Curiosity, compassion and creativity have driven Bruce Kinsey to pursue his passion for photography since childhood.
From Eastman Kodak Brownie camera prints to hi resolution digital imagery, Kinsey has spent nearly four decades chasing perfection.
“Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated with pictures,” said Kinsey, whose business Bruce P. Kinsey Photography’s motto is “fine photography with a personal touch.”
From candid shots of subjects caught unaware to carefully crafted business or family portraits made to look effortless, Kinsey’s approach is key to customer satisfaction.
“In 1979, I got my first single lens reflex Camera. A Minolta X-d 5,” Kinsey reflected. At the time, that state-of-the-art tool opened up a brave new world for Kinsey. He took the camera, rolls of film and began taking pictures of everything in sight.
“It’s something I thought I could make money,” Kinsey said of his passion; then he got serious. A photography correspondence course at The New York Institute of Photography opened more doors, along with gigs as a model portfolio photographer.
Kinsey enjoys seeing people through the camera’s lens.
“I used Bruce’s talents to do a head shot for my website and business cards,” said Vicky McClatchy. McClatchy is a mortgage loan originator with First Choice Loan Services, Inc., A Berkshire Bank Company in Southampton.
Kinsey’s work includes corporate portraits and events, individual and family portraits, birthday, anniversary, engagement and wedding photos, among others. Kinsey enjoys travel and is happy to go on location to complete an assignment.
McClatchy said Kinsey advised her about bringing different colors to see in which outfits what she would photography best. The sitting was meticulously curated with more than 75 shots being taken in all. “I highly recommend Bruce…his passion for his work says it all,” McClatchy said.
Naturally friendly and sociable, Kinsey’s nature makes him a pro at coaxing the camera shy and capturing them at their best. “A lot of people don’t like to have their picture taken. If you can just find a way to (showcase) their personality, it comes across through the picture,” he explained.
While not exactly camera shy McClatchy isn’t at home as the subject of a photo shoot; however, Kinsey quickly put her at ease.
“He was very professional but also very friendly so I would relax,” McClatchy said.
Chelsea Jack needed a photographer for an event, a 5-mile run through Lansdale to benefit Community Health and Youth Foundation’s summer business youth camp. Kinsey proved a perfect fit to cover the event.
“I met Bruce through Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce,” said Jack, spokeswoman for The Physical Therapy & Wellness Institute. “Bruce donated his time on a Saturday and the pictures he captured brought tears to our eyes,” she said.
From fathers and daughters crossing the finish line together while holding hands to casual event candid shots, “Bruce captured the moment when you think no one is looking. Bruce will go out of his way. He’s just good,” Jack said.
For more information on Bruce P. Kinsey Photography log onto www.bpkphotography.com or call Bruce at 267.664.0653.
From a wet basement to fire damage, flooding or a high school lockdown, a local company with national resources lives up to its name.
SERVPRO of Upper Bucks Co-owners Mike McGrory and Sean McCabe are invested in the community, both personally and professionally.
“Disaster scenes are all sizes and shapes,” McCabe said.
McGrory and McCabe, who have co-owned and operated SERVPRO of Upper Bucks since 2005, chose to move their business to Perkasie in 2012, because they saw the location as both central and strategic to their clients and the larger community.
Making connections is important to the pair. “They know
who we are,” McGrory said of its client list, and growing potential customers.
Because not all jobs are large-scale, or clear-cut, time and attention are spent evaluating each and every new case, to ensure services are the right fit.
“They were professional and did a fantastic job. We would recommend them and would certainly call on them again,” Vickie Balascak, office manager at Coby Orthodontics in Quakertown.
Ultimately any good business relationship comes down to a job well done. “I was so impressed by Rob’s honesty and integrity…I would highly recommend their services,” said Carol Graves, of Bally, Berks County.
Graves had an odor in her basement and had been frustrated by other companies offering high-priced services to a problem, whose source they couldn’t nail down.
“I spoke with Sara at SERVPRO and she sent Rob to investigate. Although Rob could not identify the source of the odor, he offered DYI steps before SERVPRO would need to bring in their equipment,” Graves said.
From water bottles for first responders to other ways to engage with the community, SERVPRO encourages its staff to become involved and make a difference.
Sara Langdon recently participated in the Quakertown Citizen Police Academy and said it was great to get to know the department and what challenges area police officers face every day.
“We learned about how they train the dogs in the K-9 Unit, and met with the local police department. After graduation, we serve as volunteers at the Bike Rodeo, and (upcoming) Quakertown Summer Concert series,” Langdon said.
McCabe stressed repeat customers – and building relationships – are a valued and vital part of their business, and essential to its growth.
“On two occasions we have used SERVPRO and have been very happy with the quality of work and the friendliness of their employees,” Balascak said.
Sometimes growing a business means looking for ways to expand services.
“Sean and I are implementing training into our community
outreach,” McGrory said.
SERVPRO now offers disaster related services including a training center and certified programs for appropriate intruder response for ALiCE (Active Shooter) scenarios and response strategies.
“As ALiCE (Active Shooter) Instructors and we offer all of our training at significant discount,” McGrory said.
ALiCE training provides critical response to organizations including companies, police departments, school districts and other organizations faced with an armed intruder emergency.
“We see it as a great way to serve the community, yet stay in front of them in a positive way,” McGrory explained.
SERVPRO has taken a leadership role in the statewide franchise organization. “The Upper Bucks office continues to serve as a brand leader for marketing opportunities,” said Langdon, by coordinating attendance at about 20 conferences on behalf of 80 other SERVPRO offices in the commonwealth 2016.
Helping those who face a natural or other fire or water disaster and the related property damage and clean-up required, McGrory said the business mission goes beyond a 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. workday.
For more information on SERVPRO of Upper Bucks, call 215.536.7989 or visit www.servproofupperbucks.com.
Radon isn’t on most homeowners’ minds, except maybe when they go to sell a home.
“Most times home inspections test for radon for a house sale,” said Jacqueline Kochanowicz, office manager of Radon Protection Systems, Inc., and a partner with Steve Wesler in the Plumstead Township business.
But living with high levels of radon, a naturally occurring “noble” gas isn’t healthy and it isn’t smart.
There are six, naturally occurring noble gasses. They include helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon and radon.
But when radon builds to dangerous levels inside homes and office buildings, it becomes an inhaled health hazard. In fact, radon has been identified as the second highest cause of lung cancer, after cigarette smoking.
“We had a client who had high levels of radon and was also a smoker. Her radon levels were off the charts. We told her if she continued to smoke, she should not be doing that inside the house,” Kochanowicz explained.
Radon Protection’s mission is to help keep people healthy and their radon remediation firm is certified to measure and remove harmful radon gas from homes and buildings. Radon Protection stands by its mission and guarantees its work from two to five years, depending upon the soil, rock configurations and systems installed for remediation.
“Radon Protection Systems provided excellent customer service when I had them run a radon test in my home. They scheduled the test at a time that was convenient for me and they answered all my questions,” said Karen Hester of Riegelsville.
Taking the time to understand each and every homeowner’s concerns and situation best illustrates Wesler’s one-on-one approach to his work.
“Our home presented some challenges which they were able to overcome. They were professional, courteous, timely and most importantly they resolved our radon issue…Steve didn’t try to sell us. He educated us beforehand so that we could knowledgably choose the most effective course of action,” said Glen Shinners of Erwinna.
You can’t see, smell, hear or taste radon. It’s a naturally occurring gas and when it gets stuck inside building basements is typically when trouble begins. Because radon is naturally occurring in soil and southeastern Pennsylvania’s Appalachian Mountain range is among the most abundant radon rich areas in the U.S., chances are most of us live with some levels of radon inside our homes.
“I was extremely satisfied with the work Steve and his crew did at my home. They provided me with a replacement fan for my existing radon removal system. They were professional, on time, and efficient with the necessary installation,” said Monroe Barrick, Jr. of Philadelphia.
Kathleen Cranmer is a Realtor with Keller Williams Real Estate in Doylestown, and a Radon Protection enthusiast. Cranmer said she had issues with a home listing because of a failed radon remediation system already in place.
“Because a complete install was unnecessary I had difficulty getting a company to come out,” Cranmer said of the home she was trying to sell.
“Steve returned my call promptly, met me at the property and got the system operating resulting in a passing radon re-test several days later, all at a reasonable cost to my clients. As a real estate professional, it is important to have a list of contractors who can be counted on for their professionalism, responsiveness, and commitment to fair pricing. Steve is definitely on my list,” Cranmer said.
For more information on Radon Protection Systems Inc., log onto www.radonprotectionsystems.com.
Even without hands and feet, Gail is still able to live in her home thanks, in part, to a Habitat for Humanity program.
Best known for helping lower income people live the dream of home ownership through their mission to provide “safe decent simple” housing through its signature build programs, now home repair and restoration are part of its model.
A Brush with Kindness is the home repair program helping people remain in their homes by matching up eligible homeowners with its low-cost repair program.
“They helped built a lift on my front porch so I can get into my house,” said Gail of Richland Township, A Brush with Kindness recipient.
Since homeownership isn’t just about the purchase, Habitat recognizes that helping people remain in their homes broadens the non-profit’s mission, too.
For Dorothy, also of Richland Township, being able to stay in her home means everything. Dorothy got a new storm door plus other entryway improvements to her home. “It helps me to use my house easier, and they did a super job,” Dorothy said.
“Home repair is especially important for older and disabled adults; they are the group that often needs modifications to keep their home accessible and safe,” said Karen Reever, coordinator for the innovative home repair program launched a few years ago by Habitat. “Being disabled, even temporarily, can really change your world,” Reever said.
Reever said Habitat consults with an occupational therapist who is a “Certified Aging in Place specialist for its A Brush with Kindness to make sure the repair program aligns with client needs.
The home repair program, gaining traction in Upper Bucks, helps Habitat work in an area which often doesn’t have suitable or large enough land tracts for new home construction, like the unique Emerald Hollow development completed more than a decade ago in Trumbauersville.
From home repairs to rehabbing, which is another variation of the program aimed at rehabilitating existing homes using the Habitat model, more families in Upper Bucks can be served, according to Florence Kawoczka, Habitat executive director.
Habitat’s “sweat equity” model adjusts slightly for the home repair program, keeping in mind seniors or the disabled may not have the ability to hoist building materials or wield a hammer.
“Providing help from other family members, or refreshments” even offering to give press interviews counts, Reever said.
While a new home requires 200 hours of “sweat equity” Kawoczka said rehabs and repairs are scaled to about 100 hours and might also include volunteer time at the Habitat for Humanity Chalfont ReStore.
The repair and rehab projects are also quick turnaround, under often under six months, so as many as five can be turned around in a shorter period of time. “Helping the neighborhoods by fixing up potentially blighted properties” is also a benefit, Kawoczka said.
“We see a ripple effect with our families. Those who have bought into our volunteer program want to help others. There’s a sense of pride. They take great care of their houses and get involved in their communities,” Kawoczka said. Some clients may be eligible for low interest loans to pay for their share of repairs.
Penn Community Bank employees have embraced Habitat. In fact, Habitat is the bank’s most popular volunteer partnership. Supporting Habitat ties directly into Penn Community’s mission of helping people become homeowners. “One of the most moving experiences is the dedication, when the keys get passed to the new owners,” said Todd Hurley, Penn Community Bank executive vice president and chief relationship officer.
Habitat is a global non-profit with operating affiliates in about 1400 local communities across the United States and 70 countries around the world.
Habitat’s work allows Gail, and many others, to remain in their homes, despite disability.
About Habitat for Humanity Chalfont ReStore: For more information about shopping, donating or volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity Chalfont ReStore, located at 31 Oak Avenue, Chalfont, visit www.habitatbucks.org, or call 215.822.2812.
Jim Andrews business is more than income; it’s a stewardship in helping others.
When Andrews left his position as a military police officer in the U.S. Navy, he said he “bounced around” at different jobs until he discovered his professional calling.
Now Andrews operates a junk removal and hauling business.
“It’s entrepreneurial, and I like the adventure of the business,” Andrews said.
A part of the of JDog family, a military owned and operated services company, Andrews understands how difficult it can be to clean house.
“One man’s junk is another man’s treasure,” Andrews said.
And for those who are moving, fall victim to hard times or even extreme cases like those suffering from compulsive hoarding disorder, a professional helping hand can make all the difference.
“Giving people back a space on their property or in their homes, helping them move by cleaning out,” are rewarding experiences, according to Andrews.
What’s more, Andrews is committed to keeping as much out of landfills as possible. His mission is to donate or find a way to offer repurposed items to those in the community, especially veterans who have fallen on hard times or who need a helping hand to integrate back into civilian life.
“Jim and his crew were professional, prompt, dedicated, and hardworking. Just what you come to expect from military veterans,” said Quakertown client Shannon Transue.
Transue hired Andrews to help when her present house sold. She said JDog cleared an outdoor hot tub and removed a storage shed and a fence as part of home sale contingency clauses before the new buyers would seal the deal.
“The best part is they were able to donate all of the items to local non-profit organizations and provide us with a receipt of donation,” Transue said.
From removing a single couch to clean-sweeping a home trove spanning generations of accumulated belongings, JDog customizes services for a great client fit. Andrews prides himself on quoting flexible projects, as well as bringing in other pros if the work isn’t right for his business.
“I am building relationships with others, so if I can’t do your job or an aspect of it, I can help you find someone,” Andrews said.
At Transue’s Quakertown property JDog removed a hot tub, outdoor storage shed, fencing and clean-swept a decade’s worth of holiday decorations stowed in the attic.
“JDog was able to come in and clean out the spaces for us on the deadline. They constantly went the extra mile throughout this process and in the end saved the day helping close a very stressful chapter of our life,” Transue said.
Andrews works as well with Realtors as he does with home sellers and has developed valuable relationships across both sides of the settlement table.
“As a Realtor, many times we encounter situations where a seller has left contents in a home and the buyer has their own stuff so it needs to be removed within hours of closing,” said Lisa Wright. Write is a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach The Lisa Wright Team in Bethlehem.
For many veterans finding that daily “mission forward” purpose in a civilian world isn’t always easy, something to which Andrews can relate.
“In the military, every day you wake up with a purpose,” Andrews explained of the mindset he’d developed over eight years of service, deployment to the Middle East as well as being stationed domestically.
Andrews said he discovered JDog and became an operator in March. JDog was founded about three years ago by Philadelphia area Jerry Flanagan and now operates about 150 locations across the U.S.
When Andrews went shopping for a chamber to join, he chose UBCC. “I just walked in (to the office), and I don’t know if you guys are special among Chambers but the help and services I’ve received have been fantastic. I want to do everything I can to be involved,” Andrews said.
Andrews serves the Upper Bucks County region and the Greater Lehigh Valley. For information, visit www.jdog.com or contact him at 267-898-4555.
New Vitae Wellness and Recovery embraces people for who they are and helping to create pathways for successful behavior change and a better way to live.
Offering clients a fresh start New Vitae Wellness and Recovery lives its mission to serve the most vulnerable members of the community by providing ways to navigate a frightening world through behavioral change.
Founder Anne Mills chose the name which means “new life” in Greek during the early 1990s when New Vitae began offering partial hospitalization services.
An innovative menu of care and treatment options helps patients because it’s flexible and engages them in their own care. These factors are hallmarks of New Vitae’s treatment plans, according to Judith O. Yanacek, New Vitae president and CEO.
“We look for a holistic approach and we see people do really well. It is rewarding to see people get well and to become who they can be,” Yanacek said.
From yoga and mindfulness training to Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation treatments, behavior and psychological/and medicine based treatment plans, staff approach patient care as a partnership, often a game changer for those struggling to put their lives back together.
Mike suffered with stubborn depression, anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and had cycled through three doctors and endured five years of failed treatments including electroconvulsive therapy – typically a last resort- without any improvement in day to day living.
Then Mike found New Vitae.
“Through my support group I heard about Brainsway Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. Through treatment and the caring support of my wife and staff at New Vitae Wellness and Recovery, I got my life back. Now I can do the things I like to do, including travel," Mike said.
Michelle credits her care team with helping her learn how to manage her life and become successful. The former resident said “the staff treats me with respect, and they are caring and compassionate. I've grown emotionally, and (I) am more mature,” Michelle said.
Ready and able Michelle is looking for her own apartment, moving, and taking on the next milestone in her life many young adults take for granted: independent living.
Yanacek said her team “helps people to gain safety,” an essential element in recovering from a mental or emotional crisis, abuse, drug addiction or for those with intellectual challenges or who struggle with traumatic brain injuries.
Based in Limeport, Lehigh County, New Vitae operates an office and treatment facility at 16 S. Main Street, and a residential program at Quakertown House located at 219 E. Broad Street.
The 16 S. Main Street location offers clinical support for groups and individuals, nutritional advising services, nursing and partial hospitalization day programs.
Quakertown House is a residential program offering supervised, semi-independent living arrangements and care.
A licensed personal care facility for up to 65 residents, it was renamed about two years ago, Quakertown House provides medication administration, meals, appointment transportation and daily living structure along with opportunities for residents to make friends and build healthy relationships.
“Knowing many of the staff members through our frequent visits, we can be sure that our daughter has well planned activities in the house daily and visits to locations elsewhere – the big event of the year being the week at Cape May, New Jersey,” said Peter, a parent of a residential care program.
Peter also values the facility’s in-town location, where his daughter can walk to stores, restaurants or for relaxation or exercise.
Slated to open this summer, a supervised 24/7 site for those who suffer from brain injury is planned in Limeport. In Emmaus services are offered for those suffering from opioid addiction, including medication assistant treatment plans.
Behavioral health has “been my life career. I’ve worked with people with disabilities. We’ve been told something magical happens, and when (patients receive) chances, a chance at life that they haven’t had before, it’s very rewarding,” Yanacek said.
For more information on New Vitae Wellness and Recovery log onto
Adam Duke takes a craftsman’s approach to his work.
From septic tanks and systems to excavation, construction footings and site work grading, BRY Earth Solutions LLC in Springfield Township gives each and every job its undivided attention.
“BRY Earth was very efficient and planned everything out before (the work) started,” said Zach Steich of Milford Township. Steich hired Duke’s team to replace a failed septic system at a home he’d purchased there.
Duke’s crew kept the site clean and delivered the job on time. “You are not stuck with a mess in your house ,” Steich said of the contracting work.
Duke said septic design challenges are a specialty, and he enjoys doing testing and design work. “I bid jobs the way I think they should be done,” Duke said.
New construction and custom work allows him to create a design plan while keeping pace with the ever changing technology of septic work. “More stringent rules and requirements are a big part of the work,” Duke explained of compliance with local and state regulations to be a septic system provider.
Bringing 15 years of excavation experience to his two-year-old business, Duke who is owner/ operator of BRY Earth Solutions LLC named the business for sons Brad and Ryan for a very personal reason. “I didn’t want to use my own name, and I wanted to name the business something meaningful, so I named it after my sons,” Duke explained of how BRY Earth came to be.
Duke said the business was much more than a day-to-day livelihood for him. “I’m building a legacy for my children,” Duke explained of his mission, philosophy and commitment to build a brand and reputation in the industry.
Duke takes into account not only the job but the weather conditions and other variables he can’t control when scheduling work. That means he is able to honor his scheduled commitments to clients. “I provide options to make your schedule,” Duke said.
Karen Helm of Upper Saucon Township, Lehigh County, hired Duke to complete some excavation work on her property including a new drainage system incorporating gutters for runoff and a swale to draw water away from the home’s foundation and dry out a boggy basement.
“I’d just bought the house, which was built in 1963, and there had been wet basement issues but they had never been addressed with drainage,” Helm said. Until now.
She heard about Duke from a local contractor prior to buying the property.
“I was looking to gather information and get estimates on some of the projects and Adam was responsive. He was really great to work with,” Helm said.
She added Duke may have spoiled her for project expectations in coming years.
“I hope future contractors I hire to work here are as great to work with as Adam was,” Helm said.
Duke said he enjoys challenges and taking projects from problem through to finished solution. It’s something of a specialty.
“I like doing all the phases of a project,” Duke said.
For more information on BRY Earth Solutions call 267.999.1236 or log onto www.facebook.com/Bryearthsolutionsllc.
As soon as Brett Fischer gets his Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce membership renewal, he writes a check.
The fourth generation to own and operate the borough’s only formal wear retailer with on-site alterations and dry cleaning services, Fischer believes his Chamber membership is non-negotiable.
“I admit I don’t take advantage of all the programs and offerings, but I am a member because I am part of the business community here,” Fischer said.
A Fischer’s Tuxedo experience is downtown Quakertown made-to-measure.
Fischer stocks more than 7,000 tuxes - from a boy’s size 4 to a size 70-long jacket - and there is something for everyone at his accomplished fingertips.
Of weddings – where grandfathers get special treatment – Fischer said, “I’m here to accommodate everybody, and Pop-Pops have a special place in my heart,” he noted. “Grandfathers are really important. If you’re lucky enough to still have one, let me dress him for your wedding,” Fischer said.
Fischer knows his trade. His great-grandfather Mathias Fischer founded the business in 1919.
“He was a tailor and made clothing from scratch,” Fischer said of his family patriarch, who emigrated from Romania to live in Quakertown.
“My Pop-Pop lived to 96, and he always dressed in his tie and sweater vest just like he was going to work,” Fischer said.
Fischer recently cleaned and repaired some vintage service garments from the Civil War and World Wars I and II for the Quakertown Historical Society.
From the dense wool to the gleaming buttons and service insignia, the jackets are a testament to endurance and craft. His work’s pride and joy is evidenced in carefully folded and pressed jacket sleeves.
“We put (the Civil War jacket) back together,” Fischer explained.
Fischer’s makes his rentals memorable because he’s creative about the process and invested in his customer’s looking their best.
And more than outfitting the area’s young men for their junior and senior proms, he’s created a marketing tool with incentives for his models.
Ahead of prom season you’ll see dapper young adults modeling Fischer’s tuxedos in schools throughout the region - at Quakertown, Upper Perkiomen, Southern Lehigh, Palisades, Saucon Valley, Souderton and Pennridge high schools, showing off Fischer’s tuxedos quality and style.
Models can receive discounts for every referral they bring in after spending the school day dressed in formal threads.
“I give them each 10 business cards. For every card (used for a rental) they receive $20 off their tux,” Fischer said. That means enough referral rentals can make a tux free for the model.
Fischer’s also provides discounted formal wear and dry cleaning services for area jazz bands and ensembles, so the student musicians are dressed smartly as they showcase their talent in area competitions and festivals.
Alan Shughart, a long-time Quakertown Community School District band director, has known and worked with Fischer for years to outfit students for jazz bands and ensembles.
“For the past thirteen years (at Milford Middle School), Mr. Fischer has rented beautiful pants, cummerbunds, vests and shirts to our students for the entire two-and-a-half month season, for a nominal fee,” Shughart said.
“As a professional tuxedo rental and dry cleaning business, Brett uses his skills and talents to help our community. He certainly has dedicated much of his effort to helping school students in Upper Bucks and surrounding communities,” Shughart said.
Coming up on 100 years in business, Fischer’s has endured the test of time, political administrations, government changes, taxation, and felt the squeeze often placed on small family-owned and operated businesses.
Still, he holds fast to keep his Broad Street doors open.
“My family is everything to me. My great grandfather, my father and I, we all added to this business. I want to fulfill their dream,” Fischer said.
For more information on Fischer's Tuxedo visit www.fischerstuxedo.com or call 215.536.5137.
If these walls could talk, what stories they could tell.
Upper Bucks lays claim to a thriving tavern and restaurant scene where historic eateries continue to serve hungry and thirsty locals, visitors and travelers.
They’ve got great food, rich histories and a pedigree of centuries behind them, a trifecta of Upper Bucks eateries boasting the near miss of a Revolutionary War hero’s hanging, a refuge for Civil War slaves on the Underground Railroad and a family’s legacy.
Within a few miles of one another McCoole’s Historic Red Lion Inn (site of the Fries’s Rebellion), The Brick Tavern Inn, (a Civil War Underground Railroad stop) and The Spinnerstown Hotel Restaurant & Taproom, owned and operated by Susan and John Dale, the second generation of the same family offering a community gathering place for more than 200 years.
McCoole’s is also home to McCoole’s Arts and Events Place, as well as its own microbrewery.
“This is our fourth year brewing beer on site. It sets us apart from various other restaurants because not only do we have our signature beer but we also brew it,” said Jan Hench, owner/operator of McCoole’s Historic Red Lion Inn.
Hench spotted the importance of the craft beer movement, and brought on a beer master to create signature seasonal suds, relevant to the area and to the historic property.
“It is a very integral extension of the culinary industry with the craft beer movement that is happening over the last several years. We want beers that can only be purchased at McCoole’s,” Hench said.
McCoole’s annual Beerfest in April is a showcase for a variety of the region’s craft beers and hard cider. For information about this year’s event, held April 29, visit mccoolesbeerfest.com
Celebrating 199 years in 2017, The Brick Tavern Inn on Old Bethlehem Pike in Milford Township is looking for stories about the staple restaurant’s history. Send stories about family milestones or other Brick connections or history via email to email@example.com.
Significant renovations to the building aim to keep the historic atmosphere while providing for modern customer needs such as handicapped accessibility, cozy indoor dining and seasonal outdoor dining on the patio where a koi pond and live entertainment adds to the fair weather experience.
The Brick also offers live entertainment inside, check the website for specifics at www.thebricktaverninn.com.
The Spinnerstown Hotel Restaurant & Taproom sits in the western most corner of Milford Township and the name reflects the founding family of the village of Spinnerstown.
Susan and John Dale recognize the significance of a “community house” where locals go for information, for socializing and to catch up with friends and neighbors.
“A community gathering place is where you come for the food and the experience,” Susan Dale said.
While the Spinnerstown Hotel has offered curated beer dinners for years now special bottle sales means patrons can purchase a bottle of wine and not feel obliged to drink it all before the check arrives.
“We are expanding our wine business,” Susan Dale said, of the addition of a take-out bottle shop.
The goal is to bring the wine business in line with the extensive beer list and offerings, she explained of the latest niche special interest market.
Crossing Vineyards & Winery in Newtown, is one of the specially wines available at Spinnerstown. “You can sit down, buy a bottle of wine, eat, cork the bottle and take it home,” Susan Dale said.
She said the corked bottle should be stored in the truck of the car in compliance with Pennsylvania’s “open container” liquor laws. For information about Spinnerstown Hotel visit www.spinnerstownhotel.com.
Farming is in the Bunch family’s blood.
And even though the location and what’s sold has changed, third generation operated Shan-Gri-La Sod Farm continues the same tried and true business vision, honoring the Bunch family’s legacy of hard work and quality products.
Keep your word. Honor your commitments. Get the job done on time, and do it right.
Owned and operated by Chip Bunch, Shan-Gri-La Sod Farm in Plumstead Township, grew out of his grandfather’s chicken farm, founded in 1939.
“My grandfather Dewey Bunch Sr. owned a poultry and egg farm in Willow Grove, and he sold eggs there,” Chip Bunch said.
In 1967 Chip’s mom and dad, Dewey Jr. and Vera Bunch, purchased the property in Plumstead and began farming there, while Chip grew up and worked alongside the ebb and flow of farming seasons, equipment and rural agricultural lifestyle.
He was steeped in the family business.
In 1990, Chip struck out on his own and started a landscape construction company, serving the same area in Bucks and Montgomery counties.
In 2002 Chip and his wife Beth bought the business from his parents, and his father’s philosophy still informs the choices he makes.
“(My dad) taught me that good or bad, you have to take responsibility for your decisions,” Bunch said. He said Dewey Jr. stayed on until 2006 to ensure a smooth transition for the business. The season typically runs April through November, but mild winters can mean less downtime.
“In the early 2000s we had a very mild winter, and I think we only had 3 weeks off,” Bunch explained.
In farming operations down time is essential to rest from the arduous physical labor, take care of office duties and refurbish equipment for the next season.
Other hallmarks of Dewey Jr.’s business beliefs include keeping your word, “a handshake is a contract” and in keeping with that old family business manner, you (and your word) are your bond, Bunch said.
“We have an old-school mentality to (doing) business with new school operations” and techniques and technologies, Bunch said.
Catherine Getchell of Bedminster Township used Shan-Gri-La for work at her property, including an EP Henry installation and sod areas near her barn.
“Chip personally oversaw the two sod installation jobs,” Getchell said. She said watering the new sod was a problem. “Chip’s crew came …with a water truck,” Getchell said, to ensure the sod’s growth and vigor.
Mike Harte knows sod.
President of Plumstead Baseball Association, Harte said Bunch and Shan-Gri-La was an important player in revamping the club’s ball fields, and in their ongoing maintenance.
“We now have some of the best fields in Bucks County. We have beautiful fields. People drive up here and I get calls (about them). We hear it from our visiting teams,” Harte said of the natural turf, installed and maintained by Bunch and his crew.
Serving about 600 resident youth aged 5-18; about 60,000 players use the fields throughout the season.
The fields “are a great motivator for the kids. They want to come and play,” Harte said.
Two predominant sod products are grown at Shan-Gri-La: Tall Fescue Blend and Kentucky Blue Grass Blend. The company also sells grass seed and fertilizer, and a variety of lawn maintenance treatment products, which are also available to the public.
“Chip does it right,” Harte said.
Shan-Gri-La Sod Farm is located at 6176 Haring Rd., Plumsteadville. The sod farm and company provides services to residential, commercial, municipal, educational and non-profit organizations. Visit www.shangrilafarm.com.
Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce
An economic development agency for Upper Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
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