I knew from the moment I set eyes on the Village I wanted to settle down here. When I first drove through eight years ago the first thing that caught my eye was Coffee Planet. A real “mom and pop” coffeehouse right in the center of this [Read more…]
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Day on Tuesday May 3rd, these businesses are kindly offering up deals to our hardworking teachers:
- Coffee Planet: Coffee Planet is offering 10% off food and/or drink to teachers, faculty and staff with a valid school ID on Tuesday, May 3rd
- Russell’s Deli: will offer 10% off food and/or drink to teachers, faculty and staff with a valid school ID on Tuesday, May 3rd
- Bruegger’s Bagels: Teachers can sign up here to receive a coupon valid for 13 fresh-baked bagels and 2 tubs of cream cheese for just $9.99 thru May 8th
- Chipolte: Teachers, faculty and staff can score B1G1 burritos, bowls, salads or an order of tacos with school ID at Chipotle’s on Tuesday, May 3rd from 3pm–close
Head over here for a great list of retailers that offer teacher discounts year round.
The Lincoln Building on Malta and Milton avenues was established in 1892 and now houses several apartments and businesses, including Coffee Planet, Excellent Adventures Comic Books, Wild Thyme Whole Food and Tea Co., [Read more…]
News and Headlines from Around Town, Monday, Jan. 18, 2015
Smoke-less Smoke Shop Opens, Saratoga Today – Saratoga Vapes, 2124 Doubleday Avenue, Ballston Spa, sells a e-cigarettes – battery-powered devices that vaporize liquid nicotine.
Hit and Run in Malta, Drunk Driver, Times Union-Brian C. Cook, 29, of Malta was arrested after hitting a vehicle while intoxicated and fleeing the scene of the accident, State Police said. He faces a violation for property damage and a misdemeanor for driving while intoxicated.
Democrat Cynthia Young will run for Malta Supervisor, Daily Gazette-Democrat Cynthia Young said she’s definitely running for supervisor again. Two years ago, she nearly beat Sausville. She lost by a single vote, in an election that wasn’t decided until an appeals court invalidated two absentee votes that were cast.
Body Cameras for Saratoga County, The Saratogian-The body camera subcommittee, of the Public Safety Committee, will review the idea of requiring all deputies to wear a camera and to figure out the details including data storage, use of data during investigations, policies and procedures for use and discussing the positives and negatives of the potential requirement.
GLOBALFOUNDRIES seeks Power Boost for growth, Albany Business Review-GLOBALFOUNDRIES wants to expand its $10 billion computer chip manufacturing plant to include another central utilities building and bulk gas yard, as well as more high-voltage transmission capacity.T he improvements are needed to support additional customer demand and new “tools” that will be installed at its Technology Development Center.
Ballston Spa’s Early College High School Tackles Real World Problems, TimeWarner Cable-For freshman students in the Clean Technologies and Sustainable Industries Early College High School program, that lesson came easy Wednesday as they were given just 10 minutes to build a small car powered only on magnesium salt water.
Coffee Planet Closes Glens Falls Location, The Post Star-Developer Peter Hoffman, who owns the 140 Glen St. building, said Wednesday that Clifford Baum closed the Glens Falls location, after 3 years, because of a dispute with business partners.
Town of Milton Community Center has Wifi, Facebook
BY SAM CAPUANO
Last week, Vicki and I met my parents for a Sunday morning all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet at the Ballston Spa Elks Club. I’m always a little leery about buffets, as some people tend to get, shall we say, carried away. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case this time, and no one treated the buffet as a trough. It was a fine time, and I managed to catch up with some locals I hadn’t seen in awhile.
Which is why I like eating breakfast in public. In many instances, such as the aforementioned buffet at the Elks, it is a chance to chat with friends in the community who may be out after church, or maybe just wanting to take get away for a bit. And no matter what, it’s not possible to cook a breakfast at home as good as the one you can get out in public.
Alas, the Elks only have their buffet once a month. Fortunately, there are several breakfast options for those wishing to eat the most important meal of the day on a more consistent basis without leaving the confines of the village.
A long time favorite is Coffee Planet, which just celebrated its tenth year in business. In those years, it has expanded its space, briefly offered some trendy beers, and now even has an ice cream station. But, throughout all of this, it’s still the place to go for morning discussion. Stop in there any morning and you can always see some sort of business meeting going on among those who are sitting, while others dash in and grab a cup to go. (If they’re smart, they’ll order the tasty egg and cheese on a bagel, too.) The Planet is at the figurative, and literal, center of the business district.
Another great option for the morning meal opened last year on Front Street. The Iron Roost offers a somewhat different approach than the Planet. First of all, everything is served on a waffle. Which is a beautiful thing. The location is prime, too. Grabbing a late morning Saturday breakfast in the summer while watching and listening to the music at the Wiswall Park Farmers Market across the street is a fine way to spend some time.
Both the Planet and the Roost have also become the trendy places in town to bring your laptop and get some work done (and maybe even write a newspaper column) while enjoying your breakfast and having a coffee or three.
One place which has been serving it up for longer than those two places combined is the White House. There are daily breakfast specials which, alas, I can not take advantage of because of my schedule. But I do love going there on Sundays. People are crammed in there, but somehow it doesn’t seem too crowded. People eating there are comfortable about their food, and about being in a familiar place. If you want to have a great breakfast in one of Ballston Spa’s most historic buildings, then this is the place for you.
Some like their breakfast served up with no frills, just tasty and hearty. If so, head just up the street from White House and stop in at Tresa’s Cafe. On their Facebook page, they’ve boasted of “The best breakfast in Ballston Spa.” Well, I will leave that designation up to my readers, but, Tresa’s is certainly in the conversation when it comes to that argument.
As someone who has to get to the day job in Latham early every day, I don’t always have the luxury Monday through Friday to stop into most of these places, as I typically blow through town before they open. Which makes the Russell’s Deli 5 a.m. opening time so nice. As anyone who has ever stopped into Russell’s can attest, it is impossible to leave there hungry. This would include consumption of “Russell’s Special,” egg on a roll with cheese and all kinds of meat. The deli also has some great sports pictures up on the wall, rivaling those of some sports bars.
Plenty of great choices to be sure, but wait, there’s more. This one is so new, I haven’t had a chance to try it yet: Good Morning, on Doubleday Avenue, which opened this month. The early buzz is good, so there is yet another option for us.
People can say what they want about us, but, we do know how to eat, don’t we?
Coffee Planet completes renovations, reopens with new equipment and a fresh look
BY KEVIN J. ROGERS
Coffee Planet is reporting increased traffic since reopening following a two-week renovation, according to manager Bronwyn Bartlett. “I don’t know if word got out on the street that we’re refreshed but we’ve seen a lot of new faces,” Bartlett said. “Our regulars are back, and we’ve seen a lot of new faces.”
The downtown coffeehouse was closed from Easter Sunday until reopening on Friday, April 20. “We’ve been steady busy ever since,” Bartlett said.
Changes include everything from interior work to new equipment to the addition of outdoor seating along the Malta Avenue side of the building. The creamer table has been moved from its old place across from the counter to the end of the counter for convenience. “The biggest thing people notice is the creamer table,” Bartlett said.
The floors have been refinished and fresh paint applied to the walls. The purple and yellow color scheme was retained, but most of the green is gone.
A lounge seating area has been added to the back room, with new chairs and a table. The old countertops and tabletops have been replaced, and the patio furniture on the sidewalk is also brand new.
“And we have a brand new sign out front which lights up at night, which is awesome,” Bartlett said.
The equipment behind the counter is also brand new, including new grinders and brewers, and a new espresso machine custom ordered from Elektra s.r.l. of Treviso, Italy. “You can really taste the difference in our coffee,” Bartlett said.
Coffee Planet will continue to offer premium homemade ice cream from the Ice Cream Man of Greenwich, N.Y. A big change for this summer will be the outdoor seating on the other side of the pass-through window. “They deliver us ice cream and we’re happy to sell it,” Bartlett said. “It does really well.”
“We’ve been in Ballston Spa for 10 years now,” said owner Cliff Baum. “The community support we’ve gotten has been outstanding. It was time to refresh the place and enhance what we’re offering and bring it up to the next level.”
Coffee Planet is located at 100 Milton Ave. in the heart of dowtown Ballston Spa. Business hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. For information call 518-884-9913 or email email@example.com, or visit their website at cafe.thecoffeeplanet.net. To join Coffee Planet’s social media community visit them on Facebook.
By DAN SABBATINO
Cliff Baum, owner of Ballston Spa coffee shop and hang-out Coffee Planet said he plans to expand his operation north, come Halloween time.
Baum, who has owned the shop for 10 years, said the time is right to open up a new location, and Glens Falls is the perfect place to do it. He said he is shooting for an end of October or beginning of November expansion.
“It’s going have the same feel as Coffee Planet in Ballston spa,” Baum said. “It’s a great community feel similar to Ballston Spa.”
There will be renovations to the building, located 140 Glen Street, and the signage will match the familiar store front in Ballston Spa. Baum said the building used to be a restaurant, and has a lot of the necessities in place already.
He said part of the reason he has been able to expand, something he has considered for some time, is the popularity and success of his Ballston Spa location.
“We had the best summer ever, despite the economy and everything,” he said. “We’ve been in Ballston Spa for 10 years. We’ve become quite recognizable.”
Baum said the building has some of the same characteristics of the original location, including a brick wall and comfortable seating.
We were looking to expand for quite a while,“ he said. “We are really at the point now where we are serious.”
Baum considered making the move when a popular coffee shop closed in Glens Falls a little while back, but said the timing wasn’t quite right. Now, he said, after talking with some of the same people he had initially spoke with, the move fits into his game plan.
Baum is planning to include the same menu with “high quality coffee and specialty drinks.”
“We have a great customer base. We look forward to having the same thing in Glens Falls,” he said.
By JESSICA BENNETT
Musicians Michael Jerling and Tony Markellis brought music and humor into Ballston Spa hang-out Coffee Planet, during a rare shared performance on Friday, July 1.
The duo performed from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. during First Friday in Ballston Spa, a summer community event geared toward entertainment.
Jerling played his guitar and harmonica during the performance, while Markellis played bass.
Jerling was born and raised in Illinois and became involved with music while helping to run the campus coffeehouse at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. Jerling moved to Saratoga Springs in 1975 after having lived in California. When his band broke up he said he had to move where the music scene was.
“At that time there was a circuit that went all over the country,” said Jerling. “It was a way to make a living; it was a pretty good thing. My friend who lived in Troy ran the circuits and offered me a bunch of work. I moved out to Troy for a while, and then I found Caffè Lena.”
Tony Markellis is a bassist and record producer from Montana, and a resident of Saratoga Springs. His career spans nearly forty years playing all types of music from blues and folk to rock and country. Markellis is often seen playing bass for other local musicians in the area and Markellis and Jerling share a similar circle of friends.
“We got a couple tables of friends that we haven’t seen for awhile, so that’s one of the nice things about it,” said Markellis. “It’s a pleasant gig and it’s nice to do something for somebody else, play some encouraging music, it’s good to be a part of this.”
The release of Jerling’s latest CD, Music Here Tonight, in September 2009 was recorded live at Caffè Lena in Saratoga Springs. The CD was also released on his own music label called Fool’s Hill.
Butch Walkanowski, a drummer in Saratoga Springs, used to play music gigs with Markellis. He met Jerling when he arrived in 1975, and said it is important tosupport each other as performers.
“We don’t get to see each other a lot,” said Walkanowski.
Cliff Baum, owner of Coffee Planet, said he was excited to have the band play at the coffee house. First Fridays has always been an event that brings the community together.
“First Fridays has been a very successful event, we were actually one of the first ones in the area to do this type of thing,” said Baum. “This is our seventh year doing First Fridays.”
The owners of C’est La Vie, Erin and Carole Patten, have been in business for years, but have only been in the Village of Ballston Spa for one. They said First Friday has been a good experience so far.
“It was a wonderful way to really get people to get a feel for us and First Friday has been a nice experience for us and it’s a good experience for the community,” said Erin Patten. “Everyone has positive things to say like how Ballston Spa has come into their own.”
“It’s really exciting when you hear things like that,” Carole Patten said.
By DAN SABBATINO
New York state’s first and only designated fair trade municipality will be celebrating along with the rest of the world on Saturday, May 14, at Mango Tree Imports with a visit from Bernard Domingo, a Zimbabwean artist who recently moved to the state.
Ballston Spa is the only village, town or city in the state with the distinction and the ninth in the US, said Kim Anderson, proprietor of Mango Tree, located at 12 Washington Street.
Domingo will be on hand from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. demonstrating how to make some of his crafts.
“We’ve been carrying his work pretty much since we’ve opened. He’s kind of a real fair trade success story,” she said.
Anderson said Mango Tree opened as a fair trade business and was one of the members of the Ballston Spa fair trade steering committee, the committee helping to get Ballston Spa designated with the North American Fair Trade Federation. The federation helps the US and Canada to stay well connected with fair trade producers, suppliers and wholesalers, she said.
“It’s a movement and its an awareness campaign that continues to pick up steam,” she said.
Anderson said Chicago was recently awarded the designation, making it the 23rd “fair trade town” in the US.
Meg Knight, member of Fair Trade Towns Coalition and one of the members of the steering committee to help get Ballston its designation said fair trade refreshments, donated from Coffee Planet and the Whistling Kettle as well as Mango Tree Imports will be on hand. A cake, made with fair trade cocoa will be donated by the Mango Tree, as well.
“ World fair Trade is an important way of doing business that treats artisans and farmers and commodities makers in the developing world fairly. It ensures transparency,” said Knight.
Fair trade aims to improve marketing for developing countries so they can sell goods in economically developed countries.
She said it promotes fair wages and good working conditions for adults and children, who also must attend school and have time for recreation.
Knight, who was on a committee of about six people, said part of the requirement to become designated as a fair trade town was to get five business selling two or more fair trade items and two organizations to serve fair trade goods. Now close to a dozen business and three churches qualify for fair trade designation, she said.
“This is a movement that is definitely expanding beyond Ballston,” Knight said.
The Town of Bethlehem, the Glens Falls Children’s Museum and Siena College are all seeking designation, she said.
In addition Mango Tree is also celebrating its fifth anniversary, technically Thursday, May 5, on World Fair Trade Day.
Read more about WFTD and the coffee break at: http://www.fairtraderesource.org/wftd/coffee-break/ .