HomeMeet Local Businesses“Art in the Pod”

“Art in the Pod”

“Art in the Pod”

“Travels” is my favorite monthly task. I love sharing my neighborhood “finds” and giving them a little extra plug when I can. After all, these are independent business owners who work hard to compete in a big-box world. This month is no exception.

To start, I discovered a new “favorite-place-to-visit.” Almost totally by accident, I found Art in the Pod on Bustleton Pike in Churchville. In a word… WOW! What a great place.

When our son was younger we often signed him up for a variety of special activities. You name it, he did it. From Zombie Resurrection to Tap Dancing. (He has since forgiven us, I hope.) He did it all. We were committed, from day three, to have an impressive resume for Gabe’s future college admission! I mention this as a preamble to my visit to Art in the Pod.

There I was, a self-confessed capitalist to make a sale. I never expected to fall in love with this little studio. But quite immediately, the love affair began. The owners, Nina and Rick, are more than a nice couple; they are a very talented pair. A real husband and wife dynamic-duo.

They offer creative, entertaining, educational and enjoyable fun experiences. They host fantabulous (!) BYOB art classes for adults in the evening hours. And yes, you party while doing art projects stimulating your creative juices and your funny bone! They’ve imaginative morning and late afternoon “mini camps” and programs for just about every age group. I was there when a group of ten years olds were busy “creating” during the holiday vacation.

So, should you experience cabin fever during the long winter, grab your creative juices, tickle your funny bone and head over to the couple’s enchanting little studio for a couple of hours of “mini courses.” Linda and I will be there bottle in one hand and pallet in the other in the coming months. (And did I say we have a grandchild now who can now enjoy our activity-filled schedules?!)

We are very fortunate to have to two great bakeries in our reading area. Don Giovanni’s on Street Road in Feasterville has “goodies” from varied ethnic groups displayed in every nook and cranny of their deliciously overcrowded, packed bakery. They have great bread, cakes, pies, cookies, rugelach and other products I don’t have space to list. And you can now get your cake personalized with a photo My wife describes this “calorie” paradise as yummy. Debbie, the owner, says these calories don’t count!!

The place is jammed (no pun intended) with fresh baked goods, but it also has fresh cooked meals, sandwiches, soups, deli… and on and on and on. Their tomato pies are stellar. Linda adores their veggie tomato pie. Last year when Debbi found out I was home with the flu she sent me a container of chicken soup. I am not sure it had the medicinal qualities of my mother’s chicken soup with matza balls but it sure tasted good!

Now since we’ve moved to Hatboro, we’ve discovered another great bakery called Nonno’s. Right in the heart of Hatboro, on York Road, you owe yourself a visit to this unexpectedly handsome store. It reminds me of some of the most exotic bakeries one might find in Manhattan. But what’s better, are the incomparable delicacies that are on display ready to go home with you. Beautiful and delicious. Trust me on this one; it’s too good to pass up.

Speaking of Hatboro, the Italian Bistro on South York Road, in the Victorian Village complex, is another place you must visit. Too good to remain a secret, they are offering an unbelievable special to welcome you to their restaurant. P.S. It’s a BYOB, so be prepared to enjoy!

Tuesday through Sunday for the next several weeks you can enjoy two dinners… repeat two complete dinners… from their regular menu (including salmon, shrimp and crab) for just twenty bucks. No gimmicks and no mistake! There are very few exclusions. We love this place and eat there frequently. I don’t think you’ll be dissappointed.

DeLuca’s Music is a very large and well stocked music store, also on York Road. But what impresses me most is its staff. They are not your typical hourly employees. These “dudes” know their stuff and are eager to work with their customers. They also carry a huge assortment of instruments, etc. When our grandson is older I intend to purchase a set of drums for him. You might suspect revenge is a motive… Gabe was never the quietest kid on the block. And P.S., they have a wonderful Music Academy where experienced professional musicians are available for the full range of private lessons, including voice.

The Spring Mill Country Club in Ivyland is in the midst of a huge upgrade. Just about every part of the complex is being updated and improved. Always known for having outstanding facilities and being a go-to place for getting in shape, is now better than ever. Whoever said “if it ain’t broken” never spoke to the people at Spring Mill Country Club.

Nowhere is the activity more apparent than in the Garden Terrace. They have repainted, re-carpeted, installed a magnificent fireplace and created a beautiful new bar. The scene out of the all-glass wall of windows in the restaurant is spectacular. Not only is the food excellent but the view makes the entire adventure that more enjoyable.

From personal visits, the food remains top notch, the selection comprehensive, the service incredibly attentive and the prices are more than fair. In fact, they are running a “fifty off on your second meal” promotion this month. And doesn’t this money-saving deal make the experience even better?!!

Off to Yardley again, as promised last month. I visited Pink Daisy, one of our new advertisers. This picturesque little shop is going to be a problem for me… because everytime I stop in I find great gifts for just about everyone I know. This Hanukah and Christmas I found enough unique items for my relatives and friends that I am now known as the Jewish Santa Clause. How many fathers-in-law are told to keep bringing gifts?! And their new children’s boutique calls my name from the moment I enter the store.

It may be a “problem” for me, but it’s a delight to the shopper. You’ll see what I mean when you visit. P.S. They do a great job with registries for weddings, engagements, etc.

By the way, their next door neighbor is Landolfis. What a great deli! I will go there next month for a more formal visit… just need to hire a “body”guard to protect my waist. I want to keep those fifty-five-some pounds off!

Last, but certainly not least, let me mention Village Squires Pharmacy & Gift Shop. It shocked me. When you first walk in you might imagine that you are in a great retail store. The bright and airy store is saturated with all kinds of neat items. Best of all… they had the best collection of holiday cards I have even seen. I was so impressed I called my wife to come over to make her selections. They also specialize in Ashers Candies and have a ton of other gifts and cosmetics. Valentine’s Day is approaching and you’ll want to check out this place.

But the most important item in the store is their pharmacy. Under the direction of it’s new owner, Bonnie Millman, they stock everything and their prices are fabulous. I had just returned to work from eye surgery when I visited the store. I required a certain medication that cost $159.00 at CVS and about $50.00 less if you were enrolled in Medicare part D. When I mentioned to Bonnie that I was on my way to pick up the little bottle she informed me that they had the very same item in stock for forty bucks less.

This surprised me. You don’t often find a little David that can “whoop” a Goliath. So I began to question her about other prescriptions that I required. Village Squires Pharmacy was cheaper on just about every item. And while I don’t consider myself a “price freak” I must admit that saving up to $50.00 bucks on one RX alone is quite impressive. While I can’t assure you of equal savings, I do suggest you give the store a try. The entire shop is worth a visit. They’re on Buck Road in Holland.

That’s it for this month. The boss is going to yell and scream… too wordy, too long… too much. But she’s got a soft heart AND she’s running out of red ink!! See you next month….

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