A Week on the Town

So many new places have opened recently on High Street, I thought I’d try a few of them this past week.

The Avenue is a new Caribbean restaurant that opened in the old @107 location across from Borough Hall. I tried the Curry Chicken, Spicy Tomato Bisque, and the Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding. The chicken had a rich flavor, and the fried plantains were the perfect compliment. The soup was fantastic, and my only complaint about the bread pudding is I wish it were served warm, but it was still very good.

The next day, I was about to meet someone at Connections on High when we noticed the new pub across the street, Pottstown United Brewing Company, was opening its doors for the first time. We quickly changed plans so we could be among the first to say we had tried it (but don’t worry, I was back at Connections just a few hours later…I’ll never leave you, Gotta Love Rachel, the best sandwich ever!). We only had time for a quick stop, so I grabbed a soda and a plate of the tasty jalapeno poppers, but I will be back. FYI, the PUB is not open on Mondays or Tuesdays, but I’ll be back and to enjoy some live music and fun with friends.

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I’m not ashamed to admit that I have been to the new Ice Cream Cafe three times this week. I’d blame it on the fact that my mother is addicted to the peach ice cream, but it’s really just that the Banana Peanut Butter Chip ice cream is just so darned good! In my defense, one of the three times was during the FARM while happily listening to the live music. What’s a girl to do when it’s RIGHT THERE? Ice Cream Cafe is located at 250 East High Street.

Speaking of the FARM, if you read the last post, you know this was opening week of this seasonal market. FARM has relocated to the clock tower plaza at the corner of High and Charlotte, and it’s a change I highly endorse! The vendors are all closer together now, and the proximity creates a buzz and excitement that makes the market so much fun. It was great to try several products from the new vendors.  I’m looking forward to June 28th when FARM will be in Riverfront Park for the 5K Run to the River. I hope to see you there!

Back to the FARM

 

This week marks the beginning of the season at the Pottstown FARM. What is the Pottstown FARM, you ask? FARM stands for Farm & Artisan Regional Market, and it’s an open-air farmers market held every 2nd and 4th Thursday in downtown Pottstown at the corner of High and Charlotte Streets near the clock tower.

Kick off will be this Thursday, June 14th at 5:00 pm and runs until 7:30 pm. At the market, you can purchase fresh vegetables in season, flowers and plants, locally produced honey, soaps, wine, and local meats and cheeses, among many other items. There are always fun things for kids to do at FARM, including the Two Bites Club, which allows children 12 and under to try two bites of a new food in exchange for a $5 Market Coin good for use at any food vendor at FARM during the 2018 season! Stop by the Mosaic table for that and other fun kids activities. Convenient parking for FARM is available in all the usual downtown locations.

This years vendors include: Gladiolus Farm of Elverson, Grumpy’s, Stonekeep Meadery, Stony Hill Farm, New Bee Ranch, Snouts and Sprouts Farm, Ethel’s Artisan Vinegar, Kaiya’s Naturals, Blue Zen Wellness Collective, KenCrest self-grown and handmade items, Scentual Gardens Soaps, Brook’s Flowers, Sew Bee Mine, Candle Krazy, Geneva’s Joy, Words of Art by Ali J, Tale of a Snail, Chef’s Duds, Beverly’s Pastry, and Balanced Living.

On Thursday, June 28th, FARM will temporarily relocate to Riverfront Park for the Run to the FARM 5K race. Information on registration for the 5K can be found on the Special Events section on the Pottstown FARM website, Pottstown FARM.

FYI – Pottstown FARM is not the same thing as the recently reopened indoor Farmers Market on the Southeast corner of the same intersection. Watch for a future post about that exciting new venture, but in the mean time, join your friends every other week at the FARM!

(Photo credits: Patti Klein and Audra Ross)

Dragons Spotted in Pottstown!

Many people know that Dragon Boating exists in Pottstown, but did you know that Pottstown has one of only three indoor paddle pool Dragon Boat practice facilities in North America, and the only one open in the United States?

From outside, there is nothing about the Pottstown Athletic Club, located in the Armory at 263 King Street, to indicate the unique facility that is housed inside. In 2016, club owner Rob Matthews installed ergometers, exercise equipment which allows Dragon Boaters to practice during the winter, and then in 2017, added an indoor paddle pool to allow the athletes to have a full spectrum of indoor training for the sport. Pottstown Dragon Boater Laura Cousins trains at the facility because the ergometers (located in the upstairs “Erg Room”) allow her to increase her strength and power as she paddles, while the pool allows her to work on technique. She loves the card tracking system in the Erg Room that allows her to track her distance, speed, and total work-out time. Cousins is a member of the Pottstown Dragon Warriors, a competitive team that practices in both Pottstown Athletic Club, as well as on the Schuylkill, several times a week.

Laura Cousins

Pottstown Dragon Warriors team member Laura Cousins practicing in the Erg Room at Pottstown Athletic Club

Rob Matthews thinks the popularity of the sport will only grow. “We want to build Dragon Boating in the Pottstown area not just because it’s fun, but because it’s a physical skill set that anybody can adapt to. Dragon Boating is team work and timing, you must work together. You have to do that more than be a physical specimen.” Matthews is so excited about growing Dragon Boating that he encourages beginners to attend a free practice session, once indoors in the unique practice facility, as well as to join the more seasoned boaters for an outdoor practice on the river. Dragon Boating is great for kids, too. There are community members as young as 10 who practice in Pottstown.

The indoor practice facilities have been used by teams from all around the Philadelphia region, and are available to reserve at hourly rates. Matthews encourages families to come join in “Open Paddles” and organizations to book the facility for team building events. The amenities of the club are drawing visitors to Pottstown from all around the region, which have easy access thanks to Pottstown’s location at the junction of Routes 422 and 100.

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The paddle pool indoors at Pottstown Athletic Club, one of only three indoor paddle pools in North America

To find out more about Dragon Boating in Pottstown, go to http://pottstownathleticclub.com/index.php/pottstown-dragon-warriors-1, follow the Pottstown Dragon Warriors on their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/PottstownDragonWarriors, or email Rob Matthews directly at rob.1@pottstownkarate.com.

Positively Pottstown is back!

The Positively Pottstown blog is back! From 2010 to 2013 the blog actively promoted the people, events, businesses and organizations doing positive things in the Borough. Then, when I got a full-time job teaching at The Hill School, I could no longer keep up and Positively Pottstown quietly stepped out of the conversation. I have since moved to Maine, where I continue to teach and write, but I have always hoped that Positively Pottstown would come back to life in some way or other. There are lots of wonderful things going on in Pottstown every day, so I was ecstatic to hear from Tracy Purdy a few months ago about her interest in taking over the blog.

Tracy brings a wealth of knowledge about community development and urban planning to Positively Pottstown, along with years of experience working in nonprofit organizations with youth and adults, including in Pottstown, where she is active with Mosaic Community Land Trust, Pottstown Housing Coalition, the Pottstown/Boyertown Home Garden Contest, and Pottstown FARM. I’m so excited that all that Pottstown has to offer will be amplified by her voice. Please join me in a virtual cheer to Tracy for undertaking this volunteer role for the benefit of Pottstown!

Onward!

Sue Repko
Creator of Positively Pottstown

It’s ALL Good!

I am beyond pleased to announce the return of Positively Pottstown, a blog about all the GOOD things happening in and around Pottstown!

Watch the blog for regular posts about the positive things going on here. If you have a comment, a suggestion for a post, a restaurant review or upcoming event, please let me know via the Contact tab above.

Please share with everyone who might be interested, and keep an eye out for our first new post next week!

The Return of the Positively Pottstown Happy Hour!

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY IS ON THE WAY!

The Positively Pottstown Happy Hour will return to downtown Pottstown this Saturday, Nov. 29th from 4-7 PM!

PDIDA and Advantage Insurance are teaming up with Positively Pottstown to host a free happy hour from 4-7 PM at 105 E. High Street!

$5 suggested donation to PDIDA to support Pottstown’s Hometown Holidays!

There will be lots of drinks, food, and fun! This is a great opportunity to network with other local people and have a great time! The Happy Hour technically ends at 7, but guests are invited to stay for the after party… when things really heat up!

Check out the PDIDA website for more information about Small Biz Day, the Scavenger Hunt, and other Pottstown Holiday events.

Questions? Email mkfain.advantage@gmail.com

Bethel AME scholarship fundraiser features Legendary Locals of Pottstown

This Saturday, September 13th from 1-4 pm, Bethel AME Church will host a luncheon and book signing event on the site of their proposed new church at the corner of Lincoln and Grant Street in Pottstown.

Each year the church gives $500 scholarships to the high school graduates in the congregation who are pursuing higher education. They hold an annual fundraiser, among other fundraising activities throughout the year, in which they promote a book. This year they selected Legendary Locals of Pottstown, and I am so appreciative of their support and the big community gathering they have planned.

Admission to the luncheon is $10. Books will be available for purchase.

Several legendary locals will be on hand such as Donna Hennessey, George Wausnock, Dan Brunish, and more! Co-author and photographer Ed Berger and I will be there, too! Hope to see you there.

Fall art classes for adults at ArtFusion!

ArtFusion, Pottstown’s art school and gallery at 254 E. High Street in the heart of downtown Pottstown, is offering several fall classes for adults.

Check them out here.

You can choose from drawing, oil painting, water colors, and art journaling.

There are daytime and evening options, so there’s no excuse to get your creative vibe on, let your inner artist out, or maybe start something that could be a special holiday gift to a special someone.

 

The mission of ArtFusion 19464 is to enrich the lives of the residents in the greater Pottstown area through the visual arts, regardless of ethnicity and economic situations. Our goal is to spark creativity, build self-confidence and develop community bonds through education, mentoring and community service. Artfusion is online at www.artfusion19464.org.

Openings Still Available for SCORE In-Depth Workshops

SCORE is a nationwide nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow, and succeed.  SCORE provides free and confidential counseling to entrepreneurs on policies, procedures, and problems in the realm of small business. The great news? Pottstown has its own SCORE office of seasoned, successful business leaders who volunteer their time to help others succeed, too.

People starting out in business frequently have the same questions: Who is my largest competitor?  How can I drive customers to my website?  What is the difference between an LLC and a Sole Proprietorship?

In an effort to provide entrepreneurs with cutting-edge information, Pottstown SCORE is offering three separate In-Depth workshops for the fall.

The first workshop, “Using Reference USA” is presented in collaboration with the Pottstown Regional Public Library.  The workshop, which will be held at 7 pm on September 17 at the library on 500 East High Street, will instruct participants how to use a database to research information pertaining to customers and competitors.

A second workshop, “Social and Mobile Equation” will give participants up-to-date secrets of successful marketing using social media and mobile technology.  This workshop will be presented at       7 pm on October 8 at the SCORE office on the basement level of the New York Plaza building in Pottstown.

In the third workshop, “Sole Proprietor, Partnership, Corporation,” participants will learn to avoid legal pitfalls in starting a business.  A lawyer and a CPA will be available to answer questions about the legal and tax considerations for different business structures.  This workshop will be presented at 7 pm on October 30 at the SCORE office in the New York Plaza building, 244 High Street, Pottstown.

There is a nominal fee for each workshop, and a discount of 50% is offered for a second person registering at the same time.  Class size is limited, but there are still openings available.  Applicants may sign up online at www.pottstownscore.org or phone the SCORE office at 610-327-2673 for more information.

 

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