You’ve Met Your Match, Mary Poppins

It’s true what they say…you don’t realize how fast you have been moving until you stop. We have been fortunate enough lately that the Inn has been very busy. In fact, July was our busiest month ever since we opened the Inn. We LOVE when the Inn is full and are grateful for all of our repeat guests and the new people we get to meet on a daily basis. But with more guests, comes more responsibilities. Mary Poppins is one of my all time favorite movies (I even dressed up as her one year for Halloween) and I have been trying, to no avail, to snap my fingers at the piles of linens or at the unmade beds and magically finish all of the seemingly unending tasks. But I think it is finally time to come to terms with the fact that Mary Poppins is just a movie character and I’m just going to have to roll up my sleeves and get dirty. 
Thankfully, it is not a one-man show at the Inn. We have the best staff at the Inn and none, I repeat, NONE, of what we do at the Inn would be possible without them. Honestly, with the group we’ve got working here, I think we could give Mary Poppins and her snapping fingers a run for their money. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to introduce you to all of them today on the level I would like, but throughout the year, I will be doing interviews with them so you can get to know each of them a little better and put some faces to the Main Street Inn name. For today, I will start with the employee who has been here the longest and is the fastest bacon fryer this side of the Mississippi. So, without further ado…
Meet Meghan

  

When and why did you start working at the Main Street Inn?

I began working at the Main Street Inn in the fall of 2010 after working on an organic vegetable farm down in Bucks County. Pam’s middle daughter, Jo who is one of my best friends, had been working at the Inn, but was planning to move out of town for work and Pam was looking for her replacement. Right place at the right time! I have known the Corrado family since I was a kid. I even got snowed in at their house for a week during the ‘96 snowstorm.

Describe your typical day and responsibilities.

I get to the Inn bright and early, usually before any of the guests are up. I get the guest kitchen set up for breakfast as I wait for the guests to come down from their rooms, While I wait, I am usually in the kitchen getting some baking done for the week or weekend. I cook breakfast to order, then as the guests check out, I start cleaning the rooms, doing laundry, answering the phone and taking reservations.

What is your favorite thing about working at the Inn?

I enjoy the baking a lot. Coming up with new cookie or bread recipes for the guests to enjoy. I also like talking with the guests. They come from all over the world and are always very interesting to talk to. I love to travel and it is always fun to talk with guests about where they are from or where they have traveled. 

Least favorite?

I don’t know if I really have a least favorite. Sometimes the piles of laundry in the basement can seem endless.

You are quite talented in the kitchen. Where did you get your cooking skills?

Both of my parents are great cooks. I grew up eating really well at both my mom and dad’s house. My dad makes the absolute best dippy eggs, cookies, and desserts and my mom never makes the same meal twice, she is very creative in the kitchen and the result is always delicious.

What is one thing you would like to see us add to the Inn?

Our outdoor seating area is so beautiful. I think it would be great to open a little café in the Inn and open the courtyard to patrons of the café to sit and enjoy the beautiful sycamore trees.

What do you do when you aren’t working?

In January my fiancé, John, and I opened our own yoga studio called Kutztown Yoga. The studio is located just a few blocks from the Inn in the old Town Hall building on North Whiteoak Street. We spend a lot of our time at the studio when we aren’t at work.

Tell me more about Kutzotwn Yoga. How did the idea start? What is it like owning your own business? Where and how do you see it growing?

I was teaching yoga classes in and around Kutztown since 2012 and after John and I returned to Kutztown after traveling around the country for 7 months in 2014, we had a lot of family and friends asking us when and where was yoga going to start again. We wanted to serve our community and build a business that would bring people together. John and I both love practicing and teaching yoga and thought opening our own studio would be a great way to bring our community together, fulfill the needs of the locals, and help people in the best way we know how. We hope the studio will grow as more people hear about us. Word of mouth is our best advertiser right now. We hope to add more classes to the schedule to accommodate the busy schedules of our students and make attending a yoga class more convenient for them. We would love to offer workshops in partner yoga, restorative yoga, and kids yoga. Owning my own business is scary but fun. I love having control over my own studio space and my own schedule. I have met so many wonderful people who live in and around Kutztown just since opening in January. The support system we have is absolutely amazing.

Tell me about your family.

My family is from the Kutztown/Allentown area. I am what people around here call a “townie.” I grew up in Kutztown along with my two brothers and one sister. I am very close with my family and they all live fairly close so we get to see each other a lot. My fiancé, John, and I met while attending KU for our Bachelor of Fine Arts Degrees. He is from East Petersburg, near Lancaster. We have been together since 2008 and are getting married next year. We have traveled around the country together for a total of 10 months over the past 7 years. We look forward to building our business here in Kutztown and becoming a bigger part of the community.

What is one thing we would be surprised to know about you?

When John and I met, one of our first conversations with each other was in Japanese. He had studied abroad there for a summer and I had hosted Japanese exchange students for a few summers. We don’t know much, but we formed a connection that way and we both would love to learn to speak it someday and travel around Japan together. I also would love to learn how to play the ukulele.

Until Next Time…

Your “Determined to Make These Snapping Fingers Work” Innkeeper,

Shena

*If you are interested in taking classes at Kutztown Yoga while you stay at the Inn, don’t worry about packing a mat or assistive blocks. Meghan provides both for her customers who either don’t have one or forgot to bring one. Visit Kutztown Yoga on Facebook to see her schedule and get more information. 

Free Events at Kutztown University

Did you know there are lots of events, activities, lectures, performances, and programs at Kutztown University that are free and open to the public? And not just throughout the fall and spring semester; there are plenty of summer events as well. Here are just a few:

KU Planetarium in the Grim Science Center: Sit back and relax as the lights dim in KU’s planetarium and enjoy the show of lights and sound…. for FREE!

Georgian Room: Kutztown University Summer Chamber Music Festival holds concerts and workshops throughout the summer that are FREE and open to the public. As well as free performances during the school year.

KU Small Business Development Office: Offering FREE consulting services and learning opportunities for locals who have or are looking to open a small business.

PA German Culteral Heritage Center: This beautiful farm tucked away in a quiet corner of campus offers FREE family friendly events throughout the year as well as lectures and demonstrations.

Marlin and Regina Miller Gallery in Sharadin Arts Building: displays artwork from professional working artists as well as Kutztown University students. The gallery is always FREE and a great way to explore the creativity of young emerging artists.

Kutztown University has many wonderful things to offer the community. You just have to know where to look and who to ask.

 

 

Ten Minutes with a Townie

Kutztown’s come a long way since the days of one traffic light, one coffee shop and one convenience store. A few gems have been added here and there, some of them a bit under the radar, but all of them contributing to the wonderful community we love so much. For example, did you know there was a cigar lounge & store on North Constitution Boulevard, tucked away to the left, just before reaching Turkey Hill?

There’s a good chance you heard of the stellar operation and maybe even stopped in for a purchase, but what you might not know is you can now purchase KTL Cigars’ products when staying at Main Street Inn. We always suggest paying the owner a visit if you’re from out of town but when guests are craving a cigar after hours, they can get them right at Main Street Inn Bed & Breakfast and enjoy them on the lovely terrace, porch, or their room balcony.

In an effort to learn more about our awesome cigar supplier and the operation he’s running downtown, we put Todd Folk on the chopping block and loved what he had to say about upcoming events, when he likes to enjoy a cigar, and what Kutztown characteristics he’s fond of. We think you’ll enjoy the answers, too!

Main Street Inn: KTL Cigars is a distributor of tobacco products and accessories in Kutztown, PA with very future plans of becoming a lounge as well. Can you tell us where the entire idea came from for this store and why?

Todd Folk: I was sitting on my porch enjoying a cigar talking with an old friend of mine. It was fall, and both of us were discussing how we did not like to smoke in the cold because it isn’t enjoyable and how the closest cigar lounge was too far away. So, from there I just decided to start one around here.

 

MSI: The Grand Opening of your member’s only lounge is slated for October 13. What can people expect at this special event?

TF: The Oct 13th opening is for Members only. We will be making fresh brick oven pizza for all of our members. It really is just a time where we can thank our member’s and get to know them better through good food and obviously good cigars.

 

MSI: So you have a Member’s Only Lounge. How do you actually become a member? Are there specific requirements and, once a member, what are other rewards besides the lounge?

TF: Becoming a member is actually quite easy, the Club Membership is $120/year + a purchase of at least 6 cigars a month (this is a cigar lounge after all). With that members can enjoy access to the lounge and its amenities (WiFi, espresso, etc.) as well as discounts on cigars, special members only deals and discounts, access to member’s only events, and reduced pricing on certain public events (such as a scotch pairing). Also members are allowed to bring a certain number of guests to smoke with them as well. We also have a Preferred Membership which offers a bigger discount, more guests, a private locker, and more.

 

MSI: What are some top name brands that you carry which some cigar aficionados of Kutztown and the surrounding area might be surprised to hear?

TF: We carry a few big names such as Drew Estate, Joya de Nicaragua, and La Flor Dominicana. We tend to focus more on boutique lines of cigars that are still owned by the people who founded them. Such companies include EPC, Pinar del Rio, Cuban Stock, and Jesus Fuego just to name a few.

 

MSI: How do you decide which cigars to stock? Are there certain characteristics to look for in a good cigar?

TF: I like to look for unique companies. If they aren’t owned by a huge tobacco conglomerate I find that the cigars end up being more unique in profile and characteristics. Something you can only get when a company is run by the people who truly have a passion for their product.

 

MSI: Cigars are often associated with celebratory experiences like a baby being born or daughter getting married. When are your most favorite times to smoke a cigar?

TF: Haha! Breakfast. I enjoy a Joya de Nicaragua Antano Dark Corojo with my morning espresso. While that may not be special enough of an occasion for some people, I see it as a triumph over the previous day. I’m still here, still kicking, and heck, its a great way to start your morning!

 

MSI: Do you plan on having any special events at your store in the near future besides the Grand Opening?

TF: Tons! We will be holding several events every month, some open to the public like a Chili Cook-off Competition with Drew Estate in December, but many others will be member centric, like blind tastings, pairings, and just general fun events.

 

MSI: What’s your favorite part of Kutztown, the community where your store resides, and why would you tell people to visit here if they’ve never been before?

TF: Oh, wow, my favorite part is the little waterfall on the Saucony Creek Trail. Relaxing and enjoying a cigar and coffee there has cleared my mind many times. Past that, its the unique businesses around town. I live and breath by the coffee roasted at Global Libations (I have never found an espresso as good and trust me I drink a lot of coffee). Frying Dutchman makes great and unique doughnuts and other baked goods… and many other places. The feel is not slow paced but not fast paced, its right in the middle… it is a great location for someone who likes to always be moving but never wants to slow down too much, if you get what I mean.

 

Photographs courtesy of KTL Cigar Lounge.