in hundreds of TV and Radio commercials, plus film soundtracks and more. Tickets can be purchased online, and the show will start at 7:30pm and should run for about three hours. Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center 226 N High St -- 610-356-2787

March 17

Celtic Tenors Emerging from Ireland, the Celtic Tenors bring their musical talents to West Chester. The trio love to have fun and always bring excitement to the stage, singing a mix of Irish folk tunes and classical standards. Expect titles like “You Raise Me Up,” “Danny Boy,” and “Nessum Dorma.” There will be two showtimes available to choose from, either at 2pm or 7pm. The

show runs for 120 minutes, and tickets are available online through Uptown!’s website. Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center 226 N High St -- 610-356-2787

March 19

Speaker Julie May Join Julie May and friends in celebration of her life and performances. This will include songs she’s performed over more than 25 years in the Greater Delaware Valley. Julie is an active member of the West Chester Community and friend to Uptown!. She says, “Anyone can be a star! It’s never too late to start.” The performance starts at 6:30pm, and tickets are available for purchase online.

Brewing Company starting at 6:30pm. The workshop includes planting three healthy succulents into a hanging glass terrarium globe. Decorative mosses and stone will be added. Instructions will be given on how to keep this plant strong and healthy for years to come. Snacks and a free beer will be included with your ticket, along with the workshop fee. Tickets are available through the events tab of ABC’s facebook page: Appalachian Brewing Company 142 E Market St -- 484-473-8030

March 26

Game of Thrones Trivia Night

Hanging Globe Terrarium Workshop

Do you have what it takes to claim the throne? Kildare’s Pub is hosting a trivia night at the end of March, testing your knowledge about the show. A $100 dollar prize will be given to the winner, along with a $50 gift card for second place, and a $25 gift card for third place. An additional $25 gift card will be given to the best dressed, so don’t forget your armour. There is a $10 buy-in per team of up to six players.

Enjoy an evening of creativity, nature and some cold brews. Terrarium Therapy is conducting a workshop at the Appalachian

Kildare’s Pub 18 W Gay St -- 610-431-0770

Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center 226 N High St -- 610-356-2787

March 19





March Playlist DJ Romeo curates a list of the tracks you’ll be enjoying all summer long. The following is a list of songs that will take over the radio stations in the next few months. You’ll soon know them by heart and play them ‘til they’re tired. But, good news: you can download them first and look like the cool musical genius to all of your friends. | @DJRomeo24

Kygo ft. Valerie Broussard – “Think About You” Lauv ft. Troye Sivan – “i’m so tired...” The Chainsmokers ft. 5 Seconds of Summer – “Who Do You Love” Galantis ft. OneRepublic – “Bones” Two Friends – “With My Homies” (Jordan Jay Remix) Dennis Lloyd – “Never Go Back” Mabel – “Don’t Call Me Up” Bebe Rexha – “Last Hurrah” Zedd ft. Katy Perry – “365” Florida Georgia Line – “Swerve” Dua Lipa – “Swan Song” Cardi B ft. Bruno Mars – “Please Me” Lizzo – “Cuz I Love You” Khalid – “Talk” Kacey Musgraves – “Rainbow” H.E.R. – “Hard Place” Fletcher – “Undrunk” Imagine Dragons “Bad Liar” Anthony Russo – “Never Been” Catfish and the Bottlemen – “Fluctuate” Avril Lavigne ft. Nicki Minaj – “Dumb Blonde” Hozier – “Dinner & Diatribes” Ally Brooke ft. Tyga – “Low Key” Sugarland – “Baby Girl” CNCO – “Pretend” Mustard ft. Migos – “Pure Water” Old Dominion – “One Man Band” James TW – “You & Me” Billie Eilish – “When The Party’s Over” Jeremy Zucker – “comethru”





Good luck spotting the five differences in this photo from West Chester Garden Club’s annual plant sale fundraiser. Email your answers to, and you’ve got a chance to win a Barnaby’s gift certificate. Congrats to February’s winner Whitney Mousseau from Refinery who spotted the five differences in the stock “business” photo!



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