School’s out for summer.
As of this week, it’s out forever … for standout Stoga teacher Deb Ciamacca.
For years, the former Marine and beloved U.S. Government teacher has urged her students to get off the sidelines. “Democracy’s not a spectator sport,” she’d tell them.
After speaking out about gun safety here – and on national and international TV – she put her career where her mouth was. She just retired from teaching to run for the PA House.
“I choked up telling the kids about leaving,” Ciamacca tells SAVVY. “To me, teaching is like a calling. Being a teacher defines me; it’s who I am as a person.”
If these were not “times of turmoil,” she says she would not have cleared out her classroom for the last time this week. “That’s why this is so emotional for me. Someone needs to tell the truth,” she says.
Like the Marine lieutenant she once was, Ciamacca was a tough, engaging, no-nonsense educator, named PECO Teacher of the Year in 2001, and honored with the Ryan Kerr Award for “Most Compassionate Teacher” in 2018.
Last year, she became a media darling after she penned a powerful essay for TIME magazine: “I Was a Marine. Now I’m a Teacher. Don’t Give Me a Gun.” NBC News, the BBC, Canadian TV & Comedy Central, among others, came calling.
Although she knows how to fire weapons, she’s never owned a gun. Instead, she hid a 7-iron golf club and insecticide in her Conestoga classroom. (At a police training for teachers, she learned that wasp spray can hit a target from 30 feet.)
And because the Marine Corps taught her to always “plan your exit strategy,” her students knew exactly how she would handle an active shooter.
“Open this window and go out on the roof,” she’d explain on the first day of school. “I’ll lock the door and use the 7-iron if I have to.”
Besides gun sense and school safety, Ciamacca is passionate about ending gerrymandering, affordable daycare and the environment, particularly safeguarding folks who live near the Mariner Pipeline that runs through her district, the 168th which includes Newtown Square and her hometown of Media.
But what finally catapulted her hat in the ring, what inspired her to upend her life at age 60, was Virginia 12th, a film she showed her classes about a former student’s run for office.
If she wins in November of 2020, she’ll knock down a Republican stronghold in Delco, still called “Matt Ryan’s district,” despite the 40-year legislator’s death in 2003.
Ciamacca sniffs opportunity: the current office holder, Christopher Quinn, was re-elected by just 450 votes.
A Democrat, Ciamacca calls herself a political pragmatist: liberal on some issues, middle of the road on others. “I think I can speak in a bipartisan way. I’m used to listening to conservative and liberal kids and their parents. Especially with my military and business background, I think I can communicate with both sides.”
Since she announced her run and launched her campaign website, Ciamacca says she’s been flooded with emails and has received a “good amount of donations.” Eight Stoga seniors interned for her campaign this spring; six or seven former students, including Jhanavi Rao (Harvard ’22), will work for her this summer.
Ciamacca had hoped to stay on at Stoga until December but learned she needed to “start really, really early to beat an incumbent.”
As she closes the door on her classroom and begins knocking on the doors of strangers, she’s “bittersweet” but resolved to make a difference.
“I call myself a ‘servant leader.’ I’m just a regular teacher. I’ve done this for 18 years. I feel called to step out of it because there are regular people, common-sense voices, that are not being heard in this debate.”
Shoplifting the Show? Yuck.
After two glorious weekends (with wild storms in between), the Devon Horse Show has galloped out of town. We loved cheering McClain Ward on to his 11th Grand Prix victory and showing you this year’s smashing Ladies Day hat contest with this fun video.
What we’re not loving? Reports of shoplifting.
Multiple sources tell us two local, middle-aged women – who certainly should know better – tried to rip off local vendors.
“In 11 years at the horse show, we’ve never had shoplifting,” says Karen Denney, co-manager of Polka Dots in Paoli. “And then to have it happen twice at our booth at the same show and from Main Line matrons was unbelievable. Both women came in to our stall as friendly as can be before they stole from us.”
The first incident took place on Friday of Memorial Day weekend, when police arrested a Wayne woman for serial shoplifting. She’s accused of stealing a dress and top from Polka Dots, a bracelet from Tuyet, and a candle from another vendor, and stashing her haul inside another vendor’s woven Mexican basket, also not paid for. Denney says the woman, who carried a Louis Vuitton bag, used her golden doodle to create a diversion, setting him loose while she shoplifted. “Our staff was keeping an eye on teenagers that night, never thinking a grown woman would steal from us,” Denney says. The suspect is due in court July 10.
The second incident had Denney running through the crowd on Ladies’ Day, chasing down a woman who’d stuffed a dress in her Hats by Katie shopping bag. The woman, who has a prior shoplifting record, claimed it was a mistake and paid for the dress.
How rotten that it happened on Ladies Day at Devon which is not just any day for Polka Dots. The boutique’s founder, Susan Randels, passed unexpectedly and tragically on Ladies Day three years ago.
Denney says Polka Dots declined to press charges but says she’s appalled that both women would steal from local shopkeepers at a show that benefits a charity like Bryn Mawr Hospital.
“We’re just a small local boutique, in business for 16 years, and theft was never part of our reality,” Denney says.
After Susan Randels’ death, Lori Horning and Denney took over day-to-day operations of Polka Dots, which is now owned by Randel’s son, Ryan.
Philly fave HipCityVeg goes suburban (as in Suburban Square)
Newly open in Ardmore, does HipCityVeg reflect the zeitgeist or what?
Not only is its food vegan, locally farmed and 100% organic, but packaging is entirely compostable, everything else is recycled, and there’s dog-friendly seating outside.
The mini-chain even threw a Nice Cream Social to say howdy to its new ’hood. Free banana whip sundaes all around. (Banana whips = HCV’s low-cal, vegan ice cream alternative.)
HipCityVeg serves up approachable, fast-casual food – a tasty nibble before you go whole (non)hog into veganism.
Hence, HCV’s Ziggy “burgers,” “cheesesteaks,” fries and “chick’n” nuggets. (Btw, items are fast-food in name only. Figure on $10 bucks for a burger or wrap.)
New to the Sub Square location: Chick’n nuggets with vegan dipping sauces and fries ($5 to $15.95.)
For those tracking food sourcing: HipCity patties began as Beyond Burgers and Gardein supplies the chick’n.
Confirmed vegans like local food writer Char Nolan shy away from the processed stuff and rave instead about the side Caesar ($4.25), the dinner-worthy Udon noodle salad ($9.95), the portabella burgers (“Bistro” or “Buffalo,” $9.30 – $9.45), and “shakes” ($5.95).
SAVVY’s Kathy Stevens gave the chick’n fajita wrap and the smokehouse burger high marks (“you’d never know they were vegan”) but was underwhelmed by the arugula-taco salad and says she’ll keep going next door to Sweetgreen’s for salads (larger but similarly priced). Her teen sons called the kale lemonade delicious. Banana whip “ice cream” was good but toppings could have been more generous, Stevens says. “And there’s only so much mashed banana you can eat.”
Philly-bred founder Nicole Marquis says HCV sells “crave-able fast food” that “debunks the myth that plant-based food is just sprouts and granola.” Marquis famously fed her father a plant-based diet, helping slay his diabetes and high blood pressure.
Designed by the guys behind Spruce Street Harbor Park, The Bourse and Morgan’s Pier, the vibe in Ardmore is bright and modern with space for strollers and seats for 50.
HipCityVeg debuted in Rittenhouse Square in 2012 and now has spots on Penn’s campus, South Broad and Columbus Ave. and in Washington, DC. Fun fact: Marquis also owns two boozy joints in Philly: Charlie Was a Sinner (vegan tapas) and Bar Bombón (Old San Juan-inspired).
HipCityVeg, 76 Coulter Ave., Suburban Square Ardmore (between Gap Kids and Pearle Vision).
Double Jeopardy on the Main Line
Jeopardy clue: These two whizzes – who grew up a few miles apart on the Main Line – were successive Jeopardy champions last week.
Answer: Who are Emma Boettcher and Brendan Roach.
First Conestoga grad Emma Boettcher, 27, dethroned human supercomputer James Holzhauer, ending his historic 33-game run.
Three nights later, Boettcher is ousted by another Main Line native, Episcopal Academy alum Brendan Roach, 31.
What are the chances?
By now, you’ve probably heard Boettcher’s backstory: the brainy Princeton grad who first auditioned as a Stoga student and wrote her UNC master’s thesis on the game show. After her fourth tryout – and years spent in front of the TV, buzzing in her answers with a toilet-paper holder – she made the cut and won $98,002 over four games.
Flooded with media requests, she shut down her social media accounts but posted this explanatory video:
Here’s what we’ve learned about the guy who unseated her, Wayne native Brendan Roach.
“I’ve been watching Jeopardy since I was a small kid, part of the Action News, Peter Jennings, Jeopardy routing on 6 ABC,” Roach tells SAVVY. He took the online Jeopardy test twice and auditioned once. “I didn’t do much prep work, beyond looking at some old game boards to get a sense of what sorts of questions they’d ask,” Roach says.
After elementary school at Holy Child School of Rosemont, he attended EA, where he was active in the debating society, graduated cum laude, and gave the salutatory address.
He graduated from Georgetown with a B.S. in foreign service, then earned a master’s in public policy at Harvard.
His Main Line roots came in handy Monday night, when he correctly responded “Conestoga wagon” to an obscure clue. He lost by $1 that night, but took it in stride, telling us he’ll use his $60,700 winnings to pay off student debt, maybe take a trip, and donate a little something to charity. Way to roll with it, Roach.
Must have been a full moon last Monday. The same night that Stoga grad Emma Boettcher, 27, dethroned James Holzhauer on Jeopardy, sheriffs’ dogs were sniffing through Conestoga High School. Officials had been alerted to a note written by a student, threatening to bring weapons to school and naming specific students in a hit list.
According to our sources, the note writer was a sophomore girl.
Called to investigate, Tredyffrin PD found “no active threat against the school, students or staff,” according to the district’s letter to high-school parents. The student was “secured under adult supervision” and expelled for the rest of the school year.
What to expect at the new ALDI in Malvern and KOP
ALDI’s slogan is “Shop Different.”
You can say that again.
Because ALDI is everything Wegmans and Whole Foods are not: small, no frills, and focused on value.
For starters, you have to “deposit” 25 cents to unlock a shopping cart.
At first, we’re annoyed. Do they really think we’re going to shoplift one of their hefty shopping carts, maybe roll it along Route 202 or stash it in our trunks?
But after we empty our cart and wheel it back to the entrance to retrieve the quarter, we get it. No need to pay someone to patrol the parking lot for errant carts. And no spaces lost to lazy shoppers’ carts. We decide the quarter is genius, really.
Neither shabby nor chic, the store’s décor is, er, serviceable, in the way that Walmart is serviceable. (Wanna ooh and ah when you buy broccoli? Head to Whole Foods.)
Speaking of service, that’s on the bargain-basement side, too. At checkout (below, at the Malvern ALDI), we turn our heads for a sec, then turn back to see – surprise! – the cashier loading our haul directly into the cart, Costco style. Ugh.
Our bad, of course, for leaving our reusable bags in the car.
We scramble to buy two, 10-cent plastic bags but have to transfer everything into them ourselves.
Darn you, Wegmans, for spoiling us so.
Despite our nitpicking, the prices prove sensational. We came in only to poke around and leave with overflowing bags.
But be warned: the organic section is small and the cheapo avocados had weird fibers running through them.
Still, the organic berries were topnotch, the fresh salmon was identical to Trader Joe’s, and the All laundry detergent was a certified steal. (As were the solar garden lights, one of the seasonal “ALDI Finds,” although we restrained ourselves.)
Pulling out of the parking lot, we reach for comparisons. Is it Trader Joe’s without the folksiness? Walmart without electronics and clothes? Or Costco condensed to five aisles, no membership needed?
We decide ALDI is its own animal. And that’s why it’s one of America’s fastest growing grocers. Once you get used to its quirks, it gets the jobs done. Just be sure to bring a quarter.
ALDI Malvern, 11 Matthews Rd. Malvern (in the old Ruby Tuesday’s) and 197 E. DeKalb Pike, King of Prussia (at the old Bottom Dollar Foods).
Summertime & the livin’ is easy with HomeCooked (Sponsored)
Blue Apron minus the work?
A personal chef without the premium price tag?
Any way you slice it, HomeCooked is a mom-and-pop shop that’s solving dinner dilemmas up and down the Main Line.
Owner Claire Guarino and her team of 12 foodies prepare yummy, ready-to-cook meals for the masses. (They put on their aprons so you don’t have to.)
Order online or by phone, then pick up at her Paoli Plaza store, or, easier still, have dinner delivered to your door.
The trucks travel as far east as Bala Cynwyd and as far west as Downingtown and even drops off in Ocean City in summer.
Most HomeCooked customers are busy working parents but there’s also been an uptick in empty nesters. “They’re sick of cooking,” Guarino explains. “They want good food but they don’t want to shop and cook, then have multiple pots and pans to clean.”
Another popular service – Caring Meals: Meals gifted to families in need, including new moms, those in cancer treatment or dealing with the loss of a loved one.
“Some people aren’t comfortable with their own cooking, don’t have the time to cook, or don’t want to worry about getting dishes returned to them,” Guarino says. Plus, HomeCooked’s “caring” dinners can be frozen and enjoyed a few months later, when the deluge of meals tapers to a trickle. (Ask about setting up a Caring Meals Account.)
And, of course, “holidays are huge,” Guarino says. Families count on HomeCooked for all or part of their Thanksgiving feasts (from apps and desserts to ready-to-cook turkeys with all the traditional sides) and Christmas cocktail parties. There’s even a menu of homemade, bake-at-home holiday cookies. “Your kitchen smells amazing without cracking an egg or washing a mixing bowl,” Guarino says.
Menus change monthly with 18+ entrees, including low-fat, vegetarian, breakfast and seasonal selections mixed with tried-and-trues like pretzel-crusted chicken, chicken parm bake, Mexican tortilla lasagna and baked Buffalo chicken dip. Popular in June: new frittatas, Asian flank steak for the grill, and shrimp in beer, butter and herb sauce.
Order online, by phone or in person. Ask about or search for gluten-, nut- and dairy-free options. “Our whole staff is trained to prepare meals for allergy sensitivities and understands cross-contamination,” says Guarino.
Health matters at HomeCooked. Poultry is antibiotic-free and meats are hand-trimmed in house. Sauces are scratch made. There are no trans fats and many veggies are organic. A mom herself, Guarino says she won’t make anything she wouldn’t serve her own kids.
And unlike traditional takeout and meal-kit services, HomeCooked meals can be customized. Hate onions? Want to swap out the sweet-potato side for French green beans? Want less cheese? Just say so.
Meals come frozen in two sizes: a half-size feeds 2 to 3 ($20 – $25), full size feeds 4 to 6 ($30 – $40). And cooking instructions are a breeze. Just pop in the oven or slow-cooker or throw on the grill or cooktop.
Need it today? Pick up meals, sides, dips and desserts from the store’s grab-and-go refrigerated cases.
And how’s this for a tasty twofer? Enroll your 6- to 11-year old in one of HomeCooked’s kids’ camps and they’ll bring home dinner three nights in a row. Camps, workshops on school holidays, and birthday parties are how many first hear about HomeCooked.
“A lot of business comes through word of mouth, moms standing next to each other on the soccer field,” Guarino says.
HomeCooked was inspired by Guarino’s life in LA in the early 2000s when she and her husband worked long hours in corporate jobs and trained for triathlons. “We were so exhausted when we came home from work, we’d just get takeout,” Guarino says. “But all that processed stuff didn’t align with our lifestyle.” So the couple started going to a meal-assembly kitchen. “Instead of Chinese, we were eating roasted salmon on Tuesday nights. It was amazing and made such a difference.”
A Lancaster native, Guarino quit her job in brand marketing and brought the meal-assembly concept to Paoli in 2006, eventually re-tooling – by popular demand – to meal prep and home delivery.
HomeCooked, 1 Paoli Plaza (across N. Valley Rd. and the Paoli train station), 610-647-1002, is open Mon., Fri. 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Tues., Thurs. 10 – 6, Sat. 10 – 2. Closed Mondays in July & August. Follow @HomeCookedMeals on Facebook; @homecookedpaoli on Instagram and Twitter.
***SPECIAL GIVEAWAY TO SAVVY READERS. Stop in HOMECOOKED through June 29 for a FREE artichoke/spinach dip OR apple-pear crisp. Your choice: sweet or savory. Just thaw and heat. Perfect to tote to a small dinner party or enjoy at home. Click here for more info.***
‘Misfits’ rescues ‘ugly’ produce for your dinner table
By Char Nolan
Grocery-store produce has to look perfect. But what happens to fruits and veggies that don’t quite make the cut?
Enter Philly-based Misfits Market, now delivering imperfect organic produce to Main Line homes via weekly subscription or one-time order. Although, may we say, the box sent to our doorstep was beautiful and bountiful. Its only “misfit”: a lopsided apple.
Deliveries come in two sizes:
- Mischief Box ($19 plus $4.50 shipping): 10-12 pounds, serves a week’s worth of main courses, sides and snacks to 1 or 2 people.
- Madness Box ($34, plus $4.50 shipping): Order only if you can lift the 18- to 20- pound box. Serves five people, larger families, parties or folks on plant-based diets.
Since its founding in 2018, Mischief says it’s rescued 5 million pounds of produce that would have gone to waste. It also helps save organic farmers from taking a loss on ugly crops.
All produce is certified organic, non-GMO and sourced from trusted growers around the country. Best of all, based on our research, prices are 50% lower than supermarkets.
Many get a feel for Misfits with a small box, then graduate quickly to The Madness. To save energy and prevent waste, try batch-cooking in advance.
Among the goodies we whipped up with our box: air-fried potatoes and a baked Hasselback pie.
Not your mother’s – or grandmother’s – IUD (Sponsored)
By Lisa Kazanjian
Once plagued with controversy, today’s IUDs are becoming fast friends with women of all ages.
T-shaped and the size of a quarter, intrauterine birth-control devices can be inserted and left for three to 10 years depending on product type, i.e. whether they contain copper or are hormone-releasing. With recent FDA approval and more clinicians educated about them, IUD usage is on the rise and expected to only go up.
“Today’s IUDs are further researched, safer, better tolerated, and more convenient than those of the past,” reports Dr. Patricia McConnell, board-certified gynecologist at McConnell & Associates OB/GYN, an Axia Women’s Health practice in Wynnewood. McConnell says she and her colleagues are increasingly touting IUDs’ myriad benefits to young women (and their moms):
- They’re more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy – higher than the Pill, the patch and diaphragms. (Use with condoms for HIV and STD protection.)
- They’re easy to insert, reverse and remove (in minutes) with mild medication if needed by a physician or nurse practitioner.
- They reduce cramping, menstrual bleeding and pain. Periods come less often or not at all.
- There are minimal side effects following insertion.
Many patients schedule IUD insertions over the summer, prior to starting school, travel or new jobs.
Bea Jones (name changed for privacy), a Bryn Mawr native soon to start medical school, just had a 3-year hormonal IUD replaced with a 5-year device.
“It was shockingly easy!” Jones reports. On the Pill for years mostly to treat acne, she found it hard to remember to take it at the same time every day. She was also worried about long-term use and possible challenges getting pregnant post-Pill. “With the IUD, it’s great not to have to worry,” says Jones. “I don’t even know it’s there.” An added benefit: she only gets her period three times a year.
Amy Hamilton, 43-year old mother of two from Glenmoore, never really liked the way she felt on the Pill. Her period was getting heavier with age, so she decided to try a five-year hormonal IUD to help reduce bleeding.
“During the procedure, I felt like I was having bad period cramps for about 10 minutes,” Hamilton says. “After, I felt bloated for about a week and had some mild spotting.”
At her standard follow-up visit with McConnell’s office, she was assured placement was correct. Hamilton liked her IUD so much she just had another five-year hormonal IUD inserted. She adds, “My initial attraction to the IUD was based upon wanting a lighter period. As it turns out, I no longer get my period at all. It’s so liberating… my bridge to menopause! I’ve never felt better emotionally or mentally … no mood swings or PMS.” Her procedure was completely covered by her insurance, although coverage varies by plan.
Dr. McConnell says most women are candidates for IUDs but should check with their doctors. Some possible disqualifiers: chronic pelvic pain, pelvic infections and uterine anomalies.
McConnell & Associates OB/GYN at Wynnewood with additional locations in Paoli and Edgmont is a member of Axia Women’s Health, a community of nearly 300 caring, connected, progressive health professionals committed to giving women more attentive, more sophisticated and more compassionate care that meets their changing needs across time. Axia is the largest physician-led women’s health network in the U.S., offering a breadth of services in PA and NJ including: OB/GYN and urogynecology practices; breast health, fertility and high-risk pregnancy centers; laboratory services and more.
Wayne’s Day Spa by Zsuzsanna adds services to keep you looking and feeling young (Sponsored)
For 15 years, Day Spa by Zsuzsanna has pampered clients with luxurious facials, massages and the like.
Now, it’s delving even deeper into beauty and wellness.
After a flood of client requests and a long search for the right fit, Zsuzsanna Beyer has partnered with physician Gregory Bolton, a board-certified gynecologist with an expanded practice in wellness, anti-aging and regenerative medicine. Bolton will work in Wayne one or two days each week. “Our clients are comfortable here; they trust us,” Zsuzsanna says.
With Bolton on board, the day spa can now offer cutting-edge services including:
- Botox and facial fillers. A master injector who trained with the best, Bolton has been rejuvenating faces for 15 years.
- Dermaplaning. Or as we (who swear by it) call it: a close shave with benefits. Zsuzsanna skims away peach fuzz and layers of dead skin, allowing peels and products to better penetrate for maximum impact. Smooths fine lines and brightens skin. Not to worry: your peach fuzz won’t grow back thicker and darker. ($125)
- Vampire Facials (aka microneedling with PRP) to tighten and brighten, ease wrinkles, build collagen and erase scars. Your numbed face is punctured by tiny sterile needles then injected with your own platelet-rich plasma, or PRP. The skin’s natural healing response, plus the growth factors in the PRP, kickstart the magic. (One session $899).
- Vampire Face Lifts: microneedling with PRP plus a syringe of facial fillers. In other words, the works. ($2,400).
- Vampire Breast Lifts. PRP injections to help lift and firm the bust and enhance cleavage. No, you won’t gain a cup size but the girls will “plump” up a bit, says Bolton. ($1,500 for two sessions)
- Vampire Hair Restoration: PRP injections in the scalps of men and women with thinning hair. ($1,200/treatment).
- O-shots. Yup, O is for orgasm. A PRP injection in the clitoris and upper vagina rejuvenates and stimulates new tissue growth, resulting in better orgasms, more lubrication, a stronger sex drive, less urinary leakage, etc. ($1,500/shot).
- P-shots (aka the Priapus Shot). An O-shot for men. An injection of PRP to solve erectile dysfunction ($1,800/shot). Can also increase penis size (but just a smidge).
- PRP Joint injections for aching knees and elbows.
And this is a big one:
- Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for men and women to make you look and feel better.
“We need to get past our fear of hormone replacement,” Bolton says. Early studies were done on synthetic hormones, not the natural, bio-identical hormones that he uses. “All the research that has continued to come out on bio-identicals and natural hormones say they’re safe. You’re not seeing an increased risk of cancer.”
What his patients on HRT are seeing, according to Bolton: reduced osteoporosis, protection from cardiovascular disease and cancer, younger skin, better sleep and fewer menopausal symptoms.
“Think about it. When hormones are at their peak, we’re in our teens, 20s and early 30s,” Bolton says. “We’re feeling and looking our best and there are very few people with cancer, heart disease, stroke, mental health issues.” He says HRT – whether it comes in a cream, a pill or a pellet (Bolton does 4,000 pellet injections a year) – eases hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia, depression, anxiety, irritability, vaginal dryness, decreased energy/libido, weight gain, skin/hair/nail changes and erectile dysfunction. Bio-identical HRT with Bolton at Day Spa by Zsuzsanna is $250 for women and $650 for men. (Men need lots more hormones than women.) Blood work and a private consult with Bolton determines whether you’re a good candidate for HRT.
“Everyone should get hormone therapy,” says Zsuzsanna Beyer, if for no other reason than to reduce the obvious signs of aging on the skin. Spoken like a true beauty guru, which, of course, Zsuzsanna is.
Day Spa by Zsuzsanna, 241 Conestoga Rd., Wayne, 610-688-3969, is open Tues – Sat. with evening hours Wed. and Thurs. Instagram: @dayspabyzsuzsanna.
***Hot deal for SAVVY readers: Ask for 10% discount on any service at Zsuzsanna! ***
The Main Line misses you like crazy, Crazy Ladies
After five years at the Malvern Sunoco, those “Italian/Jewish-mother” cooks, Three Crazy Ladies, have hung up their aprons.
Throughout May, Cathie Josephs, 53, and Debbie Goldberg, 65, retired favorite dishes, one by one.
On May 31, they retired themselves.
“It’s time to go back to our families,” the two explained in a farewell YouTube video. (The third crazy lady left the biz a while back.)
Josephs and Goldberg met as Great Valley soccer moms and joined forces in May of 2014, pumping out gourmet vittles with a side order of kindness. They opened in the gas station at Route 29 and 30 to keep overhead low and prices under $8.
Ignite your child’s social conscience
Summer camps are all about fun and self-improvement.
But how about a camp that focuses on improving the lives of others?
That’s the premise and promise of the Haverford-based Impact Center, a nonprofit that immerses young people in social issues through learning and service work with local partner nonprofits.
Kids from 3rd through 12th grades can learn about food insecurity while assisting at, say, Ardmore Food Pantry or Chester County Food Bank, among others.
They can better understand homelessness at Broad Street Ministry or Home of the Sparrow. They learn compassion and inclusion at TALK School (autism) or maybe Thorncroft Equestrian Center.
They explore multiculturalism and immigration through HIAS PA and The Multicultural Community Family Services, and poverty through Our Closet or the Jewish Relief Agency.
The point: ignite purpose in young people.
Besides summer camps, Impact Center educators teach leadership and citizenship, help with Mitvahs and Confirmation projects and connect youth teams to impactful experiences,
Students pay by the experience or can purchase memberships (either individual or family) for unlimited experiences.
Impact Center, 600 Haverford Rd., Suite 101, Haverford, 484-413-2203.
Introducing our new regular feature: SAVVY Steals – get ’em while they’re HOT!
What do you call an Early Bird at Happy Hour? A Happy Bird, of course. Worth clucking about: Main & Vine in Villanova’s Happy Bird dinners, Mondays through Friday, 4 to 6 p.m., $30 for three courses. (We’re also ecstatic about Main & Vine’s Happy Hours (M-F, 4 to 6:30): $4 house wines, $3 Miller Lites, $5 house drinks and $7 – $9 bar snacks. Sooooo Cali cool.
Preppy-chic on the cheap! Power shop at new SAVVY advertiser Louella’s Summer Sale, Thursday, June 13 through Sunday, June 16. Get one item at 30% off; two at 40% off each; better still, three or more at 50% off each. Current merch from brands you love like Trina Turk, Shoshanna, Jude Connolly, Sail to Sable and Julie Brown. Sorry, shore birds: sale’s only on in Wayne, Malvern and Bryn Mawr.
Tell them you’re a SAVVY reader and get 10 percent off any service at the wondrous Day Spa by Zsuzsanna in Wayne. With Zsuzsanna’s new higher-ticket medical aesthetic offerings like microneedling, vampire facials, O-shots, hair restoration and hormone replacement (see our story above) – the savings really add up. Beautiful stuff.
The peonies are gone. Sigh. (There’s always next year.) But the hydrangeas are GORGEOUS at Trader’s Joe’s right now. And just $5.99 for a bountiful bunch.
And, in case you missed our hot pink alert, stop in SAVVY sponsor, HomeCooked in Paoli, for a FREE (and yummy) artichoke/spinach dip or apple/pear crisp through June 29. Click here for deets. No purchase necessary. Just tell ’em SAVVY sent you.
Raising our frosty mugs to Kunda Beverage
You gotta love a family business with staying power. A biz like Kunda Beverage of King of Prussia, sellers of suds for 100 years.
Four generations of Kunda men have minded the beer store since its founding in 1920: Watson, then Walter and Tom, then Skip, Kevin and Tim, and now Chris.
The business has shifted with the times. During Prohibition, Watson Kunda sold “special brew” near beer out of his home.
It’s also moved a few times: from the front room of Watson and Anna Kunda’s Swedesburg home, to a warehouse next door in 1936, to what’s now Tires Plus in KOP in 1956, to its current home on Henderson Road in 1971.
Fun fact: The supercool Jetson-esque sign out front was made by Kunda Sign Co., which closed in 2014 but was started by Walter’s brothers, Chip and Ted.
Today Kunda Beverage, aka The Bev, is a Mecca for beer geeks. Some 40 countries and 47 states are represented on his shelves, Chris Kunda tells us. And folks from as far as Ohio, New York and New Jersey motor on in regularly.
Got a hankering for hard-to-find Driefontein, Alchemist or Pliny the Elder? The Bev can scratch that itch.
Alternatively, area hop heads (with crowlers in tow) tap into Kunda’s hyperlocal selection of eight rotating drafts.
Chris may have taken over retail operations, but his father and uncles still bleed gold (and Eagles green, btw. The family is among the team’s longest tenured season ticketholders, since 1961.) Kevin, Skip and Tim Kunda are partners at Global Village Imports, which brings select beers and spirits to wholesalers and retailers across the country.
Kunda Beverage, 349 S. Henderson Rd., King of Prussia, 610-265-3113, sells singles, 6-packs, 12-packs, cases and crowlers.
SAVVY at the shore: Newcomers worth knowing about
Capt’n Chucky’s Crab Cake Co. is selling killer crabcakes, perfectly-cooked shrimp cocktail and lots more at 3011 Dune Drive in Avalon (across from the Avalon Police Dept.) It’s the 12th store for the Newtown Square-based seafood market. This one’s owned by the Vassalotti family, pals of original skippers Chuck and Nancy Wojciehowski, aka the good folk who round up 50 volunteers to make and serve Christmas dinner to hundreds of nuns at Immaculata each year.
Despite the service hiccups on busy nights, folks are raving about Polpo, the upscale, modern Italian (actually Venetian) spot open since the end of last season at 3256 Dune Drive, Avalon. We hear the arugula salad (generously sized and lightly dressed) is especially fab. Still in your flip-flops? Head next door to Polpo’s casual cousin, Fratelli’s, for deelish wood-fired pizza and more. Bujar Daku owns both, along with La Fonatana Del Mare in Strathmere and la Fontana Della Citta in Center City.
Families are juiced for Avalon’s new Surfside Park at 30th and the beach – and why not? There’s a playground, free parking, public restrooms, showers and “rinsing stations” for day visitors, an amphitheater and large lawn. Grand opening June 22. “Surfside Live” kiddie nights on July and August Monday nights, and Friday night “Surfside Jams,” June 28 – Aug. 23. The $2 million project was funded by the Cape May County Open Space Program.
Missing your Flywheel/SoulCycle at the beach? Try Revel Ride at 271 21st St., Avalon. Think SoulCycle bikes, Flywheel metrics and all of the energetic tunes and motivation of both. Be sure to peep the custom wall by Philly graffiti artist Jimmy “Gloss Black.” $30 to drop in; spin shoes included.
Speaking of bikes, if you’re up for cycling to and from the shore, there’s now a nice, wide bike onramp to the Ben Franklin Bridge. No more steps and the views are wunderbar!
Blufish Designs has paddled into a new port in Avalon. The home décor store is now at 2021 Dune Drive.
Louella has joined the crowd of Main Line boutiques (Gingy’s, Skirt, Knit Wit, Latrice, Coco Blu, Bedazzled) with Jersey addresses. The preppy-chic shop is now open at 2819 Dune Drive in Avalon.
Also, cooler by a mile in Avalon: Dips, a new ice cream parlor at 2409 Dune Drive. Feeling more virtuous: Try Goodness Bowls, smoothie, juice and acai bowl bar at 2001 Dune, under new ownership.
Named the best hotel in NJ by Conde Nast Traveler, Reeds at Shelter Haven in Stone Harbor now has a two-story Salt Spa (with Turkish bath, blowout bar, nail salon) and 21 more rooms.
Three Crazy Ladies (see our story in this issue) left the Malvern Sunoco, but if your tummy still needs a gas-station fillup, try Exit Zero Filling Station in Cape May. Burgers and curries, then top off your tank with hyper-local booze and beers.
Get a taste of the old sod at Josie Kelly’s Public House, now in its first full season in the old-timey Mac’s in Somers Point. Irish owners gutted the circa-1908 building. Lunch, brunch, dinner and live music. (Motown Mondays are calling our names…)
Rainy day? Head to AC’s Boardwalk Hall through mid-July to see the Blackjacks, arena football league.
Not sure if we should tear up at the memories or raise a glass to progress but carnival-style tickets are no more at Gillian’s Wonderland Pier in Ocean City. Now ringing in its 90th year on the Boardwalk, Gillian’s has switched from paper tickets to electronic swipe cards.
Speaking of the shore stepping into the 21st century, Margate has its first all-purpose city app. “Margate NJ, Shop Dine Live” gives you the scoop on this year’s Beachstock music fest (bigger and better than ever on June 29), the Farmer’s Market at Steve and Cookie’s & lots more.
Save a seagull: bring your own shopping bags to the shore. Single-use plastic bags, plastic foam food containers and straws are now verboten in most towns, including Avalon and Stone Harbor.
A new spot to soak up some suds, along with the Atlantic City sunshine. Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall (below) has a fire pit and games on a garden patio, 100 craft beers, 40 taps, craft cocktails, elevagted burgers and weiners, and live music. (Bonus: Free parking across the street from the Leadership Studio.)
Another year, another brewery in Cape May. Gusto Brew Co. is open at Bayshore Rd. in North Cape May with tours and tastings. Their motto: Keep it small + Keep it Weird. Sounds about right.
Couple of newbies of note in booming Sea Isle City (aka Delco East): upscale Beachwood at the Dunes in the old Doc Magrogan’s spot. Owner Lucas Manteca also has Quahog’s Seafood Shack in Stone Harbor and Red Store in Cape May Point. Anthony’s Ristorante of Drexel Hill is moving to the corner of Landis Ave. and 44th Street.
This is the last season for James Bennett’s long-running LaCosta Lounge & Deck Bar in Sea Isle. His lease ends in October and the property, which includes Coast Motel, a pizza joint and parking lot, was sold to local developers Christopher Glancey and Bob Morris for $7.3 million.
Move over Casel’s, Downbeach Deli and Hot Bagels & More. There’s a new(ish) artisanal smoked fish and bagel shop in Margate. Water Dog Smoked Fish smokes sustainably-caught, never-frozen fish without preservatives and unpronounceable add-ons.
You might see more traffic on the Longport or Dorset Ave. bridges this summer. Margate Bridge and causeway (Downbeach Express) just bumped up to $2/crossing; $1.40 with an Express Pass.
Fab news for Downbeachers awaiting a spiffed-up Ventnor movie palace: Tilton Square Theatre in Northfield, formerly Tilton 9, was just totally refurbished with an Old Hollywood/Art Deco vibe, giant IMA screen and fully reclining seats.
Young plastic surgery patients pampered at Wynnewood salon
By Lisa Kazanjian
Wash and cut? Up do? Highlights? French mani? Decisions, decisions, but for 23 patients from CHOP’s Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery enjoying its annual Day of Beauty, if they asked for it, they got it.
Held for the first time at Millennium Hair & Day Spa in Wynnewood on April 28, the Day of Beauty brought style and smiles to young CHOP patients born with facial and body abnormalities.
Long-time Millennium stylist Geralyn Conti ran the show with help from eight stylists, two makeup artists and two nail techs, all of whom donated their time. Also on board: salon owner Max Zylberdrut, his wife, realtor Linda “Z”, and their daughter, Kaila, a PR exec at CHOP.
Millennium has received many “best of” awards but for Conti, nothing inspires like CHOP’s Day of Beauty. “It’s been such a rewarding and emotional experience that demonstrates what hair and makeup can do for a person. It’s why we get into the business in the first place.”
The Day of Beauty is the brainchild of Diane Sweeney, a parent liaison at CHOP. “Life isn’t easy for them, so I wanted to boost their self-esteem, particularly during prom season,” Sweeney says. “The Day of Beauty’s a great way for the children and parents to connect … I’d love to expand it to hospitals and salons across the country.”
Rachel Goodine of Downingtown, 21, has undergone multiple surgeries at CHOP for severe cleft and palate and other issues, and is a six-time Day of Beauty participant. She says she Ioves going to the salon.
Don’t we all?
This and That
Anyone else wondering what’s happening with Haverford Plaza (above), the strip center that’s slowly going dark? Our sources tell us Chase Bank is taking over the whole center. Exciting, we know.
Business must be boffo. The all-local collective in central Wayne that we told you about last time – the Main Line Co-op Popup – is sticking around until January.
Snap Kitchen in Wayne is no more. No surprise since we never saw a soul in the place. Malvern and Villanova stores are still open.
A long, hot summer for drivers around Suburban Square, where a construction project is slated to take 12 weeks. You can only drive northbound on Anderson (toward Montgomery Ave.) on the Square’s west end. And for the next six weeks, you can’t pull into the Ruby’s lot from Anderson. Ugh.
Blue Octagon has cleared out of Malvern. Owner Krissa Wichser is consolidating her design and home décor and gift business in her newer location in Wayne.
Main Line Health now owns St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood: all 75 acres and 19 buildings. The seminary will stay put for up to five years while it works on a deal for land to build a new seminary in Aston near Neumann Univ. Meanwhile, the health system will use part of the property for “internal educational” purposes, Main Line Health’s Bridget Therriault tells SAVVY. She says MLH, which operates Lankenau Hospital across the street, will consult with the community to assess “optimal future use” of the site. Any decision will take into account the “historical significance of the buildings and the needs of Lower Merion Township’s growing and vibrant community,” Therriault says.
The old Skinny Pizza space in Paoli Village Shoppes next to Nudy’s has a taker: Nom Nom, a Japanese ramen/sushi concept out of Philly.
A call to action from Berwyn Fire Co. Its president is asking folks to show up at either Tredyffrin or Easttown Board of Supervisors’ meetings – both on June 17 – to push for “increased, sustainable” funding for emergency medical and fire services. BFC has been operating at a deficit for the last five years and is projected to deplete its operating cash reserves in the next two years, according to BFC’s President.
A slimey twist on the old principal-takes-one-on-the-chin-for-charity act. Dr. Daniel Martino, principal of Cynwyd Elementary, made good on his promise to get “slimed” after his students raised $6,000 for their “Team Sean” walkathon. Kids emptied their piggy banks and lapped the school’s track in late May. The walkathon raised money for research into the rare, genetic neuromuscular disease, Ataxia-Telangiectasia (A-T). Cynwyd 5th-grader Sean Herrmann has the disorder.
Not sure which were fiercer: the thunderclaps outside or the passions raging inside the Tredyffrin Township zoning meeting May 29. At issue: Catalyst Outdoor Advertising’s plan to put a “monument-style” digital billboard (LED lights and rotating messages) at the Clockworks building at Routes 252 and 30. Tredyffrin’s zoning officer nixed the plan in January. Undaunted, Catalyst came back with guns ablazing, fighting the township’s ordinance and the zoning officer’s decision and armed with plans for a smaller, one-sided digital billboard. With so many wanting to speak – and their right to do so challenged by Catalyst’s attorney – the whole shebang was continued. Want to speak your peace or witness the fireworks? Show up July 9 at 7 p.m.
Calling all 24 and Designated Survivor fans. Actor and country singer/songwriter Kiefer Sutherland is playing Ardmore Music Hall June 26, a stop on his “Reckless & Me” album tour. We heard a clip – guy’s got pipes. Only $25 standing room only tickets are left.
Wayne’s Woodlynde School just broke ground on its most significant building and grounds project in 30 years. $10.8 million in campus enhancements include a new student commons, music and innovation suites, four new outdoor learning areas, additional classrooms and faculty offices. The school has raised $5M of its $7M capital campaign goal. Woodlynde is a K- 12 college prep school for children who learn differently.
Way to pull as one, Merion Mercy Academy. The school’s Lightweight 4+ entered the US Rowing Championships as underdogs. But as Jason Kelce taught us: an underdog is a hungry dog. The MMA girls squeaked out a .14 second win in the semis and 2-second win in the finals. Nice stroke, Izzie Begley, Taylor Gregitis, Erin Welch, Cece Wendel and Phoebe DeVlieger.
Shoutout to Radnor High School and Middle School, just recognized as “No Places for Hate” by the Anti-Defamation League. The two schools were among 30 in southeastern PA, NJ and Delaware honored for their efforts to make learning more inclusive and respectful.
Second shoutout to Harriton pitcher Jack Kochanowicz, drafted in the third round by the LA Angels, the 92nd pick overall in the MLB draft. Kochanowicz had unheard of numbers this year – posting a .32 ERA, a 6-0 record and a 96-mph fastball. He’s also got the physical tools, all 6 ft., 6 inches of him. Hats off to a second Main Line MLB draftee: The St. Louis Cardinals took Malvern Prep outfielder Chris Newell in the 37th round.
Nadia Cuckler says
Caroline – Harriton High School GIrls’ Varsity Lacrosse Team just won the PIAA state championship, a huge accomplishment. My granddaughter, Ashton Odiorne was one of two sophomores, on that team.
Always look forward to reading SAVVY – always learn so much about what is going in our community. Thank you.
Caroline O'Halloran says
Thanks, Nadia. So glad you’re enjoying SAVVY! Yes, I heard about the Harriton girls lacrosse title but too late for this issue. Hope our paths cross again soon!
Allie Dannon says
What an amazing area we live in! Thank you again Savvy Mainline for bringing more stories, culture and the “what’s happening around town” to us. We enjoyed the store / shop owners’ back stories in this issue too.
Caroline O'Halloran says
Thanks, Allie! We love telling stories (true ones, of course). No shortage of interesting subjects in our community!