On July 25, 2021, the 10th anniversary of the catastrophe that upended her life, Melissa Schweiter Oeth, 52, posted a grateful message on Facebook, took a long walk near her Devon home and counted her blessings.
That night, she cuddled a little longer with her 22-year-old son Logan, who remains profoundly disabled from the accident. She told him how proud she was of him. Her “Bear” was trying so hard – to talk, to move, to make himself understood.
She went to sleep relieved that the milestone she’d dreaded was over and thankful it hadn’t rained a drop.
The toughest anniversaries were the wet ones.
“I don’t go anywhere near Wayne when there’s been a big storm because it’s too hard,” says Melissa on a sunny Wednesday in mid-July.
Rainy days summon a deluge of hellish memories: the 100-year storm that turned Ithan Creek into a raging river, 12-year-old Logan trying to ride the rushing water on a pool float but swept into a drain pipe instead, his 20 minutes under water causing catastrophic brain injury, the scrambles for miracle cures in Mexico and reliable nurses on the Main Line, the strain on her family, her finances, her mental health, her marriage.
Ten years later, Melissa prefers to look forward, not back.
She still doesn’t know every detail about that awful day and likely never will. She can’t bring herself to pose questions to those who were there, won’t make them “relive what I imagined could haunt them for the rest of their lives.”
While her life after Logan’s accident isn’t the life she’d planned, Melissa embraces it. She has no regrets.
Logan, though deeply disabled, is still here. He lives; he breathes.
And he’s given her so much: a stronger sense of herself and confidence in her abilities, a career she enjoys, and in the last few years, a perfect life partner.
No, Melissa won’t visit Wayne when it’s raining, but she is able to speak freely about the accident, its excruciating aftermath and her bumpy road back to happiness.
She’s been writing about it, too.
With help from a writer friend, Jeanne Mulvanerty, Melissa just finished a 300-page memoir and is shopping publishers. Working title: From Trauma to Tinder: How almost losing my son led to finding myself.
“I shed many tears” says Melissa about the three years she spent chronicling her journey. “But overall, writing was cathartic and healing.”
In a decade, Melissa sustained multiple traumas: the loss of the playful, outgoing child she’d nurtured for 12 years and her dreams for his future, the death of her father, and the disintegration of her marriage.
Her first loss was all over the news. Logan’s near-drowning in a South Wayne storm-water culvert took away her chatty, inquisitive youngest child forever, replacing him with the neediest of special-needs children, profoundly brain damaged and quadriplegic.
Logan requires round-the-clock nursing care, weekly physical, occupational, speech and massage therapy, a slew of medications and special equipment – all of it carefully calibrated to keep pain and seizures at bay, his organs functioning and his body limber.
He can neither taste nor swallow and is fed through a tube in his stomach – four times a day to keep weight on his skinny 5 ft. 8, 118-pound frame.
His vision is severely impaired but “he’s tuned in. He knows voices,” his mother says. If you ask him to, he’ll squeeze your hand, find you with his eyes, even turn his head.
If you pose a question, he might look up to answer yes. He might even say “Yaaaaahhhhh.” When Melissa tells him she loves him, he moves his lips in response. “He tries really hard,” she says.
He perks up for certain people, she says – favorite nurses and therapists, his family, old friends.
But carrying on a one-sided conversation isn’t easy; most visitors arrive in pairs.
Young men now, his childhood pals still come by now and then. They play music, talk about their love lives and reminisce about old times. Often “they’ll pat his back, rub his neck, put a hand on his arm. As a mom, it always touches my heart to see that kind of care from other boys. There’s such maturity in that.”
Melissa’s second loss came 20 months after Logan’s accident when her father, David Herbster, passed from pulmonary fibrosis at age 72.
“He was steadfast and loyal, a real rock in my life,” she recalls. The Schweiter kids – Bailey, Parke and Logan – treasured their Poppy and their days at the family farm. Losing her dad made Melissa feel even more unmoored, adrift in a Logan-consumed life – a life she no longer recognized.
Her third loss was a long time coming. Wobbly for years, her marriage to Marty, her college sweetheart, collapsed completely after the accident.
“We grieved differently. We coped differently,” Melissa recalls. “They say trauma brings you together or it pulls you apart, and unfortunately, that’s what happened to us.”
Melissa and Marty separated in August of 2013 and the divorce was finalized in 2015.
With Logan attending the weekday program at Melmark, Bailey and Parke away at college or working, and expenses piling up, Melissa’s stay-at-home mom days were over.
In short order, she landed a dream job – or so she thought – tending bar at White Dog Café in Wayne. Short on experience but long on personality and mixology skills, she’d charmed her way in the door.
At first, bartending was social and fun – she even fielded a few marriage proposals.
But shift work was tough on Logan’s schedule, her aching feet and her psyche. In Melissa’s mind, when people saw her tending bar, they were thinking how far she had fallen. They felt sorry for her. “Nothing is worse in this world than pity,” Melissa says. “I would do anything to avoid pity.”
After four months, she left White Dog and started a business where she could keep her own hours, The Well Kept Home. She’d use her people skills and knack for home organizing to help overwhelmed seniors de-clutter and downsize. During the COVID shutdown, she studied for her real estate license online and is now a broker in the Devon office of Berkshire Hathaway. Melissa Oeth Real Estate/The Well Kept Home offers a full-service experience from home staging, marketing and sales, to moving and new-home space planning and estate management.
Artsy and ever-entrepreneurial, she also just launched The Brassy Lass, a line of handcrafted, one-of-a-king antique brass pendants that she sells online, and last weekend, at the Devon Fall Classic.
When Melissa reflects on her journey, she talks first about the “Tiger Mom” days. Convinced she was the best person to manage Logan’s care, she drove herself to exhaustion that first year or so – helping doctors puzzle together the right meds, obsessively researching brain injury recovery and mistakenly putting her faith in a hyperbaric chamber in Newtown Square and a Hail Mary stem-cell cure in Mexico. She and Marty “spent insane amounts of money” to transport Logan to Tijuana a half dozen times for stem-cell injections.
For more than a year, Melissa was Logan’s primary daytime nurse – insurance only covered the night and overnight shifts. She became so adept at the job and the jargon, people starting assuming she was a nurse. “I’m not. But I play one in real life,” she’d quip.
After a year and a half, she was worn down. Tiger Mom couldn’t do it all.
Logan wasn’t getting any better. He needed specialized care that she wasn’t equipped to give.
She also worried about neglecting her two older children, Bailey and Parke.
Bailey was 16 and had just switched from Archbishop Carroll to Conestoga at the time of the accident. She and Logan were “birds of a feather,” their mom says. “Both had big personalities and big hearts.” Bailey was taking the accident especially hard. “She was angry at God, angry at the world.”
Two grades younger than Bailey, Parke was quieter, more laid back. He found solace in his Catholic faith and sports. A standout lacrosse player at Conestoga and Hobart, Parke often said he was “playing for Logan,” who also loved lacrosse.
When she was in Tiger Mom mode, Melissa usually looked like she was keeping it together. But alone in her car, she would explode. “The car was where I would scream and yell and rage.”
Left alone with Logan one snowy night, her thoughts turned dangerously dark. Was there enough medicine in the house to take out the two of them? Wouldn’t that make everyone’s life easier? The quality of Logan’s life stinks and I can’t fix it. What good am I?”
Her “weird pseudo celebrity” status in downtown Wayne was weighing her down, too. Did she and Marty have to answer questions about Logan every time they left the house? Was this life even worth living?
Luckily, the demons didn’t stay long. How could she leave Bailey and Parke when they needed her so much? And what if the suicide failed and she was left handicapped, putting an even bigger burden on Marty?
She pulled herself out of the rabbit hole and soldiered on.
“There was a lot of fake it ’til you make it. I took a lot of comfort in the routine of getting up in the morning, brushing my teeth, putting on makeup – in looking normal until I could feel normal.”
When “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger” came on the radio, she’d belt it out louder than Kelly Clarkson.
But faking it only took her so far.
Ask Melissa how she survived and thrived, how a woman so angry and broken could emerge so happy and whole – and she deflects. She won’t take credit. Instead, she points outside herself, to her abiding faith and to her “incredible village” – people she knew well, people she’s never met.
“God, please handle this, because I can’t,” became her and Marty’s mantra during the eight weeks Logan spent at CHOP and Children’s Seashore House and that first fretful year at home.
“I had an experience when we were at CHOP where I just found this incredible sense of peace that I had never known in my life. It couldn’t have come from anywhere but God, so I leaned into it – hard. And that sort of became what helped me get up in the morning – the belief that this was part of God’s plan and just go with it.”
Indeed, two supports she came to rely on most – the St. Katharine’s School community in Wayne and a women’s prayer group – were grounded in faith.
Logan would never return to St. Katharine’s as a student – the accident happened in the summer after 6th grade – but Principal Bud Tosti, teachers and parents organized two sold-out Luv4Logan fundraisers to defray expenses not covered by insurance, things like massages to ease Logan’s spastic muscles and home additions to accommodate Logan’s hospital bed, equipment and therapy sessions.
Melissa’s playgroup friends, her school and bible study buddies, the neighbors who brought meals for more than a year, the volunteers who took turns helping with Logan’s care in the early days, the lacrosse parents, Logan’s nurses and care team, the strangers who put the Schweiters on their prayer lists and came to fundraisers – Melissa refers to them as Logan’s Angels but they were Melissa’s angels, too. Every gesture, every prayer, every casserole gave her hope, eased her burden, made her feel less alone.
Ten years later, Melissa and Marty have settled happily into new lives. Marty married Jenine Maguire in 2018 and Melissa married Mike Oeth in 2020.
The two couples have 12 children between them.
Melissa met Mike on the dating app, Tinder. “It’s not just for hook-ups,” Melissa says, smiling. After misfires on Match.com, Bailey insisted her mom give Tinder a try and helped post her profile.
Both Mike and Melissa swiped right. Friendly texts led to long phone calls that led to a first date in King of Prussia.
Melissa had already told Mike about Logan – she warned all prospective dates about “what they might be getting into” – but he was “undaunted.”
Calm, steady and solid, he reminded Melissa of her dad. “When things happen with Logan and the Tiger Mom gets all fired up, he’s the voice of reason that says, ‘Breathe, think it through before you react.’”
Logan lives with both his parents, alternating weeks between Melissa and Mike’s home in Devon and Marty and Jenine’s in Newtown Square.
Except for intermittent scrambles for nursing coverage, it’s working out. His parents get a break and Logan gets a change of scenery – he graduated from Melmark in March of 2020.
A decade after the accident, it’s the milestones missed that hurt Melissa most.
“Seeing Logan’s friends get their licenses, go to proms, and especially this year, graduate college – it’s painful. I can’t help but think where would Logan have gone to school, who would he have taken to prom.”
But with struggle has come growth, even gratitude.
“I’m a stronger person, a more faith-filled person, a more compassionate person for what I’ve been through, for what I’ve helped Logan through,” his mom says. “A lot of good has come out of it. I built a new life. I feel very blessed – I know God has had a hand all over it. But I also know I’d trade it in a minute to get Logan back.”
Kissing (Italian) Cousins: Pizzeria Vetri joins Amis at Devon Yard after all
This time, Pizzeria Vetri got it right.
No more thick, carb-laden pies. No more awkward seating in a mall hallway.
The new Pizzeria Vetri in the former bar at Amis in Devon Yard is nothing like the Pizzeria Vetri, now closed in the King of Prussia Mall.
The pizzas in Devon are blessedly thin Neapolitan rounds, not chunky Roman squares.
Made with just four things (water, flour, yeast and salt), the dough is baked to crunchy perfection and dotted with charred bubbles (“leoparding”) – signs of a well-made pie. The salads are fresh, the service is friendly and, yes, there’s a full bar.
Insider tip: At dinner, you can be seated in either Amis or PIzzeria Vetri and order from the other’s menu.
On the menu: Antipasti ($5 – $16); Salads (three seasonals, two classics, $9 to $14); Ten pizzas in two sizes: 12-inches ($12 – $17) and 28-inches ($22 -32). Pepperoni and Margherita for the kids; More exotic stuff like Proscuitto and Eggplant (a must-try) for grown-ups. And for DIYers: Pizza kits (dough ball, sauce cheese and toppings) for $14 – $16. Top sellers in Devon, per Jessica, the manager: all-pork meatballs and the tomato-less Maurizio pizza.
The vibe: Same as Amis: light, bright, industrial-chic. The only real changes are the booths in the center, the banquettes lining the walls, and the pizza oven/open kitchen – instead of liquor bottles – behind the bar.
Devon Yard was supposed to get a Pizzeria Vetri all along, but owner URBN pulled the plug at the 11th hour and gave Amis the whole building.
But Amis has always struggled to fill its 150 seats while neighboring Terrain Cafe was a hit out of the gate. When Amis pivoted to takeout early in the pandemic, URBN brought in Pizzeria Vetri as a popup. Folks ate it up so URBN decided to make it permanent. The building closed for two months this summer and Pizzeria Vetri and a slimmed-down Amis with a new menu and a new bar debuted in early August.
Taking its friendly name literally, the new menu at Amis is designed for sharing. Appetizers are smaller but everything else – salads, pastas and plates – are a tad oversized so you can pass them around.
“For the last year and a half, we’ve all missed coming together and sharing a meal so we wanted to focus on that,” says Amis General Manager Luke Tamney.
Pizzeria Vetri, 138 W. Lancaster Ave, Devon Yard, is open for lunch, dinner and takeout Wed. to Sat. noon to 9, Sundays noon to 8. Call 484-207-6663 or order online for pickup or Caviar delivery. Amis Trattoria, same location, is open for dinner only, Wed. to Sat. 4 to 10, Sundays 4 to 9.
New details on celebrated chef Marc Vetri’s plans for Bryn Mawr
Destined to be the hottest table in town? Marc Vetri’s new Italian steakhouse in Bryn Mawr.
Main Line foodies are salivating at news that Vetri’s vaunted restaurant group has signed for the Enoteca Tredici space in Bryn Mawr Village. Not the namesake pizzeria owned by Urban Outfitters now at Devon Yard but a spot helmed by the nationally renowned chef himself.
“The reaction has been nothing short of spectacular,” says Paul Aschkenasy, developer of the lifestyle center who’s pinching himself at his good fortune. “Once the handwriting was on the wall that Tredici would not survive, we had several prominent downtown restaurateurs approach us about the space so we always knew we’d have a terrific operator. But when Vetri became a reality, we realized that we had even exceeded our expectations.”
Seems the Vetri group has been eyeing the Main Line for years.
“Marc has always wanted to come here,” says the group’s managing partner Tom Gravina, a tech entrepreneur with a long Main Line resumé: Lower Merion HS, Villanova U, home in Haverford, company (Evolve IP) in Wayne. It was Gravina who alerted his old friends, Marc Vetri and business partner Jeff Benjamin, to the opportunity in Bryn Mawr.
“I always wanted to bring a world-class restaurant here,” Gravina says. “The Main Line is a historic place with a lot of sophisticated people who’ve done great things philanthropically, in business and socially. But I never felt there was a restaurant here that was reflective of that.”
In an email to SAVVY, Vetri tells us he’s been “toying with the burbs for many, many years, especially near Villanova.” Many of his customers and friends live in the area, Vetri wrote us, and he loved the idea of partnering with Gravina to “build something fun together with long-lasting impact.”
Vetri also loves “the vibe” and “great energy” of Bryn Mawr Village and has wanted to do an Italian steakhouse for years. “I’ve had a vision for one that’s been literally marinating in my head.”
What can we look forward to?
“We’ll be very veggie forward with fewer cuts but specific ones,” Vetri tells us. “Lots of plates to share and many, many surprises.” And yes, there will be pasta. And seafood.
The decor will be “simple, yet elegant with some great art on the walls.” An architectural firm out of New York is creating a design that will be “distinctly different from Tredici,” Gravina promises.
No need to dress up, either.
“If you know Marc, he’s a casual guy,” Gravino says. “He wants to create a fun atmosphere where you can come dressed up or in dress shorts and a golf shirt.”
Vetri will serve as Executive Chef and Benjamin will oversee operations. And they won’t be absentee operators. “Marc works in all his restaurants; he’s a hands on guy, so is Jeff.”
The group has already hired a chef from a “well-known restaurant in the city” and plans to offer a comprehensive employee benefit package.
Enoteca Tredici was perhaps the Main Line’s buzziest restaurant when it opened three years ago. It closed quietly last month, the last vestige of Greg Dodge’s once bustling Zavino restaurant group. Dodge is being sued by investors and his ex-wife who claim he misappropriated funds and fraudulently obtained a PPP loan. (Dodge’s other Main Line operation, The Refectory on Villanova’s campus, will reopen under a new partnership in October. See our story below.)
The name for Vetri’s first Main Line venture is still under wraps. Doors should open in early spring.
‘Ripplewood on steroids’: New team to reboot The Refectory
If you like the Ardmore gastropub, Ripplewood Whiskey & Craft, you’re gonna love this fall’s reincarnation of The Refectory in Villanova.
A few high-profile restaurant groups vied for a chance to operate Villanova’s on-campus-but-open-to-the-public bar and restaurant, closed since Spring 2020 due to COVID and the legal woes of its first operator, Greg Dodge. We hear Fearless Restaurants (the White Dog Café/Rosalie/Autograph) was interested and Stephen Starr wanted to gut the place and give it a new name.
This time, though, Villanova chose to partner with one of its own.
Nova President Father Peter Donohue put the University’s sizable investment in the hands of longtime Nova booster and hoops season ticket holder Ken Kearns, ’92, whose father and brother are also alums.
Father Peter, Athletic Director Mark Jackson and other VIPs held a tasting tryout and were wowed by Kearns’ group, the guys behind Ripplewood in Ardmore and 118 North in Wayne. Executive Chef Biff Gottehrer dished up 20 different items; Kearns and wife Kristen were servers. “A lot of our pitch was to keep this in the family,” Kearns explained.
After such a long hiatus, Villanova wanted the doors open ASAP. “It’s a big recruiting tool and a great amenity for alumni,” says Kearns.
What’s on tap when The Refectory re-opens next month?
The same comfortable, clubby décor, affordable happy hours, and a something-for-everyone menu.
“It’ll be Ripplewood on steroids,” says Kearns of The Refectory’s much larger, somewhat more formal 150-seat restaurant and bar.
“We’re going for refined comfort,” says Gotthrer. “Not upscale, not bougie, not bar food.” You can enjoy one of Gottehrer’s famous two-patty burgers and a couple beers at the bar or bring the gang for dinner in one of their comfy booths.
A knock on the old Refectory was that it priced out Nova employees and students.
The new Refectory will correct that wrong, the new operators say. Think affordable salads, flatbreads and sandwiches at lunch, $5 drinks, sliders, tacos and flatbreads and buck-a-shucks at happy hour, and at dinner, a raw bar with crudo, shareable sides and dinner plates in the 20s.
And at all times, a full bar with mid-priced cocktails, craft beers and wines.
Experienced at combining hospitality with live acts at Ardmore Music Hall and 118 North, Kearns & Co. say they’ll program the restaurant to on-campus events, sports and the lineup at the new Mullen Performing Arts Center that’s right across the street.
Dinner and a show anyone?
The Refectory, at the corner of Lancaster and Ithan Avenues in the new Commons on Villanova’s campus, is now hiring (email [email protected]) and plans to open to the public on or around October 8.
Yes! Signs of life at Radnor’s iconic Willows Mansion
After gathering dust for a decade, Willows Mansion is back in business: hosting weddings, courtyard concerts, business meetings, lectures, community events, you name it.
We dropped by a few weeks ago and, may we say, the place hasn’t looked this good in years.
There’s a new million-dollar roof, gutters and chimney. The gorgeous red roof uses an exact replica of the original Ludowici tile that a resident found by chance in nearby woods.`All eight original dormers are back.
The flagstone terrace has been restored.
The fountain wall in the courtyard has been rebuilt.
The first floor has been repainted and lightly furnished, mostly with foraged finds and donations. The drapes are hand-me downs from Chanticleer.
Radnor-based Peachtree has signed on as the exclusive caterer.
Much of that work was made possible by a certain mystery man – a regular Willows Park walker who donated $1 million to get the restoration ball rolling.
Radnor township, which owns the mansion and surrounding park and leases it to the nonprofit Willows Park Preserve (WPP), has committed another $1.8 million.
The rest of the WPP’s ambitious revitalization plan runs upwards of $4 million so work is being completed in stages.
“Trying to raise funds during a pandemic was tough,” says Will Nord, WPP’s executive director who hopes proceeds from next Saturday’s fundraiser will help cover the next phase: installing a building-wide sprinkler system, making the bathrooms ADA accessible, and bringing the kitchen up to code.
While the original Mansion completion date – summer 2022 – has been pushed back indefinitely, “by no means are we scrapping the original renderings, that’s still the goal,” Nord says.
In the meantime, the WPP is just trying to get bodies in the building. “We decided to just open and run the events that we can to raise awareness and interest as we search for those few big foundation and corporate donors.”
Among WPP’s recent programs: arboretum tours, fishing clinics, adult fitness classes, lectures and concerts in the courtyard.
Outside event rentals – from business meetings to milestone birthdays – are also helping pay the bills. Nord says he fields at least two event inquiries a day. A tent outside the solarium will stay up into November and return in early spring. With gorgeous views of Willows Pond, the place practically sells itself, he says.
“People are always talking about all the great memories from weddings and events here. Then they come out on the terrace and say, ‘Oh my God.’”
Besides money, Nord says WPP could use more help. “Sometimes I feel like the gardener and janitor and I’m trying to raise $6 million. I love it – it makes my job fun – but as we grow, we need more help. There are so many opportunities to get involved – from weeding one weekend to supporting the fall fundraiser to serving on the board.”
If the funds don’t flow, the future is far from assured, he says.
“If we fail as an organization, there’s a real fear that the mansion could be torn down.”
The public is invited to Willows Park Preserve’s fall fundraiser, “Creating Community Connections” honoring Roberta Winters on Saturday, Oct. 2, 5 to 7 p.m. Folk rock by Stella Ruze in the courtyard, Boardroom Spirits and PA Distillery tastings, Peachtree hors d’oeuvres. Click here for your $100 ticket.
Friendly, state-of-the-art Ufberg Dental now offers sedation
The sound of the drill! The size of the novocaine needle! That weird numb feeling!
Getting some people to the dentist is like, well, pulling teeth.
That’s why Berwyn’s Ufberg Dental goes all out to make a trip to the dentist as pleasant as possible.
For most, the super-friendly staff is enough to put them at ease.
For others – from the fearful to the phobic – there’s sedation dentistry. Ufberg Dental is one of the few general dentists on the Main Line to offer it. Patients can be sedated from start to finish and won’t even remember the procedure when it’s over.
“We’ve provided such a comfortable atmosphere and people really like coming here, so very few have requested sedation,” says Dr. Aaron Ufberg, founder of Ufberg Dental, who recently completed two years of rigorous clinical training to obtain his sedation license.
Ufberg Dental offers a range of sedation options – from “laughing gas” to oral medications to IVs.
Patients choose sedation for different reasons.
Many have had a traumatic experience – a dentist who didn’t use novocaine or even held them down during a procedure.
A recent Ufberg patient chose sedation after an extremely painful wisdom teeth extraction in his 20s. “The numbness was gone but the dentist kept going,” Ufberg recalls.
Some patients are afraid to see a dentist after neglecting their teeth for a long time. “They get nervous, thinking they’re going to need a lot of stuff.” Sedation dentistry is perfect for procrastinators because it allows multiple procedures – extractions, implants, fillings – in a single visit.
Ufberg Dental is a high-tech, one-stop shop for general/preventive, restorative and cosmetic dentistry.
Dentistry is an ever-evolving science and Ufberg Dental takes pride in keeping pace.
“We are technologically advanced here,” Ufberg says. “Everything from implant placements and bleaching to the labs we use to fabricate porcelain veneers and crowns are the highest level.“
The very latest Zoom whitening system just arrived in Ufberg’s office.
“An hour and a half in the chair and you’re done,” Ufberg says. “It works much better than over-the-counter whiteners.”
Invisalign is also “a lot more streamlined that it was five years ago. Treatment is shorter and you get even better results.”
And just because a treatment is cosmetic doesn’t mean it’s out of pocket. Dental insurance often pays for a big chunk of Invisalign and implants, Ufberg says.
Name the issue and Ufberg Dental has an answer: grinding teeth (on the rise due to the stress of COVID), chronic tension headaches, crooked or yellowing teeth, sleep anea and snoring. They also stay on top of periodontal disease. “When our hygienists do root scaling [to prevent gum disease], it’s palliative – our patients don’t feel a thing,” Ufberg says.
And don’t worry about being talked into a treatment. “We listen to our patients. And while we’re patient friendly and cosmetically aware, we don’t push people into something they don’t necessarily need.”
Patients who choose Ufberg Dental know they’re in the best of hands.
A Pennsylvania native in practice for 24 years, Dr. Ufberg has lectured widely and stays up to speed on the latest advances through continuing dental education. Among his many certifications: Invisalign, Cerinate no-drilling veneers, Zoom! in-office teeth whitening, Vizilite oral cancer screening, LVI Endodontics and CAMLOG implants.
His equally seasoned associate, Doug Vallinino, DMD, teaches Clinical Dentistry at Temple’s dental school, where he graduated with honors and was ranked 7th in his class.
Office Manager Elaine Eggermann Allen is the friendly face out front, helping patients navigate treatment plans and payment options. And lead dental hygienist Sasha Mattiello has been helping Ufberg patients achieve happy, healthy mouths for 20 years.
At the end of the day, you want a dental practice with eagle eyes, expert hands and a kind heart. You get that – and much more – at Ufberg Dental.
Ufberg Dental, 664 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn (near 30 Main), Free parking in rear, Call 610-251-2227 for a free consultation.
Meet Kids ’N Kribs 2.0: Even more baby goods, gear and gifts…and in Devon!
After more than 40 years in downtown Wayne, Kids ’N Kribs has settled into airy new digs in the Devon Design Center.
For starters, there’s on-site parking – which is huge for pregnant women and new moms. The aisles are stroller-friendly and everything’s on one floor.
And the layout is easier to navigate: Toys in front, a wall of books and puzzles, 50 feet of strollers and new-baby gear on one side, cribs/nursery furniture and decor on the other, and oodles of sweet, little layette and baby clothes in a separate room in the rear.
It’s a 4,000 sq. ft. collection of all things baby and family, meticulously curated by one Gloria Clawson, a mom and former management consultant who bought Kids ‘N Kribs from retiring proprietor Larry Picker six years ago.
“My Number One reason was to be with my husband and two growing daughters.” Clawson says. “And I wanted to create a place that brings baby products from around the world to the Main Line.”
In six years, Clawson has taken an old-school, mom-and-pop retailer and lovingly coaxed it to embrace 21st century retail trends and technology.
She still stocks Kids ’N Kribs’ mix of tried-and-true brands and solid wood, heirloom-quality nursery furniture in a range of styles and finishes.
But Clawson has added a bunch of niche brands, many sourced from around the world. She also has a soft spot for eco-friendly, women-owned and socially responsible companies.
Searching for unique décor for the nursery? May we suggest a fun felt animal head ethically handmade under fair-trade guidelines by an all-female workforce for the English label, Fiona Walker?
Looking for the softest and sweetest newborn and baby clothes around? Try the extensive collection of pima cotton apparel from Kissy Kissy and Baby Club Chic. For the easiest baby clothes around, check out Oprah fave, Magnetic Me. (Stop in for a trunk show Friday, Sept. 24, 1 – 3 to check it out.)
Need a gift for a green family? Choose a super absorbent – and adorable – microfiber towel made from recycled plastics or a cute, recycled organic cotton animal cushion from Bibu of Barcelona.
Baby gear is another focus of the new Kids ’N Kribs. The new store has a huge selection of strollers on display – including many hot brands and boutique labels that moms covet most.
When people order a stroller on the phone, they’re invited to come in for a test stroll.
“Not every stroller is for everyone. We take pride in finding the right stroller for your family and lifestyle,” Clawson says. For example, a suburban mom’s needs are different from a city dweller’s. Testing a stroller (or seeing a crib) in person saves families from making costly mistakes online, she says.
Clawson has also expanded the store’s selection of unique, high quality toys from boutique brands you don’t see every day. (For noisy electronic toys, go elsewhere.) There are also tons of baby and toddler books and assorted puzzles and crafts for big brothers and sisters.
Can’t get enough of those cuddly Jellycat? Kids ‘N Kribs Jellycat selection is tops in the area.
Can’t make it to Devon? Shop for layette, gifts, toys and baby gear in Kids ‘N Kribs’ new online store. Free shipping for items over $75.
But one thing hasn’t changed at Kids ‘N Kribs and it’s what brings families back year after year, generation after generation: standout customer service.
The highly trained, friendly staff will steer you to the car seat, crib, dresser or baby gift that suits your needs. “We have a team of very knowledgeable consultants,” Clawson says. “We like to say we’re pregnant 365 days a year. We’ve worked with so many families so we have valuable feedback and perspective to pass along and share.”
The gift registry and complimentary gift-wrapping service also make shopping for showers, new-baby gifts, birthdays and holidays a snap. Monogramming and personalization are also available. There’s even a loyalty program – registered members get a $5 store credit for every $100 spent.
In the sixth year of her “happiness business,” Clawson and her team couldn’t be happier.
“We’re helping people celebrate a life, whether it’s a first birth or a third. It takes a village to raise a child. We love being part of that village. We really enjoy seeing our babies grow.”
Kids ’N Kribs, 111 Lancaster Ave., Devon (across from the Devon Horse Show), 610-687-5437, is open Tues. to Sat. 10 – 5 or shop online anytime. For inspiration and info, follow along on Facebook and Instagram. Because many clients are pregnant women, babies, children and grandparents, masks are required. All employees are fully vaccinated.
Frozen is fresher – and greener – at innovative Pinwheel Provisions
Sick of cooking? A tiny Narberth storefront has an antidote that’s green, convenient and healthy – and they deliver.
Pinwheel Provisions brings a hot European trend – flash-frozen food – to local tables. It’s the first market of its kind on the Main Line and possibly in all of North America, according to owner Anjali Gupta.
This short and sweet video explains the Pinwheel difference.
Why go frozen? When produce is flash frozen at harvest, nutrition is locked in for a year. By contrast, fresh veggies, even if they’re organic, have sat in a warehouse, on a truck and a supermarket shelf for days before they land in your fridge where they’ll likely sit some more.
“Farmer’s market produce is marginally superior,” Gupta allows. “But you buy it and you’re on the clock. In three or four days, it’s turning and you end up throwing away a sinful amount of food.”
Buying IQF (individually quick frozon) in bulk eliminates single-use packaging and food waste because you only take what you need from your stash in the freezer: a handful of green beans for dinner, a scoop of blueberries for a smoothie, a few broccoli florets for an omelet. No need to thaw, clean or prep – just throw the produce in a pan.
Gupta swears her veggies actually taste better than fresh and the texture is the same. Customers can fill their own bags or buy the store’s BPA-free Pyrex containers and get discounts on refills.
Pinwheel was inspired by Gupta’s frequent trips to Europe where she was shocked to see frozen meal components as a staple of household meals.
“I was mystified. There’s no shortage of fresh vegetables in France yet Parisians were proudly serving nothing but frozen meals at their dinner parties. I thought it was very un-Parisian to eat that way.”
Gupta saw the same trend in the UK, Spain and Scandinavia and decided to bring the trend stateside.
She opened in Narberth in early 2020, knowing her low-waste, minimal packaging concept would resonate there.
Post-pandemic, Gupta hopes to find larger space in Narberth and expand Pinwheel to towns like Malvern and Media.
Pinwheel Provisions, 121 North Narberth Ave., offers online ordering, twice-weekly local delivery and curbside pickup, and in-person shopping Tuesdays from 2 to 7 and Saturdays 10 to 4. Email [email protected].
Otoro brings standout sushi to Berwyn
Sushi fans are finding their way to Otoro Sushi & Grill, a Japanese BYOB open since early August in the old Alfredo’s space in Berwyn.
It’s a neighborhood spot but this one’s worth a drive.
Flown in from a Japanese supplier twice weekly, Otoro’s fish is super fresh. (Insider tip: Co-owner Tiffany Lo tells us the best nights to go for ultra-fresh fish are Wednesdays and Fridays).
It’s tasty but the sushi, maki and sashimi here look good, too. “We try to make every dish edible art,” says Lo. “Every plate looks different.”
On the menu: Otoro slices the usual tuna, yellowtail and salmon, plus more exotic fish like otoro, the tender bluefin tuna belly. “Like Kobe beef, otoro will melt in your mouth without chewing it,” Lo explains.
Although we suggest you go raw, the kitchen also pumps out other Japanese faves: tempura, teriyaki, katsu and Udon, along with hibachi steak, seafood and chicken dishes. No tableside pyrotechnics here; the teppanyaki grill is in the kitchen.
Can’t decide? Order Omakase and let the chef choose for you. A multi-course Omakase feast for one is $60, for two is $100, and for three is $140.
What you’ll pay: Generally less than Nectar – plus it’s a BYOB. Roughly on par with Sushi Nami in Paoli and Wayne.
The vibe: Dark and cozy. Walls are warm brown, floors are bleached wood and a neon-lit sushi bar occupies most of the inner room.
COVID Score: B+. All employees are vaccinated. Indoor tables are widely spaced. They’re only seating about half the restaurant – maybe 35 people at a time.
If you go, you’ll see Lo. Short-staffed like just about every other local eatery, she’s been working seven days (and nights) a week. Lo was born in Hong Kong and worked in Japanese restaurants in NYC before moving to Philly a few years ago. She plans to stick around a while. She just found a new home in walking distance.
Otoro Sushi & Grill, 668 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn. Call 484-329-8499 or order online. Open daily for lunch at 11:30, dinner at 4:30, Sundays 12:30 to 9.
A lion of Tredyffrin will be laid to rest this weekend
Paul Olson, the most dedicated of public servants, has passed. He was a Tredyffrin Supervisor for an astonishing 43 years, only stepping down in 2019 at age 87 when he moved to a retirement community in West Chester.
Paul was known for listening to his constituents, keeping a tight rein on spending, and sharing the chocolates in his pocket.
“Even those who may have disagreed with him from time to time couldn’t help but respect Paul’s sense of inquisitiveness and civility,” remembers Bob Lamina, a fellow board member for 13 years. “He exuded strength of character, integrity and kindness – qualities I suppose we could all use a little more these days.”
Paul’s hands were in all kinds of things.
- If you use the Tredyffrin library in Strafford, you can thank Paul Olson. He helped raise $4 million in private donations for its expansion.
- If you’ve meandered through Devon’s Westover Bird Sanctuary, you can thank Paul Olson. He helped convince the owners of the old PA Fireworks Co. tract to sell it to the township, preserving it as open space.
- If you or your aging parents get help from Surrey Services in Devon, you can thank Paul Olson. A longtime Surrey Services Board member, he helped facilitate its move to its current headquarters.
- If you’ve received life-saving platelets, you might even be able to thank Paul Olson. He donated his platelets to the Red Cross an astounding 400 times and gave blood 600 times.
- If your family has benefited from Main Line Mentoring (Kids First Now) in Tredyffrin’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood or visited Mazie Hall Park, you can thank Paul Olson. He championed the park and helped refurbish the historic Carr School, Main Line Mentoring’s headquarters since 2002.
“Paul leaves a wonderful legacy of good deeds, generosity, dedication and kindness,” says former Tredyffrin supervisor Judy DiFilippo who served with him for 20 years. “The world could use more of that today.”
Paul Olson’s funeral will be held Saturday, Sept. 25 at 11 a.m. at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Devon. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Red Cross. Full obituary here.
Getting ready for a big day? Wayne spa offers Korean facial filler, no needles needed
Want to plump up your wrinkles but scared of injections? Wayne’s Day Spa by Zsuzanna has just the ticket: a cutting-edge but needle-free filler facial.
The spa’s “Intensive Age-Defying Treatment” (aka Sculplla) uses the same key ingredient in the popular injectable filler, Sculptra. But unlike Sculptra, there’s no needle, no pain and no chance you’ll walk out with fish lips.
It’s a relaxing, 45-minute treatment that includes an exfoliating chemical peel and a special serum that penetrates the skin via a special hydrogen-encapsulating mask.
The star of the show is Poly L Lactic Acid which stimulates the production of skin-rejuvenating collagen in hair follicles. Other active ingredients like caffeine, Vitamin B3 and other peptides help smooth, plump and brighten skin.
But it’s not a quick fix. While Injected fillers work right away, this one takes time – three to six treatments spaced a week to 10 days apart.
And results are cumulative – noticeable but still subtle.
Spa owner Zuszanna Beyer recommends the treatment for anyone looking to soften fine lines and wrinkles, plump up sagging skin and brighten skin tone. It’s perfect for mothers of the bride or anyone with a big event on the calendar.
Day Spa by Zsuzsanna, Conestoga Rd., Wayne, is open Tues. to Sat. Call 610-688-3969 or book online.
Surprise guest at this year’s AbbeyFest: Jesus
Folks who flock to this Christian faith and music festival at Paoli’s Daylesford Abbey year after year will tell you Jesus is always there – in spirit.
But last weekend, Jesus came in the flesh of one Jonathan Roumie, the actor who plays Jesus in the critically acclaimed TV series, “The Chosen.”
Roumie shared that he was a practicing Catholic and met Pope Francis last summer. “He’s everything you think he’d be … very witty, warm and pastoral,” says Eileen Watson, who met him at the meet-and-greet.
When he took the stage, Roumie shared his faith journey. He’d been a struggling actor in LA until three years ago when he hit rock bottom and begged Jesus to “take the reins” of his life. Three months later, he was cast as Jesus and has worked steadily ever since. Roumie finished his talk with a prayer for humility from “How to Be Somebody,” his favorite spiritual book.
Another AbbeyFest VIP and first-timer was Philadelphia Archbishop Nelson Perez, who celebrated Mass.
This and That
Main Line public schools cleaned up in the National Merit sweepstakes per usual. T/E School District had more National Merit Semifinalists – 39 total – than any other school district in PA again this year. Slightly larger Lower Merion wasn’t far behind with 37 honorees – 14 at Harriton and 23 at Lower Merion HS. With only half the student body of Stoga, Radnor High School nearly kept pace with 17 semifinalists, as did similarly sized Great Valley with 16.
A huge nod for St. Norbert School. The Paoli elementary school was just named a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Dept. of Education, one of just 13 schools in PA and 26 private schools in the country so honored as an “exemplary, high-performing school.” Principal Mary Kay Hennessey tells us she’ll be breaking out blue water ice and Blue Ribbon tee shirts for the kiddos during a schoolwide celebration November 18. St. Norbert first won the honor in 2015 and wasn’t allowed to apply again for five years.
Villanova is renaming the road between the two homes of Villanova basketball – the Finneran Pavilion and the Davis Center – “The Wright Way.” Seriously. The university broke the news shortly after Coach Jay Wright was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Sept. 11. “The Wright Way is the right way … to honor two selfless leaders [Jay and Patty Wright] who have impacted our community in so many wonderful ways both on and off the court,” said Athletic Director Mark Jackson in a statement. Wright on.
No Friday night lights at Lower Merion’s Arnold Field – at least for now. The zoning hearing board sided with Wynnewood Civic Association and nixed a plan to install 16 light towers and poles that would have allowed sports practices and games after dark. Lower Merion School District wants the lights so it can move forward with its plan for later high school start times. LMSD calls the decision “disappointing” and is “considering next steps.”
UnMask T/E folks aren’t going away quietly. Four parents – Alicia Geerlings, Andrew McLellan, Sarah Marvin and David Goveranti – are suing T/E School District, claiming it doesn’t have authority to impose student mask mandates or to test students without their consent. (Both Geerlings and McLellan were mentioned in our story about the heated school board meeting when the mask mandate was passed.)
According to the federal lawsuit filed Sept. 8, the plaintiff’s children were “turned away from school for refusing to wear a mask,” thus “deprived of their right to a free, public education.” Furthermore, they “have been and will be irreparably harmed by wearing masks” which the suit says “have not been approved as medical devices and can cause respiratory harm.” The parents’ suit also claims “being forced to wear a mask also violates [their children’s] religious beliefs.”
Calling her demonstration “junk science,” T/E has asked the court to exclude testimony from Shannon Grady, who identifies herself as a physiologist and wore a mask with a CO2 monitor to a Downingtown school board meeting to show masks were dangerous.
At press time, a GoFundMe by UnMask T/E to defray the parents’ legal bills had raised $8,468 of its $30,000 goal.
Bravo to Berwyn-born Brad Ingelsby. OK so he didn’t win an Emmy for creating the Mare of Easttown Sunday night (robbed!), but he did put Delco-accented words in the mouths of THREE Emmy winners: Kate Winslet, Julianna Nicholson and Evan Peters. At least our hometown guy got a nice shoutout from Kate in her acceptance speech – in her native British accent this time: “Brad Ingelsby, you created a middle-aged, imperfect, flawed mother and you made us all feel validated.” Amen to that. If you missed our one-on-one with Ingelsby, click here.
Paoli’s Guy Ciarrocchi has thrown his hat in the ring for PA governor, joining at least five other Republicans hoping to succeed Governor Wolf. Ciarrocchi, 56, took leave from his job as CEO of the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry on Friday. He was chief of staff to both Lt. Governor Jim Cawley in the Corbett administration and to U.S. Rep Jim Gerlach. He also led George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign in PA. Ciarrocchi has been an outspoken opponent of small-business shutdowns during the pandemic and champions charter schools.
Popular fitness instructor Marilu Sutter just opened a cardio strength/barre studio across from Kelly’s in Bryn Mawr. Look for the blue sign for MLS Fitness at 1020 W. Lancaster Ave.
Margaret Kuo’s Mandarin has closed its Malvern location after 32 years. The family still has locations in Wayne and Media.
Looking for a place for a girls night, work outing or family dinner that won’t break the bank? Consider logging onto Hot Spots on the Main Line, a new website/mobile app that lists food, drink, event and music specials at area restaurants and bars. Founder is Devon mom Stacy DiAddezio. A lightbulb went off a few years ago when her son Nic needed a ride to Casey’s Pour House for “Wing Night” to celebrate a Stoga hoops win. DiAddezio had never even heard of half-price wing nights. So she built an online directory showing deals like that, along with karaoke nights, Quizzo, live music and more. Businesses pay for memberships – less than $2/day – so their deals are listed. The rest of us use it for free.
Radnor commissioners just greenlit the appointment of the first African-American public works director in the township’s 12-year history. A Radnor employee since 2001, Ricky Foster Jr. worked his way up from a laborer in Radnor parks to Parks Department Supervisor and now to Public Works Director. Foster approaches his work “with a smile every day and it’s genuine,” said William White, the township manager.
Happy 20th Birthday to Peter’s Place, which began serving grieving Main Line children one day after 9/11 and two years after the tragic death of Peter Morsbach at age 10.
Wayne UMC Food Pantry is hosting another drive-up food drive this Saturday, Sept. 25, 10 to noon. Drop off nonperishables, paper/laundry products at either Radnor War Memorial, 150 S. Wayne Ave. or at St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church, 600 Walker Rd., Wayne.
Deluged by Ida or worried you might be next time? Consider planting a rain garden. Learn more about these stormwater saviors at the Tredyffrin Roots Festival, next Sunday, Oct. 3, 3 to 5:30 p.m. at Tredyffrin Public Library. Staged by the township’s parks foundation and environmental advisory council to show off the library’s new rain garden and inspire homeowners to build their own, the shindig includes music, food and family fun. Suggested donation is $5/pp. Funds raised will help Tredyffrin begin a residential rain garden program similar to Haverford’s Have A Garden, which funds homeowners’ rain gardens as long as they volunteer to build rain gardens for others.
Is your skin screaming for a little TLC? Our friends at Cryo Sculpt Revive are running a one-day sale on treatments and packages. Just show up at the Paoli medspa’s free open house Thursday, Sept. 30, 4 to 7 p. m. (or contact them that day) to book seriously swell deals on such goodies as skin rejuvenating microneedling, Cryoskin, Hydrafacials, Infrared sauna Cocoon Pod, Botox, facial fillers, massages and customized facials. Free lite bites, raffle and surprises.
Bryn Mawr Night is this Friday night, Sept. 24, 5 to 8 p.m. in the Bryn Mawr Trust lot across from BMFI and around town. Live music and shows, shopping discounts, wine tips from What Am I Drinking, fall fashion tips from Grove 1.2.1, mini massages from Hummingbird Yoga, free food and La Colombe draft lattes, Bryn Mawr-tinis at select stores.
And finally, a tasty curtain call at Wayne Picnic Grove, the COVID-inspired community tent on North Wayne Ave. Wayne-based Culinary Harvest will stage a pop-up food market, next Saturday, Oct. 2 with yummy local artisan vendors like Birchrun Hills Farm, Kismet Bagels, Sweet Jazmine’s, Milk Jawn Ice Cream, Eclat Chocolate, Little Miss Moffitt and more. The tent comes down the following week. Anyone else hope we don’t need it again in the spring?