When I first came onboard here at LRSC Patch, I wanted to make a serious effort to make sure the community knew about its local, independently-owned businesses. Sure, the and of the world do great things for our local communities, but at the end of the day, it's the people in our community that put their hard-earned dollars into our towns, and, quite frankly, if the money's going to the big boxes, the money's leaving town.
Not only that, but we've also seen some tremendous efforts to do good for Limerick, Royersford, Spring City and beyond by some of our top local shops. Farms, coffee houses, antique shops and all the like are doing their parts in our communities to make this area the best possible place to live for both ourselves and our families.
So, what better way to recognize all of that hard work than to devote yet another 2011 Best Of award to one of our featured local businesses.
In 2011, we saw plenty of coverage here on Patch of our local businesses. New businesses came to town, like and , as well as and . But, also, the old businesses weren't afraid to stand up to the controversy of the abrupt Royersford-Spring City .
It was a tough choice, but we had to narrow it down to six out of a list of 20 qualifiers (nominees must be independently-owned and have been covered in 2011 by LRSC Patch). We think we selected six incredible operations, but now it's time for you to decide.
Without further ado, here are the nominees (you can vote at the bottom of the page). Links provided include stories about what these businesses do/have done in the community, as well as a link to the directory listing, if available:
- - Owned by Annamarie Chestnut, Annamarie's is in the heart of downtown Royersford. The locally famous breakfast shop appeared in the 2009 book-to-big screen movie , but more recently appeared in the , as well as helped orchestrate .
- - The local coffee shop, family-owned in Limerick, is truly considered a staple in our community. Java's Brewin', with now , is a comfy, relaxing and friendly place to grab great pastries, any coffee you need and a boatload of healthy options for the mom on the go. More importantly; however, the local shop integrates itself into the area. In the fall, the youngest owner, Amanda, put on a in hopes of raising money for a young community boy suffering from cancer. The event raised over $10,000. The shop also helps promote Norristown's as well as a few other causes around Pennsylvania.
- - The Royersford farm, located on Benner Road, has a truly healthy cause behind it. Sue and Keith Pengelly, owners of the farm, had a big goal in mind when they began operations in June 2010 - raising . The family values humane treatment of its livestock, contrary to the popular way of selling meats in this day and age.
- - Established in 1916, isn't hard to find with its big red sign on Main Street in Royersford. The shop makes its own ice cream right here in town, and is the closest place to do so to the city of Philadelphia. The operation has a total of 25 dedicated employees and has been a family in the dairy business for five generations.
- - The antique shop located right over the bridge in Spring City is truly unique. The business is self-described as a business of wants, and not needs. Therefore, the bridge closure in July surely . However, Denise and the gang pulled through and was healthy enough to hold its , which allowed kids to come visit Santa and helped a few Spring City families provide an excellent Christmas for their children. Denise also on Patch from time to time about the antique world.
- - The is supported by donations and volunteers. The non-profit provides services to Spring-Ford area residents, including a food pantry, thrift store, clothes closet, wardrobe and a volunteer food program. They also take in old cell phones and printer cartridges, provide a book crossing and a mentoring program. This group of volunteers truly integrates itself into trying to help this community.
Remember, voting ends on Jan. 6, so get your votes in as soon as you can! And check back tomorrow for voting on the NEXT category. You won't want to miss it.