Member Spotlight: The Proper Brewing Company

Where silent films reigned in the 1920s a bustling family owned and operated microbrewery invigorates Quakertown’s downtown.

Enjoy a Surf & Turf burger with aged sirloin, onions, crumbled bacon and shredded lobster, alongside a premise made glass of Gabi Wit beer or G’s Revenge.

The Proper Brewing Company, owned and operated by Brian and Kris Wilson, is the newest business venture to occupy the former Palace Theater, and it’s the latest addition to Quakertown’s restaurant line-up.

Onsite brewed beers with names like Blondie Bree and Panther Pale Ale are available as tasting flights, pints, growlers and bottles.

The building has long been a Quakertown staple and before The Proper incarnation was occupied by family-owned and operated Dimmig Electric, a home appliance store which closed its doors in 2012.

Kris Wilson said living in Quakertown and raising children here were ideal reasons to open a business.

“We love the community so we thought it was the best place to start our family business,” Wilson said of settling The Proper in Quakertown.

Giving back to a welcoming community of supportive local officials, community members and patrons means a lot to the Wilsons so they host community fundraisers and events.

“We will continue to give back as much as we can,” Wilson said of the couple’s commitment to Quakertown.

Continued economic vitality benefits everyone in downtown Quakertown, and Wilson said hosting events like a bike night, or bringing First Friday events to the downtown are on her to-do list.

But food and beer are the main attractions at The Proper Brewing Company.

Creating and maintaining a menu aimed at seasonal, sustainable fare is an evolving process, according to Wilson.

The new launch of spirits (hard liquor) at The Proper is targeted for August, although no other details were available.

Wines by the tasting flight and glass are also available at The Proper, as is a varied menu including snacks, pub fare and salads, inventive takes on classic sandwiches, burgers and more.

The Proper Brewing Company offers a dozen beers brewed on the premises, as well as banquet hall rentals and private party accomodations.

The Proper Brewing Company is located at 117 W. Broad Street, Quakertown. For menus, beer descriptions and hours of operation visit www.theproperbrewing.com.

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Quakertown Grocery Outlet, the Area’s Newest Grocery Store

In an age of cell phones and text messaging, personal touch means everything.

For the new Quakertown Grocery Outlet owners and staff, that means face-to-face customer contact is the top priority.

“Customer service is our main goal,” according to Michael Anderson, franchise owner and operator with wife Vikki Anderson of Quakertown Grocery Outlet, the area’s newest grocery store.

The Anderson’s are bringing back such old-fashioned practices as helping customers take their bagged items to the car, and walking the selling floor to help patrons find items, and get their requests and suggestions.

The car service is extremely popular, “especially women with small children or older people, they really appreciate this service we can provide for them,” Michael Anderson said. He has personally helped load customer’s cars with their grocery orders.

The pair have set the customer service bar high. “I walk around the floor, and I talk to people every day. Our staff is friendly, and they want to help our customers,” Michael Anderson said.

Quakertown Grocery Outlet is committed to providing a great customer experience, offering brand name goods at deep discounts and giving back to the community in a variety of ways.

From a strong grand opening in April, Michael Anderson said a steady stream of customers is validating his business decisions, and despite working up to 16 hour days, the new store is the Anderson’s professional dream come true.

Housed in the former Sears Hardware Store at the Trainer’s Corner Shopping Center, located at Routes 309 and 663/313, the store has been transformed with bright LED lights, high ceilings, wide aisles, and a clean, fresh look.

Their business has created 36 new full and part-time jobs, many of which are being filled with first-time workers.

“We are teaching them (first time employees) how to work,” Michael Anderson said of his management and seasoned floor staff, as they take on new hires.

In addition to working the floor and running the business, Michael and Vikki also create special, free events – mostly for youngsters. A recent Mother’s Day craft featured artificial floral bouquets tots could easily make for gifts. An upcoming “Taste of Bargains” tables, spread out throughout the store, will feature items customers may sample to get acquainted with new tastes, especially organic products, Michael Anderson said. “We have some unusual products and wanted to give people a chance to try them,” Anderson said.

Special events like the “Taste of Bargains” when offered are held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on a Saturday.

Community engagement kicked off at their grand opening, when the Anderson’s donated $1,000 of goods to the Quakertown Food Pantry, setting the tone for business and service organization relationships.

Located at 70 N. West End Boulevard, the store is a franchise of California based Grocery Outlets, Inc.

 

Get focused; scout and explore what Upper Bucks County has to offer

After months of preparation and hard work, the 2016 focused Upper Bucks County directory hit the streets in early January. As the fresh title suggests – a nod to the past and vision toward the future – focused is a showcase of chamber membership, the region’s rich resources and traditions, along with goods and services available in Upper Bucks County.

The 2016 edition of focused is packed with helpful information. We’ve unearthed intriguing nuggets about local history and lore, and provided a one-stop treasury of the vibrant businesses and entrepreneurs located and operating here.

In addition to being available in print, focused Upper Bucks County is also available online, along with convenient links to our business advertisers’ websites.

About 5,000 print copies of the new directory are available now throughout the municipalities that make up Palisades, Pennridge and Quakertown Community school districts.

We’ve built focused Upper Bucks County from scratch using chamber members experience, expertise and services they offer. That means money spent to create the publication was reinvested in our own business community. From creating original copy, layout and design to photography, print and online production, this issue is entirely home grown.

Previous editions of the annual publication were produced by packaging publishers, and printed in other parts of the country.

Printed in nearby New Jersey, Chamber Executive Director Tara King witnessed the presses rolling. King had the opportunity roll up her sleeves, view color “tear sheets” as they came off the press, parlay printer lingo, and gained a greater understanding of the complex composition and printing industry process.

A flyer appearing in the February 4th edition of Bucks County Herald announces focused, and its print availability.

In addition to chamber business listings and helpful resources, anyone reading focused can learn about the area. We’ve included feature story-style reporting throughout, as we shine the spotlight on shopping and dining, agriculture and education, business, location, government, demographics, and more.

Think ahead! A photography contest for next year’s edition is an open invitation for anyone with a digital camera or Smartphone, to submit pictures to be considered for publication. Photography contest details will be announced.

Be focused, scout and explore what Upper Bucks County has to offer.

Look for focused throughout the community, available at municipal buildings, and various locations, or stop by the Upper Bucks Visitor Center to pick up a copy today.

Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center is located at 21 North Main Street, Quakertown. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday – Friday.

 

 

UBCC Member Spotlight – Vince Randazzo, Dominick’s Pizza

This month, we shine the Member Spotlight on Dominicks’s Pizzeria owner and long-time Quakertown native, Vince Randazzo.

At Dominick’s Pizzeria, don’t be surprised if they know your name. “I have a lot of repeat customers who come in for the same meals on a set day. You get to know people that way. It’s kind of like ‘Cheers,’” said Vince Randazzo, second generation owner/operator of Dominick’s.

A Quakertown native, Randazzo continues steering Dominick’s, as he prepares to re-invigorate the former Karlton Theater building, while running additional businesses in nearby Bethlehem. Randazzo’s father purchased the business from a man named Dominick in 1969. Randazzo said his family kept the name, a nod to the former business owner and what would become an enduring community staple. “The most important thing about doing business in the community is building lasting and meaningful relations with those who live around you,” Randazzo explained. Randazzo, 38, along with sister Maryann Randazzo, operates the restaurant located at 327 West Broad St., in Quakertown’s downtown.

While Randazzo began working at Dominick’s as a teen – he was 15 years old – he’s been at the restaurant since his toddler years, a pattern he and wife Ashley (Yelland), are repeating with their own children. The couple’s two children, 19-month-old Guiliana and two-month-old Guiseppe, can often be found at the downtown eatery – after all there’s no place like home.

For Vince Randazzo, family and community mean everything. “My customers watched me grow up here and now they see my kids run around. They tell me they remember when that was me,” Randazzo said of his close-knit customer base. The Wooden Match and Artisan Wine & Cheese Cellar, both based in Bethlehem and Stone Tower Equities, based in Quakertown, area other businesses owned by Randazzo. He is the owner of the former Pregame Sports Bar and Grille, which he sold last year.

Having recently purchased the former Karlton Café building, home of Karlton Café restaurant, Randazzo said he plans to renovate the building, taking it back to its former glory days. The Karlton Café and adjacent Quakertown Army Navy store will remain, but the gold exchange retailer will not, according to Randazzo. After the renovation, office suites will be available on the second floor, and luxury apartments will be available on the third floor, Randazzo said. Façade improvements are set to being in spring on the 20,000- square-foot building, located on 308 and 310 Broad St. Randazzo is enthusiastic about downtown revitalization efforts, and praised Quakertown Alive! for hosting such festivals as Arts Alive! and the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

“The revitalization of downtown Quakertown is an important subject for our community. Not only can it increase foot-traffic to the downtown area and help local businesses, I think it would also create a greater sense of safety and pride,” Randazzo said. An Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce member for 16 years, Randazzo is also a member of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce for the past two years. On chamber membership, Randazzo is clear: “It’s like being on the 12-person field. You have a lot of support and a network. You learn from others. (Chamber) people are nice people, and they try to help each other out. It’s not always about making money,” Randazzo said.

They came. They saw. They ate, and they drank!

From pumpkin soup to Imperial Pumpkin Ale, the 9th annual Upper Bucks Foodie provided local food and drink purveyors with enthusiastic tasting patrons at a harvest evening event inside the Sands Chrysler Jeep Dodge, Quakertown auto dealership on Thursday, Oct. 16.

Upgrade tickets to sample local and regionally-made spirits featured inside the first time, VIP distillery tent, sold out ahead of the event.

Sue McManus, of Expos Events Etc., LLC, based in Chalfont, said the VIP Distillery showcase was an innovative twist on the traditional Foodie theme.

“Ideally with a food tasting you’d have local distillers, so they can educate people (about) their spirits,” McManus explained of the choices, which ranged from clear or “white” to amber hard liquors.

Tara King, Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce executive director, said she was impressed by the high quality of the local liquors, along with education on how it was made.

“It was nice to learn about how, for example, Philadelphia Distilling uses citrus in their gin. It’s great to learn about what you’re drinking and that this is manufactured locally- it’s a whole new market,” King said.

There was no shortage of other comestibles to enjoy at this year’s Foodie, either.

Porter and mango wheat beer featured at Free Will Brewing Co.

There were duck rolls, pork ribs and wings. Buttery pulled pork BBQ offered up with or without a bun from Spinnerstown Hotel.

Diminutive cupcakes and confections loaded onto pedestals from Amy’s Creative Cakes.

Pumpkin spiced soup and pumpkin cheesecake squares carried through the harvest theme.

Creamy pumpkin yogurt was scooped out by Yogurtree.

Crostini and hummus from Perkasie’s recently opened Bread Box & Bakery, Unami Ridge Winery offered chardonnay and other varietal wine samples, and outrageously delectable grilled cheese sandwich bites were hot off the grill from McCoole’s Red Lion Inn.

This year’s Foodie brought out about 300 visitors.

Proceeds from the Foodie benefit students through scholarships to Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week, a summer program for high school students to explore what it means to run a business.

“This is a cause, which aligns with the chamber’s mission,” King said.

“It’s great for kids to learn what goes into running a business,” said Sue Quinque a retired Quakertown High School art teacher and a Foodie event volunteer.

For more information or to support PFEW, visit the organization’s website at https://www.pfew.org/

It’s autumn and you’re invited to the party.

Coppery maples, blazing oaks and abundant pumpkins mark the harvest season in Upper Bucks County.

It’s autumn and you’re invited to join the party.

The 9th annual Upper Bucks Foodie event will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 16, at Sands Chrysler Jeep Dodge located at 501 N. West End Blvd., Quakertown.

Bob Haag, Sands general manager, said he loves entertaining and meeting people in the community.

“It’s a regular (hosting) event for us, and it’s great to see so many of the (community), come and visit us in this place we call our second home,” Haag said.

Along with legacy heritage family farms, the Foodie has become synonymous with the area’s colorful harvest season and abundant food and drink offerings.

Restaurant owners and chefs begin their day before the crack of dawn. Vineyard owners check their DeChanauc and Chambourcin grape clusters regularly with attention and care, waiting for the precise moment of harvest.

Preparation for the Foodie is no different.

Harvests can’t be rushed, and the Foodie has been months in the making to offer visitors a premier experience, complete with entertainment.

An invitation to come to the table has been made.

Sample what area purveyors have to offer. Network and meet business owners, and decision makers at the Foodie, a rich place to spend an October evening.

Come out Thursday evening, and sample the growing wine, beer and spirits-making boutique industries right here in Bucks and the Greater Lehigh Valley.

Meet Upper Bucks food industry shakers doing what they love best.

Tickets for the Foodie are on sale through the Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce (buy them now and save $5) and benefit Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week and educational programming through the UBCC Foundation.

For tickets, visit the chamber offices located at 21 N. Main Street, Quakertown, or call 215-536-3211, or buy tickets online at www.ubcc.org

Like Santa’s December visit, the Foodie only comes once a year.

Don’t miss it!

If you go:
What: 9th annual Upper Bucks Foodie where over 25 area restaurants, wineries and breweries will be on hand

Where: Sands Chrysler Jeep Dodge, 501 N. West End Blvd., Quakertown

When: 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, with VIP tent access from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., (with VIP ticket).

Tickets cost $40 for general admission; $60 for VIP tent access, and distilled spirits sampling.

VIP Tickets just SOLD OUT!