Business Notebook: New market, new cafe and anniversaries

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:56

    WARWICK-Stepan Kitar, his wife Tamara and their partner Olena Martinko gave careful consideration to what type of business was most needed in Warwick and what would be most suited for the building they owned at 19 Spring St. They consulted with public officials, including Mayor Michael Newhard. And when their new business recently opened its doors, the officials and residents of Warwick cheered. The grand opening of the new Spring Street Market on Aug. 27 was a double bonus for the community. The residents now have a convenient local market that serves quality meats and produce as well a myriad of imported delicacies, organic and specialty foods. And an historic building, which had become somewhat of an eyesore, has been renovated to a high degree of architectural excellence. Just a little more than two years ago, the partners, all natives of the Ukraine, purchased the building. Part of the facility had been home to Ledo Cleaners and Tailors since the 1940s. And they now also own and operate that business. The first impression upon entering the Spring Street Market and stepping on the new cobblestone floor is that it is bright, clean, well stocked and colorful. "We think of it as an outdoor European market that just happens to be indoors," said store manager Helen DeFreese. Instead of metal carts, shoppers can fill their wicker baskets with prime fresh cut meat at the "butcher's corner" and locally grown produce attractively displayed in an original nineteenth century wagon. Then they can choose from a large selection of organic products, wild game, bison, ostrich, International cheeses, hors d'oeuvres, smoked fish, caviar, fresh baked goods and the store's own blend of fresh roasted coffee. They can also visit the market's old fashion pickle bar, the fresh soup kettles, the delicatessen and the sandwich and hot foods counter. In addition the Spring Street Market has a 100 per cent stainless steel restaurant kitchen and offers a take-out service for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There's much more but to understand how all these products are stored and displayed in about 2000 square feet, you have to ask Stepan Kitar, a man of many talents. "We have over 100 linear feet of display," he responded. "This is a big store in a small package." At age 25, Kitar managed a large gambling casino in the Ukraine. Part of his responsibilities at that time included frequent purchasing trips to the United States. About eight years ago he decided to move to America where he became a successful contractor. He is almost solely responsible for the innovative renovations, indoor and outdoor stonework, communications systems, plumbing, roofing and so forth that resulted in the attractive Spring Street building. Kitar is a quick study and he stocks his market with products that he knows will fill a need in this area and that he can price competitively. "This is not an Italian or Ukrainian or Polish market," he said. "We provide what people have told us they want including American and local products as well as items that come from all over the world. And everything we sell is fresh and only the best quality. We don't even own a meat freezer. Meat looses its eye appeal if it's not sold on the same day it's delivered." Although Kitar argues that commuters and others who enjoy visiting the big city gourmet food markets can now find the same products at the Spring Street Market, he said the prices are not the same. "Everything is priced much lower. We want to remain competitive and we know our market area," he said. The Spring Street Market is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For special orders or catering call 987-1429. The Baby Grand Cafe premieres this Saturday, Oct. 1 The Village of Warwick now features six interesting cafes including some, which offer free entertainment. Blend this all together with a fine selection of pubs and restaurants, antique dealers, gift shops, outdoor events and nearby B&Bs and Warwick becomes a great place to visit and stay for a weekend or longer. The newest café to open in Warwick is the Baby Grand Café at 7 West St. Those of us who live here will recognize that address as the home of AR Backer Books, a well stocked rare and out of print book shop. The owners of the new café, Paul and Ruth Siegel and Steve Calitri are actually partnering with AR Backer Books to produce a unique combination café and bookstore. At the Baby Grand Café, guests can serve themselves coffee, tea and fresh croissants while browsing through fine quality, out-of-print editions in a wide range of categories including history, art, religion, mystery, general fiction, music, health, cooking and landscaping. And, at the same time, you can also enjoy the music of singer/composer Paul Siegel seated at the Baby Grand piano on the main floor. "We'll also be networking with regional musicians who specialize in acoustic instruments," said Siegel. The new owners are more anxious to have the Baby Grand Café become a popular resource and meeting place than a successful business. "We're all bibliophiles," said Ruth Siegel. "We're not doing this to make a lot of money. We just want to preserve this bookstore and this wonderful collection for our Village. You can discover books here that you can't find anywhere." Although the Baby Grand Café officially opens Oct. 1 it will continue to be a work in progress as the owners listen to suggestions from their patrons, invite different musicians and performers and use the space to feature the works of local artists The group opening up the Baby Grand this Saturday, Oct. 1, is "The Wiyos," a vaudevillian ragtime, hillbilly swing singing trio. The music begins at 3 p.m. "This will be an adventure for book lovers," said Steve Calitri. Beads of Hope continued Local merchants have been raising funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina by selling Mardi Gras style beads for a $1 per string donation. And now the Bank of New York has offered to match the donations dollar for dollar. The program, sponsored by the Warwick Valley Merchant Guild and the Warwick IBA, runs until Sunday, Oct. 16, and will end with a Mardi-Gras style "Jazz Festival" at the Warwick Reformed Church on Maple Avenue. Composer/pianist Richard Kimball, a resident of Warwick, has offered to serve as musical coordinator. Tickets are $25 and proceeds will be used to help the victims of the Gulf Coast and New Orleans hurricane disaster. To make a contribution or for more information, call: 988-0580 or 987-7600. Anniversary The Garage at the Eclectic Eye antique cooperative on Railroad Avenue will celebrate its fourth anniversary Saturday, Oct. 15, with a party beginning at 4 p.m. and ending whenever. The public is invited and there will be entertainment and refreshments. Some antiques will also be auctioned with part of the proceeds going to help the victims of the recent Gulf Coast hurricanes.