Friday, February 24, 2017 at 4:17 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Business, Warsaw, Castile.

Press release:

Proving that a minute can matter, Tompkins Bank of Castile is launching its third round of the quarterly Community Minute Challenge. Each quarterly winner is awarded $2,500; by the end of the contest, a total of $10,000 will have been provided in much-needed funds to local not-for-profit organizations.

“The response to the Community Minute Challenge has been tremendous, and we’re thrilled to be able to help shine a light on the important services that are provided by not-for-profit organizations in our area,” said John McKenna, Bank president and CEO.

The third round will begin February 27 and run through March 13. The winning organization is determined by public voting on the Bank of Castile Facebook page, where visitors can watch the one-minute videos produced by participating nonprofits and then vote for their favorite. Each video explains how the nonprofit would use the awarded funds. The six organizations competing in this round are:

    • Wyoming County Community Action (Wyoming County)  

    • Al Sigl Community of Agencies (Monroe County)

    • Batavia Rotary (Genesee County)

    • Focus on the Children (Livingston County)

    • Genesee Amateur Hockey Association (Genesee County) 

    • Villa of Hope (Monroe County) 

To show support for the initiative and cast a vote, participants should “like” the Tompkins Bank of Castile Facebook page at and click on the Community Minute Challenge app. They can then select their favorite nonprofit after watching the one-minute videos. Individuals can vote once per day during the contest period.

Launched in August 2016, the Community Minute Challenge has awarded $5,000 to date. The first-round winner was Going to the Dogs Rescue in Wyoming County, an organization dedicated to helping homeless pets find loving forever homes. The second-round winner was ARC of Genesee Orleans, a resource of choice for people with disabilities and their families in both Genesee and Orleans counties. Photos of the previous winners are available upon request. A fourth round of the Community Minute Challenge will launch later this year.

Tompkins Bank of Castile is a community bank with 16 offices in the five-county Western New York region. Services include complete lines of consumer deposit accounts and loans, business accounts and loans, and leasing. In addition, insurance is offered through an affiliate company, Tompkins Insurance Agencies. Wealth management, trust and investment services are provided through Tompkins Financial Advisors. Further information about the bank is available on its website,

Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 3:05 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Castile, fire, crime, Business, news.



 Amy S. Goodenow

Amy S. Goodenow, no age provided, of Castile was charged with arson in the third degree, a Class C felony, for allegedly setting a fire that destroyed a Castile business.

The Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office says, during the early morning hours of Feb. 15 a fire broke out at the Castile Diner, 125 S. Main St., Castile. When deputies arrived at the Main Street restaurant they noticed a “working structure fire” and say Goodenow was at the scene at the time of the incident.

After both a fire and criminal investigation, officials determined that the fire was intentionally set. 

Although Goodenow owns the business, the contents and building are owned by Steve Gitsis.

Members from Castile, Silver Springs, Gainesville, Bliss, Pike, and Nunda fire departments were on the scene for close to five hours putting out the flames. 

Assisting at the scene included Wyoming County Emergency Services, the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Department, the New York State Police, and the Village of Castile. Standing by at empty fire stations included Perry, Warsaw and Fillmore fire departments.

Goodenow, who was jailed on $5,000 cash bail and $10,000 bond, subsequently posted bail and was released. 

She is due in the Village of Castile Court at 7:30 p.m. April 3.

See related: Castile Diner fire remains under investigation



Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 7:56 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Business, agriculture, Warsaw, DEC.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wyoming County (CCE) is offering a pesticide applicator training session and recertification course from 8:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. March 21 at the Wyoming County Agriculture and Business Center, 36 Center St., Warsaw. The exam begins at 1 p.m..

This session is geared for individuals planning to take the Core and Category Pesticide Certification exam specific to the focus of their work. 

If applying for Core Recertification credits, you must bring your Pesticide Certification ID card with you. This session will carry 3.50 Core Recertification Credits. This course is open to those seeking private or commercial category Pesticide Applicator certification. 

Individual responsibilities with CCE include:

    • Preregister with CCE for the training session only, by calling Don Gasiewicz at (585) 786-2251 or emailing him at There is a $20 fee for extension enrollees and a $25 fee for non-enrollees. Any questions regarding the certification class can be directed to Gasiewicz as well.

    • You need to purchase the required training manual(s) from the CCE office. Manuals for all categories must be ordered through CCE. Once you know which manual(s) you need, contact Gasiewicz to purchase and/or order. Questions regarding which manual(s) you may need to order, must be directed the NYSDEC at (716) 851-7220.

Individual Responsibilities with New York State DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation)

    • DEC pesticides test. The pesticide exam is conducted by the DEC and is held at the Wyoming County Agriculture and Business Center at 1 p.m. March 21.

    • NYSDEC requires advance registration to be eligible to take the certification exam. If you are planning to take the exam, you must first call the NYSDEC Pesticide Division at (716) 851-7220 to discuss eligibility.

    • If you are eligible, DEC will send you an exam packet, which you must fill out and return to them with your examination fee of $100. You must be preregistered with DEC to take the exam. No walk-ins will be allowed. All questions regarding your certification should be directed to the DEC.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 4:00 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, education, Business, Warsaw, healthcare.

Press release:

Western New York Rural Area Health Education Center (R-AHEC), Warsaw, recently received a $607,616 in funding for healthcare and workforce development programs. The Health Workforce Retraining Initiative (HWRI) funding was awarded by the New York State Department of Health and Labor.

The time period covered by this grant is Jan. 1, through Dec. 31, 2018.

Since 2001, R-AHEC has completed several successful cycles of HWRI funding and provided training opportunities to 7,052 healthcare professionals. With the new grant award, more than 2,500 healthcare professionals are expected to be trained. 

The trainings topics will include: Computer Skills of Short Duration, Healthcare Leadership, and LPN Training. 

Under this grant, healthcare employers in Wyoming County, as well as counties in Central and Western New York, and the counties surrounding the Rochester area, may be eligible to receive training for their employees.

R-AHEC is committed to assisting and supporting healthcare employees in reaching their professional goal and in providing the highest quality healthcare possible through the Health Workforce Retraining Initiative.

For more information on this program, contact Kathy Wood at

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 2:47 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, Business, Warsaw, Attica, Arcade, Perry, Main Street.


New York adopted the "click-through nexus" law in 2008. It requires certain out-of-state or online merchants to collect tax on sales of their own merchandise. That first-in-the-nation law is the template for statutes in nearly two dozen other states and survived court challenges, including the New York State Court of Appeals.

Within Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget is a proposal seeking to require “marketplace providers” to collect New York’s state and local sales taxes on merchandise shipped into the state from out-of-state sellers. This proposal applies the existing nexus law to a new and growing Internet sales platform.

“Online retailers put brick-and-mortar businesses on our Main streets at a competitive disadvantage,” said Wyoming County Chamber President Scott Gardner. “They (online retailers) may not be collecting the sales tax on merchandise, whereas a local merchant has to because they are located in New York.”

If the online business does not have a physical presence in the state, it can be more difficult for the state to enforce the collection of the sales tax from purchases made by New York consumers.

“It hurts people like our independent booksellers, small retailers, gift shops, clothing stores, etcetera,” Gardner said.

The budget proposal would require online marketplaces with more than $100 million in annual sales to collect and remit tax just as consignment shop owners and auction houses now do. Estimates show that improved enforcement of existing tax laws would result in some $275 million in fiscal year 2018-19.

Wyoming County Board of Supervisors Chairman Doug Berwanger was unavailable for comment.

Friday, February 17, 2017 at 2:54 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, announcements, Business, Warsaw.



Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce President Scott Gardner has often said: “The best ambassadors for Wyoming County are those that live and work in the county. And if we can give them to tools to encourage people to visit, we are going to do that.”

Thursday evening the Chamber hosted a get-together for members to officially unveil the 2017 Wyoming County Tourism Guide.

“We wanted to get people together to network and visit on a social level…connect with other businesses in the county.”

The travel guides can be found at area businesses and at the Chamber office at 36 Center St., Warsaw. 

For information about joining the Chamber call (585) 786-0307 or visit






Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 4:48 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Warsaw, Business.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wyoming County (CCE), in cooperation with Genesee Valley BOCES, will be offering a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) Training Program for both Class A and Class B licenses from 7 to 9 p.m. March 2, 8, and 9 at the Ag and Business Center, 36 Center St., Warsaw. This course is offered to farm owners, operators, and their employees.

For questions contact Debra Welch at (585) 786-2251 or email

To register contact Zach at (585) 786-2251 or

Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 4:07 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Business, Warsaw, Strykersville.



The term “shop local” isn’t just a fancy catch phrase to entice county residents to support their local businesses. Taxes collected on purchases made within the county’s borders directly impact the amount residents pay in property taxes – more dollars spent in the county means less taxes homeowners pay in the long run.

As a way to encourage consumers to shop in Wyoming County, the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce initiated the Shop Wyoming & Win campaign. Now in its fifth year, the campaign is held during the holiday season – between Black Friday and Christmas Eve. For every purchase of $50 or more made in the county, consumers were able to submit their names for a chance to win prizes donated by local merchants.

“The prizes are made possible with the strong support of two county businesses,” said Wyoming County Chamber President Scott Gardner. “We thank Ace Hardware, of Attica and Warsaw, for the first-time donation of the Weber gas grill, and Harding’s Attica Furniture and Flooring for stepping up again this year and donating a rocker recliner. These two businesses never hesitate to participate and we hope that shoppers will stop in to support these outstanding local family run small businesses.” 

The recent campaign saw 650 shoppers participating, $451,519 in total money spent in Wyoming County, for an estimated $36,121 in sales taxes collected. That represents a 27-percent increase from the previous year.

Of those who dropped their receipts off at the 33 drop boxes located throughout the county, 73 percent were county residents, 25 percent were from outside the county, and 2 percent didn’t disclose an address. Additionally, 21 percent of shoppers hailed from Arcade, 19 percent from Perry, 18 percent from Warsaw, and 14 percent from Attica. Bliss, Castile, Java, Gainesville, Strykersville, Varysburg, and Wyoming residents made up anywhere from 2 to 8 percent of the remaining shoppers. 

Out of county shoppers included those from Mount Morris (13 percent), Batavia (11 percent), South Wales (6 percent), Cuba (5 percent), Rushford (3 percent), and others.

The Chamber held the drawing at the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday. As tradition dictates, the most senior members of the Board – town supervisors Jerry Davis (Covington), Doug Berwanger (Arcade), and John Copeland (Wethersfield) – drew the winning tickets.

This year’s winners are: Stephanie Baiocco, of Marilla, who won the Weber Gas Grill; Ron Snell, of Delevan, who won the rocker recliner; and Annette Hyman, of Strykersville, who won the $100 Wyoming County Visa gift card.

“Congratulations to the winners of this year’s Shop Wyoming and Win contest. This year’s promotion was another record breaker and we again exceeded local shopping revenue goals over last year,” Gardner said.

“Thank you to the local businesses who participated, and all the shoppers for making this event a success. Thank you to everyone who participated by shopping locally, placed a drop box in their business, or supported the program in some way.”


Monday, January 16, 2017 at 6:21 pm

Press release:

Up to $600,000 in grant money is available for local growers to submit proposals to enhance specialty crops in New York State. The funding aims to support research and grower education programs through the NY State Department of Agriculture and Markets, and the NY Farm Viability Institute (NYFVI) under the Specialty Crop Block Grant program.

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) is encouraging local growers proposals to include crops such as fruits, vegetables, hops, maple syrup, honey, horticulture, and nursery crops.    

The program is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture to give the state’s specialty crop producers a competitive edge and increase the long-term success of the state’s agricultural industry.

“This funding is designed to support programs and research that help farmers better compete in the marketplace by increasing efficiency and reducing costs,” Gallivan said. “By supporting the latest research and education, we can help ensure New York’s incredibly diverse agriculture industry continues to grow and thrive.” 

The following priority areas have been identified:

    • research and/or education addressing a key conventional or organic production problem or need specific to New York State;

    • developing and increasing the use of Integrated Pest Management strategies and programs;

    • prioritizing and addressing native and exotic pests and disease threats through development of pest risk assessments;

    • supporting plant breeding for the development of specialty crops resistant to exotic and native pests;

    • applied research and development to extend the growing season of New York specialty crops through new technologies, improved management practices, or other innovative production strategies; and

    • developing new seed varieties and specialty crops with optimal performance under New York State conditions.

Eligible applicants include not-for-profit organizations and educational institutions, and local and Indian tribal governments. Grant funds will only be awarded to applicants whose projects have statewide significance to the specialty crop industry and do not propose to only benefit a single organization, institution, individual or commercial product. 

Applications are due Feb. 14. Additionally, projects must be completed within two years from the award date.

For application details visit:

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 12:30 pm

Press release:

Legislation to move the H-2A Agricultural Visa program from the Department of Labor to the Department of Agriculture has been introduced by Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (NY-21). 

The Family Farm Relief Act of 2017 aims to better meet the unique labor needs of farmers and agricultural businesses.

"The last thing our farmers need is for the federal government to make it harder for them to make ends meet," Collins said. "Access to a willing and available labor force is absolutely critical for Western New York's agriculture community, particularly our dairy farmers. I am proud to join my colleague Congresswoman Stefanik in introducing this common-sense legislation to streamline and improve the H-2A visa program."

The Family Farm Relief Act of 2017 takes practical measures such as allowing visa applicants to fill out H-2A applications on paper or online, requiring a user-friendly online system, and ending burdensome requirements on advertising and prevailing practice surveys.

"Agriculture is the backbone of our North Country economy and I am pleased to introduce this important bill to address the labor shortages facing our farmers," Stefanik said. "When I travel the district speaking with our farmers, I often hear about how unnecessary delays in worker visas lead to difficulty meeting production goals. This common-sense legislation simply puts the H-2A Agricultural Visa Program in the hands of those who best understand the specific needs of our farms."

The current program is unworkable, especially for the dairy farms across the nation. The H-2A visa program does not currently provide a category for year-round livestock workers, including dairy. This has caused difficulties for dairy farms that need employees year-round. This legislation addresses this oversight, by creating a category for these workers.

"Immigration reform that allows for both seasonal and year round farm labor has been a longtime priority for New York Farm Bureau. For too long, the federal H2A guest visa program has been cumbersome, prone to delays and too rigid to fit the needs of both farmers and their employees. We thank Congresswoman Stefanik for taking the lead on the The Family Farm Relief Act that will provide real reform and address a critical issue in New York's diverse agricultural community," said New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher.

Additionally, the legislation also allows farm cooperatives and other agricultural associations to apply for workers for their members, makes the program more workable for dairy and other livestock operations, and requires reporting to Congress if delays occur in the H-2A visa application process.

Click here for full bill text.

Monday, January 9, 2017 at 4:04 pm



The bridge is complete and it is back on the map – the snowmobile trail map that is.

Just a stone's throw north of the Grateful Grill was a bridge, a dilapidated bridge, that for many years was unusable. That is until about two months ago when the repairs to it were completed, just in time for snowmobile season in Wyoming County.

It’s been close to 20 years since the Oakta Valley Snowmobile Association was able to include the section of the trail that leads to the former Glen Rock on its map. However, thanks in part to the Grateful Grill’s new owners, the old Glen Rock is a haven for riders once more.

“One of the snowmobile clubs was started here by Keith Wolcott (the Glen Rock’s former owner),” said Grateful Grill manager Courtney Weger. “Lots of people who have come here for the last 40 years can now come back and revisit old memories.”

In its heyday, the former Glen Rock, 4260 Route 19, Silver Springs (Rock Glen) played host to dozens of snowmobilers, a place of respite to warm the body and fill the belly. Today, the owners of the former “iconic” restaurant aim to provide the same.

“When we decided to open the restaurant, we knew were were reopening a historic place,” Weger said. “We are trying to keep the history and the roots of the place. We want the community to come back and see those roots…feel those roots.”

Weger, along with Mike Conte manage the Grateful Grill under the guidance of owner John Conte, Mike’s dad.

While Mike is a “hometown boy” of Wyoming County; Weger hails from Colorado. Mike had worked in several restaurants across the country and along the way met Weger. With his experience in the food industry and Weger’s knowledge of culinary arts, the pair made their way back to the county and decided to give the restaurant business a go.

“I grew up in restaurants. My mom was an executive chef for 25 years in Colorado, so I literally grew up in restaurants,” Weger laughed. “Both Mike and I wanted to get into the (restaurant) business and we liked the history of this place.”

Although the restaurant opened this past summer, it took months of renovations to ready the place. The interior was gutted and revamped to include a more modern feel and the menu had been updated, with one exception, they kept the Friday fish fry the old Glen Rock was famous for. Additionally, part of retaining some of the establishment's history is the handwritten restroom sign they found buried beneath a layer of drywall that now hangs prominently directing the way to its facilities.

“We are trying to keep the authenticity of the previous owners while still making the place our own.”

With its farm-to-table menu and its location once again fixed as a destination on the Oakta snowmobile trail map, the Grateful Grill has come up with its own motto for snowmobilers “fill up and warm up.”

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and the bar remains open until 2 a.m..

For more information on its music venue or menu items click here or visit its Facebook page.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017 at 6:23 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, agriculture, Business, farming, ranching.

Press release:

Beginning this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will contact farmers and ranchers to gather agricultural land value information for the Agricultural Land Values survey. 

Survey results will help shape Federal and State deliberations on farm programs, may be used by lending agencies, and can also help individual producers determine their net worth.

“Agricultural land values are one of the major indicators of the financial health of the agricultural sector,” said NASS’ Northeastern Regional Director King Whetstone. “The value of land and buildings accounts for the vast majority of all farm assets.” 

Results of the survey will be released Aug. 3.

More than 1,000 farmers will receive the survey forms. The survey data will be combined with information collected during the 2017 June Agricultural Survey, also conducted by NASS.

To make it as easy as possible for producers to participate in the survey, NASS offers the option of responding online via a secure Internet connection, telephone, mail, fax, or a personal interview with a local NASS representative.

“We guarantee confidentiality of all individual information, regardless of the respond method participants choose, as required by federal law,” Whetstone said. “NASS will combine your responses with your fellow producers, providing the most comprehensive estimate of U.S. agricultural land values for 2017.”

For more information about the Agricultural Land Values Survey, call the NASS Northeastern Regional Field Office at (717) 787-3904. All NASS reports and data are available online at

Monday, December 26, 2016 at 5:22 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Business, Warsaw, consignment, entrepreneur.



Sylvia Mellin had no problem getting bigger. As a matter of fact, in the span of about five months she more than doubled her size…well, her retail shop did anyway.

Mellin first opened her business – The Right Price – in July. However, she soon realized her consignment shop was out-pacing the size of her Main Street Warsaw store. She needed more room, and when she got wind of a co-op starting at the old Cornell Cooperative Extension building, 401 N. Main St., Warsaw, she jumped at the chance of expanding her business.

“I just didn’t have any more room. I had to turn things away because I just had no place to put it,” Mellin said. “Now everything is more open and less crowded.”

The Warsaw resident’s entrepreneurial endeavor began after working 20 years as a medical secretary for Wyoming County and after trying other employment and “not caring for it.” Additionally, after a corporate decision called for the closing the resale shop Volunteers of America, Mellin saw how its closing left a gap in the area. Deciding to fill that gap, she opened The Right Price.

“I saw value in Volunteers of America. At a certain point in my life I just decided that I wanted to do something that I enjoy doing. I didn’t want to work for anyone else anymore. I was ready to be my own boss.”

She says she has only herself to answer to, sets her own hours and has the satisfaction of watching her business grow. 

“I loved being a medical secretary, but I like making my own decisions. I now have the ability that if I don’t like how something is done, I switch it. I decided on the consignment shop because it was something that I felt the county needed and there is no overhead.”

Ninety percent of the merchandise she sells is consignment based. And with more room, she now has an opportunity to sell furniture as well. Mellin will only accept items that are clean and neat and don't "smell like cigarette smoke.” The monetary split with the consignor is 60/40, with 60 percent going to the shop. But she also offers a 50/50 split in store credit.

“It’s a similar profit for the person as if they were selling the items at a garage sale, only they don’t have to do the work.”

Additionally, items can be left in the shop for 90 days, if it doesn’t sell, the person can take their items back. While Mellin typically decides on the prices for the merchandise, if someone wants a certain price for the item, she will try to sell it for what they are asking. If she is not sure of the value of an item, she does online research to get a better feel of a fair price. 

Once the items are tagged, the computer “takes care of everything else.” According to the shop owner the only way to operate this business is by computer, which keeps track of the items brought in, who the seller is and how the money is split.

“Business has been good. I wouldn’t have moved if it wasn’t warranted. The people that have come in here are thrilled about the bigger space.”

The Right Price offers used and some new clothing items for men, women, children and infants. Merchandise is “reasonably priced,” sorted by winter/summer, sized on the racks, and includes several name-brand items. Not only does she sell clothing, she also has an assortment of movies, books, shoes, and some electronics – which are sold “as is.”

The larger space has also allowed Mellin to create two separate rooms for clothing in addition to the main sales area – one for infants, and one for men's and boys' clothing.

The Right Price is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, and closed Sundays.

For more information call (585) 969-8057 or visit its Facebook page.







Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 1:05 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Business, Castile, Silver Springs, Perry.

Press release:


Tompkins Bank of Castile recently recognized the decades of service five employees have given to the institution. Bank officials say their length of service characterizes the company’s stability and loyalty as an organization.

williams.jpg djames.jpg
    Diana Williams    Debbie James


Diana Williams, assistant vice president of the Avon branch, is celebrating 35 years with the bank. She began her banking career in 1977 as a part-time teller at the American Express branch in Augsburg, Germany. When she moved to the United States, she stayed with the financial services industry and began working for Chase at the East Avon branch, which was purchased by The Bank of Castile in 1994. Williams and her husband, Richard, live in Livonia. They have three children and four grandchildren. She is active in the Avon Rotary and Junior Achievement.


The following employees are celebrating 25 years of service:

    • Theresa Nicastro is the assistant manager of Commercial Loan Operations. She is active in planning, organizing and coordinating efficient service of commercial loans for Tompkins Bank of Castile as well as the three other banks of Tompkins Financial Corp. She began her career as a teller in the Perry branch and has held numerous positions ranging from administrative assistant to branch manager. She says being a part of the Tompkins family is a “special blessing and loves being a part of such a wonderful organization.” She and her partner, Steve, reside in Silver Springs along with their two rescue dogs.

    • Annette Granger started in the Proof Department and was working as a commercial credit Services Associate at our Operations Center in Perry until she retired this past year. 

    • Debbie James, vice president – consumer product manager, works to ensure a superior customer experience and that the banks products are competitive and customer-friendly. Her first job was as a teller in the Perry branch. She has continued to grow within the company, serving several years as the Castile Branch Manager. Based at its Operations Center in Perry, her current responsibilities encompass all of Tompkins Financial Corporation. James and her husband, Brad, have two children, Erika and Michael. They live in Silver Springs.

nicastro.jpg francis.jpg granger.jpg
   Theresa Nicastro    Carolyn Francis    Annette Granger

    • Carolyn Francis, assistant vice president, small business credit officer, joined the bank in 1986 and has held various positions. She started in the proofing department, went to the mortgage department and finally landed in the commercial department working specifically with small businesses in the community. Francis left the bank for a brief time, but said she came back because she “loves all the great people that she works with and they are like family to her.” Francis lives in Fillmore with her husband, Greg. 


“Our employees are truly what differentiate our company, delivering superior customer service every day,” said Tompkins Bank of Castile CEO and President John McKenna. “We work hard to provide a rewarding and engaging workplace which helps us attract the best talent and results in extraordinary consistency of our employee base.”


Tompkins Bank of Castile values the commitment and service these employees have given to the company. 


Tompkins Bank of Castile is a community bank with 16 offices in the five-county Western New York region. Services include complete lines of consumer deposit accounts and loans, business accounts and loans, and leasing. In addition, insurance is offered through an affiliate company, Tompkins Insurance Agencies, wealth management, trust and investment services are provided through Tompkins Financial Advisors. Further information about the bank is available at

Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 9:57 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcement, Warsaw, Business, retail.


Photo submitted.

When the Cornell Cooperative Extension relocated, one of the contingencies was the purchase of the building, says local developer Jim Rutowski.

Rutowski says there were many calls from people looking for small offices or shop space and offering space in an empty building gives business owners an opportunity to grow their business with minimal investment.

“Seventy percent of job growth is with small business,” Rutowski said. “I know challenges with small businesses and if I can help them grow…It’s a win-win for the county.”

JAMS music shop owner Bob Caplick had been looking to tap into the Warsaw market for some time now. While his music store is prosperous in Attica, parking has been an issue for his customers.

“Parking has always been an issue, but I also wanted to expand the service aspect of the business,” Caplick said. “The Attica store will still be open, but multiple businesses in one location will draw different clients and help bring more people in.”

While JAMS main business will remain in its Attica location, the Warsaw satellite shop will offer more service oriented aspects to the business like music lessons, computer and guitar repair, record and cassette to CD conversion, as well as VHS to DVD conversion.

“The bulk of our inventory will remain in Attica,” Caplick said. “But there will be a few guitars here and there, as well as other retail items but on a smaller scale.”

Although the businesses that will occupy the space aren’t interconnected, Caplick sees it as being a “one-stop shop for many things.” 

In addition to the shops and other service-oriented businesses, the building also features a meeting room that will handle approximately 40 people. Additionally, the space has a cooking area which can be used if the renter of the space so chooses.

There have been a few renovations to the building, Rutowski says – roof repair, general maintenance and cleaning – after all, the building was built in the 1950s. Additionally, new signage has been put in place, as well as plans to renovate the front to give it a more modern look. At some point, Rutowski envisions adding onto the building to bring more businesses in.

“The county did such a good job renovating the hospital, the thought was that having businesses in this space would be appealing for those who not only work in the hospital, but use or visit it as well,” Rutowski said. “Right now we have about 80 percent of the building rented. We are trying to make the space as affordable as possible. Individual shop renovations will take place after the businesses become more comfortable in the space.”

For now, the old CCE building will house a dog groomer, dry cleaner, insurance agent, a dog rescue, and of course, JAMS.

“One of the draws to this location was there is not only ample parking, there is also tons of traffic that goes through Warsaw,” Caplick said. “I had thought about it (bringing a satellite location to Warsaw) for awhile and decided to just go for it. I’m clutched! I figured I’d try it and see what happens. I gotta be positive about it, if I’m not, then what’s the point?”

Rutowski says there is still more space available for any small business interested in opening a satellite office or seeking an increased presence in the county.

“Warsaw has good traffic flow and Main Street is lined with small businesses,” Rutowski said. “As I said, 70 percent of job growth is with small business and if I can help someone grow their business…I’d love to talk with them.”

JAMS Warsaw location will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Friday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday; and Dec. 20 through 23 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.. The Attica location will hold extended hours through the holidays.

The official opening of the building will be sometime early January.

For more information about renting a space call Shawn Bailey at (585) 329-7794 or Jim Rutowski at (716) 536-2330.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 at 10:52 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Arcade, Perry, Warsaw, holiday, winter, Business.


For three decades, at its branches across Western New York, M&T Bank has collected warm clothes for local families in need as part of its Gift of Warmth campaign. Now through Dec. 31, donations of new mittens, gloves, scarves, hats, and coats can be dropped off at an M&T Bank branch.

The Buffalo Bills helped M&T kick-off this year’s 31st annual campaign with a special on-field presentation during its Nov. 27 game against Jacksonville. All of the warm clothing collected benefits children and families served by The Salvation Army of Buffalo.

“The snowy, cold weather that has now returned to Western New York is a helpful reminder of the need to give back to our community and help our neighbors stay warm during the winter months,” said Jim Jarosz, M&T Bank Group vice president for Retail Banking in Western New York. “Each year, M&T Bank collects about 3,500 items at local branches during our Gift of Warmth campaign, and this year, with the community’s help, we’re hoping to reach record levels.” 

Donations can be dropped off at any of the 77 M&T branches throughout Western New York. Branches in Wyoming and all eight counties of WNY participate. Most branches are open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To find the nearest branch and its hours of operation, individuals should visit

“So many children in our community walk to school or wait for their bus without appropriate winter-weather clothing. When times are tough for families, they’re forced to make difficult economic decisions to keep their children fed and a roof over their heads. Donating to M&T Bank’s Gift of Warmth campaign will provide a relief, small but important, to our neighbors in need,” said The Salvation Army of Buffalo Executive Director Maj. Thomas Applin. “We are always so grateful to everyone who supports this drive because it allows us to do even more to protect the less fortunate from our region’s harsh winters.”

In 1985, one M&T employee developed an idea to help local families by teaming up with the Salvation Army of Buffalo. That idea has grown into a community-wide effort that remains strong more than 30 years later. Since 2012, the Gift of Warmth campaign has collected nearly 20,000 items of winter-weather accessories for children and families.

In addition to M&T branches, collection bins will also be located at several senior and health care facilities throughout the month of December.

The Salvation Army has been supporting those in need without discrimination since 1865. Nearly 33 million Americans receive assistance from the organization each year. Services range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. About $.83 of every dollar raised is used to support those services in nearly 9,000 communities nationwide. 

M&T Bank is a financial holding company headquartered in Buffalo. M&T’s principal banking subsidiary, M&T Bank, operates banking offices in New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Trust-related services are provided by M&T’s Wilmington Trust-affiliated companies and by M&T Bank.

Friday, November 18, 2016 at 10:00 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Business, Warsaw, shop local.

Press release:

The Wyoming County Board of Supervisors recently proclaimed Nov. 26 as Small Business Saturday in Wyoming County. Elected county leaders joined with the Wyoming County Chamber & Tourism in declaring the day dedicated to shopping locally and encouraging county residents to make the extra efforts to shop at local businesses Saturday.

“We are very pleased to pass this formal resolution declaring Nov. 26 as Small Business Saturday. The Board of Supervisors recognizes the importance of small business to the county’s economic health and certainly encourage everyone, in all 16 towns, to stay right here in Wyoming County to support our local economy,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Doug Berwanger. “We recognize the business owners from across this great County who work and sacrifice every day to make their business a success, and thank them for making Wyoming County their home.”

The annual celebration, originally started in 2010 by American Express, highlights America’s small businesses located on Main streets and in neighborhoods in every community. Recognizing that small businesses are the backbone of the nation’s economy, this event seeks to encourage shoppers to spend time exploring all that their local community has to offer. 

“I would like to thank the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors for this proclamation and for recognizing the vital importance of our small businesses here in Wyoming County,” said Chamber President Scott Gardner. “This support and recognition underscores the importance of Small Business Saturday and will help to energize and remind residents to shop local first.”

Small businesses are grassroots job creators, and are a critical component of our local economy. They include everything from local family farms, maple producers, gift shops, hair salons, local pharmacies, and a host of other businesses that make up the economic fabric of the county’s business sector. Businesses from across the county have the option to open extra hours and have special events for their customers.

American Express created the Neighborhood Champions program to help rally communities around Small Business Saturday. Additionally, the company is working alongside numerous business organizations to support local celebrations throughout the country. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016 at 7:54 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Business, Perry, shop local.


File photo taken in May 2015.


When Wyoming County was dubbed a “craft beer desert,” the Silver Lake Brewing Project (SLBP) created an oasis in Perry. While the project began as a mirage in 2012, the SLBP is now nearing completion, anticipating opening before the new year, and looking to kick up the project a bit more.

To help generate the funds necessary to bring in additional components to the brewery, SLBP created a Kickstarter page. According to the company’s website, Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects to be brought to life through the direct support of others.

As stated on the SLBP Kickstarter page, “this is a campaign to recruit you to become part of the Silver Lake Brewing Project history. We'll only open once, and we want to make sure that we are opening fully awesome.”

Company officials say the campaign will enable them to bring in three additional features: 

    • A Crowler canning machine, which would allow patrons to fill a 32-ounce can with their favorite beverage, have it seam-sealed and take it home; 

    • A biergarten, which would beautify the large outdoor deck area; and 

    • A barrel-aging program, which would enable the brewery to make unique wood-aged beers and “sour/funky” beers available in the taproom. However, to make the taproom happen, materials are needed to build racks, used wine and spirit barrels need to be purchased, and equipment to transfer beer properly from the barrels also needs to be bought.

Although the added features are things that were planned to be completed over time, SLBP is asking for the community’s help to “make our space the best it can be faster.” Company officials say Kickstarter gives the public the opportunity to become part of the project.

With the brewery sitting “just off” Main Street in Perry, designers of the project used as many materials that were already part of the building to retain some of its history.

“We were able to save history by salvaging parts of the building and repurposing material,” said co-founder Ryan Fitzsimmons. “The bar top is an old slate chalk board, some of the walls are made of old barn wood from a local barn and the walls in the brew house are made of the flooring from the loft area.”

From the beginning, the project has been a community endeavor. In addition to its founding members, Fitzsimmons, Pilar McKay, and Tony Jones, there are currently 40 people who have a direct stake in the business. SLBP is structured as an LLC and is owned by and for the community.

SLBP is in close proximity to Letchworth State Park and Silver Lake which played a role in advocating for the expansion westward of the Finger Lakes Beer Trail Map. Instead of ending at its previous boundary at Conesus Lake, the trail now includes the western-most Finger Lake – Silver Lake.

Fitzsimmons says it’s been a long road and they are excited and they are “getting there,” anticipating the grand opening sometime in late December.  

For more information on how to contribute to the campaign visit Silver Lake Brewing Project + You: A Kickstarter Story.

See related: Silver Lake Brewing Project: destruction before construction


File photo taken in May 2015



File photo taken in May 2015








Thursday, November 17, 2016 at 10:00 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Business, Warsaw, shop local.

Press release

Shopping in Wyoming County this holiday season could really pay off, especially if the opening kickoff during the Super Bowl, Feb. 5, is returned for a touchdown. If that happens, one individual will be drawn to win a cash prize of $25,000 in this year's Shop Wyoming and Win program. 

Even if the kick-off is not returned for a touchdown, there is still an opportunity to win some great guaranteed prizes including a Weber Spirit E210 propane gas grill from Ace Hardware, of Attica and Warsaw; a Glider Rocker Recliner from Harding’s Attica Furniture and Flooring, Attica; and a $100 Wyoming County Gift Card.

"This is one of the Chamber's most popular promotions and continues to grow every year," said Chamber President Scott Gardner. "We look forward to another successful holiday shopping season that encourages shoppers to buy-local right here at home, which helps our local businesses, and adds a needed boost to the local economy."

Now in its fifth year, the Chamber has sponsored this holiday promotion as part of the its Shop Local - Buy local program. Participation is easy, simply save your receipts from purchases made in Wyoming County between “Black Friday” (Nov. 25) and Christmas Eve (Dec. 24).

Participants must submit receipts to the Wyoming County Chamber or at drop boxes that will be located at Chamber member businesses throughout the county. All receipts must be received by 5 p.m. Jan. 13.  Every $50 worth of purchases made in the county will make you eligible for one entry in the $25,000 drawing, as well as the drawing for the guaranteed prizes.  

All receipts must be originals and have the shopper’s full name, phone number, address, and email clearly written on the back. The drawing will be held Feb. 7, at the Wyoming County Government Center. 

Receipts can be mailed to the Chamber office at 36 Center St., Suite A, Warsaw, 14569. For questions or complete contest rules contact the Chamber at (585) 786-0307 or visit

Wyoming County Visa Gift Cards are also available for purchase and make great holiday gifts.  They are available in various denominations from $25 - $500 and can be purchased online at or by calling the office at (585) 786-0307. 


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