Chris Fascella isn’t afraid to go the extra mile.
The owner of Fascella Construction Corp., in Nockamixon Township, took on his first job at the age of 13 as an eighth grade student.
And while the gig to rebuild a front porch handrail didn’t go according to plan – Fascella had to “subcontract” the work by asking for help from a family friend who was also a construction pro – the early experience taught about the crucial elements of being an entrepreneur.
Delivering on promises. Paying attention to details. Being responsible and being willing to think outside the box, has paid off in growing his general construction and contracting business and formed fiercely loyal customer relationships.
“We get difficult jobs, the ones no one else wants to take on, and I would say our specialty is doing the difficult jobs,” Fascella explained.
Whether it’s an historic old home from the 1800s or relatively new construction where the homeowner wants a fresh look or dream room or addition, Fascella isn’t a hard sell. He doesn’t have to be.
Alisha Wright of Plumstead Township first met Fascella at an area home show. “I was impressed by him. He had his kids with him handing out information and give away items, and I liked that about him. It wasn’t the ‘hard sell’ where someone comes up to you and begins talking about themselves,” Wright said. Wright hired Fascella to renovate her kitchen. “My kitchen wasn’t a dream kitchen when I moved in 15 years ago, but it is now,” Wright said, of the heart-of-the-home’s makeover. She said she’s worked with Fascella on other home projects and plans more.
“Chris goes above and beyond the job,” Wright explained, from helping her with his own truck to move a new kitchen table into the renovation, to letting the family’s dog out and providing treats while he and his crew are on the job. “My husband and I both work, and I completely trust Chris and his crew to be in my home. They are clean, respectful and responsible. You just don’t come across (trustworthy) people like that, and Chris is like that,” Wright said.
Lori Berkowitz of Newtown Township said she hired Fascella to put a roof on her home, after a disastrously botched job five years ago. “The roof was leaking,” Berkowitz said. She also hired Fascella to redo three bathrooms in her home. “He was honest and was on the site himself most of the time,” Berkowitz said.
Both women agree Fascella runs a tight ship and keeps work spaces spotless. He is responsive and has a quick-reply turn around policy, which means he promptly validates any and all questions – no matter how small they may seem. “He and his crew pay attention to the details, and he gets back to you sometimes in less than 5 minutes,” Wright said.
“Chris went above and beyond. He found a plumbing leak, while redoing one of the bathrooms and while many contractors might not have said anything because it wasn’t in the job (description), Chris called it out, and he fixed it,” Berkowitz said.
Offering superior craftsmanship and customer service appears to be a family tradition.
“We do a lot of construction management and my one son, Kaden, wants to come into the business with me. He wants to add landscaping design and more excavation work. He thinks it’s an opportunity we’re missing,” Fascella said. He may not have long to wait for the second generation to join Fascella Construction. Kaden, a junior at Palisades High School and Upper Bucks County Technical School, is part of the Class of 2018.
While Fascella said he is willing to negotiate travel, most of his work is located in Bucks County and Hunterdon County, New Jersey. He is married and has three teenage children.
For information about Fascella Construction Corp. visit www.fascellacorp.com.
Competitive pricing, quick turnarounds and sticking with conversations until the job is “just right” are qualities forging a robust client base for Solid Products Marketing & Promotions based in Ottsville. Owned and operated by Jason Wehrung, whose family business is Wehrung’s Lumber and Home Center also headquartered in Ottsville, Solid Products has the ability to produce customized wearable advertisements to promote businesses. Solid Products also has a full-service sign shop for banners, magnets, yard signs, truck decals and more. From hats, t-shirts, jackets, athletic wear, work apparel and uniforms, towels, robes and blankets, bags, totes and sweatshirts, Solid Products offers a one-stop shop approach to most jobs.
“It’s one stop shopping and I can get whatever I need,” said Aaron Weaver, of Dream Weaver Racing based in Upper Black Eddy. Weaver races his Teo ProCar at New Egypt Speedway in New Jersey, and takes it for promotional appearances.
And while great products and prices bring new trade through the door, innovative marketing solutions, a “yes we can” attitude and conscientious customer service, keep customers coming back again and again.
Shawn Dulee, brand manager for Naked Brewing Company in Lower Southampton Bucks County, said she’s impressed with Solid Products staff commitment to getting the job just right, and the team’s honesty about limitations, which are as refreshing as a pint of the microbrewery’s seasonal India Pale Ales. “They work with me until I like what I see,” Dulee said. Turnaround times are quick, too, with a recent confirmation to order receipt received by Dulee in about a week. “My previous supplier would take months to deliver,” Dulee said. “Solid Products turn-around times are fantastic.”
While products and goods are the tangible results of Wehrung’s business efforts, the Solid Products team embodies a pledge to superior customer service, creating a reputation that’s priceless.
Kyle Shannon of K. Shan Performance, a fitness training business in Allentown, has been using Solid Products for his promotional items since he opened the doors in February 2016. “All of their products have been great and they are easy to communicate with. They return calls promptly and they have no problems with order add-ons, when I need them,” Shannon said. “The quality of the products and outcomes exceeds my expectations,” Shannon said.
Wehrung said he is invested in helping his customers grow their business and his staff works together because they’ve come to rely upon each other’s strengths, insight and creative energy. “We all have different roles and clear job descriptions but they piggy back” onto each other, said Jen Martinez, Solid Products inside sales representative.
On a rapid growth curve, Wehrung said the business has tripled during the past year, and he attributes the growth to going beyond the project for each and every customer.
For more information on Solid Products visit www.solidproducts.net or call 610.847.1444.
Dave Slifer of Erwinna likes doing business with Bahnck Tree and Lawn Care because Will Bahnck gets the job done right.
Attention to detail, understanding the work involved, cleanup and follow-up are points of pride for Bahnck, who has owned and operated Bahnck Tree and Lawn Care in Ottsville since 2004.
“What I’m most impressed with is how Will works. He always completely cleans up the site and he’s a pleasure to work with,” Slifer said. Slifer has used Bahnck for lawn care and to take down and trim trees on his property.
A recent trimming job, of an oversized white birch on Slifer’s property, probably averted catastrophe for the homeowner.
The tree posed a hazard to Slifer’s home, but not anymore.
“I knew if I didn’t do something, it would have landed on my roof,” Slifer said.
“Will looked at it and said, ‘I can make it safer,’ and he got in there and trimmed the tree from the inside,” Slifer said.
Bahnck’s staff are trained and insured, and he takes pride in such old-fashioned values as delivering on promised goods and services and cleaning up a work site. “If I take down your tree and I leave branches and debris lying around, you’d never have me back,” Bahnck said.
Bahnck’s attention to the little things has earned him the respect of Glenn Sands, co-owner of Sands Auto Group, with dealerships in Quakertown and Red Hill.
“We offer fair rates and we don’t cut corners,” Bahnck said.
Sands said he uses Bahnck for his home and commercial properties. “(Bahnck) cleans up everything and safety is a big issue for him. He always does what he says he’s going to do,” Sands said of Bahnck’s work ethic.
“I feel you have to choose a couple of things, and the things we do, we do well,” Bahnck said.
While Bahnck’s roster of services includes tree trimming, take downs, stump grinding, lawn care and winter snow plowing and firewood, he knows sometimes a job needs services he doesn’t provide.
A carefully vetted roster of industry related professionals is available to Bahnck’s customers, too, simply for the asking.
“I don’t provide chemical treatments, tree chemicals or arborist services, but I have people I know who do,” Bahnck said.
With a service area including Upper Bucks and Montgomery counties and tree service to the Greater Lehigh Valley, Bahnck is well positioned to develop customer relationships.
“Customers become comfortable with us,” Bahnck said.
For more information on Bahnck Tree & Lawn Care, call 215.651.8716 or log onto www.bahnck.com.
No time for flour and sugar, butter and eggs?
Do visions of lemon shortbread, gingerbread cutouts, meringues and walnut tassies dance in your head? How about crispy chocolate almond cookies or wintermints, an icy chocolate confection? If not, why not?
Satisfy your holiday sweet tooth by letting your Chamber colleagues fill out those holiday party trays or sideboard desserts for the big feast.
If swirling snowflakes and visions of sugarplums don’t put you in the mood to yodel Christmas carols or trim the tree, any of our member bakers and confectioners will do the trick.
Skilled in the art, craft and passion of creating perfect desserts, our member’s treats and holiday staples satisfy. So whether you’re hungry for scrumptious layer cakes with creamy or fruit fillings, plump pastry pies, delectable cookies, pastries, artisan breads and more, look no farther than our short list of favorites.
Blueberry filled vanilla cupcakes or a signature raspberry cake? No problem, Deborah Rogers of Bear Den Kitchens in Sellersville has you covered. Homemade jams, fillings, frostings and confections are the stock-in-trade at Bear Den Kitchens and Chocolate Shop. Candies, cupcakes, cakes, cheesecakes, and canned preserves are only a phone call away. Call 215.527.7780, or visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BearDenKitchens.
Ryman Maxwell and his team at The Bread Box & Bakery in Perkasie bake up such handcrafted treats as peanut butter cups – their take on ramped up Reese’s, “millionaire” shortbread logs, plain and filled croissants, a variety of artisanal breads, pastries and more, round out a buffet sideboard or holiday catering order for the office.
Whether it’s a wedding, anniversary, birthday party or Christmas Eve dinner for 12, Amy’s Creative Cakes provides clients with irresistible confections meant to satisfy all the senses. Treat trays, cake pops, candy and cookie favors are perfect for celebrating. From a winter wedding to an evening with family, colleagues and friends, consider Amy’s Creative Cakes. With cookie trays and boxes by the pound, made to order just got easier. Visit Amy's Creative Cakes www.amyscreativecakes.com or call 215.529.5763.
Anyone who’s lived in the Quakertown area long enough knows few things say home like a warm, old-fashioned apple dumpling. Granny Smith apples, wrapped in wholesome hand-made pastry and capped with snowy white icing are a house specialty of The Farm Bakery and Events, an outgrowth of the time-honored former Meyer’s Family Restaurant. Cupcakes, scones, muffins and pies are made to order and picked up at The Farm property on Zion Hill Road in Milford Township. Visit www.meyersfarmbakery.com or call 215.272.2301.
Bread Box & Bakery and Down to Earth Café in Perkasie specialize in sourcing local and creating an experience where community is always the top priority. Offering weekly bakery shares, using Community Supported Agriculture as a model, you don’t have to buy shares to enjoy flakey croissants, crusty baguettes, or specialty breads like chocolate cherry, chocolate chip Challah, molasses oatmeal or multi-grain. Visit www.thebreadboxandbakery.com or call 215.257.5057.
From family gatherings to office parties, open house or holiday events, sweeten the moment by ordering delectable holiday treats this season from any of our expert Chamber bakers.
Delaware Valley University and Pearl S. Buck International team up to offer cultural diversity program
Where quotas have failed, maybe belonging can succeed.
According to an August, 2016 Harvard Business Review article, diversity doesn’t work if various groups don’t feel – deep down in their bones– like they matter. In other words, success equals a stake because members feel like they belong to a team, an organization or a professional mission. [See the full article by Pat Wadors at https://hbr.org/2016/08/diversity-efforts-fall-short-unless-employees-feel-that-they-belong.)
When we get to know one another we can begin to better understand each other. And if we understand each other better, our work efforts become more satisfying and our productivity rises, too.
This past spring a core group of Delaware Valley University students received an education on cultural diversity though a joint pilot program with Pearl S. Buck International in Hilltown Township.
The three-part series of workshops, some of which were held at the late Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winner’s rural estate, aimed to create dialog and understanding about the value of cultural diversity.
The idea was to make participants think.
“Students were able to identify a space within themselves by learning about Pearl S. Buck’s leadership” said Andrew Moyer. Moyer is assistant dean of students and director of student involvement at DelVal.
Moyer said he believed that learning about Buck’s commitment and legacy could influence future leaders.
Laura Lomax, director of programs for Pearl S. Buck International, said intercultural competency was vital to successful business endeavors, and to making an enriching life experience.
Lomax said the top three attributes most businesses look for when recruiting and hiring new employees are curiosity, empathy and self-awareness.
Lomax said those who were more culturally sensitive navigate the workforce more easily, and a more culturally mixed team brings fresh ideas and perspectives to the table. “Greater attention, improved talent and enhanced creativity” are byproducts of a mixed cultural dynamic, Lomax said.
“We believe it is really important for people to develop skills to navigate cultures effectively,” she added.
During the workshops, students were given surveys to help determine their cultural literacy and intercultural competencies.
“The assessment measured where they might fall on the scale. How culturally sensitive they were, and from where they could move to a more culturally sensitive place,” Lomax said.
Undergraduate students were selected from most grade levels according to their demonstrated leadership skills and abilities.
Taking advantage of better understanding and seeking opportunities to learn about the world surrounding them would also lead to success in all realms, Moyer said.
“This (intercultural competency) is a lifelong journey,” Lomax said.
Dennis Dunlap, 55, who has recently been named managing director of Dunlap & Associates PC, said growing the company’s business means expanding its real and virtual footprint.
“We’ve been located and done business primarily in central and Lower Bucks County,” since the firm’s founding in 1999, said Dunlap, who lives in Bedminster Township.
Dunlap & Associates is based in New Britain Township, with an office in Quakertown.
But as he takes the reins from Larry Pickering who retired in September, Dunlap has cast his gaze northward to Upper Bucks County and the Greater Lehigh Valley for face-to-face customer growth and to the Internet, to increase and expand the firm’s virtual business.
With a public accounting career spanning 32 years, Dunlap is one of Dunlap & Associates founding shareholders.
“Opening our Quakertown office was the first step to increase our geographic (footprint),” Dunlap said.
Adding 2,000 square foot to the New Britain headquarters will give the firm room to grow its workforce, too. “We’ve had a good run of growth and we’re expanding our facilities. We were running out of space,” Dunlap said.
Offering financial services online through a virtual platform means taking traditional marketing and expansion concepts to a potentially unlimited web-based customer audience, Dunlap said.
The Virtual Bookkeeping and Outsourced Solutions, which is Dunlap & Associates web-based business accounting and finance service, may be used by anyone, anywhere in the nation or ultimately in the world.
“The idea is for clients with a local (presence) but they may actually be based in New Jersey or Florida,” or elsewhere, Dunlap explained.
Dunlap & Associates Virtual Bookkeeping and Outsourced Solutions provides accounts receivable and payable transactions, invoicing, check printing and bill pay, bank and credit card reconciliations, payroll handling, general ledger and trial balance help and monthly reporting and consultations, according to representatives for Dunlap & Associates. The service does not provide bill approval services, the Dunlap & Associates website said.
“With the ability to utilize technology, we can provide services to clients who are within our traditional area, or are in other states,” Dunlap said.
Dunlap & Associates offers individual and business accounting services.
Individuals may use Dunlap & Associates for tax planning and preparation, estate, gift and retirement planning services.
Business services and consulting includes tax, audit and advisory services for business owners, family business and start-ups, financial management, mergers, acquisitions, liquidations, payroll, Quick Books consulting, employee benefit plans, and more.
For information visit www.dunlap-associates.com.
A little more about Dennis Dunlap: A father of three children, Dunlap said he enjoys biking, kayaking and traveling. He most recently returned from a trip abroad visiting Switzerland, France, The Netherlands and Germany, with a stop in Munich to celebrate Oktoberfest.
Area chefs and caterers will be cooking up sweet and savory fare to share at the 11th annual 2016 Foodie, “Savour the Taste, Support the Cause” sponsored by Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce, the area’s premier professional organization.
This year’s evening at Sands Chrysler Jeep Dodge on Route 309 in Quakertown promises to be a culinary sampling feast, packed with a visual, aromatic and savory adventure.
More than a tasting event (you won’t leave hungry or thirsty), sample the best our region’s restaurants, caterers, bakers, winemakers, brewers and distillers have to offer.
Also on the table is a chance at a raffle basket and a way to support two great leadership causes at the heart of the UBCC’s mission.
Proceeds from the event benefit Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Foundation Week and Leadership Upper Bucks. Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week gives high school juniors and seniors a unique summer camp experience, in which they get to see what it’s like to be an entrepreneur and run their own business. Closer to home, Leadership Upper Bucks is a program geared toward skill development and practice, where participants have the chance to practice skills they learn on a company project and meet leaders in the public sector and private enterprise.
Be a sponsor, exhibitor, or a patron. All the details are available on our website at www.ubcc.org/foodie.
Calling on Sponsors: this uniquely positioned evening gets your message out to potential buyers in advance and at the event, as well as generates great public relations and networking benefits. Last year, we raised $15,000 for the free enterprise education of tomorrow’s young business leaders, by supporting Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Foundation Week.
Attention Exhibitors: get a chance to showcase your talent and gourmet culinary creations while promoting your business with the best exposure: a patron’s palate. What’s more your business receives publicity before during and after on our social media feeds and website.
Sponsorship and exhibitor deadline is September 23; don’t delay, call 215.536.3211, or sign up online today.
Patrons don’t miss out! From wings to soups, and seasonal beers whose names and flavors are a nod to the region’s local lore to terroir (climate, soil and conditions) Bucks wines and small craft spirits. Cap off the evening with pastry, cupcakes and other dainty sweets. Make sure you get in on the fun, call 215.536.3211 today for your tickets, or order online at www.ubcc.org/foodie before they run out.
Last year’s sold out event hosted over 300 guests at Sands Chrysler Jeep Dodge on Route 309 in Quakertown. It was our biggest, most well attended evening ever.
Where: Sands Chrysler Jeep Dodge, 501 N. West End Boulevard, (Route 309), Quakertown
When: 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 13
How much: Tickets cost $40 in advance, online or by calling 215.536.3211; $45 at the door, if available.
When you call Duke Transport expect the owner to answer your call.
Founded 10 years ago this past April, Duke Transport Owner Justin Moeser said he joined the Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce in April 2016 with three primary reasons in mind.
“I wanted to begin more networking, to get my name out, and I wanted to get more involved in the business community and the larger community,” Moeser said.
Moeser operates his business with wife, Erin, who handles office management duties. “We don’t have a store front,” Moeser explained, “when you call you get to speak to the owner every time,” Moeser said.
Moeser began his business doing contract hauling for other businesses, but began transitioning about five years ago, to dealing directly with clients.
Duke Transport, named for “Duke,” the couple’s chocolate Labrador retriever and for the original trucking aspect of the business, Moeser handles landscape supply product and materials such as topsoil, mulch, and decorative or crushed stone. During the winter months, Moeser is a reseller of road salt to customers, including area school districts and municipalities.
Moeser also helps property owners with soil analysis, if their grass is in trouble. “I don’t do soil or sod treatments, but I do help with understanding what the problems are,” Moeser said. Moeser said he will send a soil sample to a lab for analysis, and then sit down with a client to decipher the report and help set up a remedy or action plan. The analysis comes with one complimentary cubic yard delivery of topsoil.
Moeser has 22 years of experience in the landscape supply business, first as an executive in a family topsoil business and for the past decade as owner of Duke Transport.
Moeser said customers often aren’t sure what they want, or know they have a landscape problem or challenge, but might not know how to fix it.
The pay off comes in taking the time to understand his customer’s needs, and then providing appropriate solutions. His approach makes for happy customers.
“Because I am the one that answers the phone, I ask a few questions to see what the customer wants. There’s nothing worse than buying something, having it delivered, and then looking at a pile (of something) you don’t really want,” Moeser said.
Duke Transport provides landscape product directly from the source, which allows Moeser to offer competitive pricing on larger delivery quantities. “I pass those cost efficiencies on to my customers,” Moeser said.
For more information or an estimate, call 267.640.1853 or email email@example.com. Visit the website at www.duketransport.net.
We want to tell your story! Please contact Melinda Rizzo at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 215.529.9845 to have your business featured on the Chamber’s Blog. It’s free to members, and one of the many member benefits we offer.
We asked several Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce members recently “What’s your reason” for becoming and remaining a Chamber member.
The results confirm what we all know about the value of chamber membership.
From networking to education, connecting with potential customers and other business owners and operators, as well as being part of a nationally recognized (Chambers operate locally across the U.S.), professional organization, here are some of the “what’s your reason” responses.
For some, it’s about community investment.
“Being a member of the Chamber gives our business the opportunity to let the Upper Bucks community know we care. I believe that by being active in the Chamber our newspaper gets more and more readers who want to read about what’s going on in their backyard,” said Joe Wingert, publisher, Bucks County Herald.
Education is vital to professional growth. But what happens when you are a small business owner, without big budget dollars to spend on classes, seminars or to bring in professionals to work with staff members.
If you’re a sole proprietor, finding time and funds for professional development should be top of mind, but may not be top of list until a crisis occurs, or a trend forces you to learn something new.
“By joining the Chamber, it offers educational opportunities and resources in building one's business,” said Laurie Heuckeroth, branch manager for Penn Community Bank in Perkasie.
While education often isn’t one-size-fits-all, many Chamber seminars offer take away that works, regardless of the business size. There is something for everyone.
“The chamber … provides my business with an education link and seminars to help me advance my business goals,” said Any Recinos, owner, baker of Amy’s Creative Cakes.
Chamber events, activities and business hours offer a “warm call” way to connect with local business owners and professional services.
You might find your next financial planner at a business card exchange, or a travel consultant, banker or marketing professional at the golf outing. Perhaps your upcoming anniversary party blow-out needs a caterer. What better way to audition one, than attending or sponsoring the upcoming Foodie event October 13, at Sands Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Quakertown?
“The Chamber has different networking events that give members the chance to meet other members. By meeting other members we can refer business to each other and to others,” Heuckeroth said.
The Chamber isn't just about building one's own business, but it's about getting involved in the community.
The Chamber offers lots of ways for contact and community involvement, with several members listing this single benefit as one of their top reasons for being a Chamber member.
Chamber membership offers a place “to be connected with, and support, the local community,” Recinos said.
Jason Wehrung, president of Wehrung’s Lumber and Home Center and owner of Solid Products LLC, said his family-owned and operated businesses place a high priority on supporting the local Chamber.
Wehrung’s reason is “…because it's simply the right thing to do and a good business practice.”
Now it’s your turn.
Stop by, call email us or post on facebook and tell us, “What’s your reason?”
Where silent films reigned in the 1920s a bustling family owned and operated microbrewery invigorates Quakertown’s downtown.
Enjoy a Surf & Turf burger with aged sirloin, onions, crumbled bacon and shredded lobster, alongside a premise made glass of Gabi Wit beer or G’s Revenge.
The Proper Brewing Company, owned and operated by Brian and Kris Wilson, is the newest business venture to occupy the former Palace Theater, and it’s the latest addition to Quakertown’s restaurant line-up.
Onsite brewed beers with names like Blondie Bree and Panther Pale Ale are available as tasting flights, pints, growlers and bottles.
The building has long been a Quakertown staple and before The Proper incarnation was occupied by family-owned and operated Dimmig Electric, a home appliance store which closed its doors in 2012.
Kris Wilson said living in Quakertown and raising children here were ideal reasons to open a business.
“We love the community so we thought it was the best place to start our family business,” Wilson said of settling The Proper in Quakertown.
Giving back to a welcoming community of supportive local officials, community members and patrons means a lot to the Wilsons so they host community fundraisers and events.
“We will continue to give back as much as we can,” Wilson said of the couple’s commitment to Quakertown.
Continued economic vitality benefits everyone in downtown Quakertown, and Wilson said hosting events like a bike night, or bringing First Friday events to the downtown are on her to-do list.
But food and beer are the main attractions at The Proper Brewing Company.
Creating and maintaining a menu aimed at seasonal, sustainable fare is an evolving process, according to Wilson.
The new launch of spirits (hard liquor) at The Proper is targeted for August, although no other details were available.
Wines by the tasting flight and glass are also available at The Proper, as is a varied menu including snacks, pub fare and salads, inventive takes on classic sandwiches, burgers and more.
The Proper Brewing Company offers a dozen beers brewed on the premises, as well as banquet hall rentals and private party accomodations.
The Proper Brewing Company is located at 117 W. Broad Street, Quakertown.
For menus, beer descriptions and hours of operation visit www.theproperbrewing.com.
Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce
An economic development agency for Upper Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
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