Pride of Place

The Shoppes of Premise Maid

The Shoppes of Premise Maid

by Nancy Moffett Driving past the Premise Maid complex on Rt. 222 west of Allentown always makes me smile. The beautiful buildings with their Old World charm and the delicious treats that wait inside urge me to pull in, then wander through the shops, to ooh and aah at the candy, the ice cream, the unique gift items and the baked goods. How did this fairyland of indulgence ... »

Murphy Jewelers

Murphy Jewelers

By Nancy Moffett Photos Provided By Murphy Jewelers Pottsville, Pa. was a thriving city of about 20,000 when Frank J. Murphy opened a jewelry and optometry store in 1913. He was a graduate of the Philadelphia Optical College. Then, it was commonplace for optometry, timepiece and jewelry repair and sales to be practiced together. From that small beginning 100 years ago, Mur... »

Morris Black & Sons, Inc.

Morris Black & Sons, Inc.

By Nancy Moffett What can you say about a company that is 105 years old? What can you say about a family-run company that has thrived through four generations? The most important elements aren’t just age and longevity. They are the ideas and determination of the people at the helm and those they employ that have allowed Morris Black to evolve, survive and meet many demands... »


By Nancy Moffett In 1988 Michael Rhoads was 22 years old, recently married, working a full-time job as a machinist and two part-time jobs to make ends meet. With little money to spare, this didn’t seem like a good time to start a business. But that’s just what Rhoads did, spending the couple’s last $175 on a weed whacker so he could start Mike’s Lawn Maintenance in Allento... »

Pharo Garden Centre

By Nancy Moffett The love of plants and gardening has been a lifelong passion for Ray Steidinger and Victoria Leister, owners of Pharo Garden Centre on Easton Avenue/William Penn Highway near Bethlehem. It shows on their strong hands and outdoor faces. But there’s more than a passion for their business evident when you meet them. They have a strong bond with and commitment... »

Chestnut Hill Landscape Contractors

By Nancy Moffett Chestnut Hill Landscape Contractors grew out of a nursery founded in 1959 in Center Valley by Paul Talago. John Talago, Chestnut Hill’s current owner, was the youngest of Paul’s seven kids. He grew up working in the nursery, learning hands-on about horticulture and running a business. During the 1960s and ‘70s, the nursery sold stock mostly to landscapers ... »

Trexler-Haines Inc.

By Nancy Moffett Innovation and foresight are hallmarks of successful businesses. Back in the early 1930s, Russell C. Trexler saw a new energy source – propane – as a good alternative to the fuels then used for cooking and heating. Today, the company he founded to sell that new energy product still bears his name and is headed by his daughter, Betty Trexler Smith. Seventy-... »

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... »

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