Social media and online branding usually are not the top priorities for new business owners, but it’s the business model for Ellen Matis.
She comes from a family of entrepreneurs and wanted to follow in her kin’s footsteps when the right opportunity presented itself.
“I decided I would use my love of social media and knowledge of business growth together,” she said. “We find out a business’ goals for social media and their online presence and help them through the process of reaching those goals.”
Hello Social Co. services include training, website design and management and social media branding and management. Matis may also combine Hello Social Co.’s services with Prism Simple Solutions, a public relations company owned by Michele Papakie, who was Matis’ professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Hello Social Co. is the first tenant of SpringBoard, a Bellefonte business incubator.
Matis learned about the incubator in May and thought it would be a good professional workspace to develop her business. She may use the incubator as a workshop for clients after she moves in, in October.
Centre County Commissioner Mark Higgins said Matis’ company has already received positive reviews in the business community.
There were several reasons it took several months for a tenant to move into the incubator, he said.
“It typically takes time for agreements and documents to be developed and approved for incubation space,” he said. “It takes time for tenants to move in. The County Business Incubator effort is run mostly by volunteers, which is very cost effective. A drawback is volunteers can take longer to get things done. Everything is ready at SpringBoard. We are actively soliciting applications.”
Japanese cuisine restaurant opens
A new State College restaurant has brought a new twist on Asian cuisine.
Kondu, which originated in 2016 in Harrisburg, recently opened its second location at 132 S. Allen St. next to the Amazon store. The eatery took the place of Aurum Jewelers and Goldsmiths, which closed in January after more than two decades in business.
Most people probably think of dining in an Asian restaurant as a time consuming endeavor, according to owner Ricky Chen, who said his eatery offers a healthier, faster alternative. He said the restaurant’s concept can be traced back to new trends in Philadelphia and New York City.
Kondu offers bubble tea, gyoza, chicken teppanyaki and sushi burritos, which are served in a fast food fashion. Gyoza is a pan-fried dumpling, and teppanyaki is a Japanese form of grilling on iron. The sushi burritos include non-seafood options, such as grilled steak and chicken.
Ricky Chen has told media outlets to think of Kondu as “the Japanese version of Chipotle or Panera Bread.” He also said the concept is geared toward a younger crowd, mostly in the 18- to 35-year-old range, making a college town an ideal place to open.
The 2,000-square-feet eatery has seating for 32 people.
Area’s newest Burger King aims to wow
Burger King Operations Manager Tom Maysonet said it was worth the wait to experience the company’s new “one-of-a-kind restaurant” in State College.
The eatery 2501 E. College Ave. was the 14th in central Pennsylvania when it opened Friday.
“It’s our first weekend without a football game, and it’ll give us practice for when there is a home football game,” Maysonet said. “We have a lot of new things here compared to other Burger King restaurants. We have top of the line equipment, state-of-the-art fryers, broiler. Everything is top notch. ... It’s a phenomenal change from our other locations.”
The new location seats 99 people in the 2,800-square-foot restaurant. There are 32 parking spaces and double drive-thru lanes.
“This place will shock people,” Maysonet said. “When they walk in here they are going to say ‘wow.’ They’re really going to love it.”
The restaurant will employ about 30 people, and Maysonet is still hiring.
“About 90 percent of our managers were crew members at some point,” he said. “We want to help our employees build careers.”
Bellefonte Mart hosts grand opening
A street corner of Bellefonte has been rejuvenated, and the owner wanted to celebrate.
Bellefonte Mart, a convenience store and gas station, opened in July off West Lamb Street across from the Gamble Mill, which will be bought by developers Shauna McClure and Gary Werkheiser.
Store owner Dolly Singh hosted a grand opening Friday at 431 W. Lamb St. with a ribbon cutting at noon, light refreshments and a drawing for $40 gasoline credit. The event was coordinated by the Bellefonte Intervalley Area Chamber of Commerce.
Singh said the convenience store, which replaced a Uni-Mart gutted by a June 2015 fire, would be good for the community.
“We’re extremely excited to be a part of Bellefonte,” Singh said.
The convenience store is open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.