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Balance Massage Studio

Mary Panza, LMT, Denise S. Mason,LMT, owner

318 Delaware Ave., Delmar, 475-9999,

Why get a massage? Massage therapy is an ancient healing art that is being rediscovered for its health benefits.

Why Balance Massage Studio?

Not your typical wellness center, Balance Massage Studio offers a variety of massage and bodywork techniques in a beautiful, peaceful and safe environment. Our focus at Balance Massage Studio is you and your level of comfort.

Denise Mason opened the doors to Balance in December 2001 with the help of Mary Panza. Anna Eckstein and Betsy Soares joined them in late 2003. Most recently added to the Balance staff are April Lasher and Todd Jones. All therapists are New York State licensed and hold advanced certification in their areas of expertise.

Specializing in hot stone massage, the therapists also master techniques in Thai-yoga massage, craniosacral therapy, myofascial release, along with pre-natal, Swedish and deep tissue massage.

At Balance Massage Studio we believe that communication is essential to your comfort. We encourage you to call ahead with any questions you may have regarding your scheduled session. During your session, letting your massage therapist know what feels right for you is the key to a positive experience.

We feel very fortunate to be in a business that enables us to help others discover therapeutic benefits through relaxation.

Balance Massage Studio’s hours of operation are Monday-Friday 8 AM-7 PM, Saturday and Sunday 8 AM-3 PM.

State of Grace

Grace Liney

11 Second St., Troy, 272-1055

January marked the beginning of the third year of business for State of Grace Fine Clothing & Gifts in downtown Troy. Over the past two years, the store has become a favorite for many Capital District shoppers as the destination for unique fashions and accessories. We have been honored to be named Best Women’s Boutique for two years in a row by Metroland. This spring should prove to be a great shopping adventure at State of Grace with great new fashions from Mac & Jac, Kenzie, and April Cornell, to name just a few. Plus we have just launched an April Cornell Kid’s corner with the sweetest little dresses and accessories you will ever see for little girls. For your convenience, we are open 11 AM to 7 PM Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturday and noon to 4 PM on Sunday.

Elissa Halloran Designs

Elissa Halloran

225 Lark St., Albany, 432-7090,

Sexy, groovy, cool—I use these words to describe my wares at my Lark Street store in Albany, which I opened in March of 2001. I’ve been selling my jewelry in and around the Capital Region for the past 16 years, but I was designing jewelry on paper long before that. As a child, I always drew princess-y women in Victorian garb with earrings that ran the length of their gowns and right off the page. My grownup store is a playground for that childhood desire to adorn, and features my own line of jewelry as well as the work of many local artists.

I love to combine fresh-water pearls and semiprecious stones, creating pieces that border on the chunky side. I enjoy reusing old materials that I find at flea markets, such as vintage glass, beads and old buttons. My signature spiral is incorporated into much of my jewelry, stained glass and wire mobiles. I also do custom work, repairs and restringing.

Metroland has voted my jewelry as the Best-Handmade Jewelry in the Capital Region five years in a row. One of my many clients is CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, who was formerly with NBC Weekend Today.

At my store, you can dress your house as uniquely as your body. Recently I’ve begun carrying wild-fiber scarves and purses made from vintage fabric by area artists. Also, I carry locally made pottery, frames, hand-painted furniture and hand blown glass. Come discover Elissa Halloran Designs.

Elissa Halloran Designs is located at 225 Lark Street in Albany. Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday 11-6, Thursday and Friday 11-7, and Sunday 12-5. I am closed on Mondays.


John and Monika DeJohn (co-owners, Monika not pictured), Ryan Weber (General Manager)

301 Lark St., Albany, 436-7008,

It is hard to believe that only a year has passed since we were last featured in this article for our other restaurant across the street, DeJohn’s Restaurant & Pub. My wife, Monika, and I never thought we would be diving so soon into another new business venture, let alone another restaurant. When the opportunity arose to buy Justin’s, it was a bittersweet decision to make. Having one new restaurant was an undertaking in itself, but how could any of us pass up on this opportunity? A landmark in dining and as a destination, Justin’s was, and is, one of our favorite spots ever, and just a great place to be.

Having been loyal customers for years, and with Ryan having worked there for over eight years, and a customer long before that, we all were emotionally invested. We decided that although it would be hard work, we could not let the opportunity pass. We wanted to see just what we could do with something we all loved so much.

My wife quickly got to work on giving the entire place a much needed facelift. New floors, woodwork, carpeting, tiling, lighting, a fireplace and soon a baby grand piano are just a few of the changes we have made in just under six months.

Our chef, John Futia, former assistant to the prior executive chef, has incorporated Justin’s classic dishes with an eclectic twist on traditional fare. Our jazz program will feature music seven days a week by year’s end, featuring the best in local acts, as well as great names gracing our stage as part of our visiting-artist series. Finally, one of the things that has always set us apart is our friendly, capable and accommodating service.

My wife and I still consider this a labor of love. We take great pride in creating a new Justin’s not just for us, but for you as well.

Lark Tattoo and Viva Lark Vegas

Tom Martin and Rebecca Hatfield

274 Lark St., Albany, 432-1905 & 278 Lark St., Albany, 434-4907,

Lark Tattoo has been in the same location pumping out the finest custom ink since 1993. Partners Tom “T-Bone” Martin and Bruce Kaplan, art school pals since 1984, decided that in order to keep up with the huge demand for professional body piercing a separate location needed to be opened. So in the summer of 2002 Viva Lark Vegas was born.

Only 2 doors down from the legendary tattoo shop, VLV is a unique gift store and body piercing salon. Open 7 days a week until 10 PM and run by the beautiful and talented Rebecca, they offer the most extensive selection of body jewelry in the Capital District. Large gauge, carved bone and tusk, or exquisite 14k gold with gemstones are all to be found in the vast displays. The piercing is done in a sanitary and private back room by both licensed body piercers, whose professionalism and courteousness is as superb as their skill.

Besides featuring the huge selection of jewelry, VLV also carries hard-to-find products such as Manic Panic, Blue-Q and Dirty Girl beauty products. Tattoo and body-mod magazines, books and all sorts of tiki, lounge and retro cocktail items fill the store.

Come down to Lark Street and check out Viva Lark Vegas and Lark Tattoo, keeping Albany interesting and colorful for 12 years. Check out to visit the online portfolios of T-Bone and all the artists at Lark Tattoo.

Leon’s Mexican Restaurant

Roberta, Mariah, Luka and Filiberto LEON

135 Crescent St., Saratoga Springs, 587-2346,

Leon’s takes pride in serving every dish with only the freshest ingredients. All of our meals are prepared daily including our chips, salsa and cheese sauce that we serve to every table, complimentary.

I was born and raised in Oaxaca, Mexico. I came to the United States when I was 17 years old. After a 10 year career as a jockey riding at my favorite racetrack, Saratoga, I decided to pursue the restaurant business. I knew Saratoga Springs lacked a great Mexican restaurant so I took some time off from riding and opened Leon’s.

There are many factors that have contributed to our success. Some important parts are that I love to bring my Mexican heritage into my restaurant as well as using recipes from my mother that were prepared for me when I was a child. My family is a huge part of our operation, everyone is involved and that helps create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. We were also a featured guest on Rachel Ray’s popular Food Network show, as well as a part of her book.

We thank all of our loyal customers for helping us to grow and make our restaurant such a success. For those of you who haven’t tried us, come treat yourself to an authentic Mexican dish of mole tamales wrapped in banana husk or our famous Mexican Shrimp Cocktail.

We look forward to our third year in Saratoga Springs and the grand opening of our new restaurant in Oaxaca City, Mexico, this May!

Some Girls Boutique

Diva de Laoyza and morsel

17 Colvin Ave., Albany, 489-0505,

Some Girls Boutique is a Greenwich Village-SOHO shop right here in Albany. Open nine months, it is already a destination for women and girls who want hip new styles. More importantly, though, visiting Some Girls is an experience. Maybe it is the colorful, cozy atmosphere, or maybe it is the rewards cards for frequent shoppers, or maybe it is being greeted at the door by Morsel the resident Pomeranian who has designed her own doggie T-shirt line!

This special shop has something for everyone. We travel regularly to NYC and LA to hand-pick a selection of unique handbags, dazzling jewelry, funky belts, stylish hats, cool scarves, trendy T-shirts and fabulous clothes.

It is the type of place that you can frequent once or twice a week for something exciting to wear on the weekend without breaking your bank. We add new things all the time so the choices are fresh and new!

Some Girls Boutique is the exclusive Capital District outlet for the House of Bimbo T-shirt line available in hundreds of stores across the country. In fact, 17 Colvin Avenue is the headquarters for the House of Bimbo Company. When you visit the store, check out the large map of the United States behind the desk where you can see all of the stores that carry our line. You can see Hailey and Hillary Duff, Lucinda Williams and Angie Harmon wearing Bimbo T-shirts in press clippings that are placed all around the store.

Who is the genius behind all this? Diva de Loayza—yes Diva is her real name—designer, entrepreneur, and Albany hometown girl.

If you want to be noticed as a style leader, stop in for some personal attention from Diva, the style goddess herself.

Magnolias on the Park Restaurant and Bar

Theresa and mike Kellom

462 Madison Ave., Albany, 449-2492,

Magnolias has been open for one year and we are excited to be located in the Historic Lark Street district across from Washington Park. We are offering a unique dining experience that focuses on cuisine with a distinct southern flair. Although we have been in the Capital District area for nearly 15 years and call it home, we were raised in Augusta, Georgia, and Mike has trained in many of the south’s finest restaurants. We have put together a collection of our favorite recipes including Charleston Blue Crab cakes, coconut shrimp, Georgia baby-back ribs, pan-fried catfish and a variety of outdoor grilled steaks and seafood all served with our favorite side dishes, such as red beans and rice, black-eyed peas and cream grits.

To further your dining pleasure, we feature live music Thursday through Sunday with an open jam Thursday and Sunday. We also have rotating works of art provided on consignment by various local artists. Our dining room is open for dinner six days a week and for brunch on Sundays. So if you’re looking for classic southern fare served with a side of southern hospitality, Magnolias On The Park is the place to be.

Drue Sanders Custom Jewelers

Drue Sanders

1675 Western Ave., Albany, 464-9636,

Drue Sanders first opened her doors in 1975 in the long-forgotten “Shoppers Village” in Menands, an early version of today’s malls. In the nearly 30 years since our inception we have evolved, from leasing space at Stuyvesant Plaza to building our own store, which houses a complete state-of-the-art jewelry manufacturing facility.

Our mission continues to be creating custom quality handmade jewelry for a reasonable price. In a world of mass production, it is nice to purchase a product that is crafted by hand. There is no comparison in weight or feel.

Platinum, platinum, platinum: Our best seller right now is one of the hottest products on the market. From young couples purchasing their first engagement ring to lifelong clients rebuilding family heirlooms, platinum is the “drug” of choice, so to speak. People have to have it. Period.

Our store is unique because we design and build over 80 percent of our product in-house. We have had customers referred to us by other local jewelers who were unable to fulfill their customers’ requests. Our client base has reached its third generation, mainly grandchildren of many of our original customers. We are technology driven, and are constantly updating our tools and machinery. We are the only store in the Capital Region that has “Solidscape” rapid prototype machines. These, when coupled with “JewelCad,” allow our clients to be involved in each phase of the building of their jewelry item. This has allowed us to put out a consistent product and remain one of the best in our field for almost 30 years.

Being in the top of her field earned Drue Sanders the Governor’s 2005 Award of Excellence, celebrating the annual observance of Women’s History Month. This award is given to celebrate the achievements of outstanding women in New York who inspire us with their remarkable strengths and talent. Drue was chosen as this year’s “Artist”.

Diamond Eight Billiards

Irene Skawinski

9 Johnson Road, Latham, 786-8048,

It has been another great year for Diamond Eight, all thanks to the great support shown by this region’s pool players. Thanks so much!

We are well into our second year hosting the weekly APA pool league on Sunday nights. Two Diamond Eight teams advanced to Las Vegas in August 2004 and competed against the top 8-Ball teams in the country. We are so proud of them!

The APA (American Poolplayers Association) is the world’s largest pool league, with more than 200,000 members vying for the chance to compete in the national tournaments in Las Vegas. The new league session starts June 5th—reserve a spot for your team now!

In December, Diamond Eight and the APA presented Mike Massey, world artistic pool champion, who performed his magical trick shots to a captivated audience. You never know who will show up at Diamond Eight this year.

We are gearing up for the (5th annual!) Edward M. Skawinski Memorial Golf Tournament. Join us on Sunday, July 10 to play golf, pool and enjoy great food and great company, all to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region. Visit the Diamond Eight Billiards Web site at for more information and to download the registration form.

With 17 full-size pool tables, a billiard table, a raised, 35-foot full-service bar and viewing area, electronic darts, foosball and more, we are still the No. 1 choice in the Capital Region for a fun-filled experience regardless of your playing ability.

Don’t forget our awesome Monday night karaoke with Mark the Shark and our popular Tuesday night 9-Ball tournament! And please continue to support all of the small businesses in our area! See you soon!

Dana Rudolph and Company

Dana Rudolph

209-211 River St., Troy, 273-4532,

I opened my dream shop on Troy’s historic River Street almost two years ago. I knew there were other jewelry artists like me who had searched for a good source of fabulous beads and supplies in the Capital District. That search is over. If you’ve ever had the desire to make you own bead necklace or bracelet or earrings, you simply must stop in to see our collection. You will definitely be inspired. If you’re not sure where to begin, we hold classes in the shop.

Some of the items we carry in the shop are: gemstone beads and pearls, Swarovski crystals, Thai Tribe silver, Turkish silver, vintage Tibetan beads, Bali, Miyuki, Matsuno and Czech glass beads as well as all of the tools and supplies you will need to start creating your own beautiful jewelry.

I’ve been designing and creating jewelry for more than 25 years, so if you don’t want to make your own jewelry, we will design it for you. We have some stunning pieces of jewelry in the shop and were thrilled to receive the Best Classic Jewelry Award from Metroland in 2004. We will design a custom piece for that special occasion. Wedding parties are a specialty.

We have an eclectic variety of gifts and fashion accessories for that special person. In addition to our great selection of jewelry, we have beaded bags and purses, luscious scarves, hand blown glass, spiritual and meditation items and Burt’s Bees products. And River Street in Troy is a truly fun place to shop!

I’d like to thank everyone who has made my second year in business such a success.

Joyelles Jewelers

Mary Vail & Roxy, Katie Vail Roark, Linda Dwyer

318 Delaware Ave., Delmar, 439-9993,

Joyelles is celebrating our 15th anniversary as a moms-and-daughters shop. We are located in the heart of Delmar and offer the latest technologies with our state-of-the-art laser welder. We are experts at catering to the customers’ needs whether it is a simple repair or the purchase of a lifetime. Our master jeweler, Mary Vail, can turn your idea into reality with her custom design work. Joyelles is a fun, friendly atmosphere, with an experienced staff of talented women. In addition to jewelry we carry gifts and glasswear, makeup, cards, body products and much more! No matter what your tastes are we have what you are looking for. At Joyelles you, the customer, are our No. 1 priority. Stop in and let us dazzle you!

About Space

Louise Westervelt and Paul Pagano

Saratoga County, 893-2004,

About Space is a full-service interior decorating company designed to “turn your home around.” We offer an array of services to suit any decorating need. We want to offer everyone in the Capital Region and North Country the opportunity to experience what happens on many of the popular TV decorating shows. One of our specialties is interior refining, a.k.a. the “Use What You Have Makeover.” This service allows us to really shake up a client’s home. With pieces found throughout the house, we revamp the space and use existing furnishings in interesting and surprising ways. The result is an interior that is inviting, functional and fabulous!

We also specialize in home staging, or what we like to call a “Sell Your Home Makeover.” There are a variety of steps that a seller needs to take before putting a house on the market. We have all the secrets that will increase the value of a home and have prospective buyers making offers you can’t refuse.

Other services include: consulting—we give you the ideas and you implement the design; color consultations—interior and exterior paint, tile, window treatments, flooring, etc.; new construction, renovations or existing décor; holiday and event décor, or any decorating project.

We firmly believe that all budgets deserve good design. About Space will bring order to chaos and create a “new direction within the same dimension” no matter what your budget is. Experience what About Space can do for your home.

Be sure to visit our Web site,, to view amazing before-and-after photos and learn more about us and our services. Contact us at our business office (518) 893-2004 or e-mail us at

We look forward to hearing from you!

Mexican Connection

Jason and Johanna Friedman

41 Nelson Ave., Saratoga Springs, 584-4466,,

Every night’s a fiesta at the Mexican Connection Restaurant and Cantina! Join us for great food and fantastic margaritas in a fun, casual setting located across the street from the flat track and a half-mile north of the Saratoga Gaming & Raceway Nelson Avenue entrance. Everything on our menu is homemade to order by Donna, our chef for over 15 years, and our entire menu is available for take-out. We have a full bar featuring 80 kinds of 100 percent blue-agave tequila, the area’s largest selection of premium sipping tequila. Please come and enjoy great food and drink in a warm, friendly atmosphere. Voted Best Mexican restaurant in Saratoga this year; we are thrilled to continue the tradition of the Mexican Connection, serving Saratoga for over 25 years. ¡Viva la tequila!

The Curtain Exchange

Diana Reed

487 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 226-0088,,

At The Curtain Exchange we offer new, luxurious, ready-made curtains designed in a variety of fine fabrics. Almost all curtains are lined and interlined, and all are finished to a high standard. Our styles have a custom look without the “custom” price. Our curtain panels are made extra long to accommodate a variety of windows, and if needed we will hem them for you at no extra charge. We can also special order custom sizes and different headings.

As in an exclusive clothing store, the merchandise changes frequently. Although some “collections” are made in very small quantities, we always carry a wide selection of curtains in all colors, styles and price points. We also offer a fine selection of hardware, tiebacks and shades to complement our curtains.

Feel free to bring us any of your paint colors, fabric swatches or photographs of your room, but most importantly your window measurements. Let us help you pick out some fabulous curtains to take home and try out on approval. You can also make an appointment for us to come to your home for a private consultation and let us do the measuring for you.

Stop by our recently expanded store and see our new line of Curtain Exchange bedding.

Saratoga Lake Inn & Bistro

Kimberlee, Remy, Eric and Jolee Masson

511 Route 9P, Saratoga Lake, 587-8280,

Saratoga Lake Inn & Bistro at Brown’s Beach offers great wines and award-winning French and Continental cuisine. This historic lake house is a four-season destination that is perfect for both casual dining and special occasions.

Meet for dinner or just for drinks at Saratoga Lake Inn & Bistro’s full bar. Choose daily specials from the prix fixe menu or order à la carte. Stay overnight and enjoy bed-and-breakfast accommodations in the quaint and comfortable seven-room inn. Come before sunset and take in the view from what has the distinction of being the best place to watch the sunset on Saratoga Lake.

Chef/owner Eric Masson, formerly of Ferrandi’s, and his talented staff present a stunning array of palate pleasers including the best escargot in the area, country pate, cheese fondue, filet au poivre, duck a l’orange, frogs’ legs, sole almondine, coquilles St. Jacques Cardinale, Raclette, local and French cheeses, crepe Suzette, crème brulee, fondue au chocolat and so much more!

Saratoga Lake Inn & Bistro’s covered “Banquet Cove,” shaded by a grove of trees, offers room for lakeside outdoor parties for 20 to 300 people. The outdoor party menu includes a myriad of options from casual to formal. And, for that very romantic lakeside wedding, Saratoga Lake Inn & Bistro will customize formal or more casual wedding packages to make your special day memorable and uniquely yours. In the summertime, come by boat and enjoy porch dining with a raw bar, public beach, and snack bar; complementary docking and private beachside dining is offered.

We invite you to add your name to our e-mail distribution to be notified of special events including special dinners like the one for Bastille Day, cooking classes, and BOGO wine offers. Reservations are suggested.

Aunt Katie’s Attic

Kate Halasz

7052 Amsterdam Road, Scotia, 887-3026,

Located on Route 5 in the beautiful Mohawk Valley, housed in the 103-year-old Hoffman’s school building you’ll find aunt katie’s attic; a unique, friendly multidealer shop, filled to the brim with fun, funky and functional merchandise. Enter our groovy shop and experience a different spin, a step back in time, with our eclectic inventory featuring a mix of vintage to antique, including the largest collection of vintage kitchen items in the Capital District.

We are known for our interesting and colorful displays that change frequently and spark the imagination. We have helped many a customer find that difficult item to complete that decorating project. The lively staff at aunt katie’s enjoy assisting you with your questions or purchases. We love to help you locate that elusive item; the fun is in the hunt.

Join us for our fabulous open house on Saturday, April 2, to celebrate our 10th anniversary in business. We know how to throw a party.

aunt katie’s has been evolving over the years and is ready to debut our new and spacious showroom. Come see the unique mix of creative displays throughout the store, including our newest vintage boudoir and super funky retro den. We offer everything from primitive to retro, always keeping in mind that there is something for everyone. Time and time again, customers remark on how affordable our prices are, and we intend to keep it that way. Our tight-knit “family” at aunt katie’s enjoys making customers happy. We are collectors as well, and are constantly on the prowl for new and affordable merchandise.

Mark Saturday, June 4, on your calendar to attend our annual outdoor flea market, 9 AM until 4 PM.

When you come to aunt katie’s be prepared for a stimulating experience. If you’re looking for something different, then we have the destination. We are open Wednesday through Saturday 11-5 and Sunday noon-4.

Tantillo Gallery

Corliss Tantillo and Wenonah McLauchlin, and (not pictured) Len Tantillo and Edra Nehme.

488 Broadway, Albany, 689-1212,

We are a family-owned and -operated art gallery celebrating our one-year anniversary in May 2005. We specialize in the historical and marine art of L.F. Tantillo and we also feature works by Len’s daughters, Wenonah McLauchlin and Edra Nehme, his wife, Corliss, and brother, Joe. We are the only gallery to offer the complete works of L. F. Tantillo, many of which are produced by the artist in custom-sized prints to meet all of our clients’ needs. We provide quality framing for both private and corporate customers, and our gallery is available for private receptions.

We offer a distinct collection of handmade crafts, jewelry from New York state artisans, and books focusing on the history of the Hudson Valley.

Beginning in April our unique gallery will be periodically featuring a new work by Len Tantillo. Each new release will be introduced by Len Tantillo in a “Meet the Artist” forum.

We will be hosting area art shows and auctions and welcome tour groups. We are also hosting the upcoming exhibit and silent auction “Art Saves Animals” for the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society on April 25-29. Other shows will be announced.

The Tantillo Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 5 PM, and Saturday from 11AM to 3 PM.

We Write Everything®

Timothy Lake, Lawrence Elliott

158 Jay St., Schenectady, 372-3000,

We Write Everything® is a start-up company, part of Elliott Productions, Inc., providing avante-garde solutions for growing and demanding businesses. The firm utilizes a unique a la carté approach for all corporate communication necessities with a team of tremendously talented freelance resources from the Capital Region, Boston and NYC. The company provides professionals in all fields, making available stylized and knowledgeable writing and production support, which can cut traditional temp services by at least 40 percent.

We Write Everything ® is headed by Lawrence Elliott (seated), who has more than 25 years of experience in advertising and public relations, working with major firms like Creamer Dickson Basford in New York City. He has won numbers awards for his creative concepts and corporate slogans for IBM and Saab. Elliott received his BA and PhD in English from Yale University.

Joining Elliott are partners Timothy Lake, a graduate of the SUNY at Plattsburgh and a ThD in Germanic Theology and Colleen McGrath, a Stamford graduate, receiving her PhD in cultural anthropology. Each brings dynamic corporate capabilities to meet any need, as simple as generating form letters to developing new business proposals and collateral materials to ensure excellence and market recognition for each client.

Eugenio’s Café Gelato

Eugenio Bizzarro

419 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 691-6000,

I opened Café Gelato two years ago out of love for my Italian heritage and the need for real Italian gelato in Saratoga Springs. We offer 24 varieties of gelato (Italian-style ice cream) made on premises with only imported Italian ingredients. Gelato is more rich and decadent than traditional ice cream, yet has only 2-4 grams of fat and 120-160 calories per 3.5-oz serving.

We also feature homemade Italian pastries, cakes and cannolis—all made from family recipes passed down for generations. Cakes and pastries can be special ordered for holidays and parties.

If you want a real cup of coffee, you need to try ours. We use only fine imported espresso beans as the basis for our coffee drinks, like the Café Gelato—coffee and gelato topped with whipped cream and caramel!

Our newest menu items are pannini sandwiches, homemade lasagna and baked ziti. Stop by for coffee, gelato or lunch and experience Italian style and hospitality.

Saratoga Organics

Chris Estrada

38 Front St., Ballston Spa, 885-2005,

Located in historic Ballston Spa, we sell specialty indoor- and outdoor-gardening supplies. After a year of planning and a home-equity loan, we opened in September 2003. Our reason for opening was to fill the gap for a quality outlet for organic- and hydroponic-gardening supplies. We cater to the environmentally conscious gardener, small farmer, homeowner and hydroponic enthusiast. We are your local source for OMRI-Certified liquid and organic fertilizers (including lawn fertilizers), beneficial insects, organic seeds, natural pesticides, hobby hydroponics systems and accessories. We stock an array of items and are constantly adding more to our inventory as we go.

Our store motto is “The growing season never ends.” Using sunlight and/or horticultural lighting, it is possible to grow wholesome fresh herbs, greens, flowers and most veggies throughout the winter season. Urban dwellers without access to an outdoor area only need a small designated space to have their own indoor garden. Hydroponics is a fun and easy way to enjoy gardening (organically or hydroponically) throughout the year. Hydroponics is a great hobby for people who live here in the northeast, where the winters seem to go on and on. Just think of being able to enjoy fresh, homegrown tomatoes through the cold season!

Having a family, we are concerned about the extreme use of the many synthetic substances used in agriculture, livestock and food production. We truly believe in and support organic and sustainable agriculture. And there is nothing we know that’s more gratifying then harvesting the best produce—your own. Please call 885-2005 or (800) 850-GROW for more info or please visit our soon to be updated Web site:

Saratoga Savoy Center of Dance

Dave Wolf and Keira Lemonis

7 Wells St., Saratoga Springs, 587-5132,,

Social dancing is our specialty. At the Saratoga Savoy Center of Dance, we teach many different styles of dancing: Latin, ballroom, Argentine tango, West Coast swing, lindy hop, belly dancing, hiphop, and more.

As we approach our third year in Saratoga Springs, we are proud of our past accomplishments and look forward to creating many innovative programs and performances in the future. Since our inception, we have been offering people in the Capital District a place to learn about all aspects of dance: the moves, style, and technique, as well as the history. We have built up an extremely popular dance program for young adults, produced high caliber Argentine Tango performances with some of the world’s most famous dancers, and created a huge, monthly multi-generational swing dance called the Diamond Dance.

Part of our mission is to offer the finest instruction at an affordable price. Our instructors are all incredible, energetic individuals who are highly experienced and trained. They are devoted to sharing their knowledge with all of their students. Our most recent additions to the teaching staff at the Savoy are Diane Lachtrupp and Johnny Martinez, owners of the highly successful Stepping Out Studios in Manhattan. They compliment our existing list of instructors, as well as our extensive list of guest artists, including lindy-hop icon Frankie Manning and international tango sensations Claudio Asprea and Agustina Videla.

We are extremely dedicated to social dancing. We are so dedicated that if you don’t have a partner for class, we will find one for you. However, our classes are not strictly about finding one partner, but dancing socially within a community. We are committed to building a dance community that is open to everyone. We want people to learn and, above all, have fun.

Furniture Theatre

Tom and Ed Caro

2785 Route 9, Malta, 587-9420,

What is Furniture Theatre? Furniture Theatre is a furniture store situated in front of the Malta Drive-In Theatre on Route 9 in Malta. We’ve been here for three and a half years, but have been furnishing the region for 19 years, formerly as Furniture Plus. In addition to running the store, we have operated the Malta Drive-In Theatre for the last 16 summers.

Furniture Theatre has distinctive home furnishings for every room. We have an especially wide selection of country, cottage, mission and Adirondack lodge styles for your home. If your living room needs some help, let us show you our comfortable sofas, chairs, recliners, occasional tables, lamps, art and accessories.

Have a big television? Our great selection of entertainment centers can accommodate it.

Need some new dining furniture? We have a plethora of dining tables and chairs, china cabinets and curios. Ready to redecorate the bedroom? We have a variety of suites to choose from, many with solid wood construction and dovetailed drawers. Don’t forget a new mattress for a restful night’s sleep. We carry Serta and premium Masterpiece bedding.

Over and over again visitors tell us our store and selection is different from everything else out there. Our non-commissioned sales people are friendly and informative. We receive nothing but compliments about our delivery guys. See what we can do for you and your home. See you at the Theatre!

LilyBelle’s Boutique, Ltd.

Theresa Spinelli

Newton Plaza, 594 New Loudon Road, Latham, 220-9040

After 24 years of being a stylist/salon owner, I decided to change careers. Along with the salon, I operated The Boutique at Profile on Western Avenue in Albany for the last five years. It continued to grow steadily until we outgrew the space, so I decided to “retire” from the salon to pursue The Boutique full time.

Now called LilyBelle’s Boutique, Ltd. the new space is located at Newton Plaza in Latham. LilyBelle’s will carry the FLAX (petites to generous sizes), Salaam and Fat Hat Clothing. Also included will be handcrafted jewelry, pottery, glass and other arts, handbags, candles, lotions and so much more.

Stop in to check it out. You won’t be disappointed.

Flaunt Boutique

Heather Barclay, Jennifer McInerney (owner, not pictured)

351 Delaware Ave., Delmar, 439-6868,

On Nov. 11, 2004 we opened the doors of Flaunt Boutique to the Capital Region. Located in the heart of Delmar in a renovated Tudor style home, we have established a cozy, friendly shopping environment. Trendy, sophisticated and sexy is how we would describe our store. As Albany has begun to gain new vitality, we realized there was a need for a unique women’s boutique in the area. Our goal has been to have designers featured in magazines such as Lucky, Glamour and Cosmopolitan to be readily available to women in the Albany area. We have rapidly gained attention as well as loyal customers with designers such as Nanette Lepore, Juicy Couture, Betsey Johnson, Citizens of Humanity, Blue Cult, Adina Necklaces (which have been featured on the hit show “Desperate Housewives”),and many more.

On March 25, 2005 we launched our Web site, giving global access to our store. Online we feature most of our apparel and pictures of our store, as well as an opportunity to sign up for in-store promotional events.

Since our opening we have had a wonderful response and we have enjoyed getting to know our customers, as well as our business neighbors. We believe we have set ourselves apart from other clothing stores as we truly value our customers and we try to make them feel as welcome and comfortable as possible. We appreciate all the support we have received from our families, friends, and customers. Please come visit us as we are receiving more spring and summer lines which will include designers such as French Connection and Rebecca Taylor. If you can’t make the trip, check out our Web site at Thanks!

Northeast Candles & Gifts

Cristen and Don Hammel

34 Damask Drive, Clifton Park, 383-2648,

Northeast Candles & Gifts was created in February 2004 after I decided to become a working stay-at-home mother. Having been a registered nurse since 1996, I traded my stethoscope for a wick trimmer and became an independent distributor for Gold Canyon Candle Co., an Arizona-based, privately held direct sales company that provides premium scented candles, products and accessories. Nursing was and is one of my passions, but once I smelled a Gold Canyon candle, I was hooked. It was love at first scent.

Northeast Candles is no stranger to the community. Whenever there is a need, we donate. Northeast Candles has donated candle baskets to organizations such as the Alpha Pregnancy Care Center, WMHT’s The Great TV Auction, the Shenendehowa Senior Care Center and the Capitol District Youth for Christ, to name a few. We help out as much as we can; we want to be involved as much as possible.

Another way Northeast Candles helps others is through Gold Canyon’s Prayer Child Program. The program was created in September 2000 when Gold Canyon joined forces with its 17,000 distributors and demonstrators, such as Northeast Candles & Gifts, to aid children whose paths have led them to live in lesser circumstances. Through this program, a portion of every sale by Northeast Candles helps raise proceeds to assist various children’s charities. If people were aware that their purchases are changing the lives of children, I am sure they would purchase more and more candles.

Known for its signature scents such as Apple Orchard Pear’adise, Autumn Walk and Sugar Cookie, Northeast Candles & Gifts provides a vast array of scented candles and also offers a line of carefully crafted candle accessories that serve both decorative and functional purposes. Northeast Candles brings “The World’s Finest” candles and accessories to area consumers. Just try us. You’ll be hooked!

Homespun Occasions

Paul Rosenberg

Albany, 482-9255,

In 1986 I began to lead traditional contra, circle and square dances for community and private celebrations. Live acoustic music creates a cheerful and natural atmosphere, played at a decibel level that allows people to easily interact and talk to each other. And when the dancing starts, the steps are easy enough for everyone to participate: the young and old, the nimble and not so nimble. Everyone has a great time!

It’s my goal to help people rediscover the time-honored tradition of community dancing, an activity that naturally fosters a sense of togetherness and goodwill, and which has been taking place throughout the world for thousands of years. Yes, barn raisings can happen with or without the barn!

Homespun Occasions offers a fun-filled alternative for any public and private event. Live music, presented by skilled, personable performers appropriate to the venue and audience, makes these events memorable.

As a dance caller and director of the Dance Flurry Festival for 18 years, I have first-hand knowledge of hundreds of musicians throughout the Northeast, and a huge repertoire of traditional dances for all participants to enjoy. I’m able to provide the best possible live music for events ranging from weddings, reunions, anniversaries and birthday parties to elementary school workshops and family dances, conferences and conventions. I can find the appropriate musicians from genres as diverse as swing, klezmer, Celtic, Cajun, jazz or classical.

Why settle for recorded music, when my contacts with great regional musicians can transform your event from dull to divine! If you would love the sound of a fiddle or flute flowing through your event, or would like someone to teach traditional American and/or ethnic dances, contact me to make your next special occasion a Homespun success!

Capital Wine & Spirits

Brad Junco

348 State St., Albany, 434-5776,

We purchased Capital Wine and Spirits four years ago with the intent of providing the Capital District with an upscale and comprehensive specialty wine shop. Voted Metroland’s Best Neighborhood Wine Store (Best Of 2004), our mission is to offer our customers an unmatched selection of competitively priced products and exemplary services. While renovating the shop, our goal was to create a comfortable and pleasurable environment that accommodates “1,000 wines in 1,000 square feet.” In-store tastings on Wednesday evenings give customers the opportunity to learn about and sample a wide variety of wines. The addition of a store Web site ( conveniently allows customers to explore wines from around the world.

Spring Eagle, Inc.

Christina Medley, Timothy Lake with Isis

123 Jay St., Schenectady, 631-0556,

Spring Eagle is one of the variety of fascinating shops located along the Jay Street Promenade, located at 123 Jay St. across from the Open Door Book Shop in downtown Schenectady. From its humble inception in 1999 by the Rev. Dr. Timothy Lake (pictured left), Spring Eagle has been transformed into the Capital Region’s best destination for authentic Celtic, Gothic, Wiccan and Mythic accessories, including a collection for Harry Potter fans!

It’s a charming retail shop filled with a wide selection of the best essential oils, incense, herbs and crystals. Visitors will discover exceptional silvery and gold jewelry, including gemstones and the exclusive line of hand-fashioned Artifact Jewelry by noted artist S.M. Peterman. The shop carries unique designs of brass, copper and wrought-iron candle stands and lanterns, as well as decorative holders for heating essential oils, often used for aromatherapy.

Tim is a Second Degree Clergy in the Correllian Nativist Church International, founded in 1874 and offers psychic readings. Lawrence Elliott joined Tim as his business partner, and designs creative displays and selects captivating new inventory. Tim and “Seer” Isis (pictured in Tim’s hands) and part-time clerk Christina Medley (pictured left) make the shop available 7 days a week, from 11 AM to 6 PM.

Bird of Paradise boutique & Immortal Beloved bridal

Denise Eliopulos

75 Woodlawn Ave., Saratoga Springs, 584-0962

Bird of Paradise Boutique, established 1981, and Immortal Beloved Bridal, established 1994, are located at historic Grant Plaza in Saratoga Springs. Originally a private home, this red brick Victorian mansion built in 1884 brings one back to the days of old Saratoga, with its stained glass, fireplaces, and grand staircase. For a shopping experience like none other, the atmosphere alone enables the bride to relax, reflect, and reveal wishes from the heart.

The best part of this experience is that everyone can afford to shop us. Prices for brides begin at $250; we have moderate, medium, and couture price levels. Every person receives equal treatment no matter her budget, and we pride ourselves on our care for the bride.

Our brides’ appointments are in large private suites, which also accommodate the family. One feels like she is at home dressing for her wedding. A bride can live her fantasy through us, from simple classic refined Grace Kelly and Hepburn looks, to old Hollywood glamour, to Grecian goddess-on-the-beach styles. We also specialize in destination weddings, informal and second-time brides. We will personally design and modify to the bride’s desires.

Our main feature is dresses from England and France. I personally shop in Europe and have a collection of the most romantic dresses, made in a 17th-century mill in France. We stand out in the area of corsetry and elegance. Our accessories are beautiful—we have everything from delicate hairpins and tiny tiaras to jewelry, veils, shoes, and unique lingerie.

Bird of Paradise is known for great dresses for all occasions. If you are a mother of the bride or groom and don’t want to look like one, then we are the place for you. We take pride in dressing you for all special occasions, whether you’re serving as an alternative bridesmaid, going to thoroughbred races, galas, or any future celebration.

Mary Jane Books

Heather Williams, Bryan Hamill, Kim Eisen, Michael Conti

Carole Renzi (Owner), Leah Evans

215 Western Ave., Albany, 465-2238,

Another successful year has passed and, despite corporate America’s best efforts, Mary Jane remains. For seven years, Albany has watched Mary Jane doing what she does best on the corner of Western and Quail. Several times a year, you can catch the kids lined up on the street to get used from Mary Jane. They arrive by the blue Magic Busload to get what they need. As the only alternative students are given to the on-campus bookstore, is it any wonder Mary Jane is in such high demand?

Three SUNY alumni decided to open Mary Jane Books in 1998. As an independent, locally owned college textbook supplier, Mary Jane Books offers an option to the strained wallets of Capital area students. Stocking primarily SUNY and HVCC classes, Mary Jane carries both new and used books at more affordable prices but can order any book for anyone. Mary Jane is proud of the fact that students, alumni, and even some professors make up its staff. You can sell your textbooks year round. She even has a dog. Carole and Maisey and Leah and Heather and Kim and Bryan and Conti would love it if you’d stop in.

Old Daley Inn Catering Company

Jim Pettit, Marty Keary and Gene Coletti

2 Northern Drive, Troy, 35 Maiden Lane, Albany, 235-2656,

The Old Daley Inn Catering Company LLC is celebrating its 30th year offering full-service, off-premises catering to the Capital Region and beyond. We provide a wide range of services which include, but are not limited to: complete event planning; home and office drop-off buffets for 10 or more; corporate catering; meal delivery for over 200 pharmaceutical representatives; wedding receptions; formal gala events; company picnics and barbecues; breakfast, lunch and dinner packages; full beverage plans (full liquor license); and bridal and baby showers.

In 2003, we opened our state-of-the-art catering kitchen and distribution headquarters located at 2 Northern Drive in the North End of Troy. Our subsidiary companies include three retail storefronts and two seasonal vending carts, as well as the Best Chicken Sandwich stand at Saratoga Raceway during track season.

The Old Daley Inn Barbeque Company features an endless number of packages including theme events to the general public and corporate clients. The company also holds some of the largest fundraiser barbeques in the Capital Region.

The Old Daley Inn Marketplace has two locations: 2 Northern Drive, Troy, at the company headquarters, and at 36 Maiden Lane, Albany. The retail storefronts offer light fare for either dine-in or take-out.

“Pastanini” is our concept store serving salads, pasta, grilled Panini sandwiches, and daily specials at 35 Maiden Lane, Albany. This location is also available for business meetings and parties.

The Old Daley Inn Marketplace vending carts serve light fare for lunch at the Averill Harriman State Office Campus and at State Street on Capitol Park.

Owners Gene Coletti, Jim Pettit and Marty Keary want to thank all of their valued customers for 30 great years in business and look forward to many more years as they expand operations throughout the Capital Region.

The Open Door Bookstore & Gift Gallery

Janet Hutchison

128 Jay St., Schenectady, 346-2719,

For more than 30 years, the Open Door Bookstore & Gift Gallery has been a favorite destination for book lovers, an inviting oasis where we’re passionate and knowledgeable about books and committed to personal service.

Beyond offering a broad, thoughtfully chosen selection of titles, we are unique among bookstores in featuring an entire gallery of fabulous, eclectic gift items, including jewelry, soaps, toys and greeting cards, all with an eye toward the unusual and unexpected.

We are a proudly independent and locally-owned business, staffed by enthusiastic readers always glad to offer recommendations. Browse in our friendly, relaxed atmosphere—if you can’t find the book you need, we make ordering a breeze.

Kids love our “play window” too!

If you don’t know us yet, stop in and experience why our loyal customers have kept us thriving since 1971.

Art on Jay

Christina Medley, Timothy Lake, Lawrence Elliott and Phidias

158 Jay St., Schenectady, 372-3000,

Art on Jay, at 158 Jay St., is the latest business venture to join the variety of fascinating shops located along the Jay Street Promenade across from Proctor’s Theatre in downtown Schenectady. The gallery is a revolving collection of visual fine art in all mediums: original paintings, limited edition, signed lithographs, sculptures, assemblages, photographs, ceramics and evolving art forms. The gallery also provides art restoration, appraisals, home and corporate consultations and purchases. Works in the gallery are available in all price ranges.

Lawrence Elliott (pictured bottom right) is the co-owner and curator of the gallery. He has a long history of involvement in the arts, purchasing his first painting at age 8. A former gallery owner, Elliott has represented numerous artists and served on the board of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and the junior board of the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, Conn.

Joining Elliott is partner Timothy Lake (pictured center) who is the founder of Spring Eagle. Lake brings a discriminating eye for form and originality. The gallery’s assistant is Christina Medley (pictured left) and Phidias is the dutiful docent (pictured bottom far right).

Art on Jay is accepting new artists. For consideration and appointment, contact Lawrence Elliott at 372-3000 or

Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company

John Nemjo (not pictured), Tristan and Tyler Nemjo

Route 28, Inlet & Route 28, Old Forge, (315) 369-6672,

In 1981 John Nemjo paid a friend $180 for his first canoe. He spent the next 12 years paddling the remaining pristine lakes, streams and rivers in northern and central Florida. In 1993 John’s passion for paddling and wilderness led him to relocate to the Adirondack mountains where he founded Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company (MOSC) in an abandoned pizza shop in the tiny hamlet of Inlet, New York. Today, Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company is one of the largest canoe and kayak dealers in the country with stores in Inlet and nearby Old Forge.

In 1999, John organized the first annual Adirondack Paddlefest, which has become the largest on-water canoe and kayak sale in the country. Each year more than 75 leading paddleports manufacturers and more than 8,000 visitors gather on the shores of Fourth Lake in Inlet for three days of test paddling, clinics, demos and sales. Adirondack Paddlefest 2005 will take place on May 13 to 15.

In 2004 MOSC launched its annual Adirondack Canoe Routes Catalog, one of the most comprehensive paddlesports accessory catalogs in the industry. And in 2005 MOSC will announce the grand opening of the new Adirondack Outdoor Center in Old Forge, a complete hiking, biking, camping, skiing, rafting and backpacking center.

In his spare time, John enjoys hiking, camping and canoeing with his wife, Hilke, and his two sons, Tristan and Tyler. He also volunteers as the cochairman of the Sierra Club’s Adirondack Committee where he has been the leading advocate for the designation of the Great Oswegatchie Canoe Wilderness, a 500,000-acre paddling area within the Adirondack Park.

The Counties of Ireland

Robin McDonough

13 Second St., Troy, 687-0054,

The Counties of Ireland opened on June 8, 2000 with the idea to bring a little bit of Ireland to upstate New York. Our focus was to bring something a little different to our customer, something a little unique that would not only capture an Irish audience but any nationality. The store offers lines manufactured and imported directly from Ireland because authenticity is very important. We are currently stocking Stephen Pearce Pottery from Cork, Reggie Handbags made from vintage Irish fabric, Avoca throws and clothing from Wicklow, and new jewelry lines just to list a few.

For the last five years we have worked very hard to find new and exciting lines to bring into the store. With our product lines growing, our store will be growing to. In the spring of this year The Counties of Ireland will be moving to our “new” and “permanent” home at 77 Third St., Troy. Resurrecting an old Troy icon, we have bought and are remodeling the old Cooper’s Shoe building in downtown Troy. This spectacular space offers us twice the retail space which means twice the amount of new lines for the store.

So no matter what age or nationality you are, The Counties of Ireland invites you to visit our shop (old or new) or our online store to experience a bit of Ireland in Troy, NY.

Dwell the art of living well

Junko Kobori and Louis Hotchkiss

76 Broad St., Schuylerville, 695-6656

Dwell opened up in Schuylerville last year. Many describe the shop as having dropped out of SoHo or The Village. Dwell is definitely a new and unique type of shop for the upstate NY area. Since opening, we have become an active part of the exciting rebuilding and reemergence of Schuylerville. It's worth stopping by and taking a stroll to see the exciting shops and galleries that are now making Broad Street their home.

At dwell, we have worked hard to find items that are unique, functional and fun. There is something for you, your home, and that friend who is difficult to find just the right gift for. We search far and wide to find the best quality products made. The mission for dwell is to be the one lifestyle store that sells urban contemporary products from around the world for people who enjoy color, shape, diversity and uniqueness in design. At dwell you will find a whole range of items from the world's finest teas and chocolates to unusual greeting cards, new designer handbags and the latest Art books and whimsical hand puppets. Drawing on Junko's Japanese heritage, we also have a beautiful array of Japanese incense, teas, bowls and stoneware.

You will no doubt find something you love.

Next to dwell is also the home of our manufacturing facility for our very own line of blossoms natural bliss body products. These all natural products are now being sold throughout the world. And of course we carry the full line in the shop. The most recent addition to the line is a luxurious honey milk bath- great for a long soak. Come in and try some.

We look forward to seeing you soon at dwell.

Saratoga Trunk

Natalie Sillery

493 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 584-3543,

Saratoga Trunk, lady’s finery, “Where your style is our pleasure” is celebrating 10 years of great style, great service and glamour and its first year at the new location of 493 Broadway, under the burgundy awning with a first-floor walk-up. Brimming with chapeaux from the country’s most respected milliners, the salon’s entrance speaks of Picasso and Monets to be worn on the head, namely, signature styles of Mona the Madhatter, Nancy Matt’s Le Beau Chapeau, the international lids of Kokin and Eric Javits. This House of Style’s jewelry case exudes the finest in costume and semi-precious pieces. The Trunk is also linked to the best designer showrooms providing the best and most unique 7th Avenue has to offer. Along with being that special place you always go when you want something special I pride myself in providing the woman with the most comfortable and friendly atmosphere possible, effecting one’s own unique style by hands-on follow-through. Saratoga Trunk can also boast of its Fabulous Trunkettes, famous much before the Red Hats and Ya Ya’s. More than a dozen best friends and models over the years, metriculating through their TIT phase(‘Trunkette in Training), these beautifully talented established women can be seen—and heard—especially during track season, modeling hats at the Racecourse, the Polo Field, and of course at innumerable charity events. The presentation at Saratoga Trunk may lead one to believe pricing is out-of-reach, which is so not so. All your favorite designers are available from a moderate to ‘bridge’ price point, and appealing to ages 14 to 90! Sizes 0 to 22! Come and see why women of all ages for more than a decade continue to visit us for Nicole Miller, Kay Unger, Teri Jon, Walter, Nanette Lepore, Tadashi, YYigal, Zelda, Betsey Johnson and more.

Ichiban Restaurant

Emily Ju, David Ip, Tommy Ju, Lisa Ju

338 Central Ave., Albany, 432-0358; 1653 Western Ave., Guilderland, 869-9585,

We started serving the Capital District area more than eight years ago. Last spring we opened our second location in Guilderland. We promise to continue to provide the finest Japanese and Chinese cuisine in the area with devoted service to our customers.

Our restaurant has earned a great reputation for the freshest sushi, largest selection, great values and the best service. We have been awarded many accolades: Best of the Capital Region by Metroland and the Times Union, among many others. Whether you dine in or carry out at either of our locations, we promise that your experience will be enjoyable and pleasurable.

We are thankful for our customers’ continuous support.

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