Every story even the teeniest bit of business has a beginning and an end.
On Thursday, my job as a reporter at the Centre Daily Times and as the narrator of the communitys business stories comes to a conclusion.
My fiancee, whos been working on her doctorate in clinical psychology at Penn State for the past five years, received an offer of an internship at the University of Wisconsin, and Ill be following her on to her next destination. I dont have any specific job prospects lined up, but Im excited for the move, even though it means leaving Happy Valley and the many friends Ive made here.
Ill have one more column after this to wax philosophical about my time at the CDT and about how great Bits of Business readers are, so Ill save that. For now, Ive got a ton of stored-up news items for you.
The windows of Campus Candy, 346 E. College Ave., have been papered up, meaning the purveyor of frozen yogurt and all sorts of other sweet treats is likely out of business.
It appears to have lost the fro-yo duel to Kiwi Frozen Yogurt, which is down the street.
Club Squared, at 124 N. Second St. in Philipsburg, has also shut down operations. Designed as an all-ages club, owner Mike Stapleford said the concept just didnt catch on.
At that particular location and area, it just doesnt seem like its going to generate enough revenue to keep it going, he said.
Stapleford said he hasnt let the idea die totally, and hes looking at other venues for a possible comeback. Mike I hope it happens, and if it does, can I suggest you name it Club Cubed?
PSU Jeans They say Penn State runs in your genes. Well, you can now run with Penn State on your jeans.
Campus Jeans is a new store at 234A E. College Ave., underneath Urban Outfitters. Penn State alumni Tom and Caryl Schmitz, of Gettysburg, invested in the idea after they got licensing rights from Penn State to stitch or emboss the Nittany Lion logo onto the back pockets of its blue jeans.
Its something very unique, that no one else is doing, said store manager Nathan Grazulewicz. Our main focus is the student body, as our jeans are a little bit more styled toward the younger crowd, but ... weve been surprised by the number of older alumni interested in the product as well.
If the concept succeeds, the Schmitzes may consider expanding to other universities, but for now, theyre banking on their true love, Penn State. Campus Jeans summer hours are noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Follow that truck
Tony and Mark Sapias latest venture, like the tapas bar Nolas Joint downtown, involves innovative cuisine and a warm embrace of the locavore movement.
The main ingredient that sets their new restaurant apart? Its on wheels.
El Gringo Taco Truck has been making appearances at many of the farmers markets around town, hawking Mexican street food enhanced by local meats, veggies and dairy.
Ben Stanley has been running the cart since April, cruising from the farmers market in downtown State College for lunch on Tuesdays, to Boalsburgs market between 2 and 6 p.m. on Tuesdays, then back to the State College market on Fridays, and hitting the North Atherton Street market on Saturdays.
We use local ingredients, and we cook the food using traditional techniques, Stanley said. With this food, I really dislike cutting corners. It takes a very long time to make the food Im making, and even though youre eating it out of the back of a truck, Im proud to be selling this food.
Some of the items featured on El Gringos rotating menu include red pork tamales with roasted jalapeno salsa, scrambled egg tacos with a tomatillo sauce, and a verde salad made with local lettuce, jicama and a cilantro-lime vinaigrette. Stanley also brews up fresh drinks like limonada and a very refreshing hibiscus juice I personally cant get enough of.
Dont expect Stanley to settle into a routine. He said hes constantly thinking up new ideas based on the ingredients he sees at the local markets, and the summer growing season is just getting started.
Im taking this incredible cuisine, and doing plays off it using these amazingly fresh, local ingredients, Stanley said. I feel like Im just scratching the surface. Its just going to get better and better.
For more information, visit El Gringos website at elgringotacos.wordpress.com.
National pediatric nursing agency PSA Healthcare has opened a State College branch.
We take care of sick kids anything from autism to (tracheotomy) tubes to vents, said Angie Swyers, the local clinical coordinator. We provide care for kids so mom and dad can do what they need to do outside the home. The service accepts all Medicaid, Medicare and many other insurance plans, Swyers said.
For more information, check www.PSAHealthcare.com or call 231-9346.
Josh Chalfa likes to fix cars.
After working in automotive for other people for the past five years, Chalfa is becoming his own boss. Hes opened Douty/Chalfa Automotive at 3111 Benner Pike in Bellefonte, next to Natures Cupboard.
Were a full-service station. We do oil changes, inspections, maintenance, diagnostics everything except completely redoing an engine or transmission, Chalfa said.
The Douty in the business name is David Douty, Chalfas stepfather, who is financially supporting the business as it gets started through his job as a truck driver.
Once things get going well, hopefully we can both be in here running the business, Chalfa said.
Chalfa said, eventually, hed like to start selling refurbished used cars, but for now, hes hoping his over-the-top customer service will help him build a positive reputation.
Were trying to do whatever it takes to get them to come back in the door, he said.
As a special offer to celebrate his opening, Chalfa said, If you pay for an emissions inspection, well do your state inspection for free.
Sounds like a good deal to me.
The Douty/Chalfa Automotive store is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Call Chalfa at 954-7790 for more information.
Just Cuts Barber Shop has moved to 2790 W. College Ave. from its spot at 422D Westerly Parkway Plaza, where it had been for the past 20 years.
Its 100 percent nicer, said co-owner Cindy Burke.
The barber shop can be reached at 867-0347.
Heimer moves in
Heimer Eye Care is planning on moving into its new building on Blue Course Drive by the end of the month.
The new office, occupying 7,000 square feet at 1700 Old Gatesburg Road, will give the ophthalmologist room to expand, including the addition of a new optical shop.
We simply outgrew our old space, in the Centre Medical Sciences building on East Park Avenue, Jeff Heimer said.
The practice also includes Jay Fiore, another ophthalmologist, and two optometrists, Molly Wood and Jill Finke.
Were very excited to move in, Heimer said. The location seems very good with easy access, and its on a side of town where a lot of new development is starting to occur, so were pleased to be in what we think is an ideal location.
The practice will close for about a week as the move takes place, Heimer said.