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Displaying items by tag: horses
2019 Polo Season Begins
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Whitney Field, located at 2 Bloomfield Road in Saratoga, the 2019 polo season runs every Friday and Sunday July 5 – September 1. The gates open at 4 p.m. and matches at 5:30 p.m.
With over 120 years of history at the local grounds, fans new and old are treated to full panoramic views of the exciting matches and fast-paced action with some of the best polo teams from all over the world.
The 2019 Season has upgraded the Clubhouse experience with new table seating on the Veranda Club with full-service dining and field-side lounges. The Telescope Casual Winners Circle Lawn Terrace and Gazebo have been re-designed with food trucks and picnic tables and trophy stage for a party celebration experience.
Guests can also pack a picnic basket and enjoy the evening’s entertainment while tailgating with reserved spaces and NEW Clubhouse tailgating. This family favorite gets you close to the action in a casual setting – even the dog is welcome to attend!
Clubhouse seating offers table-side dining options and new casual food truck menus while live announcers and handy guides are always available.
Saratoga Polo Association is located at 2 Bloomfield Road in Greenfield Center. 518 583-4145. To learn more or buy tickets, go to saratogapolo.com.
2019 Saratoga Polo Tournament Season
Every Friday and Sunday • July 5 - September 1
5:30 p.m. • Gates Open at 4 p.m.
• July 5: Celebrate Saratoga Tournament
• July 7: Celebrate Saratoga Tournament
• July 12: The Polo Hall of Fame Tournament
• July 14: The Polo Hall of Fame Tournament
• July 19: Veuve Clicquot Challenge Tournament
• July 21: Veuve Clicquot Challenge Tournament
• July 23: Skidmore Palamountain Fundraiser 4 Chukker match
• July 26: Mid-Summer Celebration Tournament
• July 28: Mid-Summer Celebration Tournament
• August 2: The Whitney Cup Tournament
• August 4: The Whitney Cup Tournament
Independent Helicopters delivers the trophy to the field!
• August 9: The Barrantes Cup Tournament
• August 11: The Barrantes Cup Tournament
• August 16: The Ylvisaker Cup Tournament
• August 18: The Ylvisaker Cup Tournament
The Strunk/D’Amico Wedding Cup Tailgating Decoration Contest
• August 23: The Saratoga Special Tournament
The Heliin/Amodeo Wedding Cup Tailgating Decoration Contest
• August 25: The Saratoga Special Tournament
• August 30: SPA Anniversary Tournament
• September 1: SPA Anniversary Tournament
Other Special Events & Highlights:
• July 7: Best Polo Pooch Contest
Bring your dogs, on Sunday July 7 and join us for the Best Polo Pooch Contest. Prizes for Best Big Dog, Best Little Dog, and Best Polo Pooch
• August 18 and 23: There will be two wedding themed tailgate decorating contests on August 18 and 23 to celebrate actual weddings happening at matches on those dates!
• August 4: Join the party on Whitney Cup
• Every Match: Try your hand at a Veuve Clicquot sabrage at every match
Tickets, tables, and tailgating spaces are going quickly… buy your tickets online at saratogapolo.com/tickets to join in the fun at every match, every day, the Saratoga Polo way!
The Travers Winners, Losers, and Champions
WE KNOW THIS FAMED RACE for three-year olds at the classic distance of one and one quarter miles as the Mid-Summer Derby. It has been the main fixture here at the Spa for the last one hundred and fifty-two years. The colts that have made their way here to contest the event read like a who’s who of the American Turf. Let’s take a look at some of the great performances in this historic race.
The 1920 version brought the greatest champion of them all, the immortal Man O’ War to the Spa. A tremendous crowd came to see this eighth wonder of the world perform his magic. The fans got their money’s worth that mid-August day. The old stands were about to shake to their core. Not only did the greatest horse in the annals of turfdom win the race, he set a track record that stood the test of time. It wasn’t until forty-three years later that it would be equaled, we will discuss that shortly.
A decade later, the great Gallant Fox came here looking to add the Travers to his conquest of the Triple Crown earlier that Spring. The Fox went off as the odds-on favorite. Ridden by the great Earl Sande, he looked like a mortal cinch. In the four-horse race was a colt named Jim Dandy. He went off at the odds of one hundred to one. In a startling upset, he galloped home by eight lengths leaving a stunned Gallant Fox in his wake. Saratoga was now known as The Graveyard of Favorites. It has held that reputation to this very day.
Let’s move on to 1941. Storied Calumet Farms champion Whirlaway easily took all three Triple Crown races. He was the fifth horse to attain that feat. His trainer Ben Jones now had his eyes firmly fixed on a trip to Saratoga to add the Travers to Whirlaway’s stellar resume. Race day only two others were entered. All they would see was the long bushy tail of the champ. He got the lead early and never looked back. Whirlaway had just become the only horse to take both the Crown and the Travers. Two others would make a bid. Neither one would succeed.
Let’s go forward twelve years to 1953. This was the year of the immortal Native Dancer. Owned by Alfred G Vanderbilt, he was a once-in-a-lifetime gift to the horse racing kingdom. If it wasn’t for a horrific trip in the Kentucky Derby, where he finished a close second to Dark Star, the Big Gray would be in every conversation as the greatest horse that ever stepped on to a racetrack. The Dancer was no stranger to the Spa. He had won four races here as a two-year-old. He came back a year later with every intention of winning the Travers. And that he did. Bet down to a prohibitive favorite, Hall of Fame jockey Eric Guerin hand rode this great champion to an easy score. He returned one more time in 1954 for what would be his Swan Song. Laden with 137 pounds, he ended his career with an easy nine length romp in a special non-betting race. He is forever memorialized with a majestic statue at the onset of Congress Park, a gift from Mary Lou Whitney and John Hendrickson.
Later in the decade, the brilliant conditioner John Nerud took the 1957 version with Gallant Man. Sword Dancer closed out the 50s with his Travers score in 1959.
Three years later lightning was about to strike at the Spa. It came in the name of two horses, Ridan and Jaipur. George D Widener’s Jaipur had just come off a Belmont Stakes triumph. Ridan had earlier lost the Preakness, in the closest finish in that event’s history. They were headed for a collision course. And the Travers would be it. It was one for the ages. The immortal Bill Shoemaker had the mount on Jaipur. Ridan had the services of the great Panamanian Manuel Ycaza. The bell rang and both jockeys hustled for the lead. On the clubhouse turn they hooked up. From that point on they raced as one. Fred Capossela, America’s premier race caller of the twentieth century, saw it this way. Over and over he stated, “It’s Jaipur and Ridan”, then “It’s Ridan and Jaipur.” Up the backstretch and into the far turn they were inseparable. Down the stretch a pin could not separate them. They hit the finish line as one. After reviewing the photo finish pictures, the stewards declared Jaipur the winner. He had beaten Ridan by a nostril.
He had also equaled the track record set by Man O ‘War. The greatest Travers Stakes of all time was now etched into history.
Later in that decade, it would be Ogden Phipps’ great champion Buckpasser. He took the Travers in 1966. A year later Damascus took home the cup. On a sloppy track he made one of the greatest moves in the history of the sport. 17 lengths behind the leader on the backstretch, he blew past the field. At the finish line he was an astounding 22 lengths clear of the rest. It was an incredible performance.
1973 was the year of Secretariat. We all know his credentials. He came here looking to take both the Whitney and Travers. The dream became a nightmare. In a shocker, he was beaten by a lightly regarded Onion in the Whitney. Trainer Lucien Lauren decided against running him back in the Travers. Saratoga had seen the last of the legendary Secretariat.
Five years later, two Hall of Fame members were about to make this town rumble. It was the year of Affirmed and Alydar. They rhyme like Maris and Mantle, Dempsey and Tunney, sports names forever joined as one. In the Spring of 1978 these two went head to head in all three Triple Crown events. Affirmed won everyone by slim margins over Alydar. So close were they, that the racing public was craving for one more. What better place than Saratoga and the Travers. The race had all the earmarks of a championship match. Over 52,000 fans converged on the grounds to see the event. All previous attendance marks were shattered. The race itself was a disaster. Laffit Pincay had the mount on Affirmed. Midway up the backstretch Jorge Velasquez was making his move on the rail. Pincay did not realize Alydar was there. As he moved Affirmed closer to the inside, Alydar was banged into the rail and almost went down. He was able to recover, only to come up second to his nemesis again. It didn’t take long for the stewards to disqualify Affirmed. The race was tainted. We will never know for sure who was the better horse that day. Yet this Travers ranks high in racing lore here at the Spa.
1982 gets an honorable mention. Long shot Runaway Groom stunned the crowd when he beat the winners of all three Triple Crown events. Then in 1989 it was Easy Goer. This magnificent racehorse took both the Whitney and Travers. Five years later powerful Holy Bull prevailed on his way to Horse of the Year honors.
The second year of the Millennium brought Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner Point Given here. He added the Travers to his brilliant resume and a Horse of the Year award for 2001. Saratoga’s sweetheart, Marylou Whitney, got hers when Nick Zito and Birdstone found the winners circle in 2004.
Eleven years later it was American Pharoah’s turn. He had just become America’s first Triple Crown winner in 37 years. He came to town looking to join Whirlaway as the winner of both the Crown and the Travers. Saratoga got a weekend to remember from this one. On Friday preceding the race, he was galloped around the oval to the delight of 15,000 fans in attendance. Then in a shocker, he was defeated the next day by Keen Ice. His bid to join Whirlaway had come up empty.
A year later it was mighty Arrogate’s turn. He simply demolished the track record for the event, with an eye-popping time of 1:59.36.
Last year turned out to be a repeat of 1982. Bob Baffert brought his colt West Coast here. He proceeded to tame all three winners of the 2017 Triple Crown events.
This Saturday 50,000 fans will be on hand to join in on the festivities of Travers day. Always a probability, a great race may be in the offing. I hope you enjoyed this look back at the many memorable renditions of The Mid-Summer Derby. If history tells us anything, we can count on many more great runnings of this spectacular event. Stay tuned!
TRF and Oakencroft Providing a Dual-Benefit for Retired Thoroughbreds and Future Vets
THE COST OF A THOROUGHBRED horse in training can be expensive with the cost of feed, stalls, stable help, and especially veterinarians, but some of that cost can be offset when the horse runs for purse money.
However, it can be difficult to cover those veterinarian costs once the racehorse has been retired. General examinations, teeth care, x-rays, and other services can easily reach hundreds – and even thousands – of dollars. At the same time, there are gaps in that horse’s medical history.
That has been one of the challenges for the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation each time a retired racehorse is brought to the Heading for Home barn for adoption. From there, a thorough evaluation by a veterinarian is helpful to determine the horse’s capabilities before adoption.
One of Capital Region veterinary groups is assisting in that area by donating their services: the Equine Clinic at Oakencroft in Ravena, co-owned by Dr. Steve Naile and Dr. Ryan Penno. Kim Weir, Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving for the TRF, believes the accredited service is significant, especially for the future of the horse.
“When the horses stop racing, no one is spending money to figure out what happened to them or what’s wrong with them. All we hear is that they won’t run anymore,” Weir said. “This allows us to provide a better future for each horse. It is improving our ability to make sure each horse has the happiest and healthiest long life with us in sanctuary.”
About once a week, Dr. Suzanne Jaynes of Ballston Spa and two of her veterinarian interns – Dr. Ali Catalino and Dr. Chris White – come from Oakencroft to visit the TRF and Heading for Home adoption barn on 863 Lake Ave. for five horses: recently-adopted Dusk to Dawn, Blown Save, Cogs My Man, Son of a Gun, and Bold Mon, whose career ended at Saratoga with a second-place finish in claiming race in August 2007.
One person who has helped bring the Oakencroft and TRF partnership together is Director of Communications and Development Jennifer Stevens, who already had a good relationship with Jaynes as the veterinarian for her horse Saving Grace and as a board member for Heading for Home.
“I trust her with the horses,” Stevens said. “I told her about our situation. She came and saw what we were up against. The horses retired a few years ago and they needed a new look over, and that is really costly. Because of Suzanne’s demeanor, she is practical with her veterinarian advice and treatment. I thought it was a perfect match for our horses.”
The work that Jaynes, Catalino and White do goes beyond routine exams, which typically costs $75. There are lameness workups that cost as much as $250. Dental costs can range from $105-$130. Plus, there are diagnostics that include nerve blocks, x-rays and ultrasounds, as well as emergency care.
These exams and treatments can add upequickly, which could easily impact horse owner’s budget. While the trio of veterinarians are not there to correct injuries that ended the horse’s racing career, they are there to provide a medical history for the horse.
“Once you start adding up those diagnostics, the cost can go up to $1,000 easily,” Jaynes said. “Initially, we would come as needed. We usually spend about 4-5 hours. If it was a normal appointment, it wouldn’t take that long, but we like to go over the horses thoroughly and look at every body part.”
“The goal is not to fix these horses,” she added. “Our job is to determine if they are suitable for trail riding, pasture peddling, or another athletic career.”
This has not been the first time Jaynes has worked with Thoroughbreds in the Saratoga Springs region. After graduating from the University College Dublin School of Veterinary Medicine in Ireland in 2005, Jaynes came to the area as an intern for Dr. Harold Barnes at Saratoga Equine Veterinarian Services.
Through her knowledge and pervious experiences of working with Thoroughbreds, Jaynes is now mentoring both Catalino and White, who are recent graduates of the Atlantic Veterinary School at the University of Prince Edward Island, while providing services to these retired racehorses. Jaynes believes everyone is benefitting from this experience without any external pressures.
“It is a good learning experience for our first-year veterinarians,” Jaynes said. “They can do the work underneath the supervision of a senior clinician. This gives us a chance to go over the horse thoroughly without the pressure of an owner being there and do what’s best for the horse. It’s a nice symbiotic relationship between the TRF and us.”
A Baldwinsville native who was part of the Geneseo Equestrian Team at the 2014 Intercollegiate Horse Show Championships, Catalino believes by working with retired racehorses is going to help her path of continuing her work in equine sports medicine with the emphasis on lameness, imaging and cardiology.
“Since we are new vets and these horses need homes, we are out here to refine our skills with the horses and giving them some routine work they need,” Catalino said. “We also want to make them a profile so they can be adopted and what they can do once they are adopted.”
Competing in barrel races throughout Maine prior to moving to Canada for college, White knows this experience is significant coming out of college as he plans to work with horses who experience lameness, dental concerns, eye issues, or geriatric care.
“You are not going to know everything when you come out [of college],” White said. “If you have a comfortable place to learn, that’s the most important part.”
With the success of Oakencoft, Weir is hoping this partnership can eventually be a model for other TRF Second Chances farms and facilities throughout the country.
“In these horse industry towns with big operations, there must be other Oakencrofts out there,” she said. “There must be veterinarians who have this vision. We need to celebrate and inspire this. This would help all of us across the board.”
Polo Anyone? Season Begins with Strong Attendance
SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Saratoga Polo Association kicked off its 2017 Tournament season on July 7 with an exciting day of competition in front of a sell-out crowd. Alan Edstrom, director of sponsorship and events for Saratoga Polo, said that while there is not currently an exact attendance number, it must have been around 2,500-3,000 for it to be a sellout crowd. This was all followed by the second day of the season on July 9, which still drew a huge crowd, albeit one just short of another sellout.
The first day of competition notably featured National Interscholastic Polo champions Hannah and Olivia Reynolds, 17 and 14 years old respectively, in competition. On the second day, a team from downstate was bussed in from Pine Plains to compete. According to Edstrom, two of the players on this team were six-goal handicapped, a considerable ranking in polo. Edstrom further elaborated that polo players can be ranked as high as 10-goals, although players with the highest handicap are considered rare.
Moving forward, Saratoga Polo will feature a number of noteworthy events that fans should take note of. July 16 will feature the Bob Bullock “Voice of Saratoga Polo Association” Cup, a memorial event for the association’s veteran announcer to celebrate his now-30-year tenure. Later on, Aug. 4 and 6 will feature a tournament for the prestigious Whitney Cup.
Photos courtesy of Saratoga Polo.
Fulfill Your Natural Needs - Four Seasons Now on Henry Street
By Alexandria R. Parisi
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Open since 1998, Four Seasons Natural Foods Store and Cafe located at Phila Street in downtown Saratoga Springs now has given consumers something new to look forward to. The second location has been open for business for less than two weeks and its location on Henry Street proves to continue pursuing ultimate customer satisfaction with buying in bulk for a cheaper price. What is now a retail grocery store, the new location offers the same great variety of natural foods groceries, teas, coffees, supplements, personal care and aromatherapy that is far different from the other health stores that may be coming into play.
The owner of the store, Richard Frank, believes the retail store to be a great opportunity for consumers to purchase natural foods in a more spacious environment. Currently there is a transition of the original location on Phila Street to compliment of the foods in the retail store and now serve as the complete café.
Customers walk in and out of the second location pleased with the naturally-made structure of the building itself, and the same local name and products are just around the corner to sit down and enjoy a fresh organic meal. in a much more comfortable shopping center and convenient parking area. The natural materials used by local craftspeople add to the overall sense of organic well being of the new arrangement.
Customer satisfaction is top priority for Frank and his staff, which is one of the many reasons for branching out to a larger distribution centers that allows for a smoother delivery process, buying in bulk and selling for less, and allow for an even simpler way for customers to shop the store just like they are used to.
Even though Saratoga Springs and surrounding areas are experiencing a mass exposure to healthy living shops, farmers markets, and organic stores, what makes the Four Seasons stand out could be argued as a reflection of the name itself. Frank mentioned how “Four Seasons” originally derived from the previous owners in 1988. They were firm believers in macrobiotics and whole foods diet as a means to restore health.
Essentially, “eating seasonally, and seasonally growing” is one of the many reasons why customers are completely satisfied with the products that are provided at not one, but now two locations. Frank believes that “engaging the senses with natural, organic foods” is an admirable life choice that many people are now realizing is crucial for one’s health and overall well-being.
Sneak Peak: Stadium Weekend Brunch Starts Saturday
SARATOGA SPRINGS – An idea whose time has come.
Beginning this weekend, a brand-new menu of brunch and breakfast items will debut at both Stadium Cafés in town (389 Broadway and 112 Congress Street, Saratoga Springs).
Brunch will be served on both Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to breakfast items, the Stadium will offer drink specials including $5 Bloody Mary’s and Mimosa’s.
It’s a perfect way to watch your (probably) busted Sweet 16 get whittled down to The Final Four. But I’m looking ahead to the fall. There’s something about showing up to the breakfast table just in time for the 4 p.m. NFL game that says Sunday Funday to me. Enjoy!
The Wine Bar Uncorks New Menu
New Executive Chef Renews Its Unique Flare on Broadway
By Taunia L. Kipp
For Saratoga TODAY
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Don’t let the name fool you, The Wine Bar of Saratoga has been a culinary gem in the spa city for many years in addition to its great selection of wine and spirits. Recently, the Broadway-based restaurant and lounge announced a new Executive Chef and dinner menu to even further enhance the restaurant’s dining experience along with some other recent and planned changes to help revitalize their unique flare.
In recent months, Owner and Operator Melissa Evans has been taking progressive steps to renew the restaurant’s energy and to create a refreshed customer experience.
“We’ve been in business for 14 years now and have been generally happy with the experience that we’ve been able to create for our patrons,” said Melissa Evans. “But I’m excited to make some changes in order to create some new energy. My goal is to encourage new customers to visit us for the first time and previous customers to discover The Wine Bar all over again. We’re not just about great wines. We¹re also about great food, a welcoming atmosphere and exceptional service.”
In December, Evans hired hospitality veteran Matt Campion as the Restaurant’s Manager. Campion studied hospitality management and boasts several years of high-end restaurant management experience including his most recent work with Mazzone Hospitality having worked at both 677 Prime in Albany and serving as Restaurant Manager at Prime at Saratoga National.
Changes since Campion’s arrival include the introduction of a new cocktail menu and plans for a regular live entertainment schedule along with planned events such as wine parings, cigar tastings in the restaurant’s NY state certified smoking lounge and other activities at the restaurant and lounge.
“We need to offer a unique experience,” says Campion. “Broadway has so many great bars and restaurants that we need to make a distinct impression on those who visit us. We do that by offering a variety of outstanding reasons to come in the door: the food, the wine, the smoking lounge, the entertainment and the service. There’s a reason for everyone to come in and we know that once they do, they¹ll always come back.”
Also this month, Evans introduced her new Executive Chef, Cameron Nealey to the team and unveils a new menu. Nealey studied under renowned chefs from Thomas Keller's world famous French Laundry located in California¹s Napa Valley and also at Keller's Manhattan-based, Per Se Restaurant. Getting his start in the Saratoga Springs area at Siro's under Chef Tom Dillon, Nealey says that the new menu at The Wine Bar will be a collaboration of his experience with multiple cuisines, his passion for fresh ingredients and his goal of producing flavors that "Everyone can relate to".
The new menu will feature what Chef Nealey refers to as “elevated comfort food.” He says that these are dishes that give you the warm, homey feeling of eating something delicious while being presented in a new and modern fashion. “I've been really fortunate to train under some world class chefs throughout my travels,” says Nealey. “To be able to return to my hometown of Saratoga and to showcase what I've learned is truly a dream come true.”
The new menu is now available. The restaurant is located at 417 Broadway and is open Monday through Saturday from 4 p.m. until Last Call with dinner being served until 10 p.m. Reservations are recommended for parties of four or more by calling (518) 584-8777. For more information, visit thewinebarofsaratoga.com.
Villago: The Good Times Roll Again
BALLSTON LAKE – A successful concept, a neighborhood restaurant and gathering place, perfected over time (and lots of TLC) in East Galway, has been adapted and transmitted to the shores of Ballston Lake.
Behold Villago Pizzeria and Ristorante. Its pedigree was established at Village Pizzeria on Route 29 as a Northern Italian cuisine icon since 1988, a place that nearby locals consider a mainstay and people from all over Saratoga County know is worth the drive. Owners Sandy Foster and Joe Guerrera have combined forces with Sharan and Kurt Zarnofsky on this project at 175 Lake Road in Ballston Lake.
While Sandy and Joe have tended to things in the kitchen and bar, the Zarnofsky’s have lent their expertise in the design and construction area.
The results of their hard work are nothing short of stunning. While elements of the previous restaurant are incorporated into the new design (such as the fireplace and the only public boat launch on Ballston Lake), the overall transformation has made the restaurant and dining area more open, spacious and inviting.
The view of Ballston Lake has been enhanced, with wall-to-wall windows making the lake seem brighter and more inviting than ever.
Of course, long time Village Pizzeria devotees would probably be glad eat to Sandy and Joe’s food standing up in a subway, but the extra ambiance certainly does have its appeal.
One decorative item behind the bar that will remind folks of Village Pizzeria is the 1940s vintage Bevador beer cooler. Joe found another one somehow in a garage in Troy and with some major restoration work has brought it back to its former glory.
But mostly it’s about the food. Many of your favorites are on what Sandy calls “the soft menu.” Several of the signature pizzas, of course. But also Aracini (pesto and mozzarella stuffed risotto balls), calamari, hand made pastas and bread and homemade sauce everywhere.
But this soft menu is just a prelude - an amuse-bouche if you will. The expanded menu will be revealed as part of the grand opening festivities on the weekend of April 3, complete with a formal ribbon cutting and what promises to be a festive party atmosphere.
“Our patrons have embraced us since we opened on March 10. They’ve been dying for this to happen, and we are thrilled.” Sandy Foster noted. “We’ve been busy every night.”
“But we also know how lucky we are.” She said. “We know how important this restaurant is to the community, with its history and being a focal point of activity in the town of Ballston Lake. We are here to embrace that special feeling people have for this place, and to work in concert with them to continue the tradition, and hopefully enhance it.”
So, let the good times roll again!
For more information and reservations, phone Villago Pizzeria and Ristorante at (518) 280-0311 or visit facebook.com/VillagoPizzeria.
Go2Snax: Your (Healthy) Refreshments are Served
SARATOGA SPRINGS— As parents, local entrepreneurs Lauren Rose and Lynn Pohl can relate to the dilemma a mom or dad faces when walking or wheeling their children past brightly colored vending machines that have become a part of the landscape.
The siren call of bright colors, TV marketing campaigns and of course, high fructose corn syrup makes an attack of the “mommy, mommy I want’s” an inevitable result.
Somehow, to most kids, something that comes out of a vending machine just tastes better.
And thus, parental resistance has often been futile — until recently. Lauren and Lynn explored some options and decided there was a better way: a way to satisfy a child’s vending mania and still provide nutrition.
They founded Go2Snax, an affiliate of the international firm Grow Healthy Vending – a company whose mission is to offer “an alternative to the standard junk food and sugar-laden drinks that dominate the marketplace.”
Lynn and Lauren have begun to place their high-tech vending machines at various places in our market with many more likely to come this year. Currently, you can look them over at Cutting Edge Martial Arts (175 Ballston Ave, Saratoga Springs), Global Fitness (in the Shoppes of Malta at 19 Kendall Way) and at The School of The Arts at The National Museum of Dance (99 South Broadway, Saratoga Springs).
“We view our company as a community-based social wellness partnership.” Lauren Rose said. “Our machines are customizable, but all the products are designed to meet or exceed nutritional guidelines, including the USDA’s “Smart Snacks in Schools” mandate.
There are hundreds of different items to choose from and with the growing popularity of healthy foods there are many names you will recognize: Stacey’s Pita’s, Kashi Foods, PopChips, Horizon Organic Milk and Clif Bars are some brands that have already carved out markets for themselves, and their taste will get a welcome reception from your discerning X-year-old.
The machines themselves utilize a touch-screen that is user-friendly, accepting cash, coin and debit/credit cards. Your kids might find it to be as fun to navigate as a Wii game, but for parents, an important feature is that when a product is touched, the nutritional information label is displayed to encourage a quality, thoughtful selection before purchase.
The shelves within each machine are customizable depending on the needs of your location. The basic configuration is with three rows of snacks and two rows of drinks. But they can be made up as “snack-heavy,” “drink heavy” or “snack-only” as needed.
Best of all, the machines are delivered, installed and do not cost the location anything. In fact, Go2Snax has a generous commission and profit-sharing partnership that any location can participate in.
“With the growing awareness of childhood obesity and healthy eating, from the White House on down, this is something we are very proud to be a part of,” Lauren said. “It’s a business that works in concert with a greater mission.”
Indeed, it would be a surprise if you don’t see Go2Snax machines in many local schools, large retail facilities and offices in the near future. The confluence of good taste and good nutrition can be an irresistible combination.
Brew Salt: Extra Flavor on Tap (or Bottle, or Growler…)
You Are Now Encouraged To Play With Your Pints
SARATOGA SPRINGS – So, it was getting towards the end of the Saratoga Beer Summit, when I stumbled (not literally; well, maybe) into the smiling face of Kerri Tanner at a booth in the back. I took one look at her products, and had to tell her:
“I hate you. This was my idea.”
The shocked look on her face was quickly replaced by another smile and a knowing nod. Apparently, this was not the first time she heard something similar.
Well, it says here that Kerri and Robin Morgan better get used to similar reactions and also a lot of delight. They took a simple idea and took it out four new flavor doors— with more to come.
Behold Brew Salt. A homegrown product (manufactured in small batches) with unlimited potential. Available in lime, habanero, chocolate and bacon flavors. An idea refined from your Uncle Vito at the Elks Lodge putting table salt in his Genny Cream Ale, combined with the growing love of all things craft brewing, Brew Salt stands poised to add zingy exclamation points to pints from coast to coast.
The difference between Brew Salt and the shaker at your local sports bar or pub starts with the base ingredients “We use high-quality grey Celtic sea salt,” Robin notes, “which is mineral-rich. From there, the flavors are added, which is Kerri’s department- she’s the chef.” It’s all vegan (yes, even the bacon), high quality and gluten-free.
Indeed, the skillsets of these two local entrepreneurs are perfectly balanced. Robin is a free-lance marketer; Kerri is the foodie/recipe specialist. They met three years ago by happenstance when Robin moved to the area and made a random hair appointment. By the time the rinse and blow-dry was done, a partnership was born. Their respective partners supplement them handily: Patrick McGowin and James Morgan provide beer acumen and financial expertise. Or vice versa, and perhaps on occasion, both.
“We went e-commerce (see: www.brewsalt.com) and vending at big events like the beer summit, but now in a relatively short period of time (the site was launched just this year) we are looking around at a larger kitchen just to meet current demand.” Robin said.
In the meantime, the team is making PR visits to taverns and retail establishments locally. A major perk of the job – every day is TGIF in their world
So it should be no surprise to soon see the Brew Salt shakers, with their distinctive bowler and handlebar moustaches on the shelves of discerning specialty stores, or adjacent to the Bloody Mary condiments on the finest bars.
The effervescence of Kerri and Robin matches the effervescence of their product in your glass. So, a tout to those in a position to say yes to such things from your friendly food editor: Get Shakin’!
Recommended Brew Salt Beer Parings:
IPA's: Bacon, Habanero or Lime
Porters / Stouts: Chocolate or Bacon
Lagers / Pilsners: Bacon, Habanero or Lime
Nut Brown: Chocolate
Or: Mix it up!