Business community year in review 2018


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  • Photos by Roger Gavan The general consensus about this year’s annual sidewalk sale, held on Saturday, July 7, and Sunday, July 8, was that it was a huge success. Visitors enjoyed excellent weather, comfortable temperatures, bright sun and blue skies.




  • On May 5, the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce held its 11th Annual Warwick Community Showcase in downtown Warwick.




  • Jean Claude and Annette Sanchez decided that Jean Claude’s Artesian Bakery and Dessert Café would no longer remain open at Mitchell Corners Shopping Plaza in the Village of Warwick.




  • Mima and Lou Dinetz bid farewell. Mima’s of Warwick, billed as “The Natural Choice for Jewelry and Gifts from Around the World,” for 34 years, closed its landmark location on Main Street.




By Roger Gavan

— Once again there were far more entrepreneurs throughout the Town of Warwick who decided to take a risk and expand or open new businesses in 2018 than those who closed their doors.

Although it got off to a slow start this year, by early spring the Warwick business community had seen a large number of new openings and, like most other years, moves, expansions, anniversaries, good news, sad news and bad news.

Michael Johndrow, executive director of the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce for the past 11 years, reported attending 55 ribbon-cuttings.

Businesses support local causesIn March, Baird’s Tavern owners Adam Powers and Johnny Barounis welcomed Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce and Warwick Historical Society members for an after hours mixer. During the evening Powers and General Manager Sarah Colley presented Warwick Historical Society board members with a check for $5125 donated from sales of their tavern mug memberships.

In April Warwick ShopRite raised $11,650 in the Caring Cheerios Contest and was one of 40 winning stores eligible to choose two associates, Kayla Frisenea and Linda Glasspool, to appear on the back of 150,000 special-edition Cheerios boxes.

The month-long campaign raised $1.4 million to support regional food banks in communities served by ShopRite stores.

In April the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce also released and distributed 45,000 copies of the Warwick Valley Official Guide for 2018-2019.

AnniversariesIn May the Warwick Farmers Market celebrated its official opening for the 25th season with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that called for a silver ribbon.

The Computer Guy also reopened its second store location at 22 Meadow Road in the Village of Florida and later in the year moved from its longtime Warwick location on West Street to a new building at 2 Overlook Drive just off Galloway Road (17A).

In June Shannon Cheevers, owner of the successful Eyes on the Pies bakery, in Hewitt, N.J., celebrated the grand opening of her second and larger store at 252 Pine Island Turnpike in Warwick.

It was also the fifth anniversary of the Clearview Vineyard and Winery wine tasting facility at 35 Clearview Lane just off Route 94.

And there were lots of other anniversary celebrations and ribbon cuttings. .

In July Leslie Noble, who has been baking her entire life and discovered she shared this passion with her husband and baking partner Tom Herman, celebrated the 10th anniversary of Noble Pies.

In August Holly Tree Service in Greenwood Lake celebrated its 40th anniversary and.

Frank’s Pizza celebrated 42 years on Main Street.

Backpack Snack AttackIt was also another year when local restaurants and musicians supported the sixth annual Mardi Gras fund raiser, which raised over $14,000 for Backpack Snack Attack. And later in the year, the Warwick Town Board proclaimed the month of August “Backpack Snack Attack Back to School Month.”

As a result of extraordinary business support that month, the non-profit organization, which provides nutritional snacks to almost 300 needy school children each week of the school year, raised $12,790.

ChangeOn a sadder note, Mima’s of Warwick, billed as “The Natural Choice for Jewelry and Gifts from Around the World,” for 34 years, closed its landmark location on Main Street forever, but will continue to serve its clients with jewelry and gifts from around the world via its Website.

And after 21 years at the same location owners Jean Claude and Annette Sanchez decided that Jean Claude’s Artesian Bakery and Dessert Café would no longer remain open at Mitchell Corners Shopping Plaza in the Village of Warwick. The good news, however, was that they will continue to operate and serve their loyal clientele at their second location, which they have owned and operated for 11 years, at 122 Windermere Ave. in nearby Greenwood Lake.

Chamber grows to 523 membersThe Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce and its Merchant Guild were especially active in 2018.

In addition to signing up 82 new members, which brought its total membership to 523 members, the chamber continued sponsoring business mixers, networking and educational events, the Tourism Initiative, Operation Clean Sweep, the Warwick Valley Farmers Market, the annual Tourist Guide, Community Showcase, the 24th annual Taste of Warwick, Applefest and the presentation of awards to businesses and business leaders at its 79th Annual Membership Celebration.

The chamber also held its 11th annual Warwick Community Showcase in downtown Warwick. And thanks in part to near perfect weather, the event was reported to have drawn record crowds.

Last year participating merchants and organizations, with the cooperation of the Village of Warwick, continued traditional celebrations of the Sidewalk Sale, Ladies Night Out, Queen for a Day, Concerts at Railroad Green, Free Music in the Courtyard and Home for the Holidays.

The ninth annual Small Business Saturday on Nov. 24 was also declared a huge success.

Many of these special celebrations are the result of hard work by a select group of shop owners and participating members of The Warwick Merchant Guild, a committee of the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce.

We know. We haven’t mentioned everything but let’s not forget the visits by Santa, the free horse and wagon rides and Apple Eve.

Happy New Year!






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