The Towne Tavern
2850 NY 43, Averill Park
Owner: Larry Dickinson
Describe your business with a brief history. The Towne Tavern is a warm, inviting, family-friendly restaurant with a focus on great food. We have been open since 2005, after a major renovation to the building, which was originally a blacksmith shop in the 1800s, and then a number of other establishments over the years. Almost everything here is made from scratch with our own recipes, and we take pride in the fact that we smoke or roast our own meats and make our dressings and BBQ sauces in-house.
How do you start each day? Each day starts with a reflection on the prior business day. We try to learn from experience to determine what works best for our customers and staff, and what we could do to improve things for the future.
How will you gauge growth for your business this year? Our business is here thanks to our staff and our customers. We need hard working people and loyal customers to keep us going.
What is your favorite part of your work day or what makes your business not seem like work to you? The smile on our guests faces after a fun visit with great food and service.
What do you love about the Capital Region and owning a business here? The connection to the community. We love being a place that our neighbors can gather to spend time with friends and family. We also enjoy being able to support other local schools and organizations by participating in, or donating to their special events.
Renaissance Floral Design
1561 Western Avenue, Albany
Owner: David Michael Schmidt
Describe your business with a brief history. Established in 1995, RFD started as a small 750 square foot boutique store that supported the budding event design business of Renaissance Floral Design, which is now the areas’ premier event design company specializing in beautiful flowers and décor. Retail was a small part of RFD, but as the demand and the cliental has continued to grow over 23 years, owner David Michael Schmidt decided to go big or go home. The retail location was torn down and rebuilt in 2018. The new RFD is a 5300 square foot showroom like no other in the region. Our open kitchen style floral design room allows our guests to witness the thousands of stems processed each week from box to gorgeous event design. While all that is going on customers can peruse the best collection of gifts and décor for the home and garden. All coming together under one Soho style roof.
How do you start each day? Waking up and getting excited about what new items will arrive. Seeing current customers, meeting new ones, and giving the kind of service our clients love.
How will you gauge growth for your business this year? Because events make up such a huge part of our business, we count on filling our calendar every year. The event sizes can range so vastly it’s not easy to pin down yearly numbers. However, each year we have been in business both our number of events and in-store customers continue to grow. Who could ask for more than that?
What is your favorite part of your work day or what makes your business not seem like work to you? Opening up the thank you letters and hearing from happy customers. Helping our customers find things that work perfectly for them.
What do you love about the Capital Region and owning a business here? We are the crossroads that connect so many amazing cities; NYC, Boston, Buffalo, Montreal which allows us to access magical locations all like Saratoga, Lake George, and Lake Placid. Because of our location and our business, we get to work with customers from all of those areas.
3143 Route 9, Valatie
Owner: Karen Leggett
Describe your business with a brief history. Opened in Fall of 1999, so have been in business for 19 years, teaching gymnastics to area children. In 2016 KJ’s started offering Ninja Zone; a combination of gymnastics, martial arts, obstacle courses and connection skills as in break dancing.
How do you start each day? I start my day with my daily workout, then do office work including accounting, e-mails, etc. We are hiring new staff to be able to add additional classes.
What is your favorite part of your work day or what makes your business not seem like work to you? My favorite part of my work day is working with a group of students excited to be at KJ’s learning new skills and working on ones previously learned. Also some really exciting times are when new equipment comes and we get to use our creative skills as to how many ways the equipment can be used.
What do you love about the Capital Region and owning a business here? I love the Capital Region as I have lived here my entire life. I love the change in seasons. Also, all my students, parents & grandparents are wonderful!!
110 Wolf Road, Albany
Owner: Francisco J. Gomez, MD
Describe your business with a brief history. Gomez Neurology opened in Colonie three years ago with the goal of providing integrated and compassionate neurological care to patients. I specialize in MS and headaches but treat all neurological conditions. We also have a Scrambler Pain Therapy clinic to assist patients in alleviating their chronic pain without drugs.
How do you start each day? I center myself and get “the juices” flowing by taking my hound dogs on crisp walks each morning.
How will you gauge growth for your business this year? I don’t gauge our growth by a balance sheet, but rather by the number of patients we can help.
What is your favorite part of your work day or what makes your business not seem like work to you? Being a physician doesn’t seem like work when I can truly say our patients are our neighbors and friends.
What do you love about the Capital Region and owning a business here? I love the Capital Area: our love for the environment, our progressive nature, and our positive outlook for a bright future.
KisKis Tire & Autocare Company
978 Albany Shaker Rd. Latham
Owners: The Smith Family
Describe your business with a brief history. We utilize our 60 years of experience to bring you exceptional passenger car and light truck tires, as well as complete mechanical services including a new state-of-the-art alignment machine. Our superior and professional customer service is supported by our recommended and repeat business, which is also our strength.
How do you start each day? We start our day early preparing to give our clients the best and most efficient customer service that we can offer.
How will you gauge growth for your business this year? Every year we gauge our growth based on the number of referrals and repeat customers that we have. Our life-line is our longstanding customer base.
What is your favorite part of your work day or what makes your business not seem like work to you? Our favorite part of the day is the morning as we are planning for a successful day.
What do you love about the Capital Region and owning a business here? We love the culture of the Capital Region and the change of seasons. A perfect place to raise our families and run a successful business.
1965 Central Avenue, Colonie
Owner: John Caccese
Describe your business with a brief history. DeMarco’s restaurant has been a mainstay in Colonie for over 45 years. As a Colonie native, I hope to continue to maintain the tradition that has made this establishment the success it has become. All are welcome to enjoy our home cooked food and the friendliest staff in the area. DeMarco’s is the favorite meeting spot for the Colonie community and beyond. We look forward to serving you!
How do you start each day? My day starts with a sense of appreciation for having been given the opportunity to fulfill my dream of owning a landmark restaurant in my hometown…and then I make sauce for three hours!
How will you gauge growth for your business this year? Although I’ve only owned DeMarco’s for four months, there has been a steady increase in business and returning guests. Although we currently offer in-house event catering, in 2019, DeMarco’s intends to offer off-premise catering, take-out delivery, and expand hours of operation.
What is your favorite part of your work day or what makes your business not seem like work to you? My favorite part of the workday is when our guests walk through the door with smiles on their faces, looking forward to a fun night of great food, drinks, and conversation. I’m fortunate to be able to provide a warm and welcoming environment for our guests.
What do you love about the Capital Region and owning a business here? I grew up in the Capital Region, and my life has been influenced by so many people I’ve become friends with through the years. I’m grateful to now have a place where we can gather to reminisce and create new memories.
Ghent Wood Products
1262 Route 66, Ghent
Owners: Jeff and Marie Meltz
Describe your business with a brief history. We are a fourth generation family logging and sawmill operation started by Jeff’s Grandfather in the 1940’s. We added the retail end of Ghent Wood Products in 2003. We’re here to help with flooring, siding, trusses, paneling, stone, reclaimed wood, custom woodwork and more! Let your imagination take flight with GWP!
How do you start each day? Jeff starts his day with figuring out where our 40 employees will be working. Marie’s day starts with reviewing social media, marketing and sales from the previous day.
How will you gauge growth for your business this year? “More satisfied customers and expanding our product line.”
What is your favorite part of your work day or what makes your business not seem like work to you? Interaction among our fabulous customers and co-workers. We are one big family.
What do you love about the Capital Region and owning a business here? Supporting our fellow family-owned local businesses.