A little bit of Philadelphia is coming back to Benner Pike.
Troy’s Philadelphia Style Hoagies will open in mid-March at 752 Benner Pike.
It’s actually a reopening, because that was the restaurant’s original location before Troy Guenot sold it to spend more time with his young family. It will also be an expansion — the Guenot family has operated the restaurant for more than a year off West Aaron Drive near Wiscoy.
“I always enjoyed the business, and I thought we had a good product and felt it was unique to the area,” Guenot said. “It’s Philadelphia rolls, Boar’s Head meat and everything is made fresh. When I set out to do it again I checked (the Benner Pike) area out right away. It was the first place I went to, but I ran into a friend of mine and he told me about (the West Aaron Drive) location. We ended up here, and it was a good move.”
The Guenot family might open a third location, but Guenot said their focus during 2018 will be on operating the two existing locations. The word has gotten out in recent weeks that they would be reopening on Benner Pike.
“The response has been real positive,” he said. “We have people from Bellefonte that frequent this place. It’s gonna be a lot closer for them, and we do a lot of catering in the Bellefonte area now.”
The second restaurant will be about 1,100 square feet with seating for 25 to 30 people inside and picnic tables outside. Pizza will also be added to the menu for the Benner Pike location.
Guenot expects the expansion to be a success.
“Everything we do is fresh on a daily basis,” he said. “We don’t take short cuts. We do everything the old-fashioned way.”
State College store closes
A woman’s clothing store off Benner Pike has shut down.
Cato Fashions, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, closed its State College location on Christmas Eve. A sign on the door redirected customers to its Logan Town Center location in Altoona and online shopping portal.
The Charlotte Observer reported in April that the company has faced challenges like many other brick-and-mortar retailers and laid off employees in its real estate department. Cato Fashions did not respond to requests for comment.
“We recently reorganized our real estate department in response to conditions in the real estate market, including a slowdown in the development of new shopping centers and a lack of desirable space in existing shopping centers,” CEO John Cato told the Observer.
Cato provided a grim view of 2016, calling the year “very disappointing.” Sales continued to decline at an accelerated rate, according to a November release.
“The November same store sales decline is consistent with our current trend,” Cato said in a statement. “Consequently, we continue to expect our full year earnings to be significantly below last year.”
CBICC awards announced
The Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County recently presented the 2017 Excellence in Business Awards.
Six awards were presented after 48 businesses and its leaders were nominated. Winners, chosen by an independent selection committee of local business leaders, included:
▪ Technology Company of the Year — EnergyCAP
▪ Start-up Company of the Year — ConidioTec LLC
▪ Business Leader of the Year — Patrick Irwin, of Leonard S. Fiore
▪ Corporate Community Impact — West Arete
▪ Small Business of the Year — Tait Farm Foods
▪ Young Professional of the Year — Amanda McClellan, of Doing Better Business
▪ Economic Development Champion — Jeff Fortin, of Penn State
“The Excellence in Business Awards are a wonderful opportunity to showcase the strength and diversity of Centre County’s business community,” CBICC President and CEO Vern Squier said. “We welcomed the opportunity to celebrate local business while specifically acknowledging the achievements of this year’s finalists and winners.”
$10,000 awarded to startup
Ben Franklin Technology Partners hosted award ceremony for its TechCelerator class and awarded Wear It Together a $10,000 prize.
Five businesses presented their ideas to a panel of judges and peers. WIT develops a “biometric monitor that helps people battling addiction recognize and mitigate their cravings,” according to a release.
Bold Foods produces a cricket protein powder, OsteoSenth produces a bone matrix substrace for the dental market, Balanced Energy manufactures photovoltaic smart electronics and LipiMet develops a test for insulin resistance.
“This group of companies amazed us this fall with their expert assessments of market demand and their ability to pivot their products to align with their customers,” TechCelerator Director Bob Dornich said in a statement.