01/16/12 10:07am
01/16/2012 10:07 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Owner Christine Dupuis (seated) and junior stylist assistant Ritu Rani (left) and licensed massage therapist and nail technician Alice Tilstra.

Owner: Christine Dupuis

Year established: 2011

Location: 1149 Old Country Road, Suite B2, Riverhead, in the professional plaza across from Target

Phone: 631-284-9700

Website: Hairsolutionsforyou.com

Number of employees: 3

Hair Solutions is a full-service hair salon offering the finest quality in all phases of hair services. Owner Christine Dupuis, a certified, licensed professional who specializes in hair replacement, trained in Florida at the Onrite Hair Academy. She has been in the hair industry for over 30 years, operating in Riverhead for the past 13, and always strives to stay on the “cutting edge” of her business. She believes in excellence and true professionalism and accepts nothing less for her many devoted clients. Her staff members, Ritu Rani and Alice Tilstra, fully trained and certified to perform all services, are understanding, compassionate and very pampering to all who enter the door.

Ms. Dupuis believes there is a growing need for nonsurgical alternatives to people experiencing hair loss due to heredity or illness, “so they can take back their life and regain their confidence.” Hair Solutions caters to those particular needs, specializing in hair replacement enhancements, partial and full cranial prosthetics for medical patients, hair extensions for length and volume and medical wigs.

Custom design cutting, coloring and styling, as well as the latest and safest methods of hair smoothing treatments are also on the top of the list. The salon also offers formal wear hair, perms and relaxers, waxing, make up applications, shellac nails (the hottest new trend) and pedicures, with reflexology and chair massages.

“Privacy for our clients is of the utmost importance,” said Ms. Dupuis, and the salon offers private studios decorated in tasteful antiques to create a comfortable atmosphere.

“It has always been my greatest reward to have someone leave my chair happy once again when they look at themselves in the mirror,” said Ms. Dupuis.

Hours: Wednesday and Friday, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

01/10/12 4:20pm
01/10/2012 4:20 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Peconic Marble owner David Pence (far left) and employees in the Marcy Avenue showroom.

Owner: David Pence

Year established: 1987

Location: 118 Marcy Ave., Riverhead

Phone: 631-369-0700

Number of employees: 12

Hours: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Website: peconicmarble.com

Peconic Marble and Granite Inc. is a complete kitchen and bath showroom, offering cabinets, tile, stone and plumbing fixtures, as well as fabrication and installation of all products. “The uniqueness of our place lies with two elements,” said owner David Pence. “We have qualified designers and installers and we have all the items for your kitchen and bath in one place.”

The company’s three designers have a combined 74 years’ on-site experience and a large pool of knowledge to draw from. They are fully trained in all the latest computer skills, equipped with real-life experience and conversant with their clients’ kitchen and bath requirements.

PM&G has both a slab yard and a fabrication shop on site, and carries 10 different cabinet lines, with more than 130 cabinet samples in all colors, finishes and wood species, and seven different lines of quartz stone. There are thousands of tile samples in an approximately 3,000-square-foot display area that customers can peruse at leisure, and more than 120 granite, marble and engineered stone samples from which to select a kitchen countertop.

“We have organized vignettes with design ideas that we constantly update with the newest state-of-the-art products,” David said. “Our clients include some of the most successful new-home builders and remodelers in this area, as well as private homeowners interested in upgrading and beautifying their homes.

“We encourage you to come to our showroom and let us help you create the kitchen and bathroom that fits your personal style and budget,” said David. “Grab a chair at one of our customer workstations and mix, match and compare until you find what works best for you.”

01/02/12 10:23am
01/02/2012 10:23 AM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Hart's Hardware owner Lisa Jerome (right, front) with sons (rear from left) Matt Jerome and Stephen Jerome, and staff members Joe Zawoysky (rear right) and Laura Kettenbeil (front left).

Owners: Lisa Jerome and Karen Goodale
Year established: 1996
Location: 50000 Main Road, Southold
Phone: 631-765-2122
Number of employees: 4
Open Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Hart’s Hardware is a family-run store that has provided its customers with quality hardware and household items since 1996. The store has been in the same location since before the 1960s, when the Smith brothers used it as a storeroom for their building supplies. Les Hart opened it as a hardware store, then Don Spates ran it, then Bill Goodale, now deceased, became the owner and ran it for 10 years. Though he died in 2006, his wife, Karen, and his daughter, Lisa, have kept the store running and have even managed to expand it.

Nuts, bolts, keys, screens, paint, and a full line of electrical and plumbing supplies are some of the many items at Hart’s Hardware. Services such as glass-cutting are also available to customers.

“A local place with local people, Hart’s is a true small-town hardware store,” Ms. Jerome said. “We have ties to the community, we live and work in this town and can be seen at the market or school.”

“We give true value,” she continued. “Our motto is ‘start right, start here.’ ”

12/12/11 3:45pm
12/12/2011 3:45 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Planet Fitness managing partner Nancy Kouris (from left) and owner John Mahoney with manager Jennifer Garcia.

Owner: John Mahoney

Year established: 2009

Location: 116 Kroemer Avenue, Riverhead, 31-369-6200; 295 Route 25A, Rocky Point, 631-821-3400; and 250 West Montauk Highway, Hampton Bays, 631-723-3174

Number of employees: 14

Calling itself “the judgment-free zone,” Planet Fitness is a national franchise offering memberships as low as $10 per month, a respectful atmosphere and a friendly workout environment. One of the most innovative health club brands in the United States, Planet Fitness provides a unique, safe and energetic space where anyone can be comfortable and build a lasting, active lifestyle.

In addition to the franchise in Riverhead, owner John Mahoney and managing partner Nancy Kouris own and operate and a Planet Fitness in Hampton Bays, which was started over 10 years ago, and have recently opened a facility in Rocky Point.

Fun events at Planet Fitness facilities nationwide include Pizza Nights, held the first Monday of every month, where over 3,000 pizzas — or 24,000 slices — per year are consumed per year, and Free Bagel Days the second Tuesday of the month. Additionally, Planet Fitness facilities give away 350,000 T-shirts and more than 750,000 Tootsie Rolls every month.

The hassle-free facilities have brand-name, state-of-the-art cardio and strength equipment.

“We don’t cater to serious bodybuilders or power lifters,” said Mr. Mahoney. “We encourage a safe, non-intimidating atmosphere where our members, most of whom are first-time gym users, can have fun and enjoy a good workout.”

Planet Fitness facilities are open Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. planetfitness.com

12/05/11 11:24am
12/05/2011 11:24 AM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Paul Izak Salon and Day Spa founder Ladan Shalom-Murray at the spa.

Owner: Ladan Shalom-Murray

Year established: 2004

Location: 55 Route 48, Mattituck

Phone: 631-298-1119

Number of employees: 7

The motto of this salon and day spa is, “A Remedy for Hair, Face, Body and Wellness.” The staff of experienced stylists and estheticians offers a full roster of hairstyling and care services — cuts, coloring, perms, straightening, extensions and scalp treatments as well as bridal services and updos. The spa offers make-up and facials, nail care, ear candling, waxing, spray tanning, body-wrap and massage.

Courtesy and customer service are the staff’s top priority, with an effort to provide an atmosphere that is tranquil and luxurious. The client is welcomed with a glass of wine and pampered throughout the visit.

Spa and salon products are top-of-the-line, and the staff is regularly brought up to date on the newest, most effective methods of styling and care.

The salon is eco-friendly: Spray tanning is all-natural, make-up is all-mineral and nail polish is vegan. This is the only local spa with a Vichy room for salt scrubs and body wraps.
Accolades include the following from Dan’s Papers: Best Hair Salon 2011, Best Hair Colorist 2011 and Best Facial 2009.

A member of the Better Business Bureau, Paul Izak Salon and Day Spa supports local charities and research on cancer and Alzheimer’s disease and participates in Locks of Love.
Hours are Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The website is paulizak.com.

11/28/11 10:57am
11/28/2011 10:57 AM

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | Melina Wein in her office on Shelter Island.

Owner: Melina K. Wein

Year established: 1998

Location: 36 North Ferry Road, Shelter Island

Phone: 631-749-0999

Number of employees: 8

All of M. Wein Realty, Inc.’s four agents bring extensive business experience to the table and are involved with and committed to various community projects and organizations, producing relationships throughout the area. This knowledge and understanding of the community helps buyers to comprehend all the activities and organizations that are available to them in the special environment that is Shelter Island. To M. Wein Realty, Inc., real estate is more than just selling and renting, it is making sure buyers are comfortable and are aware of what resources are available to them once they become residents. The relationship continues after the sale, providing the agency with a strong referral business, which, together with extensive print and Web advertising, is a guarantee of exposure and opportunity.

In its 14 years of existence, this locally owned and operated agency has continued to flourish. Housed in a former luncheonette smack-dab in the center of the island on Route 114, the staff also includes three part-timers and an office manager. It is open for business 24/7.

[email protected]

11/18/11 3:00pm
11/18/2011 3:00 PM

SAMANTHA BRIX PHOTO | Kelly Beglane, 20, of East Quogue and her horse Abby, a Thoroughbred race horse, clear a gate in the riding rink at Hedgewood Farm in Laurel.

Nancy Mullady knows how expensive riding horses can be.

The Southold equestrian, a local veterinarian who has been riding her whole life, said buying a horse, boarding it at a barn and maintaining a supply of quality equipment — helmets, saddles, boots and winter blankets — are quite costly.

But she refuses to skimp when it comes to her horses.

“In my house, I don’t buy jewelry or go on vacation,” said Ms. Mullady, sitting atop Charleston, a white Dutch Warmblood. “We make our choices about what comes first, and the horse comes first.”

Ms. Mullady and other North Fork riders have been forced by a down economy to either cut back on their beloved but costly hobby or save money elsewhere.

And for those in the business, that affects the bottom line.

Dawn Hommel, barn manager of Hedgewood Farms in Laurel, where Ms. Mullady boards Charleston, said she’s seeing fewer students sign up for riding lessons and is increasingly losing students, who may decide to play more sports in school in hopes of securing college scholarships.

“I hate to say it, but sports are interfering,” she said.

Private lessons cost $75 per hour at Hedgewood Farms and up to $85 elsewhere on the North Fork. Even Ms. Mullady, passionate as she is about riding, has been buying fewer lessons to teach her 8-year-old daughter to ride their pony, Stuart Little.

Riders agree the cost of maintaining and caring for a horse far outweighs the initial expense of purchasing one. There’s boarding, grooming, veterinarian bills, dental cleanings and — in some cases — massages, acupuncture appointments and chiropractor visits.

And barn managers agree horses are seeing fewer luxuries in life.

Ms. Hommel said more owners are deciding to “rough board” their horses, meaning the animals are brought into stalls only in bad weather. Rough boarding costs $550 at Hedgewood, while a full board option, meaning horses are brought inside every single night, costs $700.

“Some people wait as long as they can,” Ms. Hommel said. “They wait until it gets really bad out and then they take [their horses] in.”

Rough boarding isn’t offered at Blue Ribbon Farm in Calverton, so riders trying to save money instead look for people to own their horses half the time, said riding academy co-owner Alice Petersen.

A half-time horse owner, or half-boarder, pays the horse’s original owner half its boarding fees and can ride the horse and take it to shows half the time — usually three or four days a week, said Ms. Petersen, who added that half-boarding is a growing, economy-driven trend.

“It’s a way to own your own horse without the commitment and expense,” she said.

Blue Ribbon Farm is focused on dressage — a competitive sport in which the horses look like they’re performing dance moves — instead of on jumping. The extended trot is one step a dressage horse might perform in competition.

She said training expenses coupled with regular grooming and boarding fees make dressage difficult for riders, especially younger ones, to continue.

“The economy is affecting this sport,” she said. “There’s no two ways about it.”

She said school-age dressage students can apply for free dressage lessons through the United States Dressage Federation, a nonprofit organization that aims to educate and promote the sport. One of Ms. Petersen’s students was recently selected to join the Emerging Dressage Athlete Program, a six-day clinic providing free lessons from dressage athletes who have competed in the Olympics.

Blue Ribbon also runs a Working Student Program in which students can work at the barn in exchange for lessons instead of paychecks.

Riding  are also increasingly buying used equipment and shopping for bargains, Ms. Petersen said. She, for one, buys hay and wood shavings for her barn in bulk instead of purchasing small quantities at higher prices from local farmers. She also picks up winter blankets in the summer, when they’re on sale, and stocks up on flea spray during the winter.

Buying used equipment is another way her students save pennies, she said. The saddle is seen as the item to splurge on, and a high-quality one can run around $6,000.

Riders can opt for a used brand name saddle, but that’ll still set them back about $3,500.

“It’s still really difficult,” she said.

[email protected]

11/15/11 9:37am
11/15/2011 9:37 AM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO North Fork Real Estate owner Kristen E. Rishe, right, with staff.

Owners: Kristen Rishe/Sheila Izzo

Year established: 2011

Location: 32845 Main Road, Suite C, Cutchogue

Phone: 631-734-7100

Number of employees: 6

This boutique agency’s staff believes that clients wish to say goodbye to the large corporations and their franchises that have dominated the East End real estate market, in favor of a localized, individual approach to each property, down to the last detail.

The agents combine over 40 years of experience on their native North Fork, and know that word of mouth — living, shopping and dining in the community where they work — in combination with all forms of social networking and multiple listing services on highly traveled websites give their team a deeper knowledge of the area and provide an advantage for getting the job done.

NFREinc. also offers home staging and interior design plus property and marine maintenance, and finds unique venues for outdoor advertising to showcase properties — such as Sep’s iconic farm stand, perfectly placed on the way to/from the ferry at Orient, and lighted outdoor kiosks at New York City locations that are carefully selected, Ms. Rishe says, “to get your home the attention it deserves.”

The NFREinc. mission: “We will never compromise our integrity. We will continue to let our honest and ethical reputation prevail over financial reward.”

The NFREinc. office is open 7 days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Its website is NFREinc.com.

11/10/11 1:12pm
11/10/2011 1:12 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO Owner Nancy Braun (seated center) with hairdressers (from left) Diane Densieski, Christine Floege, Nancy Binger, Patricia DiTusa, Julie Magliulo and Kayla Hojenski.

Owner: Nancy Braun

Year established: 2010

Location: 487 Main Road, Aquebogue

Phone: 631-722-3399

Number of employees: 6

A Cut Above All, in business for over 20 years, was purchased by Nancy Braun in August 2010. Formerly of Special Effects in East Hampton, Ms. Braun brings 15 years’ experience working and managing a high-end beauty salon. “We offer high-end service without the high-end prices,” she said.

Under Ms. Braun’s ownership, the premises were renovated to reflect the salon’s ability and commitment to being “above the rest” in customer service. The salon currently employs six hair stylists who work in an inviting, comfortable and attractive environment. A Cut Above All specializes in color and highlights using the Goldwell color system. A full spectrum of salon services is offered, including keratin treatments, Moroccan oil, hair cutting for men, women and children, hair texturing and relaxing, facial grooming, blow drys, waxing, hair extensions and other accessories.

A Cut Above All was recently designated an “accredited business” by the Better Business Bureau. Senior discounts are offered and the salon can accommodate large parties.
“The girls at A Cut Above All will exceed every expectation!” said Ms. Braun.

Open Tuesday, 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m; Wednesday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

10/27/11 4:00am
10/27/2011 4:00 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Owner Peggy Kneski. On display are some sample flower arrangements.

Owner: Peggy Kneski

Year established: 2010

Location: 324 East Main St., Riverhead

Phone: 631-727-2960

Number of employees: 4

The Riverhead Flower Shop has been in business locally for close to 40 years and changed hands in 2010.

“We are a full-service flower and gift shop with great customer service, which is our first priority,” says owner Peggy Kneski. “We are your one-stop shop for fresh flowers and unique gifts for any occasion.”

The staff includes award-winning designers who can create floral pieces for every occasion: weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, congratulations, love and romance, sympathy, get well, Mother’s Day, new baby, thank you and friendship. Their designs range from simple to lavish and modern to old-fashioned, depending on the occasion and cost. The knowledgeable staff will help in the selection process, always keeping the client’s price point in mind. A wide variety of green and blooming plants, including locally grown orchids, is also available.
Riverhead Flower Shop also carries home decor, jewelry, scarves, totes, handmade cards and other specialty items. Balloons, stuffed animals and boxed chocolates can be included with any floral piece to make it unique and more personal. Fruit and gourmet baskets are another shop specialty.

Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.