Archive for category Businesses

2014 Calendars now available

Calendars from our 2013 Car Show are now available online for purchase.  Free calendars will be mailed to all trophy winners, all others can purchase securely at the link below.  Calendars feature images from each trophy winner plus select photos from the overall event.

Calendars are $10 each, free shipping.  Add a t-shirt or dash plaque for $5 more each, also free shipping.

Click the image of the calendar cover to purchase.

Screenshot 2014-03-24 15.15.17

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Shickshinny Business Revolving Loan Fund Program

With help from the Luzerne Foundation and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance, loans are available from $5,000-$15,000.  The interest rate will not be greater than 1%. This rate is fixed throughout the loan term (2-5 years dependant on use).

Businesses must have 50 or less employees with annual revenue less than $1,000,000. Loan priority will be given to qualified business that have experienced flood related damage. Loan proceeds must be used for purchase of machinery and equipment (new or used) as well as associated delivery and installation costs, working capital, construction, renovation, and acquisition of real property.

Entrepreneurs and start-up businesses are required to submit a fully completed business plan with the loan application. The Small Business Development Center at the Wilkes University provides assistance in the development of a business plans at no cost to the entrepreneur/small business. Existing businesses must provide certain financial information including but not limited to Financial Statements, Income Tax Returns, Personal Financial Statement for the prior 3 years.

Borrowers are required to establish/retain one new job for every $10,000 in loan assistance. Self-employment is included with this requirement.

All businesses must be geographically located in the Borough of Shickshinny. There is a non-refundable $100 Application Fee.

Program Flyer

For more information contact:
Dave Nat at at 570.655.5581

Paul Macknosky at 866.758.1929


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Thomas’ Family Markets Foodtown grand opening in Shickshinny on Sat., Oct. 6th.

Thomas’ Family Markets Foodtown grand opening in Shickshinny on Sat., Oct. 6th.

Amanda Birk, ShickshinnyForward

In describing the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Shickshinny’s new grocery store, co-owner Tom Baseski said, “several women came into the store, and just started crying” for joy.  He said,

“it means so much to be able to provide a greatly needed resource.”

Saturday, October 6 marks the official grand opening of Thomas’ Family Markets’  Foodtown.

Part owners, Tom & Hayley Basleski

Part owners, Tom & Hayley Basleski

Tom Baseski is co-owner of Thomas’, in conjunction with his wife, Hayley Baseski, his sister, Pam Evans, and co-owner Chris Evans.  The four have owned and operated Thomas’ for the past 15 years, with the Shickshinny location being the 6th store in the family business.  Tom started in the industry working for Insalaco’s as a check-out clerk when he was 16 years old, and eventually grew to become a store manager.  Co-owner, Chris Evans, was a district manager for the same chain, which also employed both Hayley and Pam.  Tom enjoyed his time working for Insalaco’s, saying the company even provided education funding for employees.  While Thomas’ is still a small chain in comparison to Insalaco’s, he plans to build the same positive work environment as the company grows.

Owners Tom Basleski, Hayley Basleski, Pam Evans, and Chris Evans rest for a brief moment with a co-worker in Beertown on opening day

Owners Tom Basleski, Hayley Basleski, Pam Evans, and Chris Evans rest for a brief moment with a co-worker in Beertown on opening day

Foodtown Organic Eggs

Foodtown Organic Eggs

Thomas’ brings not only a much needed grocery to our small town, but also Beertown, which is will have “almost every type of beer” on the market.  Beertown will also have a café, which will offer fare such as cheesesteaks and meatball hoagies.   The store also touts robust meat and produce departments, and carries it’s own brand name food line, including some organic products, such as Foodtown Organic Eggs.

In the cooler weather, typically starting on December 10th and continuing through New Year’s Day, customers can partake in Thomas’ outdoor seafood market extravaganza.  Depending on the weather, the seafood market may also open for the the Superbowl season and Lent.  It’s been suggested to Tom that it might be tough for employees to work in 10 degree weather, but he says they really enjoy the change in pace.  “They bring hot Thermoses and bundle up for the cold,” making it a fun experience for all involved.

New employee, April Lopes

New employee, April Lopes

Thomas’ new store also brings 50 to 60 new jobs to Shickshinny, both full and part-time.  April Lopes is one of those new hires, and she says “it’s been non-stop all day.”  She started stocking the meat section at 6AM that morning, and at 6PM, was still going strong.  “The butcher has been hard at work all day, too,” she said.  April is a Shickshinny resident, herself, and is thrilled to finally have a grocery store back in town.  The trip to Fetch’s (grocery) in Plymouth was a drive for her, especially with gas prices going up.  She said that “the response from the community has been great.  Sometimes the store was so busy, it was hard to move.  There have even been people coming from Berwick to see the new store.”

Of course, one topic on the minds of many people is the issue of flooding.  Tom says he attended some Shickshinny Forward meetings “undercover,” because he didn’t want to get hopes up if things didn’t work out.  He admits he was at first skeptical about opening a store in a flood zone.  However, as he looked further, he found enough positives to outweigh his initial doubts.  He considered that some sources said 2011 was an unusual 200 year flood.  More importantly, the store location has flood gates installed, which would protect against most flooding issues.  The flood insurance turned out to be relatively inexpensive due to these extra protections in place.  The new owners put the electric in the ceiling instead of through the floors, and expensive equipment such as refrigeration is located on the roof.  Thomas’ is prepared with back up trailers and refrigerated units for storing food if necessary.  These products can then be moved to Thomas’ other locations, an option unavailable to the previous owners.  Lastly he says, Thomas’ employs over 400 employees throughout the business, some of whom could, if necessary, be mobilized to help.

Thomas' Deli

Shickshinny is undoubtedly grateful for Thomas’ investment into the town.  The folks at Thomas’ can be assured that, in return, they can count on the support of the community.

Thomas' checkout

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ShickshinnyForward featured on the Orton Family Foundation Blog

ShickshinnyForward had an article featured on the Orton Family Foundation blog…  The Orton Family Foundation, founded in 1995 by Lyman Orton and Noel Fritzinger, is an operating foundation that helps communities in the Northeast and Rocky Mountain West discover, describe, apply and sustain their “heart and soul.”

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Keep On Rolling

“…busy all morning.  Since we’ve opened, it’s been “hustle, hustle, hustle.”

These are not always the words that make for a happy start to the day.  However, when that day is the Grand Re-Opening of the Wagon Wheel Restaurant at 5 E. Union Street, this is a sweet, sweet sentiment that has resulted from many months of hard work and sweat equity.

The destruction of this favored eatery was near complete and, as one viewed the extensive damage, it was almost impossible to imagine picking up the pieces and opening those doors ever again.  But, that was exactly the plan of owners Kim Miller and Arlene Monroe.  And they were very aware of the daunting task before them as Kim Miller herself stated,

“There were times we didn’t know how we were going to get it all done”.

On June 11th, somehow they did it…better than ever.  The floor plan remains cozy and homey with rich woods and whimsical decore.  However, the severity of the flood is not lost amongst the fun as there is an entire wall dedicated to photographs of the flooded town and the damaged restaurant, as well as documenting the re-construction.  These pictures certainly call to the determination of the owners to reopen despite the hard road ahead.

And the food…speaks for itself.  Great homecooking for breakfast, lunch, and dinner available to enjoy in the fresh, new dining area or to take-out.  Personally, the Honey Dipt Chicken alone was worth the wait.  During the day of the re-opening, one gentleman at the counter commented to another that he “hadn’t had the BLT in such a long time, the first thing I did today, was to get one here.  They are the best”.  Waitresses moved in a steady stream between the kitchen and the diners, bringing delicious food in one direction and then empty plates back only moments later.

The re-opening of The Wagon Wheel marks a paramount moment in the recovery of the Shickshinny area after the historic flood of September, 2011.  Now, get to The Wagon Wheel and celebrate with an excellent piece of pie.  The coffee is pretty darn good, too.

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