New businesses spring up in the
The downtown business district in Caledonia appears to be exempt from the current recession as three new businesses will have opened within three weeks of each other this spring. Located in the heart of the business district, their owners hope their high visibility will help bring customers in and get their businesses off the ground.
The Village Inn restaurant at the Soldiers Monument
As Jeff and Lisa Bleier of Henrietta tossed around their dream of owning their own eatery someday, the couple looked at several restaurant locations. When they came to look at the Village Inn in downtown Caledonia more than a year ago, the couple looked around and were charmed by the historic beauty of the building.
"I just had this overwhelming feeling that said, "Iím home,"" Lisa Bleier recalls.
After viewing the property she shared her feelings with husband Jeff who said he experienced the same assuredness as they walked through with the realtor.
"Our first impression was that the restaurant is welcoming," Lisa said.
With two fireplaces, a cozy brick and wood interior dining room that is decorated with an eclectic array of pottery, dried flowers and a collection of other unique pieces that make you feel like your comfortably dining in your friendís classy dining room.
Your dining experience begins with the cheerful and courteous wait staff who opens the door and greets customers upon their arrival. Bleier says they strived to select staff with a lot of personality. They are valued and are an important part of the Village Inn family, she added. There were more than 65 applicants for a handful of positions. The Bleier children are also a part of the Village Inn family. Joshua, 23; Michaela, 13 and Luke 12 are all on staff in one function or another.
The Village had been known as a steak house in the sixties and seventies. The Bleiers say while diners can enjoy a quality steak, there are several other choices available as well. Be assured that everything on the menu is fresh made by Jeff Bleier, formerly an executive chef at the Marriott Hotel in Greece, NY. He is also a nationally ranked ice sculptor. Dinner entrees are priced between $13.99 and $25.99 and there is a separate bar menu for customers interested in a lighter fare.
"Our passion is to cook and entertain. We offer a very polished menu featuring traditional favorites and some of our own, served in a beautiful presentation," explained Lisa Bleier.
The desserts are made in house with the exception of holy apple pie, a dessert made locally by the School of the Holy Childhood. Lisa Bleier considers it to be the best apple pie made in the area and is proud to offer it on the menu.
People may be tightening their spending belts but not so tight as to not try out the new restaurant in town at Soldiers Monument. The Village Inn opened its doors on April 28 and so far, the Bleiers says, there has been a great response from customers.
"We feel completely embraced, welcomed and encouraged by the people of the community," she said.
Classy Cuts in the Masonic Temple
Classy Cuts hair salon, opened in the Masonic Temple, and offers cuts and styles for the entire family from toddlers to grandparents.
Owner Cathi Adams operates a successful salon in Bergen and hopes the Caledonia salon will take off as well. She offers new customers a 20 percent discount on their initial services and she plans to offer regular specials.
"The economy may cause them to go a little bit longer between appointments, but everyone needs their hair done," Adams commented.
"We keep our prices very reasonable so that people can afford to visit the salon regularly. Every customer that we have seen has returned and been happy with their style," she added.
Adams and two other stylists offer their clients a wide range of experience and bright personalities to meet the needs of the whole family.
Adams has been a stylist for 21 years and was an instructor at Continental School of Beauty for seven years. Shannon Doran of Honeoye Falls brings 10 years of styling experience to the Caledonia salon. Doran has worked in various salons including Elite Image and JC Penney styling salon. Mallorie Higgins of Bergen started as a stylist four years ago. Sheís been working along side Adams at the Bergen salon.
The salon offers a reasonably priced line of Paul Mitchell styling products and is open Monday through Saturday and walk-ins are welcome. Appointments are available by calling 538-6830.
Rita Kanaley heads Caledonia Association of Businesses, a group that meets regularly to plan how to attract customers to downtown and how they can support each other. She says every new business that opens downtown helps bring more traffic to the existing merchants. She says the Route 5 corridor attracts a significant number of travelers from now throughout the fall and those travelers like to stop in Caledonia and walk from store to store. Kanaley is leading a group that is organizing Trailways to Treasures the first weekend in June. The promotion includes events in a collection of towns and villages located along Routes 5 and 20.
Additionally, Golden Dragon Dojo, a martial arts and self defense school, opened its doors on State Street in what was formerly a video rental store, in mid-April.
Jeff and Lisa Bleier, new owners
of the Village Inn in downtown Caledonia,