Bangkok Bistro 1619 Central Avenue, Colonie 713.4407
268 State Street Schenectady 374.3048
Owner: Will Phan
Describe your business: The Bangkok Bistro specializes in authentic Thai Cuisine and Sushi and we also have an extensive vegetarian selection. We have a full bar specializing in martinis, which were voted the best by the readers of Capital Region Living in their 2013 readers poll – THANK YOU. We have numerous weekly specials and we serve food right up to closing at 1:30am. Our Colonie location also has outdoor dining for those gorgeous summer days. We welcome you to stop by and enjoy.
Why did you choose this line of work? I grew up in Los Angeles, CA where Thai food and sushi were very popular. Being one of my favorite foods, I knew this cuisine would be very popular, especially in this area. We were one of the first when we opened in 2007.
What do you find most rewarding about your business? People that enjoy different types of food love Thai food and sushi. Many of our customers are not familiar with Thai food and come into our restaurant not knowing what to expect. When they leave with a smile on their faces and say we are one of their new favorites is very rewarding and our goal to make people happy is met.
What do you love best about living/working in the Capital Region? The people in the community are very loyal and love authentic food. The majority of the faces are regulars and that makes it more personal and rewarding.
What is your favorite summertime thing to do in the area? Going out to eat with family and friends at any restaurant that has outdoor seating so that we can enjoy the weather.
Hours: Sunday – Noon-9pm; Monday – closed; Tuesday – 11:30am-9pm; Wednesday-Saturday 11:30am-1:30am.
80 Shady Harbor Drive, New Baltimore
Owners: Brian and Kathy Donovan
Describe your business: As owners of Shady Harbor Marina, we are excited to take on Shady Harbor’s on-site restaurant in 2013. The re-launch of the Boathouse Grille will further upgrade the Donovan’s already state-of-art waterfront property. Located just off the docks of Shady Harbor Marina, the restaurant has been home to several successful restaurants in the past. During the off-season, the Donovans have given the site a complete makeover to better match their fun-loving spirit and dedication to quality.
Whether seated inside or out on the deck, diners at the Boathouse Grille will have an incredibly comfortable and enjoyable experience with the restaurant’s casual, contemporary décor and a beautiful view of the historic Hudson River. There will be live music and events throughout the summer. With weekend specials, a spectacular view of the Hudson River, and live entertainment, the Boathouse Grille will be sure to be a destination for both boaters and locals alike.
Why did you choose this line of work? With our 30 years of experience in providing top quality food processing equipment to the food industry, we felt the time was right to add to the total experience at Shady Harbor. We had the guidance of Mazzone Management, the experience of working with some of the finest purveyors in the world and a commitment to excellence. It is our sincere hope that your experience is a memorable one based on simply great food, in a great environment, leading to great FUN.
What do you find most rewarding about your business? Building a staff of young professionals who take great pleasure in pleasing our customers. Everyone is happy and that ultimately makes us happy.
What do you love best about living/working in the Capital Region? Everything! This area has so much to offer. The schools, the lakes, the parks, the track, the people, the museums and on and on!
What is your favorite summertime thing to do in the area? Boating and eating, of course!
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11:30am – 9pm; Friday & Saturday 11:30am-10pm; Sunday 11:30pm-9pm.
Drumm Veterinary Hospital -1639 Columbia Turnpike, East Greenbush
Troy Veterinary Hospital – 840 Hoosick Road, Troy
Latham Animal Hospital – 326 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham
Catskill Animal Hospital – 601 Kings Road, Catskil
Owner: Richard H. Drumm, DVM
Describe your business: I have been very fortunate to have been able to do what I love. I own a small animal veterinary practice with four locations and we provide high-quality life-long care for pets.
Why did you choose this line of work? I grew up on a farm and always loved to work with animals. I have always felt that the veterinary profession was a noble one, and I have enjoyed the opportunity to work closely with people and their pets.
What do you find most rewarding about your business? The most rewarding part is keeping animals well and in good health, and providing appropriate care when they are not. There have been many changes for the better in the veterinary field—we have amazing tools for the prevention, early detection and treatment of disease. We also have great tools to help manage pain for pets so they can have a long and happy life.
What do you love best about living/working in the Capital Region? I grew up in this area, and I have always loved the many opportunities that are available for people here. No matter what your interests are, there is something here for you—whether you like the great outdoors, music, theater, horse racing or eating at any of the wonderful restaurants in the area—you can find all of those right here.
What is your favorite summertime thing to do in the area? I enjoy puttering around my family farm and eating great grilled food with the family on our porch overlooking the fields.
Hours: Monday through Friday 7am-6pm; Saturday 8am-1pm. Emergency Hours in our Latham location until 11pm daily.
Decker’s Landscape & Aquatics
1632 Main Street, Route 5s, Pattersonville
Owners: Alan & Jodi Decker
Describe your business: We are a custom landscape design and installation of hardscapes, landscape plantings, water features and outdoor kitchens. We also have a retail garden center complete with annuals, perennials and flowering shrubs. We are the area’s largest Aquatic Center for water gardens with on-site display ponds and landscape displays. We offer a huge selection of aquatic plants, pond fish, pond supplies and decorative waterscapes.
Why did you choose this line of work? Landscape design is a very imaginative outlet to create natural and unique settings. We enjoy creating a place where our customers can enjoy spending time with their family and friends surrounded by natural waterfalls and outdoor living rooms.
What do you find most rewarding about your business? The most rewarding feature of our business is the pleasure our water features and landscapes provide our customers. Each new design creates a lifetime relationship with our customers.
What do you love best about living/working in the Capital Region? The Capital Region is centrally located close to the Adirondacks and Catskills mountains for recreational activities. We are able to work in an area where there is constant growth, yet be only minutes from nature at its best.
What is your favorite summertime thing to do in the area? Absolutely our favorite summertime event is camping with our children. It is nice to reconnect with our kids without distractions. We enjoy everything outdoors – hiking, fishing and sports of all kinds.
Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-6pm; Saturday 9am-4pm; Sunday 9am-3pm (effective 7/1 closed on Sunday.)
Capitol District Supply
850 Broadway, Albany
252 Washington Street, Saratoga Springs
315 Green Street @ Erie Blvd, Schenectady
Owners: Terry Zima, Bob Zima & Ken Shapiro
Describe your business: Capitol is a multi-faceted business focused on the plumbing, heating, kitchen and bath industry. Our brand new New Visions: Kitchens and Baths by Capitol showrooms provide a unique experience for retail customers and a destination for building and remodeling contractors to send their clients. Capitol’s plumbing and heating service counters have a depth of knowledge to assist work-day plumbers, contractors and remodelers, as well as the DIY customers.
Capitol has three fully-stocked locations with plumbing and heating supplies. We feature strong brands like Kohler, American Water Heater, Triangle Boilers, Navien Tankless water heaters and much more. Our showrooms have kitchen and bath displays showcasing the latest designs from Kohler, Delta, Kemper, Decora, etc., as well as the latest materials like Cambria and Corian Countertops.
What do you find most rewarding about your business? Though I always enjoy the excitement of a customer picking out their new kitchen or bath, I take the most pride knowing that we are providing the essential components in people’s homes – water, sanitation, heating and air conditioning. Creating solutions to get a heating system back on for a family in the middle of winter is very rewarding.
What do you love best about living/working in the Capital Region? Our parents came to the Capital Region in 1945, entrenching roots and starting our business. This area has been great to our family and we love being a part of the community. We take advantage of big city opportunities like Broadway shows at Proctors and the great outdoors in Lake George and the Adirondacks. There is a diversity of offerings in the different towns and cities that has allowed multiple generations of the Zima family to each find a community that fits their needs.
What is your favorite summertime thing to do in the area? 1. Golf. My parent’s membership at Shaker Ridge goes back to the 1970s. 2. Saratoga Raceway. 3. State parks and the great outdoors.
Hours: 7:30am-5pm Monday-Friday; extra evening hours Thursday; 8am-noon Saturday.
Growing Local. Pioneer Bank is more than just a bank; they’re a community partner meeting the needs of local people. Pioneer offers fair, competitive and innovative banking products and services, but what makes Pioneer unique and a destination for Capital Region residents is its strong focus on engaging with the community through philanthropic giving and community involvement. As a mutual bank, the only one in the Capital Region, focus can remain on customers, employees and community rather than profit-building for stockholders. As a visitor to any Pioneer location you will experience over-the-top service from world-class representatives.
Pioneer can be found in 17 Capital Region communities: Albany, Brunswick, Clifton Park West, Colonie, Delmar, East Greenbush, Glenmont, Green Island, Guilderland, Latham, Malta, Rotterdam, Troy, Waterford, Watervliet, Wynantskill and their newest location, a second destination in Clifton Park. This new branch is like no other bank branch in the Capital Region – innovation, unique and community-focused are all words that are used to describe it. More than a bank, the Clifton Park East branch offers US Postal service shipping, digital photo processing, a copy center, coin counter, free Wi-Fi and The Shop at Pioneer, which offers a variety of convenience items to customers. You will also find Cocoajochoco, Pioneer’s own chocolate and Pioneer Jo, Pioneer’s own coffee. ALL profits from the sale of items in The Shop go directly to local charities. Innovation, relevance and community focus are what Pioneer Bank has to offer. For more information about Pioneer go to www.pioneersb.com.
Howe Caverns, Inc.
255 Discovery Drive
Howes Cave, New York 12092
Describe your business: The largest showcase cave in the Northeast and the second largest natural tourist attraction in New York State after Niagara Falls.
Why did you choose this line of work? A great love for the tourism & hospitality industry.
What do you find most rewarding about your business? Being able to give our guests such an outstanding memorable experience that they return generation after generation.
What do you love best about living/working in the Capital Region? Being a stone’s throw from our vibrant Capital with everything at our fingertips, while being able to enjoy country living along with the stunning views of the Schoharie Valley and the Helderberg Plateau.
What is your favorite summertime thing to do in the area? Visiting Howe Caverns, of course!
Hours: Open daily 9am-6pm.
In Harmony Yoga Studio
137 Remsen Street, Cohoes
Owners: Kathleen Fisk and Colleen McDonald
Describe your business: We are a welcoming yoga studio offering diverse types of yoga and meditation for everybody. We provide a variety of yoga practice including: Kripalu (gentle), Vinyasa (continuous movement) and Hot Warrior Yoga. In our warm and hot yoga classes, the room temperature never gets above 85 degrees. Our Kripalu classes are very popular and we are one of the few studios in the area that offer this. We also offer a weekly guided meditation.
Why did you choose this line of work?
Kathleen: I realized that I was holding onto great amounts of stress that were released by practicing yoga. Consequently, I wanted to help people realize that we do not have to react to every situation that we come across in life; that there is a calm, peaceful and joyful source that resides in us. In yoga and meditation we can connect to that source for answers to our life, instead of looking outward. We can learn that we really do hold our own answers.
Colleen: To share what I’ve learned so far about the physical and emotional benefits of yoga practice. What we practice on the mats is a very small piece of the whole yoga pie. With consistent practice, yoga can be a catalyst to many improvements in your daily life.
What do you find most rewarding about your business?
Kathleen: I really love the serenity and smiles on students’ faces after a yoga class and hearing that yoga has changed their lives or that they are no longer suffering from pain. Students always have change after a yoga class.
Colleen: Listening to a student tell me about the changes they experience in everyday life, as they dive deeper into their yoga practice. I also enjoy the look of triumph as someone dives deeper into a pose, to a place where they’ve been working toward and weren’t quite sure where they would arrive.
What do you love best about living/working in the Capital Region?
Kathleen: The activity and/or serenity that can be found in all seasons.
Colleen: It is the epicenter for all things cool – a little over two hours south you’re in the Capital of the world, NYC, and a little over two hours north and you’ve arrived in the bucolic Adirondacks!
What is your favorite summertime thing to do in the area?
Kathleen: Do yoga outside in nature.
Colleen: Practice yoga outside and hang out on the back deck with my family
Hours: We have yoga classes everyday!
Randy Loren’s Dolce Vita Ristorante
1727 State Street, Schenectady
Owner: Randy Loren
Describe your business: Randy Loren’s Dolce Vita Ristorante is an upscale dining and entertaining establishment with a "Vegas-Like" atmosphere. Dolce Vita is a new version of an old Las Vegas showroom. With a grand piano-shaped dance floor in the middle of the dining area, you can enjoy a dance in between dinner courses. It is the only place in the Capital Region you can experience dinner and dancing with live entertainment.
Why did you choose this line of work? I have been in the music business for my entire life. After being on the road for years I wanted to create a hometown venue where I could entertain people and offer them quality music and entertainment with an upscale dining experience both at the same location and at an affordable price. I love serving people and felt there was a definite need for this type of establishment in the area, especially for the baby boomer generation.
What do you find most rewarding about your business? The happiness and joy on our customers’ faces relating to their experience at my restaurant is very fulfilling, as well as the wonderful, positive comments.
What do you love best about living/working in the Capital Region? Being back home and surrounded by family and friends.
What is your favorite summertime thing to do in the area? Consistently working 16-18 hours a day doesn’t allow for a lot of spare time, but my favorite pastime is spending time with my daughter Amanda.
Hours: Serving dinner Tuesday – Thursday 5pm-9pm, Friday – Saturday 5pm-10pm with music & dancing featuring Randy Loren 7:30pm-12am. Late night bar menu available until 12am. For event information or to make reservations call 357.3324 or visit www.rldolcevita.com
Redbud Development, Inc
2 Commerce Park Drive, Wilton
Owners: Geffrey and Karen Redick
Describe your business: Redbud is landscape construction company specializing in the custom design and quality installation of residential improvement projects. We help clients create exterior living spaces that connect seamlessly with the interior, reflect their personality and improve their lifestyle.
Why did you choose this line of work? Geff started in a nursery during high school, studied landscape architecture in college and finally became a licensed professional. He gained valuable knowledge working in every level of the industry and he really enjoys being creative. Starting our own business was simply a way of doing what we know and love with the added benefit of choosing the highest quality craftsmen to work with on our jobs.
What do you find most rewarding about your business? Since every client is unique, every design is custom and challenging and it never gets boring. It is also very satisfying to meet a client, provide a solution to their problem and see it through to completion. The best part is seeing a satisfied customer and knowing that our honesty and integrity has helped improve the reputation of contractors in the building industry.
What do you love best about living/working in the Capital Region? We love having personal space, but being close to downtown activities, too. The Capital Region gives you the benefit of “country living” while also providing easy access to many cultural and educational venues.
What is your favorite summertime thing to do in the area? We enjoy taking our three kids and two dogs hiking. There are so many trails to choose from in this area, it’s great. We also enjoy spending time on Sacandaga Lake with our extended family.
Hours: Monday-Friday 8am-5pm; Saturday by appointment.
The Merry Monk
90 N. Pearl Street, Albany 463.6665
The Merry Monk Saratoga
84 Henry Street, Saratoga Springs 584.6665; www.merrymonkalbany.com
Owners: Joe Gorman, Jeremy O’Brien & Joe Santa Maria
Describe your business: Belgian beer cafés.
Why did you choose this line of work?
Jeremy – I grew up in it. I tried other things, but just kept coming back to the hospitality business.
Joe G – I talked for years about opening my own place and I worked in the industry part-time for a long while. The right opportunity came up at the right time.
What do you find most rewarding about your business?
Jeremy – Making people have an enjoyable time.
Joe G – Being able to work in a setting that’s centered around people having a good time and seeing the results right away.
What do you love best about living/working in the Capital Region?
Jeremy – There are so many diverse things to do.
Joe G – What Jeremy said, plus having family close by.
What is your favorite summertime thing to do in the area?
Jeremy – Any outdoor activity: concerts, golf, track, etc.
Joe G – Watching my kids play Little League baseball, going to the beach, golf.
Hours: Monday – Thursday 11:30am – 10pm; Friday & Saturday 11:30am – 12am; Sunday 12pm – 10pm.
The Cookie Factory
520 Congress Street, Troy
Owners: Chris Alberino and Joseph Alberino
Describe your business: We are a retail and wholesale bakery located in Troy. You can find our cookies in Hannafords in NY,NH,VT, MA and ME. Also in NY, we service Price Chopper and Shop Rites.
Why did you choose this line of work? It’s all I have done since I was 11 years old.
What do you find most rewarding about your business? When our customers come into the store or I see them out and they say how much they love our products; it’s a great feeling!
What do you love best about living/working in the Capital Region? Troy is home. I’ve been here my whole life. I love to visit other places, but Troy is the place to be.
What is your favorite summertime thing to do in the area? I like to golf at Frear Park. It’s one of the best public courses in the area.
Hours: 7am-7pm Tuesday – Saturday; 7am-5pm Sunday; closed Monday.
Zephyr Preservation Studio, LLC
130 Remsen Street, Cohoes
Owner: Sarah C. Stevens
Describe your business: Zephyr Preservation Studio, LLC offers a full range of textile conservation and preservation services for your antique, historic and special textiles. Our services aid private collectors/owners and institutions in the care and handling of their textiles so they can be enjoyed now and in the future.
Why did you choose this line of work? I enjoyed sewing, needlework and crochet when I was young. Once I graduated from college, I was looking for something that would challenge me intellectually and where I could use my hand skills. Conservation is perfect for that as it combines science (chemistry and sometimes physics), history and art all in one. Problem solving is a key component of the work I do for everyone.
What do you find most rewarding about your business? The biggest reward is helping people care for their family history, followed closely with conserving historic items held in the public trust, especially flags and tapestries.
What do you love best about living/working in the Capital Region? The climate – it’s varied, but not so extreme as I see on the news in other places around the country.
What is your favorite summertime thing to do in the area? My favorite summertime activity is visiting the various ice cream stands in the area.
Hours: By appointment only.