Vinyl Closet Records
When Jason and Angela McFarland opened a small record store out of a closet, they were simply living out a lifelong dream. But as their popularity outgrew the space, they moved their store to a larger storefront in Jeffersonville. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the business shifted to curbside services - including freshly brewed coffee from Angela and Jason's son, Jake! Recently, I visited Vinyl Closet Records to browse their extensive music collection, enjoyed a refreshing cup of coffee, and sat down for a quick chat with Angela, Jason, and the famous Barista Jake himself to learn more about Vinyl Closet Records.
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Follow Barista Jake on social media.
ESS Bakery Cafe
Located in the heart of Norristown, ESS Bakery Café is a four food concept bakery and café that offers a combination of Colombian, Peruvian, Mexican, and Spanish cuisine, along with traditional American fare and bakery sweets. When COVID-19 hit in 2020, owner Jamie Mellado moved his special events business from New York and landed in the diverse community of Norristown. What was meant to be just a bakery eventually flourished into the beloved bakery and café that sees plenty of customers from the surrounding community every day. Senator Cappelletti stopped by ESS Bakery Café to have a quick chat with Jamie, check out their new seating area, and savor some delicious empanadas!
Frosty Falls Ice Cream
Frosty Falls is an independently owned ice cream and treat shop located along the Schuylkill River in Bridgeport. After several years in the restaurant and hospitality industry, Laura Houck inherited Frosty Falls Ice Cream from a former mentor and friend. While COVID-19 and Hurricane Ida posed plenty of challenges, Frosty Falls remains a staple in Bridgeport. Senator Cappelletti rolled up her sleeves and was put to work as she learned about the history of Frosty Falls, browsed the menu, and created some tasty treats!
Bryn Mawr Film Institute
Bryn Mawr Film Institute is a four-screen, nonprofit movie theater and film education center that serves nearly 200,000 patrons each year. Bryn Mawr Film Institute screens a mix of independent, international, classic, and documentary films, while also offering guest speakers, film courses, and interactive programs. Senator Cappelletti took a "behind-the-screens" tour of Bryn Mawr Film Institute to learn more about the history of the organization, the current titles they're screening, and what educational resources are accessible to the community.
Nestled in a cozy corner shop in the heart of Narberth, Narberth Bookshop is an independent bookstore stocked with an array of books and small gifts for all ages. Senator Cappelletti stopped by Narberth Bookshop to browse the current offerings and sat down to chat with owner Ellen Trachtenberg about what's in stock, what services they offer, and what you can expect when you set foot in Narberth Bookshop.
Riverbend Environmental Education Center
Riverbend Environmental Education Center, a 30-acre preserve located in Gladwyne, provides education programs for grades K-12, nature camps, and free public access to nature trails. Riverbend Environmental Education Center strives to develop environmental literacy through hands-on education tools. Senator Cappelletti stopped by Riverbend and met with Executive Director Erin Reilly to learn more about what Riverbend has to offer for students and the general public. Together, they explored the trails, discussed the importance of environmental literacy, and met some reptilian friends along the way!
Aux Petits Delices
Aux Petits Delices is a small, French bakery in the heart of Wayne, providing the finest small delights and flavors of Burgundy, France! After starting her career in the culinary world, Marqessa Gesualdi decided to become a pastry chef. When the former owner of Aux Petits Delices decided to sell the business, Marqessa decided to continue the three decade legacy of this small business. With small team of bakers, Aux Petits Delices handcrafts classic French pastries from scratch and with love. Senator Cappelletti visited Aux Petits Delices to learn more about its history and to taste some of its delicious treats!
Ardmore Music Hall
Ardmore Music Hall is one of the premier independent music venues in the Northeast for nationally touring concerts, and the location at 23 East has a storied history of 40+ years of shows as a rock club. Located on the Main Line, Ardmore Music Hall hosts programming ranging from rock & roll to funk, jam, roots, adult contemporary, hip hop, Americana and everything in between. Senator Cappelletti recently visited this (not so hidden) gem in Senate District 17 and learned more about their history! Watch the video to see this month’s spotlight.
New Avenue Café
New Avenue Café is a project of New Avenue Foundation, a nonprofit organization begun in 2013 by two fathers of adult daughters with disabilities. These dads wanted to expand the social and employment opportunities for their daughters, as well as others, and to ensure that all members of their local communities would feel welcome and valued. To that end, the nonprofit was begun. Now, seven years later, the employment initiative is taking root with the New Avenue Café at the Kelly Center for Music, Arts, and Community in Havertown. Senator Cappelletti visited the café to learn more about how they engage with our community!
Martha’s Choice Marketplace
Senator Amanda Cappelletti recently visited Martha’s Choice Marketplace learn more about how the marketplace runs and the area they serve. As the largest food pantry in Montgomery County, Martha’s Choice focuses on distributing fresh bulk produce, meat, and dairy to clients across the county. Martha’s Choice serves approximately 1000 clients each month and provide vital goods to the people they serve. Watch the video to learn more about Martha’s Choice!
vonC Brewing Co.
Over the summer, Senator Cappelletti visited vonC Brewing to hear their story and celebrate their opening in district 17! With a family history in brewing, brothers Rick, Eric, and Jay von Czornig are sixth generation brewers. In 1860, their great, great, great grandfather founded Schmidt’s Brewery in Philadelphia. Today, vonC is a microbrewery with a tasting room, including a spacious outside beer garden in Norristown, PA, the heart of Montgomery County.
Watch the video to learn more about their story!
Premier Barber Institute
Senator Amanda Cappelletti recently visited Premier Barber Institute in Norristown, PA to learn more about their mission, services, and successes! Premier Barber Institute owners Dan, Tyrik, and Victor are very passionate about helping future barbers succeed in their goals and reaching their ambitions. They have been working on growing not only the school but growing the individual students within their programs to become talented professionals in the world of barbering.
Watch the video to learn more about their story!
Senator Amanda M. Cappelletti visited Narberth Ambulance to learn more about how COVID-19 affected their operations and how they continue to serve the community. The main station is a state-of-the-art facility located at 101 Sibley Avenue in the Ardmore Section of Lower Merion Township. Narberth Ambulance serves Lower Merion, Narberth, Haverford, Conshohocken and West Conshohocken. Watch the video for a sneak peek inside the station!
Trails End Café
Senator Amanda M. Cappelletti visited Trails End Café to highlight this locally, family-owned business at the end of the Bala Cynwyd Trail! Serving the area since 2016, Trail’s End Café is proud to serve locally sourced coffees and foods that are healthy, of the highest taste and quality, and reasonably priced. Watch the video to learn more about what is on the menu and their COVID-19 experience!
Sweet Mabel Art & Craft
Senator Amanda M. Cappelletti visited Sweet Mabel Art & Craft to highlight their local products and spotlight this amazing woman-owned business in district 17! Sweet Mabel began in 2005 when Tracy Tumolo took over her grandfather’s former barbershop on the hill in Narberth, PA. Located in the heart of town, Sweet Mabel offers their visitors a variety of American and locally made housewares, jewelry, art, and other items.
Watch the video to hear the full story and see some of the shop’s great offerings. And next time you are in Narberth, check out Sweet Mabel!
Mainline Art Center
Senator Cappelletti visited Mainline Art Center to learn more about their mission, to see the amazing art they showcase both on their property and in the gallery, and to get to know more about how COVID-19 affected their operations. The mission of Main Line Art Center is to inspire and engage people of all ages, abilities, and economic means in visual art through education, exhibitions, and experiences. Main Line Art Center’s educational offerings for all ages, abilities, and economic means span from traditional to contemporary, and are all held to the highest level of excellence.
Watch the video to hear more about their story. Watch until the end to learn what kind of pasta the artists identify with! See our other #Spotlightinthe17th episodes for more.
Five Saints Distillery
Senator Amanda Cappelletti visited Five Saints Distilling which is located in a historic firehouse in the heart of Norristown. Five Saints is a grain to glass distillery which means they start with locally grown ingredients (corn, rye) from Bill Beam Farms in Elverson, PA. Their intent as a grain to glass distillery is to maximize the production of alcohol for every pound of starch that they use. Learn more about the rich story of Five Saints Distilling in the video!
Crazy Aaron’s COVID-19 Story
Senator Amanda Cappelletti visited the Headquarters of Crazy Aaron's Putty World in Norristown, PA to hear their story and learn more about the ways Crazy Aaron engages with our community. As his business grew, so did Crazy Aaron's desire to give back to the community. Not only does Crazy Aaron's Puttyworld work with seven Philadelphia-area vocational centers to employ many exceptional individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities, Crazy Aaron's took the extra step to help the community during COVID-19 by pivoting from producing putty to hand sanitizer for first responders. Hear more about the story in the video!