Pride of Place

Wood Heat

By Nancy Moffett In the early 1970s events in the Middle East produced an energy crisis that affected the price and supply of petroleum products. Motorists waited in long lines for gas, and people began looking for alternative ways to heat their homes. Stu Ackerman responded in 1975 by founding Wood Heat to sell wood-burning stoves out of his garage in Quakertown, Bucks Co... »

Neighbors Home & Garden Center

By Nancy Moffett What began as the Hellertown Agway in 1990 has since blossomed into Neighbors Home and Garden Center, rated as one of the top 100 garden centers in the U.S. by Nursery Retailer magazine. How did this family-owned business get and keep its reputation for quality, variety and customer service through the years? Sitting on seven acres of what once was farmlan... »


By Nancy Moffett “We nurture nature” is Plantique’s motto. And, they’ve been doing exactly that since Ted Fritzinger started this landscaping business in 1948. He was fresh out of Cornell University with a degree in Landscape Architecture and Design, after serving in World War II. At that time, he named the business Better Homes Landscape Company. Sixty-four years later, T... »

Barry Bartakovits Custom Pools and B&B Pools Inc.

By Nancy Moffett Walk into the B&B Pools store located in the Shoppes at Hellertown, and the first thing you’ll notice is a wall loaded with awards given to Barry Bartakovits Custom Pools (BBCP) by the Northeast Spa & Pool Association, Penn Jersey Pool & Spa, Lehigh Valley Builders Association…more than 30 from various organizations. The latest is a source of p... »

Grates & Grills

By Nancy Moffett In 1975, Frank Rymdeika put a wood-burning fireplace in his home, but he looked high and low locally for the accessories he needed. They were not to be had–which sparked an idea. Why not open his own fireplace store in the tiny borough of Dublin in Bucks County? Since that time, Rymdeika and his family have been helping people stay toasty-warm by supplying... »

Aardvark Sports Shop

By Frederick Jerant Although major sporting goods chains strive to be all things to all athletes, Aardvark Sports Shop in Bethlehem has stayed focused on its original niche—shoes and accessories for serious runners. The store was founded in 1984 by Chuck Kovacs. Kovacs ran the Bethlehem business on Guetter Street for just four years before selling it to Richard Haines, who... »

Ethan Allen Design Center

By Nancy Moffett A strong American brand with global reach. A design authority with a modern attitude. A high-quality manufacturer…We are all of these things, but, most important, at Ethan Allen we are people who love our homes. And we believe passionately that everyone should love theirs.” ~ Farooq Kathwari, Ethan Allen CEO. Almost 30 years ago, Mark Kweller built the fam... »

Laslo Custom Kitchens

By Nancy Moffett The smell of freshly cut wood fills the air. The buzz of saws, planers, drills and routers fills the ear. At each work station, craftsmen bend intently over their work, barely noticing visitors passing by. A young man readies a spray booth to apply a finish coat to the next project. Along the way, carefully drawn plans guide every move. Here is where dream... »

Service Electric

By Kathryn M. D’Imperio Try to imagine your life without cable television. Now envision a day without telephone or Internet. It’s a dramatic change from the interactive, fully connected lives most of us live. These modern conveniences comprise the three primary service offerings by the Lehigh Valley’s only locally owned and operated cable communications company, Service El... »

Royal Furniture: Furnish Your Castle for Less

By Kathryn M. D’Imperio There’s just something different about shopping at a local, family-owned business. When compared to chain stores, family-run stores offer a special level of personality and service to their customers: they make their guests feel at home from the moment they walk through the door. The same is true for locally owned family furniture store, Royal Furni... »

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