The WC Press Sweet Tooth Issue - October 2017

Page 1













drink local

HOLLA® is the new local alternative, produced right here in the state of Pennsylvania.


Just like you, HOLLA® loves to mingle and wants to see #howyouholla! Expand your horizons and jump into an epic social interaction. @hollaspirits

GIVE US A SHOT. IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO HOLLA! Holla Spirits, LLC | York, PA | 40% ABV | DistIlled FROM GRAIN Please drink responsibly








“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.” –Jim Davis


COLUMNISTS WC Food Co-op Becca Boyd Jamie Jones Andrea Mason DJ Romeo 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



Our no-nonsense table of contents


BARTENDER OF THE MONTH Jackie Wardrop Chats about Landmark Americana


BAKER'S DOZEN A Confectionary Collection of West Chester’s 13 Best Bakers


THE MAKEOVER Avanté on High Street styles the newest member of The WC Press


COLD CREATIONS The Search for West Chester’s Best Gelato, Ice Cream and Smoothies


HALLOWEEN HAPPENINGS Information about Upcoming Festivals and Activities


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



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 • (610) 628-2297




from the


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

I spend a lot of time browsing the internet. The hours my father’s generation spent watching network television, I spend scrolling through forums, and my favorite is a particular community on, a subreddit called Shower Thoughts. Shower Thoughts features all the inane ideas people have while— ostensibly—in the shower. It’s full of such gems as, “When medication says, ‘Do not operate heavy machinery,’ they're probably mainly referring to cars, but my mind always goes to forklift,” and, “At some point, I worry that self driving cars will go a route just to ensure you see certain stores or billboards.” They’re often funny, sometimes brilliant, but the key is that they’re always odd thoughts with which everyone can agree. But recently a Shower Thought popped up that I thought was flat wrong. It said, “When I was a kid, I wanted to grow up so that I could eat all the junk food, but now that I am a grown up, I can’t imagine eating an entire bag of cookies.” You see, I can imagine eating an entire bag of cookies. Not only can I imagine it, I’ve done it. My girlfriend Morgan makes these incredible browned butter, sea salt, chocolate chunk cookies, and I can crush an entire batch before she even gets them off the cooling rack. The first of the many reason that I don’t bake—despite the fact that I love to cook—is that I’m utterly incapable of turning down sweets once they're in my face. As an adult with the willpower of a six-year-old, I do my best to just avoid temptation. On a recent road trip, we stopped to get gas, and while I was pumping, Morgan popped into the convenience store. She came back with a coffee for me, black, and packs of Starburst, as well as Sour and Tropical Skittles for herself. Initially I declined to indulge, but I quickly went from, “N’ah, I’m good, babe,” to “Okay, I’ll have one or two,” to, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to eat all of them.” Another reason I don’t bake is that, despite the proliferation of Facebook videos making baking seem easy—the videos where the camera is looking down on the cutting board, and the hands at work make the job appear effortless—I know that baking is just downright difficult. Where cooking is an art, baking is a science. If your baking soda measurement is wrong by a quarter teaspoon, that torte might bubble right out of your cake pan, but when I add an extra clove of garlic to my alfredo, it’s still delicious. But, the primary reason I don’t bake is that there are so many people who do it so much better. This town is full of folks who’ve dedicated their lives to satisfying your sweet tooth, and there’s not a chance I can outdo any of them. These pages are crammed with suggestions for the best treats in West Chester—from candy, to cakes, it’s all in here. I even assigned myself a story this month in which I got to eat gelato, smoothies and ice cream, all in the name of journalism. So, if there are any kids out there reading these words, know this: not only is it possible for you to grow up and eat all the junk food, it’s possible for you to make it your job... the downside is that the only shower thought I’ve had lately is, “Huh, I’m looking pretty fat.” —



Bartender of the


PHOTO Sabina Sister INTERVIEW Skye McDonald

Jackie Wardrop doesn’t see her job at Landmark Americana as work—it’s an opportunity to make friends and build relationships. How long have you been working at Landmark? I’ve been here for six years. What’s kept you around for so long? The atmosphere of Landmark is amazing. You get a really cool mix of clientele because we have a really good Happy Hour—$3 domestics, $4 craft cans, $4 cocktails and $5 glasses of Canyon Oak wine. So we get business people coming after work, then we transition into a family-oriented dinner shift, and then into late night with all the college kids. It gets to that crazy busy part where you’re just pumping out drinks as fast as you can.

So you really love the energy of it? Right. When that late night switch happens, you put your game face on and go. What originally brought you to bartending? I’ve been in the restaurant business for 15 years. I started as a host and worked my way up. I was a server for a while at different places, but I knew I wanted to be a part of the downtown. I was a sophomore in college when I started working here, and I didn’t know anybody. Landmark was a really good fit for me because I developed a new group of friends with all of the West Chester people, and we became a family here at Landmark. So, it’s not just the energy; it’s the people around you. I think that’s what’s kept me in town, too, because it’s not only a Landmark thing, it’s the West Chester bar scene thing. You’re all intermingled, and the connection’s definitely there. Do you get to know any of the regulars? We have plenty of regulars. We take care of them; they take care of us. It’s really awesome to see my progression at this job through their eyes. What’s that progression been like? I was a college kid when I started, so I’ve

seen myself grow up with Landmark. Especially a couple of years ago when I had my son. The customers would always come in and ask how I was doing because I was behind the bar until I was 8.5 months pregnant. So it was cool to see the transition between being in college, graduating, and motherhood. Is there anything that you’re most proud of? I’m most proud of the relationships that I’ve been able to establish and maintain. Not only with my customers, but also with the staff. A couple of women recently got the opportunity to move up from server to bartender, and it’s been fun to train them and to think back to when I was first starting out. Now it’s my turn— it’s come full circle. Any days especially stand out? Any of the big events in town always have an energy about them and you want to be working those days. You don’t mind working those big events? It’s not work, because I love what I do. When I come to work, it’s more like I’m hanging out with my friends. There might be a bar between us, but the conversation is real, and so are the memories.







Suzanne Adams shares info on local food and the upcoming West Chester Food Co-op

In the Delaware Valley’s Italian immigrant community, everybody has a fig tree in their garden. And no matter how abundant the tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers, it’s the figs that come first when assessing the garden’s output. Maybe it’s because they don’t really belong here but, like the immigrants who grow them, they’ve been able to adapt and thrive. The fig is native to western Asia—the dry and sunny climate of the Mediterranean and Middle East its natural environment. Our humid summers and winters as cold as -5°F don’t seem hospitable for figs, but the trees, like the people who brought them here, have flourished. Gardening guides and agriculture authorities insist that only certain hardy cultivars are suitable for our region, but the fact is that the Italian immigrants who flocked to the US before World War II brought their own cuttings with them. Presumably Customs and Immigration were less vigilant back then because now any plant parts intended for growing require a foreign phytosanitary certificate. I think it’s safe to assume that these trees were illegal aliens. According to Italian-American culinary author Michele Scicolone, immigrants would take a branch from a tree back home, let it go dormant on the long boat journey, then plant it when they got here. Techniques like pruning, tying, wrapping and burying are used in the belief that these transplants need extra attention just to survive here, especially in winter. Perhaps there’s a meta-analysis somewhere that would establish best practices, but I have not seen it. Anecdotally, there’s evidence that fig trees thrive in urban environments. They like to be crowded and benefit from the slightly warmer and more protected setting. A few years ago the Times did an article about figs in New York and noted that they are thriving in all five boroughs but most abundant in Brooklyn, home to a large Italian immigrant community. And here’s the big news: they're flourishing here in the borough. The pleasures of one’s own fig tree are numerous. The beautiful, deep green, three-lobed leaves can be used to line dishes, wrap foods for grilling, or to make your own Adam and Eve costume. The fruit, luscious, soft, fragile, and sweet, can be enjoyed fresh off the tree or used in both sweet and savory dishes. As a soft fruit, fig shelf life is short, but if you get inundated, there are several easy preservation methods. One of my favorites is to wash and quarter them and put them in the food dehydrator. Dry them but leave enough moisture so that they are still soft. The final preservation will be in alcohol. Stuff a clean quart bottle with the partially dried figs, fill with some decent brandy, and park that bottle in the closet 'til Thanksgiving. You will have the most amazing fig brandy to serve after Thanksgiving dinner. – Co-ops are businesses that are owned by and exist to serve the people who use them. West Chester Food Co-op is working to build a member-owned, full-service grocery store in West Chester. Learn more and join the movement at

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 301 S. Bolmar Street, West Chester, PA 19382 8:30-5:00 Monday-Friday | 8:30-4:00 Saturday





Baker's DOZEN

A Confectionary Collection of West Chester’s 13 Best Bakers story

Kate Chadwick


Sabina Sister


Brioche Tropezienne from La Baguette Magique OCTOBER 2017 THEWCPRESS.COM




Baked's Un-Bakedwich, stacked atop cookies, served with a bowl of cookie dough. photo S kye M c D on ald

Cakes & Candies by Maryellen


ANT TO FIND OUT WHO YOUR REAL FRIENDS ARE? Well, an extremely ineffective method would be telling them that you’re writing a story that involves visiting a long list of bakeries around town and that you can’t possibly sample everything all by yourself. Trust me when I tell you that you will quickly find yourself surrounded by people who are more than willing to take some cookies or a cupcake for the team. To that end, we divided and conquered a baker’s dozen, or thirteen, of the best purveyors of delicious desserts in the West Chester area. And, despite our initial inclination, we tried our best to single out a thing or two that you should try, rather than just saying, "All of it." The bakeries are listed below in alphabetical order for handy reference. You’re welcome.


WHERE TO FIND THEM: 34 South High Street, a stone’s throw from WCU’s campus. You can buy there, they cater, and they also deliver, because who doesn’t want cookie dough and/or cookies delivered to their door, for crying out loud?

WHAT THEY DO: Two words: cookie dough. If you’re like most people, you’ve sampled unbaked cookie dough, which can be risky when raw eggs are involved. Not here; Baked has developed edible cookie dough—served up scooped into a dish or on a cone like ice cream—or you can opt for them baked into warm, fresh (not to mention colossal) cookies. And speaking of ice cream…you can also opt for a Bakedwich, an ice cream sandwich made with cookies, or an Un-Bakedwich…wrap your brain around that. And they even have mini dough balls—order a tray or two of those for your next party and watch them disappear. Bonus: the dough keeps for a week in the fridge and up to two months in the freezer. YOU’LL WANT TO TRY: I walked in here tasked with making cookie dough decisions for three people, and was a bit paralyzed. Deni, the delightful employee at the counter, walked me through it, and I ended up with Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Sugar Cookie, and Chocolate Chip—three thumbs up.

WHERE TO FIND THEM: 1332 West Chester Pike WHAT THEY DO: Cakes & Candies by Mary Ellen sells both ready-made and custom baked goods, everything from cookies for a child’s birthday party to wedding cakes for the Big Day. Maryellen and her crew have been at their current location for the past seven years, but she has over 20 years of experience in the baking game—a perfect fit for a such a creative, driven talent. As she told us, “The best part of my job is making dreams come true through edible art.” Your vision or hers—it’s a slam dunk. YOU’LL WANT TO TRY: In June of 2016, I tried Mary Ellen’s Cake Pops at the Up On The Roof event, and I’m still not over them. And it’s not just me—they’re known for them. In fact, when I asked her what the most popular flavor is, I got a list: Vanilla, Chocolate Chip, Oreo, Peanut Butter, Blackout, Lemon Raspberry, Red Velvet…pick one. Or seven.

Delightful Desserts

WHERE TO FIND THEM: This catering company has partnered with The Classic Diner at its two locations, in Malvern and at 16 East Gay Street here in West Chester. WHAT THEY DO: While Delightful Desserts continues to cater events in the





The Master's Baker's cupcakes with buttercream flowers

greater West Chester area—as they have for about 25 years—now that they’ve teamed up with the folks at The Classic Diner, you can enjoy their exceptional baked goods without the pesky business of having to throw your own party. How thoughtful is that? YOU’LL WANT TO TRY: Owner Merrill Simon Johnson told us that their baked goods flavors (and, just as importantly “baked goods smells”) change seasonally, and their current offerings include Pumpkin Frangelica Cheesecake and Mini Carrot Cheesecake. But she REALLY got our attention when she casually mentioned (with no warning, I might add) their new Cinnamon Sugar Sconut. Yes, I said “sconut,” which is exactly what it sounds like: a cross between a scone and a donut. Which you can also get a la mode at either Classic Diner location.

Dia Doce Gourmet Cupcakes

WHERE TO FIND THEM: Dia Doce’s brick-and-mortar location is at 100 South High, but they also have a cupcake truck, which, in our book, is a stroke of genius that deserves kudos all by itself. WHAT THEY DO: To paraphrase Charles Bukowski, “find what you love and let it kill you.” One of the many and debatable meanings of this is to find one thing and do it really, really well. If you’re reading this magazine, you probably already know this, but I’ll say it anyway: Dia Doce cupcakes

are next level. Seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients, and 100% natural, gourmet recipes will do that. YOU’LL WANT TO TRY: Uh…hmm. While planning photos for this article, my editor asked what I ate here, and I literally said, “I can’t remember off the top of my head, but I bought, like, one of each.” I know there was a Snickerdoodle, and a Red Velvet, also something with salted caramel. I may have blacked out a little. I do remember asking owner Thais da Silva Viggue what she thinks sets Dia Doce apart, and she said without hesitation, “Atmosphere and ingredients.” Right! Not a bad cupcake in the bunch, and stunning interior décor as well.


WHERE TO FIND THEM: 12 West Market Street WHAT THEY DO: Famous in these parts for their authentic Italian-style gelato made from farm-fresh, local ingredients, Gemelli also bakes up a collection of indulgent desserts including tiramisu, cookies, biscotti, and chocolate torta, so… you might want to make a plan before you even get there. YOU’LL WANT TO TRY: Their gigantic chocolate chip cookies are delicious

alone—thick and crispy with a generous dose of chocolate chips—or you can try it with Gemelli’s signature gelato sandwiched in between a pair of them; we suggest you bring a friend (or two) to help with this particular confection. The petite almond cookies offer a more restrained approach to the gelato sandwich. Their tiramisu is their biggest seller, and it comes in two varieties: chocolate and coffee. A dusting of cocoa powder primes you for the fluffy sweet goodness just below the surface. If you eat there, you can enjoy it served in an elegant glass lidded jar (perfect for sharing), and they can also be packaged for takeout. Ooh! We think it’s worth mentioning that the decadent wedge of chocolate torta is topped with mascarpone drizzle. You know: decisions.

Insomnia Cookies

WHERE TO FIND THEM: 142 West Gay Street WHAT THEY DO: Insomnia, the inspired notion turned booming franchise hatched by a then-student at University of Penn, has opened a West Chester location. They offer fresh-baked cookies—warm and delivered, if you wish, until 3am—perfect for the cramming student and the post-bar, night owl alike.





Dia Doce always has a great selection of cupcakes. photo S kye M c D on ald

YOU’LL WANT TO TRY: Save your meatloaf (okay—I do love meatloaf, actually); there’s no comfort food like cookies and milk. And at Insomnia Cookies, that’s (mostly) all they do. They also serve up ice cream, which, wonderful by itself, is better sandwiched between two cookies. It’s no wonder there’s usually a line at the counter. We asked marketing manager Maggie Zelinka about fan favorites, and even she had a tough time with that question. “It’s hard to choose just one favorite as the most popular! Guests seem to love mixing and matching into a dozen of their favorites.” Which makes sense, really— when’s the last time you ate one cookie? And with flavor options like Chocolate Chunk, Snickerdoodle, and S’mores, why the heck would you?

La Baguette Magique

WHERE TO FIND THEM: 202 Market Street WHAT THEY DO: La Baguette Magique owner Catherine Seisson and her team have created a legit, for-real French bakery with a contemporary, urban feel. This is not a drill. If I had to pick a point during the research portion of this story where I thought, “Wait—maybe I’m not the right person for this,” it was when I walked into this place, because it was so packed with tempting treats—some of which I’d never even encountered before—it may have made me a bit weak in the knees. YOU’LL WANT TO TRY: So I went for one of those things that I’d never tried before, because my eye kept going to it, and boy was that the best idea I’ve had lately. The Brioche Tropézienne was exquisite. I’d only ever experienced a brioche as a sandwich bread and have never been a fan because it is sweet. The real way to have a brioche, apparently, is topped with slivered almonds and stuffed with a delectable, super fresh, not-too-sweet whipped cream. Now you know. I’m sure everything else here is equally good, and I intend to verify that. Soon. And often.

Love Again Local

WHERE TO FIND THEM: 18 South Church Street WHAT THEY DO: This new vegan hot spot is getting lunch buzz for their sandwiches, salads and snacks, but they actually started getting attention with their Love Chunk cookies at Artisan Exchange a couple years back. I went through a

five-year vegetarian phase in my twenties, but a vegan I am not. However, as I said to Love Again Local owner Elena Mascherino, while I may not be coerced to the vegan side of the fence with sandwiches, they might just be able to persuade me with the cookies. YOU’LL WANT TO TRY: Timing is everything, and batches of cookies were just being pulled out of the oven and put into wrappers as we walked in. I got the opportunity to try all three and was bowled over by how good they were. Options include Chocolate Chunk, Chocolate Dipped Chunky Peanut Butter, and Dipped and Chipped Salted Pistachio. Had I not known they were vegan, I would not have guessed, and while they were all excellent, the Pistachio was my favorite.

Deborah Streeter-Davitt’s great grandfather was famous for his rich, buttery cakes adorned with elaborate marzipan decorations. Today, Deborah is keeping that family tradition alive, and she insists the endeavor is far from a solo effort. “My family jumps in to help, and my mom and dad are the best sales people ever.” YOU’LL WANT TO TRY: MacDougall’s biggest crowd pleaser is the Dassie's traditional cake, according to Deb, which is drizzled with rich Wilbur semisweet chocolate and Wilbur butterscotch, and it includes a little something special: it’s baked with a touch of whiskey. “People love the combination of those two flavors on top of the creamy sweet butter cake,” she says. Check these cakes out—there’s a wee bit o’ the Irish in all of us.

MacDougall's Irish Victory Cakes

Mama Donna's Bakery

WHERE TO FIND THEM: These fantastic cakes can be found at Artisan Exchange, 208 Carter Drive, on Saturdays, and you can find other area markets on their website. WHAT THEY DO: For eight years, MacDougall’s has been producing traditional Irish victory cakes here in West Chester, although their origin is in the Old Sod of Belfast, Northern Ireland, where owner

WHERE TO FIND THEM: Find Mama Donna’s every Saturday at Artisan Exchange, 208 Carter Drive. WHAT THEY DO: Primarily a business-to-business endeavor, Mama Donna’s founder Donna Morrissey loves seeing people’s faces light up when they try a sample. “We pay a lot of attention to flavor and texture, because we know many of our products are an indulgence,”





she said. “People usually are giving something up to make room for a special treat, or it'll mean another 10 minutes on the treadmill. So when they try a sample, and they step back with a look of genuine surprise and delight on their face, now it's not ‘just a muffin.’ It's the best muffin they ever had and worth every extra minute on the treadmill.” Eschewing anything artificial in their products, including dyes, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives, Mama Donna’s focuses on simple ingredients. YOU’LL WANT TO TRY: Their flagship creation is the QuiXant (“key-SAHNT”), a flaky, tender croissant dough stuffed with quiche filling. Sold in mushroom, spinach, and caprese varieties, they’re the perfect grab-and-go breakfast. “We like to think we've taken the ubiquitous breakfast sandwich to a whole new level,” says Donna. “Breakfast...with a touch of class.”

Sweet Ladybug Baked Goods

WHERE TO FIND THEM: No retail location downtown (yet!), but Sweet Ladybug offers free delivery to residents, or you can find them at the West Chester Growers Market in November and December. Check their website for other locations. WHAT THEY DO: They make fromscratch, gluten-free goodies, and this month they’re celebrating their one-year anniversary. “I love when a customer approaches the table, assuming they can't have anything on it because they have Celiac disease or are gluten-intolerant, and then they realize they can have everything on the table,” says founder Elizabeth Miles. “They get this child-like expression of delight, and I love being part of that.” YOU’LL WANT TO TRY: Liz says their Lemon Bites are their best seller, and we can see why: a soft, delicate crumb offers a counterpoint to the bright lemony zip from the fresh zest and juice used in both cookie and glaze. We also like the chewy, dense peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, and their apple cider mini muffins are perfect to start an autumn morning. You have your instructions.

The Master's Baker

WHERE TO FIND THEM: 319 West Gay Street WHAT THEY DO: Bite into one of the 19 flavors of custom, made-to-order cakes from the The Master’s Baker, and you’re going back in time to the recipe perfected

Yori's Danishes photo S kye M c D on ald by Jerrie Weldon in her kitchen 47 years ago. Jerrie's youngest son Chad took over the business eight years ago, moving it to its present location on Gay Street in 2015. Consultations are available for weddings or other special events and are by appointment only. YOU’LL WANT TO TRY: Spice flavors are a big thing this time of year, and The Master’s Baker offers banana, apple, and pumpkin varieties. Perpetual best sellers include Lemon Raspberry and Lemon Blueberry. Funky options, like Piña Colada and Mint Chocolate Chip, offer a fun spin on traditional flavors. Not ready to commit to an entire cake, or don’t have an occasion warranting one of their stunning custom creations? Pick up a pack of their popular “cake tops” (think muffin tops), with two different flavors topped with their signature buttercream frosting. Our banana and vanilla pack satisfied the sweet tooth of an entire office crew.

Yori's Church Street Bakery

WHERE TO FIND THEM: 15 North Church Street WHAT THEY DO: In a nutshell, they do everything: cookies, donuts, cupcakes, Danish and French pastries, breads and pies and coffee, oh my. I usually walk in with one tempting treat in mind and am almost always entranced/distracted/ seduced by something else (then I end up getting both, but maybe that’s just me). YOU’LL WANT TO TRY: I’ve got to throw out a disclaimer: if they have a butter cake in the display case when I walk in the door at Yori’s, I’m buying that butter cake. If you’re a fan of…well, butter and cake, this is a no-brainer—it’s heaven in rectangular form. I don’t know how many they make at a time, but it seems like every time I go (which may be more often than necessary), there’s either one left or they’re sold out. I’m also a big fan of the Apple Cider donuts. Okay, so two disclaimers. Oh, and their Danish pastries, stuffed with fresh fruit fillings, are crazy good. Okay, three.








PHOTO Sabina Sister HAIR Ali Bosna MAKEUP Kate Ray

Avanté on High Street styles the newest member of The WC Press team with an autumnal look.

kye McDonald, the newest member of our editorial team, is not afraid to get eccentric. In the spirit of Halloween, she donned burgundy eyeshadow, pale lipstick, and leaves in her hair, a look that starkly contrasts her usual visage. Her transformation was incredible. Her makeup was inspired by the band My Chemical Romance. After a MAC cream color base was added for a primer, a scarlet MAC eyeshadow was applied. With thick false eyelashes and liquid eyeliner, Skye’s hazel eyes popped. Her skin had MAC Studio Fix fluid foundation and light Smashbox setting powder. Sticking with the warm colors, Pink Swoon blush was used, as well as MAC Studio Fix powder in NW15 to add a light contour under her cheekbones.

To erase any dark under her eyes, MAC Full Coverage Spot Concealer in NW15 was applied. Her brows were done using an angle brush and brown brow powder from Smashbox. For a little pop, hot pink glitter was added under her eye and some in her brows for a fun Halloween look. Myth lipstick from MAC gave Skye that ghostly pout. For Skye’s hair, it was best to stick with the natural texture in her hair by adding 1/4-inch curls to her extant curl pattern. Flirty, fun and eye-catching! Then her curls were clustered and swept back with a soft, two-strand rope braid. With the warm tones used to draw in the attention on Skye's eyes, the look was soft and charmingly elegant, like the leaves in a autumn breeze!





Near and Far

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

It’s easy enough to simply donate money to a non-profit, but I’ve always found that when you know the story, donate time, get involved with the organization, it’s so much more rewarding than just cutting a check. Greater West Chester is blessed to have a number of charities and non-profit organizations that support our local community. One of my favorite organizations is Christian’s Compassionate Mission (CCM), named after Christian Miller, son of the organization’s founder Lillian Miller. It is a newer non-profit that raises money to provide funding for programs developed for at-risk individuals in Chester County to help stop suicide and remove the stigma of mental illness. It was founded by Lillian after she lost her son Christian to suicide in 2014. Every year CCM throws a silent auction event to raise money for the cause, and I attended last year. The highlight of my event was when, after an extended bidding war with plenty of aggressive stare downs, my family became the proud owners of a massive steel fire pit large enough to roast a medium-sized hippo. But that was far from the most rewarding part of the evening—as soon as we lugged it home we threw some wood in to warm up on that crisp evening, and Lillian and her daughter Shannon came over and shared memories of Christian over the fire. We learned that Christian had aspirations of being an underwater welder and that the fire pit was hand-welded in his honor. Part of the money raised by CCM goes toward setting up a welding scholarship. As travelers, there is also an added reward when you get involved with cultures and communities, rather than simply observing from afar. Whether it’s meeting with children, helping dig a well to provide fresh water, or simply staying in accommodations whose mission is based on conservation and sustainability, there are many ways to support the greater good of our world. I recently learned about a company, Me to We, that provides travelers the opportunity to change the world while donating half of their profits to charity. They believe that, in order to end poverty, we must break down the barriers for children to get an education. Unfortunately, when a family struggles to provide food, clean water and sanitation, health, and alternative forms of income, education takes a backseat. Travelers with Me to We work hand in hand with community members to engage in activities that contribute to the charity organization. I was so moved by their mission that Whirlaway Travel will be donating $100 to the We Charity for every trip planned to Africa in 2017 and 2018. I never knew Christian personally, and I am not directly affected by uneducated children on the other side of the world, but it’s still uplifting to know that I am able to make a difference in other people’s lives by doing something I enjoy—be it sitting around a fire, enjoying a safari, or helping a client plan the African vacation of their dreams. From now on, no matter what I do, I know it’ll be more fulfilling if I get involved. —













Cold Creations

A Journey in Search of West Chester’s Best

Gelato, Ice Cream and Smoothies by





Gemelli’s Gelato sandwich is great with any flavor. photo sabina sister


Am the type of person whose body runs hot.

I keep my bedroom ceiling fan on all year long and sleep with my feet poking out from under the covers. As a kid, I’d argue with my mom each April that it was already shorts weather, but she refused to pull the summer clothes out of the attic until the daily high reached 70°F.

A side effect of my warm-blooded nature is that I love cold treats. No matter the temperature outside, I’m as likely to order an iced coffee as a cappuccino. I’ll happily suck down a Slurpee in January. That’s just who I am. But, there are many people who may not feel the way I do. People whose taste for frozen foods goes out the window well before the first frost. And to those people I have one thing to say: you’re wrong. And now I’ve got the proof. I set out across the borough with friends and family in late September to catalogue my favorite cold creations and share them with you. This article highlights the best the borough has to offer, and I’m confident you’ll find that— whether it’s 32° or 100°—these spots are worth visiting.

GELATO Gemelli Artisanal Gelato & Dessert Café Although they’re relatively new, Gemelli have been racking up the accolades. In fact, this year they were entrants in an international gelato competition, for which they were selected as finalists for the entire North American region. Gemelli owner Vincenzo Tettamanti ended up taking home the People’s Choice award from the Gelato World Tour in New York for their gelato of Goat Cheese with Fig Balsamic Reduction. But, what many people don’t know is that Gemelli doesn’t just make their gelato in-house—they make all their desserts in-house, and I always surprised by how good it all is. I mean, you expect great gelato, but amazing cookies? That’s a bonus, and it’s the reason I like to go for their gelato sandwich— two big, delicious, homemade chocolate chip cookies stuffed with the gelato of

your choice. I tend to try new things whenever I can, so I’d suggest sampling, but I can tell you that salted caramel gelato works amazingly well. I’d assumed that ice cream sandwiches were an American thing, but Vincenzo politely informed me of my mistake. “Growing up in Italy, a gelato cookie sandwich was a summer staple on a sunny day at the beach near Ferrara. It brings me back to my childhood when my Nonna would buy me one. When I opened Gemelli I wanted to recreate that treat and that feeling.” My partner on this leg of the mission was my youngest brother Luke, who I snatched out of Fugett two hours early (with Mom’s permission, of course) to lend me his sweet tooth. He’s not much of a wordsmith, but he has ice cream after dinner almost every time I pop by our parents’ to share the meal, so I knew he’d lend some expertise to this story. He loved that the cookie was crunchy on the outside but gooey on the inside. As for the gelato? “It’s sweet and salty, which I actually really like,” he said, “It’s great both with the cookie and without.”





A new school year brings a fresh start—and Mathnasium is here to help set the stage for success! Together, we can make this school year greater than last year!

NOW ENROLLING FOR FALL Math Help and Enrichment

Test Prep

Homework Help

844-4GETMATH (844-443-8628) •



West Chester Coffee & Ice Cream Bar serves this fanastic Black Raspbery Chip Ice Cream. photo sabina sister

D’Ascenzo’s Gelato D’Ascenzo’s opened their doors on Gay Street a few years before Gemelli ever came to town, and I’ve heard some heated debates in this community about which is better. However, I know one person who prefers D’Ascenzo’s hands down, and that’s my brother Jimmy. Jimmy is one of those people who seems to care about others more than himself… and that doesn’t just apply to people. Jimmy has been a vegetarian since early middle school, and now that he’s in high school he’s doing his best to be vegan and eat responsibly. So, Jimmy was my perfect partner for a trip to D’Ascenzo’s. D’Ascenzo’s has multiple vegan options available, and—although I’m personally a carnivore—I’ve enjoyed every flavor I’ve tried. Yes, it’s a little different than regular gelato, but it’s a delicious treat in its own right. It’s still smooth, but with a more icey texture. Jimmy’s favorite is the Vegan Mint Chip, which owner Kristin D’Ascenzo told me is made using the same process as reg-

ular gelato, but with one twist. “We use coconut milk instead of cow products,” she said. It’s got a subtle mint flavor and plenty of vegan chocolate chips. “It’s thicker than I first expected,” Jimmy said. “I thought it’d be more like the other vegan stuff I’ve had that’s more like water ice, but this is definitely pretty close to regular gelato.”

ICE CREAM West Chester Coffee & Ice Cream Bar Early on, shortly after serving their first cone, I talked to one of the owners of Coffee and Ice cream, Brad Liermann, and I asked him about the concept they intended to build their brand around. He told me, “...we want to be a place where families can be families and kids can be kids; an ice cream parlor and a coffee shop can do that very well.” So far, he’s been right. Every time I’ve been into the shop, there’s been a mix of all ages, all looking thoroughly happy.

If there’s one thing that sets this shop apart from competition, it’s that they’re the only shop in the country that carries Graeter’s ice cream, outside of the original Graeter’s in Ohio. My personal favorite is their Black Raspberry Chip flavor. What makes Graeter’s so… well, great? “It’s not just mixing flavor into a vanilla ice cream, like a lot of people do—it is literally a black raspberry ice cream,” said Austin Walker, one of the shop’s baristas and a self-described ice cream enthusiast. And, it’s not just the raspberry flavor that’s outstanding—I don’t know how they did it, but they managed to include these chocolate chips in the ice cream that weren’t rock solid and hard, like you’d expect frozen chocolate to be. They don’t crack when you bite them; they’re still semi-soft and chewable. Luke and Jimmy both enjoyed the flavor for their own reasons. “The fruit flavor is so sweet it makes my tongue tingle,” said Luke. I asked him if he wanted me to quote him as saying “tingle” and he replied, “Well, that’s what it does!”





D’Ascenzo’s Gelato serves several vegan varieties.

Jimmy, on the other hand, took time to mull it over in an attempt to be articulate. “The chocolate chips are gigantic. I love the way that, when you take a bite, as the ice cream begins to melt away, the chocolate remains. Then, you take another bite, and you’re hit with the raspberry. It’s a great combination of flavors.” Well put, Jimmy.

photo dan mathers

Dairy Queen Some kids grow up begging for Burger King. Others are raised in homes where good deeds are rewarded with Happy Meals. Ours was an ice cream family, and above all others, we went to Dairy Queen. Whether it was the final baseball game of the season, a successfully completed orchestra concert or just a Thursday night where Dad felt like having a banana split (which he adamantly argues should be arranged, left-to-right, as pineapple, strawberry, then chocolate), we were a Dairy Queen family, and I always wanted to order whatever my dad was having. So, it was only fitting that I pay a visit to The Queen with my father, Ken. “It’s been around all my life,” he said, as he sipped his black-and-white shake. A “black-and-white shake” is what he orders even when we’re well beyond the sphere of Philadelphia’s influence, where the order is met by blank stares from hourly, teenage employees, who he then proceeds to enlighten as to the difference between a vanilla milkshake with chocolate syrup and a true “blackand-white shake.” My dad, as much as he’ll argue otherwise, has become a bit of a grumpy old man, set in his ways, and for him, things never change. “Dairy Queen is still my go-to place for a cold treat after a softball game,” he says. For me, on the other hand, things change rapidly. In fact, my order varies with the month—I go for whatever the new specialty Blizzard happens to be. On our September visit it was a Triple Truffle Blizzard, a vanilla base with three different types of truffle swirled in—caramel, fudge and peanut butter. Sweet, rich, and every bite varied. October’s Blizzard is Pumpkin Pie, which is—in my opinion—the best part of Pumpkin Spice season. But, no matter our reason for stopping by, I’m confident

my dad will be sticking to the classics. “Why not try something new?” I ask. “I don’t like pumpkin,” he replies, “I never have, I never will.”

SMOOTHIES Tropical Smoothie Café Tropical Smoothie Café is a newcomer to West Chester, and I guess the fact that I didn’t know about them is an indicator that I don’t get out enough— you’ll find Tropical Smoothie Cafés from California to the Carolinas, Miami to Maine. In fact the nearest location is just down the road in Paoli, and it’s owned by the same couple who set up shop in West Chester, Kai and Amy Qiu. “Tropical Smoothie Cafés are big hits and everybody loves them,” said Kai. “We chose to open one because my

wife decided to leave corporate America and wanted to find something else to do, and she loved the healthy concept.” It’s that healthy concept that drives much of TSC’s business. Parents with fussy kids who won’t eat their veggies? Give them an Island Green smoothie, packed with kale and spinach. Chose to workout on your lunch break and need a quick, filling and protein rich meal before you head back to work? Grab a Chia Banana Boost with Peanut Butter. That last smoothie also happens to be my favorite, and it’s the one I shared with my girlfriend Morgan when we popped into TSC for dinner the other night. I ordered the Carribbean Jerked Chicken wrap, which the menu informed me was 590 calories (every menu item’s calories are clearly labeled) and Morgan got the Baja Chicken Bowl, which was only 470 calories. The Chia Banana Boost with Peanut Butter, however, is the second-highest caloric count on the board,





Tropical Smoothie Cafe has booth healthy & sweet options.

clocking in at 1,020. Luckily, they’re not the empty kind of calories you get from a typical dessert; the majority of the calories come from dates, roasted banana, whole grain oats, chia seeds and almonds. It’s got 26 grams of protein and 17 grams of fiber. As for flavor, the smoothie reminds me of the peanut butter and banana sandwiches my mom used to make me as a kid. It’s rich, sweet and filling. Morgan said it reminded her of a healthy peanut butter cookie. “It’s kind of got a cozy feeling, like a hygge feel. It’s cold, but I would still want to drink one on a really cold day,” she said.

Jaco Juice & Taco Bar Jaco is a favorite stop for our staff photographer, Sabina. While I had been going to Jaco for fantastic fish tacos and awesome burritos for quite a while, it was Sabina who first started espousing to me the quality of their smoothies. So, it made sense for Sabina to be my partner in crime for this part of the journey. Sabina is definitely more “whole

health” conscious than I am. Whereas my plan is based on the calories-in, calories-out model, she’s more aware of the nutrients. As such, Sabina usually opts for the Brooklyn, with pineapple, kale, avocado, cardamom, almond milk, banana, fresh lemon juice and agave. “I like it because it’s green, so it appears to be healthy, but it doesn’t taste like straight-up spinach juice,” she says. “I like that they’re a healthy business who are conscious of their sourcing.” For my part, I was in search of something sweeter. I used to wait tables at a restaurant in Cape May, NJ called Backstreet Café. While Chef Theresa was famed for her fish dishes and lamb chops, my favorite was always the Key Lime pie. Theresa’s pie was frozen, so every sip of Jaco’s Key Lime smoothie takes me back to the beach, back to my early 20s. But, it’s not just nostalgia that makes it great. Somehow fresh lime juice, apple, avocado, vanilla yogurt, Graham cracker and agave blend up to produce a drink that genuinely tastes like a quality Key Lime pie.

What makes their smoothies so good is the simplicity. “We don’t use syrups or fillers,” says Jaco owner Kim O’Donnell. “And we don’t use any powder or additives.” While they don’t use any additives, they do offer a few great addons, like chia or flax seeds, for a boost of Omega-3. But Kim knows that a good smoothie isn’t just defined by the ingredients you don’t use, the flavors of her smoothies are all predicated upon using the best available ingredients. “It’s all the fresh-squeezed and fresh-sourced ingredients that make our smoothies amazing,” she says. I’m confident that there is no “ice cream season,” no time of year that gelato is more appropriate than any other. I’m certain that you’re going to enjoy that smoothie just as much on an October afternoon as you would’ve on an August evening. But, even if you don’t believe me, I suggest you get out there and test my hypothesis, because—as they say—the proof is in the ice cream… or something like that.





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

A simple way to breathe new life into a room is with a wall covering. This can be anything from paint to wallpaper. Below I share a few of my favorite wall applications that will help give your space a whole new look! Wallpaper: I love when a client wants to put up wallpaper. I know you are probably envisioning your Grandma’s dated, floral print, but it has come a long way and is now a great option for adding pattern, color and texture to your walls. Wallpaper comes in patterns that range from modern to traditional and can make a huge impact, especially in small spaces like powder rooms. My go-to sources for wallpaper are Spoonflower, Hygge and West, and Walnut Wallpaper. If you are looking for a creative way to incorporate your children in your decorating, then Flat Vernacular manufactures patterned wallpapers that you can color yourself, just like a coloring book. It’s a better idea than finding the wall of your dining room inked with a Sharpie mural. Speaking of... Murals: Painted wall murals or sticker decals are fantastic applications for spaces that need some pop. I like to use these in place of art work so that the two do not compete with each other. You can customize it to your liking which is fun. For instance, if you love stargazing, a constellation wall would be right up your alley, or floral wall decals can bring the outdoors inside. Mountain landscapes look really great on walls, and so do subdued beach scenes. Architectural Additions: A more permanent way to make a statement in a room is by applying an architectural material to the wall. Some of my favorites are shiplap, brick, stone, reclaimed wood, or paneling. We did an amazing brick veneer leading up the staircase in a client’s house that added a vintage vibe to the house and helped restore the space back to its colonial roots. Painting: Painting your walls is the easiest wall application. A new color can help create a new vibe in a room that needs a fresh start. There are a ton of paint treatments to choose from. Make a statement by applying a high gloss or lacquer finish to any paint color, the shiny walls will look bright and beautiful. Ombre paint is when the wall goes from dark to light; your walls will never go unnoticed. Do you want to make your room a Tuscan villa getaway? Apply your paint using a sponge or rag. If you want the look of wallpaper without the extra cost, stenciling is a great way to add a pattern. When you’re thinking of how to dress up a room or revitalize a space, take the walls that hold it together into account. You can always decorate the space with new furniture and accessories, but think of the walls as the foreground of your masterpiece. —






Becca Boyd shares tips on life and cooking on her blog at


Nothing inspires me to bake like relaxing into an oversized sweater as the weather nips and the fall winds blow. With the early dark nights, the kitchen feels comforting, whereas, just weeks before, it was stifling. The apple crisp I’m sharing makes the most of autumn’s bounty, but for all the chocolate lovers, here’s a blondie that will scratch the itch in the most scrumptious of ways. – Apple Crisp with Greek Yogurt Whipped Cream serves 6 2 1/2 lb. Macintosh apples, Topping 3/4 c. all purpose flour peeled, cored and diced 1/3 c. sugar Juice of 1/2 a lemon 1/3 c. light brown sugar 2 tbsp. all purpose flour heaping 1/4 tsp. kosher salt 2 tbsp. sugar 1/2 c. old fashioned oats 1 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg 4 tbsp. unsalted butter

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray

Whipped Cream 1 c. chilled heavy cream 1/2 c. lowfat plain Greek yogurt 2 tbsp. sugar Splash vanilla extract

an 8x8-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. 2. Toss apples in dish with lemon juice, flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. 3. Combine topping ingredients and cut in butter by hand or beat with paddle attachment in stand mixer until evenly cut in. 4. Sprinkle topping ingredients onto apples. Place baking dish on a sheet pan to catch drips. Bake for 1 hour. Let cool at least ten minutes before serving. 5. To make whipped cream, combine heavy cream, yogurt, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Beat with whisk attachment on mixer until it forms soft peaks. Serve with crisp. Toffee and Dark Chocolate Blondies makes at least 36 bars 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour 1 1/2 c. packed brown sugar 1 tsp. baking powder 2 eggs 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted 3/4 c. dark chocolate chips and cooled 3/4 c. toffee bits

1. . Preheat oven to 350°F. Make a foil sling in a 9x13 baking pan

and spray with nonstick spray. 2. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a small mixing bowl. 3. Whisk melted and cooled butter and brown sugar until smoothly combined in a medium or large mixing bowl. 4. Add eggs, one at a time. Whisk to combine. Add vanilla. Whisk. 5. Add flour mixture and fold gently until almost mixed. 6. Add chocolate chips and toffee and gently combined. 7. Spread into prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and the top is shiny. Let cool at least 25 minutes in pan and remove, using sling, to cutting board. Cut into slices and store at room temperature until ready to serve.





Malcom Johnstone brings his scary stories to The Social Lounge every Thursday in October photo Adam Jones

Halloween season has more meaning than just cheap, spooky gimmicks and a giant dental bill — it’s full of familyfriendly festivities, excitement, and loads of historical stories. We delved into West Chester’s best Halloween specials, so you can attend the most spectacular events our community has to offer. STORY SKYE MCDONALD

West Chester Halloween Parade the parade, but you can still come to the parade and get anything that would have been passed out — you just have to go to one of these stations, and we’ll have a baggie sitting there all ready to go.”

Wednesday, October 25th, 7pm Rain date, Thursday, October 26th PRICE: Free Known as one of West Chester’s staple events every year, the West Chester Halloween Parade entertains all ages. It celebrates West Chester’s pride in performance with local marching bands, floats from area businesses and the best costumes in the borough.

And Keith is confident that it’s going to be a great event. “If I’m not working these events, I’m attending them, no doubt,” he said.

Keith Kurowski, director of West Chester’s Parks and Recreation Department, expressed his zeal for this local treat. “It’s one of the bigger events that takes place here in town, but it’s not the most difficult event to plan,” he stated. “It’s the support we receive from the public works department, the police department; they’re integral in making this thing happen.”

ing bands, organizations, local businesses, and the Boy and Girl Scout troops, but Keith puts the number in the thousands.

West Chester East, Henderson and Rustin high schools will be performing with their marching bands, cheerleaders, and dance squads, and so will West Chester University’s famous marching band. It’s difficult to gauge exactly how many people will be in attendance, including the march-

After safety concerns arose last year in regards to children rushing into the street to snag candy, there will be some changes at the event this October. “This year, with the support of the police department, we’re having donation stations,” he confirmed. “No one is passing anything out at

No one could forget the year Mini Kiss performed, a children’s band that imitates their namesake. “You see these kids that are maybe two feet tall rocking out to that band’s songs,” Keith recalled. “It was adorable.”

Ghost Tales and Dinner at The Social Lounge Every Thursday night in October, 6:30pm PRICE: $24 It’s difficult to decline the thrill of a good scare during Halloween season, but if you combine that with a delectable threecourse meal of your choice from The Social Lounge, the proposition becomes downright irresistible. You get to pick a starter, entrée and dessert of your choice, and when you’ve finished your meal, sit back and listen to historical ghost stories told by Malcolm Johnstone, executive director of the West Chester Business Improvement District.



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 Portion of proceeds benefit pro-peace and environmental charities 10% Off With Student ID



In the past, Malcolm has led Halloween ghost tours and recounted stories that had a historical basis, but this is his first year performing similar ghoulish tales at The Social Lounge. As a performer, Malcolm compares his storytelling to his time as a classical guitarist. “When that rhythm of the story is evident, I feel like I’ve hit my groove. When a musician does a solo performance, you just hit a groove, when it just feels like you’re making connections, you really can’t go wrong,” he said. “It’s the connection to history, that’s the most important part,” Malcolm expressed. “The lore of a community that dates all the way back to 1715, and that community brought with them their stories of ghosts, witches and devils.” Malcolm said that he feels the historic connection in his ghost stories can cause even the worst doubters to question their skepticism. “Malcolm’s presentation is haunted and professional,” Donny Moore, one of the owners of The Social Lounge, stated. “He really piqued our interest when we learned about our Lounge’s history.” That history makes it the perfect venue for telling these tales; it was once a funeral parlor with its own unique ghost story. Sometime in the 18th century, the citizens of West Chester were falling ill from what they believed to be water contamination from the mass burials in town. So they enlisted the undertakers of what is now The Social Lounge to move the bodies to cemeteries around the Borough. One night, undertakers found an unmarked grave with an unknown casket. When the undertakers opened it, they were so horrified by what they saw, they reburied the casket in an undisclosed location. Of course, that’s just the setup for the story, but to hear the rest, you’ll have to make it

Enjoy a rock concert with the sounds of John Williams and awesome costumes out to the event!

Galactic Empire Rock Concert Halloween night, 8pm. PRICE: $28 at the door, $25 in advance Even if you’re not a fan of Star Wars, this Galactic Empire rock concert will thrill the whole family, from the heavy metal head to the Jedi enthusiast. “Galactic Empire is similar to Trans-Siberian Orchestra,” said Mike Windish, founder of Windish Productions, the group hosting this event. “They take all of John Williams’ very famous music from Star Wars and perform it in a heavy metal, contemporary genre. But they also do it dressed up like the actual characters from the Galactic Empire.” Mike is definitely looking forward to working with Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center to host Galactic Empire, especially because it will be the first time the band has been to Uptown!, the newest arts center in the borough. Since the venue only opened this past January, Uptown! is eager to fill the space with thriving talent. “We’re encouraging families to come, and for everyone to arrive in costume,” Mike said. “It’s definitely not just a gimmick. It is fun and playful, but they are playing the music at the highest level. And Williams’ music is extremely cinematic, romantic, classical.” Angela Scully, executive director of Uptown, is excited to partner with Windish Productions, one of the theater’s resident companies. “What Mike has is an

eye for excellence,” she affirmed. “He wants the patron to have the highest possible experience when they come to a show, and he wants the artist to be able to work at their peak level as well. I think that there’s something very unique in the air here.”

Thornbury Farm CSA Ghost Tours Friday and Saturday evenings during October PRICE: TBD For those interested in trying some first-hand ghost hunting, Thornbury Farm should be the primary stop on your paranormal list. Randell Spackman, owner of Thornbury Farm, explained to me that the farm, having been founded in 1709, was the site for much of the Battle of Brandywine. As a result, thousands of soldiers have died on these grounds. “A lot of spirits and ghosts usually have a resource to create that kind of energy, at least, that’s the theory,” Randell explained. And, with the amount of blood spilled on this soil, Thornbury certainly provides thats source. When Randell takes the visitors on these tours, they communicate with dousing rods and crystals, which are—we’re told—not as potentially perilous as ouija boards. According to Randell, specific spirits are associated with different locations at farm. “We have a little girl who’s crying and lost her doll, a prankster ghost, a soldier that’s been hurt, a young boy in the barn, and an older gentleman in the barn.”





Highland Orchands is prepping for their annual Fall Festival, with hayrides, face painting and wood carving. photo Sabina Sister

What makes these ghost tours on Thornbury Farm unique is that Randell won’t divulge every story to his visitors, so they don’t immediately know what to expect and start imagining apparitions. “We tell people some of the stories, but not all of them because we want people to have an legitimate learning experience,” he said. The day after a tour, if Randell receives phone calls or emails that seem to confirm similar sights or experiences, he takes that as further confirmation of the existence of something on the farm behind our comprehension. Randell is genuinely gripped by the mystery. “We really don’t know what we’re communicating with, as no one has come back from that plane. The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know.”

West Chester University STOMPS Cancer Costume Run October 22nd, 11-11:45am PRICE: $20, increases when registering after October 15th Register at Hollinger Field House Our economy may be on the uptick, but there are still many families in this country whose finances are stressed beyond their means, and when those families find themselves facing a foe like cancer, the bills quickly mount. That’s why West Chester

or home repairs that they could not afford, as the money was being spent towards those treatment. Now, in its fourth year, the student-planned run will include roughly 300 runners who will be completing the 5K in various Halloween costumes, starting at Ehringer Gym and looping twice throughout the campus. There’s also a Halloween contest, and the best costume will win a prize. University brought the already-exciting 5K STOMP Cancer Run to their campus, originally formed from its parent non-profit organization, Bring Hope Home. David Timmann, director of the Sykes Student Union and advisor for the university’s STOMPS Cancer Run, discussed in further detail what he admires about this event. “The run will benefit a needy family, and the money will go right into their pockets. It won’t just go into a large corporation,” he said. “I’m so proud of the commitment from the students, and their passion that I see when they’re doing things for families as an organization. This is a very unique organization.” Since the beginning, West Chester University STOMPS Cancer Run has successfully adopted about four families who are afflicted by cancer. The money would sometimes go towards cancer treatments

David is awed by the dedication of the students and inspired by how much fun the entire extended community has at this event, not just students. “We were the first college chapter,” he said, “because the founder of Bring Hope Home is one of our alumni. I’m very proud of that.”

Highland Orchards Fall Festival Saturdays and Sundays, September 16–October 29th, 12-5pm PRICE: free admission, but varied prices for different activities. Running every weekend until roughly Halloween, Highland Orchards hosts a family-friendly festival full of fall fun. The Fall Festival will include a face painter and a children’s corral, which will cost three tokens, the equivalent of $3. There will also be $5 hayrides and a live wood-carving project over the course of the Fall Festival by Jason Wilber of Alpine Carving.





West Chester bars are awarding more than $1,000 in prizes to the best costumes this year But what Art Whitehair, Highland Orchards events coordinator, loves the most about these events is the palpable excitement permeating the orchard, especially on days with great weather. “I’ve been here for close to 20 years,” he explained. “I like it; it’s great fun for everyone—I even like getting to drive the shuttles to bring people to the activities.” Renee Ryan, the new marketing coordinator, commented further on the planning involved in this event. “The area will look completely different when we start to see anywhere from 3,000 to 8,000 people in one weekend,” she explained. “There’s something new everyday. I’m most excited about seeing all the hard work that the market staff has done. And I’m excited to see what it’s all about, to know what people like about what we’re doing in the market and to see all of the children. It’s gonna be crazy fun.”

Costume Contests Halloween means costumes for most lovers of the spooky season, and during this festivity, you can participate in many different costume contests from your favorite West Chester bars. BARNABY’S Their contest is usually the day before Halloween, Mischief Night, but they do sometimes have other contests the weekend before and after Halloween. Jim O’Brien, the general manager, explained that cash prizes and gift cards are given out to the first, second, and third place winners for best costumes. “We love interacting with customers,” he said. “It’s always fun seeing the creative costumes people come up with.” KILDARE’S IRISH PUB On Halloween night, Kildare’s is hosting a costume contest with a $500 cash first prize. Dane Gray, the owner, also said that Kildare’s will be bringing in a high-end, official Red Bull DJ from New York who will be spinning at the pub starting at 10pm. RAM’S HEAD BAR AND GRILL Tonni Hill, assistant general manager at Ram’s Head, told us that the bar and grill will have several Halloween-themed events before the 31st. On the Thursday before, Ram’s Head will be hosting a college kickoff night. “We will be serving our regular mug specials, fogging shot pitchers and

conducting a best-dressed contest,” Tonni said. They’re giving $100 cash to the winner, a $75 gift card to second place, and a $50 gift card to third place. Then, on Saturday the 28th, Ram’s Head will be hosting a best-dressed contest for individual and team efforts. $150 cash will be awarded to the first-place winner, a $100 gift card to whomever comes in second place, and the third-place winner will receive a $75 gift card. Throughout the night, customers can enjoy $4 Crown Apple, Crown Vanilla, and Crown Royal shots, as well as $2.50 Miller Lites. RYAN’S PUB Prepare to get scared: Ryan’s Pub is hosting a Halloween Bash on the 31st. Their regular Tuesday drink specials are still in effect, so you can get $3 Coors Light drafts, $3 craft drafts, and $4 craft bottles. A DJ will be providing the music. Later in the evening, customers can win for best male and female costumes, as well as best group outfits. SALOON 151 On Halloween, Saloon 151 will be hosting a costume contest. The theme will be whiskey—the most “whiskey-ish,” whimsical attire will be declared the winner of a $100 gift card. There will also be a contest to scare bartender Erin Brosiah, who is deathly afraid of clowns. So, use that insider info to your advantage, if inducing phobias is your kinda thing.





Spot the five differences between these images of delicious cupcakes from Dia Doce, then send your answer to for your chance to win a Barnaby’s gift certificate. Congrats to September winner, Rich Ashenfelder, Assistant Director of West Chester Parks and Recreation. Thanks for your hard work, Rich!





October Playlist DJ Romeo curates a list of the tracks you’ll be enjoying all month 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

Macklemore ft. Kesha – “Good Old Days” Zayn ft. Sia – “Dusk Till Dawn” Post Malone ft. 21 Savage – “Rockstar” Sam Smith – “Too Good At Goodbyes” DJ Snake ft. Lauv – “A Different Way” Demi Lovato – “Sexy Dirty Love” Miley Cyrus – “Week Without You” Maroon 5 ft. SZA – “What Loves Do” Lil Uzi Vert – “The Way Life Goes” Luke Bryan – “Light It Up” The Killers – “Wonderful Wonderful” Noah Cyrus ft. XXXTENTACION – “Again” Kygo ft. Sasha Sloan – “This Town” WALK THE MOON – “One Foot” Hailee Steinfeld ft. Alesso, Florida Georgia Line – “Let Me Go” Fergie ft. Nicki Minaj – “You Already Know” Kelly Clarkson – “Love So Soft” Kip Moore – “Bittersweet Company” AJR – “Drama” Robin Schultz & HUGEL – “I Believe I’m Fine” Zac Brown Band – “Roots” Morrissey – “Spent the Day in Bed” Snoop Dogg ft. October London – “What Is This?” Wyclef Jean – “Borrowed Time” Kaskade – “Nobody Like You” Thomas Rhett – “Life Changes” Emeli Sande – “Starlight” Telykast – “There For You” Foo Fighters – “Run” Terror Jr – “Holding Your Tongue”