Category: Interviews


Molly Pitcher Brewing Co.

As part of what we do at Hop Hedz Official Gear, we will be featuring a blog about the craft beer scene in the central Pennsylvania area and in surrounding regions.  As our first feature, Marketing Director Paul Miller had the opportunity to interview Operations Manager Mike Moll at the forthcoming Molly Pitcher Brewing Co. in Carlisle, PA.

Molly Pitcher Brewery is a brand-new establishment based in Carlisle, just a brief walk from the square.  The town has seen fantastic growth as far as nightlife in concerned over the past few years.  Mainstays like the Gingerbread Man and Scales have expanded their craft beer offerings due to demand for the product.  In addition to that, recent years have brought a new “food and beverage renaissance” with establishments like Cafe Bruges and Helena’s Craperie to the downtown Carlisle area.  The one thing still lacking in the area is a brewpub.  According to Moll, “One of our main goals in opening a brewery in this area was to have it be located in Downtown Carlisle for this very reason. There is only one other Microbrewery within a 15 mile radius, and with the craft beer drinking population growing so rapidly, we felt Carlisle was in need of a destination brewery.”

The first test that any new business must pass to be successful is location.  Moll feels that the lack of many breweries in town is going to make this venture much easier, especially because Carlisle is a craft beer town.  For anyone that has visited the Molly Pitcher Brewing Co. website (http://www.mollypitcher.com), you may notice that the brewery is in a quite small space.  One would wonder if that could be a good situation for business, especially because people may be turned off if they go to the establishment a few times and are turned away.   Moll was quick to clarify something when I asked this question.  “Molly Pitcher Brewing will be a production brewery, initially self-distributing, to other local bars and restaurants. Our tasting room will have full pint and growler service with a light food menu, however we will not have full ‘bar’ hours.”  Basically, the priority will be making the product in this space, not as much focusing on the front of the house.  That being said, Moll also mentioned that there will be a 32 seat tasting room, offering growler fills and sampler trays for their product.

A view of the artist's rendering of the tasting room at Molly Pitcher Brewing Co.

A view of the artist’s rendering of the tasting room at Molly Pitcher Brewing Co.

There is a growing sentiment in the craft beer community that craft beer fans may be getting too much of a good thing.  In researching this piece, I found many articles that feel the same way (Time Magazine:  http://business.time.com/2013/07/04/too-much-of-a-good-thing-concerns-about-craft-beer-saturation) and (Breaking Brews:  http://breakingbrews.com/?p=752).  Which brought me to my next question to Moll:  What will Molly Pitcher Brewing Co. do to set themselves apart from others? “Our beer recipes focus on traditional beer styles, what many consider session beers. We offer 10 standard recipes that we feel offer something for everyone from our light, refreshing Kolsch to a higher ABV Stout. We also consider ourselves ‘malt-heads’ in a beer world where hops are the current trend. We will also have special release small-batch brews only available in the taproom as often as possible.”  I really like this concept, as Moll points out, many breweries are focused on the hops.  The fact is (and I comment I hear repeatedly by craft beer drinkers) not all beer drinkers like hops!

Hop Hedz couldn’t be happier in supporting a great group of gentlemen that strive to make a successful small business in our region. According to Moll, the brewery plans to open by late October. Hop Hedz is currently in the works for being a part of the grand opening, so be sure to stay tuned to our (and Molly Pitcher’s) social media channels for the definite opening date. We wish Molly Pitcher Brewing the best of luck in their new endeavor!

The Molly Pitcher Brewing Co. is located at 10 E. South Street, just a short walk from the Historic Square in Carlisle.  They have a fantastic social media presence that can be found on both Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/MollyPitcherBrewing) and Twitter (@mpbrewing), as well as online at http://www.mollypitcher.com.

Paul Miller

Marketing Director, Hop Hedz Gear

pmiller@kollisionmedia.com

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I am proud to be the new Social Media Editor of Henchmen’s Wing Sauces.  I recently began a Facebook Fan Page (http://www.facebook.com/HenchmensSauces) and a Twitter Handle (@HenchmensSauces) to help begin a social media strategy for this emerging company.  Help us spread the word about these new pages and expect the latest news, events and recipes from Henchmen’s Wing Sauces!

At Henchmen’s Sauces, the quality is the most important thing that goes in to each bottle of sauce.  I recently sat down with Blaine and Keith Hench to discuss their new venture, bottling their sauces and getting them out to the public.

– How did you get started with Henchmen’s Wing Sauces?

Henchmen’s Wing Sauces began when we worked at our family restaurant for 26 years, Ye Olde Ale House.  We were one of the first establishments in the Harrisburg area to not only serve wings, but make our own hot sauce (as well as many other sauces) to use on these wings.  It took us quite some time, almost a year, to perfect our signature hot wing sauce.  We then began experimenting with a variety of other sauces, which we look forward to bottling in the future. After our family decided that the restaurant would no longer operate, our first mission was to bottle our famous wing sauce.

 For a brief history of the “Buffalo” Wing, go to this blog piece from Smithsonian.com (http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/food/2013/02/a-brief-history-of-the-buffalo-chicken-wing/)

 – What awards have you won?

Ye Olde Ale House and Henchmen’s Sauces only entered three different competitions over the years.  Our first competition was the establishment formerly known as Wanda’s.  Not only was in an awesome experience where we got to meet a lot of our fans and new potential customers, we actually won the competition.  That allowed us to travel to the state competition in Altoona at the Altoona Curve’s Stadium.  This was a much different set-up as opposed to what we had already entered.  First of all, it was a 2-week competition.  Week 1 we were able to set-up wherever we could find a spot within the stadium.  This week was amazing for us!  We fared very well, getting a lot of positive feedback from new and old fans alike.  Even the 2-Time Defending Champion actually told us that our wings were better than his were!

From the high we left week 1 with, was the low that we left week 2 with.  In the finals they lined us up in alphabetical order starting at the entrance of the park. Needless to say with a name of Ye Olde Ale House, we were at the end of the line and sat empty for the first 2 hours. After it was over, we had people telling us that we deserved to win and it was not fair the way they had it set up. At the end of the day, we were proud of our product and learned from the experience.

Now that we have our sauce bottled, we are currently looking into new competitions to enter.  We are considering the Scovie Awards, the Fiery Food Challenge and other local and national competitions to enhance our brand.

Keith and Blaine labeling their sauces for distribution.

Keith and Blaine labeling their sauces for distribution.

– Where are your sauces sold?

Right now our sauce is available at John Gross and Company (http://www.gross-ery.com/) in Mechanicsburg and also through Flavor Palooza (http://www.facebook.com/FlavorPAlooza). We are currently trying to get it into Karn’s, Weis and other local retailers.  Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time, effort and energy to get into established retail markets that would help us expand.  Until then, we have to make sure we find every avenue to get our sauce from warehouse to kitchen table.

 – How did you get involved with FlavorPAlooza? How is your experience with them?

We were contacted by Dan through a mutual friend who has done all of our art work. We have only been doing business with Flavor Palooza for a short while but it has been amazing.  To have Dan and FlavorPAlooza reach audiences that we would not typically be able to reach is truly helpful.  But beyond that, Dan represents similar ideologies as Henchmen’s Sauces; a small, local business that focuses on quality and is made in small batches.  We will be sure to announce on our new Facebook page when and where FlavorPAlooza will be so our fans will always be stocked up with Henchmen’s Wing Sauce.

FlavorPAlooza's Business Card designed by KollisionMedia

FlavorPAlooza’s Business Card designed by KollisionMedia

 – How is your sauce better than the average hot sauce?

The one thing that stands out about our sauce is the combination of flavor and heat.  A majority of corporate hot sauces are hot just to be hot and don’t supply flavor to add to the wing.  Henchmen’s Wing Sauce is the perfect combination of flavor and heat.  But beyond that, our sauce is very versatile and can be used on just about anything.  It can also be used as an outstanding base to build many other sauces from.  We actually have a variety of sauces that we are looking to bottle in the future, once our signature sauce takes off like we know it will.

 – What does the future hold for Henchmen Wing Sauce?

We would like to think big and say it will someday be worldwide. This is a sauce that we are very passionate about. When you make something that you know is better than any other sauce out there, everyone anywhere should have a chance to experience the fully flavored hot sauce that we provide.  As we mentioned above, we are seriously looking into local, regional and national competitions to get Henchmen’s Sauces the recognition we deserve.

 – Is there anything else you would like to mention that we haven’t covered?

We are two brothers who have poured their hearts and souls into a product that we believe is the best on the market. When you believe in something that strongly you need to share it with the world!

Keep up with Henchmen’s Wing Sauces at their new Facebook page and Twitter Feed.

Henchmen’s Sauces Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HenchmensSauces

Twitter Feed:  @HenchmensSauces

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@kollisionmedia.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

I recently became Social Media Editor of Top Secret Gourmets, one of the most decorated Spice and Rub companies in Pennsylvania. Owners Larry Sayre and Cory Lauer were kind enough to do an interview for my blog.  Top Secret Gourmets promised to do a recipe contest when they reached 100 Likes on Facebook and have recently reached that goal.

What are the rules for the contest and what prizes will be awarded?

The contest is simple, send a recipe using any of the Top Secret Gourmet products in your cooking.  We will cook the recipes and determine which ones we like best.  To enter, simply post the recipe to our wall at http://www.facebook.com/TopSecretGourmets and when we receive 20 recipes, we will declare a winner.  1st place will receive 3 bottles of choice, 2nd place will receive 2 bottles and 3rd place will receive 1 bottle.  The only stipulations are that each person may only submit one recipe and you must Like our Facebook page.

You have said about the potential of online ordering at topsecretgourmets.com. How close is this to happening? What issues have arisen during this process?

We got the informational part of the site up about a year ago. We have the storefront almost finished with just a few odds & ends left. As long as there are no last-minute glitches we hope to have it running by the beginning of March.  There are always technical issues that always come up that are out of our hands. We also have to take into account that we must have enough inventory in place to get started. It’s a good problem to have, but we are constantly updating our awards and now have new product to add as well.

TSGBack

Your newest spice Pirate’s Gold  has been out in large bottles for a short time. When will the artwork be done? When will small bottles be available?

Pirate’s Gold is a mustard based spice that we are very excited about adding to our line of award-winning spices.  A lot of the artwork will be done in a few more weeks. Then, there is the process of getting the new artwork  labels designed for the first time. That takes an additional 3 to 4 weeks. We are hoping to have Pirates Gold out in small bottles by the middle of April. We may also have a Pirate’s Gold Mustard in the works down the line.

You have recently partnered with FlavorPALooza (http://www.facebook.com/FlavorPALooza), a small business focusing on selling other small batch spices and condiments. How did this come about? What are the advantages of having him sell your spices?

4) Our partnership with FlavorPALooza is one that came about out of necessity.  While we have an excellent client base currently, Top Secret Gourmets does not have the resources to hire a salesman.  By working with FlavorPALooza, we have someone knowledgeable and respected in the field selling our products where we can’t be. It has the opportunity to  get our product into a new variety of customers’ hands.

What does the future of Top Secret Gourmets hold beyond what we have discussed? What can your fans be looking forward to?

5) The future is simple. We want to concentrate on what we do great, high quality products with a twist. We don’t cut corners and it shows in the end results. You get what you pay for. We want to concentrate on getting our products out to more people, both on the wholesale & retail levels. We don’t want to get away from what has made our name or our products special. We believe all our products are unique in that they don’t taste similar, yet they are similar in that they all hit the taste buds from the different angles. We don’t want to stray away too far from what we do because that’s when you lose focus. We do plan on eventually venturing back into our Secret Sugars and may also try our hand at BBQ Sauces, Mustards, Hot Sauces, & Marinades.  The only way we go this route is if we can do it exactly like our spices, high quality, unique, with a twist.

Top Secret Gourmets has won a tremendous amount of awards, with all 9 of the spices winning at least one award and many of them winning multiple awards.  For more information about these awards:  http://topsecretgourmets.com/awards

I would like to personally thank Larry and Cory for their time regarding this interview.  These two are some of the most creative people in their industry and look to be destined for stardom.  Check out some of the links and give their spices a try!

Official Page:  http://topsecretgourmets.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/TopSecretGourmets

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/TSGourmets

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@kollisionmedia.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

My first entry in this two-part interview with BIO’s own Daniel Hooven succeeded in not only being one of my most popular pieces, but helped me to reach my goal of 1000 lifetime views here at paulmmiller.wordpress.com!  I want to thank all of my fans and readers alike for reaching this phenomenal goal.  Next goal?  How about 2000?

Haunted Encounters:  Face to Face is BIO’s newest hit show and is receiving only the best accolades from the paranormal community.  Daniel Hooven is the lead investigator on the Paranormal Syndicate and embraces his challenges every week. Dan is part of a paranormal team known as “The Paranormal Syndicate” made up of Dan (lead investigator), our historian Jordan Murphy, the Paranormal Linebacker/tech manager Helmey Kramer, psychic Chelsea Faust, and the true star of the show, our K9 investigator, Captain.  This week will be the Season 1 Finale.  Let’s spread the word and help Daniel and the Paranormal Syndicate bring huge ratings and get a shot at Season 2!  Daniel was nice enough to do an interview with me for this entry, with the transcript of this interview below:

Paul:  Explain the back story of signing on with Haunted Encounters:  Face to Face.  What was the pitch process like?
Daniel:  We always knew that we wanted to develop a product that could compete with other shows, so my friend Adam and I continued working on our new media series called Resident Undead.  We self-financed and produced all of our episodes without outside help. While a lot of paranormal groups want to be cast for television, we were among the few training from the start and taking the initiative to produce episodes to prepare for any opportunities that came up. In 2010, we were invited to compete on the Travel Channel’s Paranormal Challenge and won the series premiere. It was a cool experience and I am extremely grateful to everybody from the show and casting director Robert Mazza.  We quickly went back to work on our web series after the show, I just knew that I didn’t want to try to live off that one moment forever. In 2011, we pitched our story of a haunted fraternity house to a casting agent for SyFy’s new show School Spirits, and our story was picked up.  It was made into an hour-long episode which was titled Frat House Phantom and was the season one finale. At that point, we added Jordan Murphy on our web series as a co-host due to her passion for the paranormal and her dedication.  It’s hard to find people like us who get it done, no matter what.  At this point, we knew we were done with one-off appearances.
SyFy's School Spirit:  Frat House Phantom

SyFy’s School Spirit: Frat House Phantom

We developed a treatment for Resident Undead, which presented our web series as a “reality program focusing on a team as they recorded history’s voices on the recorder they call Pandora through Ripples in Time”.  This may sound like a mouthful, but it was part of our brand, we pitched the idea of going to haunted locations where we would re-enact key events, but change the ending, which would provoke a response. I created an online treatment site that people could access if sent a treatment and also embedded a QR code on the treatment for mobile access. The pitch process was perfect timing as our friend Helmey and his paranormal K9 Captain had an opportunity with Ping Pong Productions that required a few more people for a show they were developing. Ironically, Ping Pong was one of the companies we had sent out treatment for based on their reputation as a top production company.  Next thing I know, we are on conference calls with everybody and on a plane to LA. Helmey had talked to me before about his idea to gather a select group of individuals in the field who demonstrated a desire to achieve results and think outside the box, this group would become the Paranormal Syndicate.
Paul:  What does being the Lead Investigator of the Paranormal Syndicate entail?
Daniel:  I think that this show has set itself apart with the focus on teamwork and strategy; in most cases the team is split into two to cover the most ground. As lead investigator, my biggest strength is communicating on the ground and coordinating our sequences on location. Prior to each location, the entire team meets and strategizes each area we want to hit and we lay out a plan so that we can go full sequence, at each location.  As Lead Investigator, I always try to make sure everybody is okay and voice any concerns we may have, but at the same time, we all rotate in these roles and operate as a group. This show is about this team known as the Paranormal Syndicate and really shines at demonstrating how different skills and synergy can get amazing results. We don’t care about air time or who does what, all we care about is presenting the best evidence possible.
Paul:  Any other thoughts?
Daniel:  I’m very grateful to be part of this amazing show as it shows hard work pays off. Everybody on the cast has sacrificed so much to get where we are and we appreciate all the support we have received. Very big thank you to Ping Pong Productions and the A&E Family for having so much faith in us and embracing us for who we were. I also think social media is becoming a must have for entertainment business, especially Twitter.   People really need to not only learn how to use social media, but learn WHEN to use it, since it can be a key to success if used right.
We wish Daniel and the Paranormal Syndicate the best of luck in their future endeavours!  Check out some of the links below for all of the information on the Haunted Encounters:  Face to Face, Daniel Hooven and the Paranormal Syndicate:

This blog has become very important to me on many different levels.  Little did I know on September 19, 2011 when I wrote my very first blog (https://paulmmiller.wordpress.com/2011/09/19/my-initial-blog/) that I would continue blogging on a series of social media related topics.  But with this entry I should reach 1000 views on my blog, an achievement I’m very proud of.  I don’t always do this just to do it, I try to promote some of the people around me who have inspired my work in the field of social media.  I would just like to tell all of my readers how much I appreciate your support!

This entry will be a very special two-part entry.  A great friend of mine throughout my college years was a man named Daniel Hooven.  We began our friendship on the Low-Blow Show at 88.1 WRSK Slippery Rock in 2002 and continued with stints in the UUWF until 2007.  In the years that passed, Daniel has made quite a name for himself with a hit Web Series called Resident Undead and with his brand new television show on BIO, Haunted Encounters:  Face to Face.  It was obvious to me that Dan’s future was in front of a camera, and he certainly proved me right.  Don’t miss BIO’s hottest new show Friday nights at 10 pm.  The following is a recent interview that we had:

Paul:  How did you start your paranormal journey?

Dan:  I took the less traveled road into the paranormal.  Most people have a ghost story that acts as their catalyst, but my story starts with a friend who got into the paranormal. He started a web series called Resident Undead and was looking for somebody to help him with social media and creative development to make his product stand out. I didn’t really have an understanding of the product, so I went on a trip to Villisca, Iowa on my first paranormal investigation and have been addicted to the adventure ever since.

Daniel prepared for his next encounter.

Paul:  How does your communications background help you with the show (esp. radio)?

Dan:  My background in communications has been vital in getting where I’m at today, from marketing to brand development, a background in communication is so valuable in the entertainment field. Communications also have prepared me for press coverage, understanding how to craft key messages to fit on the radio, in the newspaper, or on a live interview is very important in the entertainment field. My background in communication has also positioned me to take advantage of social media.  I think our team does very well in social media, with huge twitter campaigns for our series premiere which resulted in responses from individuals like the Offspring, Lords of Acid, and Chris Raab of Jackass. Understanding how to communicate and use social media correctly are all a direct result of my background.

Paul:  Can I have a little background about the show? Specifically what exactly you are trying to accomplish at each location.

Dan:  Haunted Encounters: Face to Face wants to introduce the viewer to something new.  Plenty of shows have had success with a more traditional format or with the whole yelling in a dark basement act. I think the common misconception is that “paranormal investigations” require you to sit in a basement for hours, that’s not true, we believe that we need to stimulate the dead into speaking. Our use of Ripples in Time really brings a different flavor; Ripples in Time is a strategy I developed in which we re-enact key events that happened at our locations to illicit a response. At the Lizzie Borden House, we re-enacted the murder of Andrew Borden, but in our Ripple, Andrew wakes up and kills Lizzie in self-defense, which led to some amazing EVPs that left one of our producers terrified. Helmey’s custom-made recorder known as the Paraline and K9 investigator Captain also present new strategies in the field.  I think this show will at the very least, let people know that its okay to think outside the box.  I mean, how can you really place rules on the unknown?

Each location we want to tell the story, Jordan is our historian and absolutely loves learning the hidden stories at locations. At Eastern State, most people focus on Al Capone’s time there, but Jordan discovered the history of TB, a story that was fresh and was significant in the evolution of ESP to an open community prison. I know at the Black Dahlia house, I wanted to tell the story of journalism’s hand in the murder since this case was tainted due to the media.  Most people forget that there was a young girl named Elizabeth Short who was tortured and murdered, so we wanted to really stress that Short was more than just the face of the Black Dahlia, but a person with a story.

Special thanks to Daniel for participating in this interview.  Look for part two coming soon!

For more information about Haunted Encounters:  Face to Face, visit these links below:

Twitter:  @HauntEncounters
@DanielHooven
@Jordan_Murph
@theHelmey
@CDamali
@CaptainParaK9

I recently helped out a great friend Bart Kaminski with the official launch of his Water Kooler segment (http://kollisionmedia.com/blog.html) at the KollisionMedia Website. Bart interviewed the owners of the Twistin’ Pig in Annvile and I helped write the article. This is a major step in the future of KollisionMedia and loyal readers of my blog will be seeing many joint efforts between myself and KollisionMedia in the coming months! Here is a transcript of the article:

Interview with Tanya Belair and Bethany Canner, Owners of the Twistin’ Pig

The Twistin’ Pig is one of the Palmyra/Annville area’s hottest new eateries. A new take on a classic concept, Twistin’ Pig is located in the Flightpath Business Park at 31 Landings Drive (Annville), next to In The Net and Paramount Sports Complex. Being just over one year old, Twistin’ Pig is looking to continue growing in the region. Bart Kaminski and myself, Paul Miller, sat down with owners Tanya Belair and Bethany Canner to discuss what the Twistin’ Pig is all about, why their food is so special and the future of Twistin’ Pig.

Tanya discussed many different inspirations that led her to opening up her first restaurant, Twistin’ Pig. Tanya recalls fantastic memories growing up in Annville with her brother. She explained her vivid recollection of times spent getting ice cream after sporting events and the sense of family that she still remembers to this day. Tanya had been toying with the idea of opening a restaurant for about two years prior to the Twistin’ Pig concept coming together. She explained how losing her brother made her have the inspiration to follow through with her vision. While it is not located on a major highway, Tanya explained to us the importance of her location. Twistin’ Pig sits between In The Net, Paramount Sports Complex, Bounce U, Klick-Lewis Ice Rink and a local baseball field. She wants to make the Twistin’ Pig a meeting destination after all sporting events, much like her childhood experiences.

Tanya also explains how important it is for her and the Twistin’ Pig to give back to the local community. A new trend in local sports is the “pay-to-play” concept that has hit budget strapped schools in recent years. Whereas in years past, school budgets allowed children to play for free or minimal costs, children playing sports have now become a financial burden to parents and schools alike. Tanya explained that she does whatever she can to donate to local athletics and will continue to do so.

Where Did the Name Come From?

The name Twistin’ Pig came from a combination of sources. Tanya has spent much of her life living on a farm and has always had plenty of animals around. The idea of “Pig” came from this, as well as her secret family pulled pork recipe (one of the premier menu items). The “Twistin'” portion of the name came from the twist of the soft serve ice cream cone and the vast array of ice cream flavors that the restaurant serves. Tanya wanted to make sure that the fun atmosphere was conveyed in the name. From there, Twistin’ Pig was born. Artwork of the signature pig playing sports lines the restaurant to keep up with the sports theme, but Tanya also loves the 50’s Retro look as well.

A Beautiful Evening at the Twistin’ Pig

Cruise In’s at the Twistin’ Pig

The Twistin’ Pig also hosts a series of events each year called Cruise In’s. Due to the 50s retro theme that the restaurant portrays, Tanya thought that these Cruise In’s would not only be excellent for business, but also offer fans a new and exciting event to make the Twistin’ Pig stand out among other establishments in the area. Two different companies are involved in these Cruise In’s: The Lebanon Country Cruisers (http://www.lebanoncountrycruisers.com/) and the Blue Moon Cruisers (http://www.bluemooncruisers.com/). The Cruise In’s have been a staple in the Palmyra area for many years, but lost their venue recently. Tanya and Bethany thought this would be an excellent opportunity to showcase amazing cars and with the help of In the Net and REM Automotive, was able to make this a reality. While the Cruise In’s at the restaurant are completed for the year, look for them to return in 2013.

The Food

The main attractions to the Twistin’ Pig menu revolve around the pulled pork and pulled beef brisket sandwiches. Tanya and Bethany insist that you try these sandwiches without sauce to “truly understand the natural flavor” of the spice rubs and meat. The crew at the restaurant tried many different recipes, but settled on one they felt fit the area, a sweet flavorful rub. Tanya also commented that they intentionally use a better quality of food than you will find at most area restaurants. She also spoke that the Twistin’ Pig is not “fast food” because every item is cooked to order. Fresh cut french fries are also a major hit, especially because they have truly fresh-cut fries. Many restaurants claim to have fresh-cut fries, which are usually precut and shipped in bags from a vendor. The Twistin’ Pig cuts their potatoes every day to ensure freshness and quality. For more information about their menu, go to: http://www.twistinpig.com/menu.html

The Ice Cream

Twistin’ Pig serves soft serve Ice cream, something that has gone by the wayside in modern culture. While many places offer “soft serve”, they don’t offer “soft serve Ice cream” as by law it must be made with 10% butterfat. They offer 40+ flavors, but with the ability to combine any two flavors, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination . The Twisters are also a favorite, ice cream mixed with candy served in 5 different sizes from F1 to F5 (the grades of a tornado). And the coolest thing is the Twistin’ Pig’s F5 Twister Contest. If you can eat the F5 Twister in under 30 minutes, your ice cream is free, you receive a t-shirt and your photo is put in the Hog Heaven section of the restaurant. Only 5 have completed this mighty task so far.

The Future

The future of the Twistin’ Pig is bright. They have recently added chicken wraps for those that would like a healthier option on the menu. There also is potential for major growth near their current location at the Flightpath Business Park. The Twistin’ Pig has also begun offering Facebook Specials for their nearly 600 (and growing) Facebook Fans (http://www.facebook.com/twistinpig) and are very excited to be a part of the 2012 Palmyra Christmas Parade on December 1st.

The Twistin’ Pig is a model small business in the Harrisburg area. Because of the drive and passion the ownership of this restaurant has, the future looks extremely bright for Tanya, Bethany and all the Twistin’ Pig family.

Official Site: http://twistinpig.com

Written by: Paul Miller

Social Media Editor at Solutions for Advertising

https://paulmmiller.wordpress.com

@SolutionsforAdv

While usually my blog focuses on my thoughts about various social media topics, I also like to help promote some of the events that Solutions for Advertising sponsors throughout the year.  An upcoming event that we will be sponsoring is the 8th Annual Gettysburg Wine and Music Festival.  This is Solutions for Advertising’s second year of being involved with the festival and we hope that this a yearly event for us.  This year, Membership/Events Director of the Gettysburg/Adams Chamber of Commerce Jennifer McCleaf took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions about this year’s event.  Below are some highlights of this interview:

Paul:  How many attendees are expected for the Gettysburg Wine and Music Festival this year?

Jennifer:  We expect an entire weekend of sun and 8,000 attendees between the 2 days.

Paul:  What is the process for selecting which bands will play each year?

Jennifer:   We have a small subcommittee of the large planning committee that reviews and selects the bands each year.

Paul:  Can you offer any background information about the festival?

The purpose behind initiating an event of this kind in our area is to; bring awareness of agriculture (specifically the evolving grape growing industry) and to extend the tourism season so that our local businesses benefit from visitors. Pennsylvania ranks 4th nationally in the amount of grapes grown (including juice grapes). The state also ranks 7th in the production of wine. Stats taken from the PA Wine Association website.

We went through a selection process to review proposals from event promoters to assist us with the management of the inaugural event. We hired a firm from Baltimore, MD and worked with them for 4 years. At the end of 4 years, the Chamber’s Board of Directors took a long, hard look at the overall event and decided that in order to make it more of a community event we needed to bring the management in-house. The planning committee consists of 15 volunteers and the entire Chamber staff plays an integral role in all aspects of the event. We have been able to utilize more local vendors who offer the types of services that we need in order to run a major event like this. And we’ve also been able to increase attendance significantly from the first 4 years, which in turn helps the business community of Adams County.

Paul:  How does the Wine Festival directly impact the Chamber of Commerce?

Jennifer:  The income from the festival allows the Chamber to continue offering quality educational programs for our members. We are also able to wholeheartedly support the Adams County Economic Education Foundation and the Business Education Partnership programs that they coordinate. The various programs promote career awareness, career exploration, and programs connecting the business and education communities of the county.

Paul:  What are some new additions to this year’s Festival?

Jennifer:  We are promoting our NEW 2-day ticket option. Details can be found at http://2012gettysburgwineandmusicfestival-eorg.eventbrite.com/.

The event takes place at the Gateway Gettysburg Complex, 95 Presidential Circle, Gettysburg, September 8 and 9 from 12 to 6 both days.  The event is one of the premier wine tastings in the state of Pennsylvania and is also extremely family friendly.

For more information about the Gettysburg Adams Chamber of Commerce, please visit the links below:

Wine Festival Website:  http://gettysburgwineandmusicfestival.com/

Web:  http://www.gettysburg-chamber.org/

Twitter:  @GACOC

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/GettysburgAdamsChamber

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@solutionsforadvertising.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

I recently helped out a great friend Bart Kaminski with his official launch of his Water Kooler segment (http://kollisionmedia.com/blog.html) at his Kollision Media Website.  Bart interviewed the owners of the Batdorf Restaurant in Annvile and I helped write the article.  This is a major step in the future of Kollision Media and loyal readers of my blog will be seeing many joint efforts between myself and Kollision Media in the coming months!  Here is a transcript of the article:

A Casual Afternoon with Batdorf Owner Dave Rotunda

The Batdorf Restaurant is located on Route 422 at 245 West Main Street in Annville and is quickly becoming one of the most sought after destinations in the Hershey area. With rich history, a unique back-story, live entertainment and a one-of-a-kind PubTiki, Batdorf is a must visit restaurant in central Pennsylvania. To understand the success of the Batdorf Restaurant, it is essential to know how the restaurant came to be and how the Rotunda family has stayed true to its goals.

Dave Rotunda was a 1995 graduate of Annville High School and continued with education in graphic design after graduation. Dave speaks of a difficult time in life, “I quickly realized that after I got my degree in graphic design that this was not what I wanted to do with my life.” This is something I’m sure many of us can sympathize with. Fortunately, Dave had a spectacular idea; a balloon yo-yo business. He thought it would be the perfect thing to sell at Hersheypark and in fact he waited on and off for five months to speak with their merchandise department. After speaking with the right person, they indicated they would call him back the following week. Three weeks later, they approached him and told him we would need three carts and all of the supplies…in three days. Knowing how long it took to even get in front of the right people, Dave gladly agreed and his balloon yo-yo business was born.

Due to the fact that Hersheypark is very seasonal, Dave and his brothers Lou and Mike always had to work in restaurants in the off-season to make ends meet. While the retail oriented Hersheypark gig was fantastic for single men in their 20s, they soon realized that they would never be able to support a family on the income they received. Opening their own restaurant would be the next step. The Rotunda family was able to scrape together enough capital to secure a lease on a restaurant and renovate the building. Since the restaurant was in their hometown of Annville, it seemed that they know enough people to sustain a business. Dave speaks about this time, “(The first year) went really well for not having a liquor license. Eighteen months in, business really started to fall off. We needed a liquor license.”

Dave, Lou, and Mike were able to secure a liquor license and business returned to a successful level. Unfortunately, the owner of the property escalated their rent over the course of time to reflect their success, which any restaurant owner can tell you is a detriment to the bottom line. When the lease was up on the old building, the Rotunda’s were committed to buying a property. This property is the one that the Batdorf Restaurant currently occupies.

The Batdorf sits on an extremely historic site in Annville. Here is some history about the site at 245 West Main Street. The new Batdorf Restaurant is located at the historic Washington House Tavern. The parcel of land on which the building sits was deeded in 1747 to Andrew Miller, the father of Abraham Miller, who founded the town of Annville and whose wife is its namesake. The original proprietors of the parcel were the Penn Brothers, Thomas and Richard, the sons of William Penn.

The parcel of land passed from one owner to another, but around 1788, a structure was built for which a tavern license was procured from Dauphin County, to operate a “public house,” the old English term for an inn or tavern. The owner at that time was John Eberhard Bender and he called his tavern the Washington House. George Washington had just become our nation’s First President and Mr. Eberhard wished to honor him in this way.

The building has had numerous owners since then and was opened mostly as a tavern or lodging house, not always having a good reputation. It also served as a general store and even a shoe store, which closed in 1958. In 1984, William Margut purchased the property and later sold it to his son, Scott. Scott Margut made some nice renovations to the building in the early 2000’s, before selling it to the present owners, the Rotunda Brothers, in April 2007.

The menu at the Batdorf is one that Dave calls “contemporary American cuisine” with roots stemming from their family, which is Mexican and Italian. The Batdorf style comes from the Rotunda family but also offers contemporary classics. To view the full menu of the Batdorf, check out their website at BatdorfRestaurant.com. Dave is also proud to have two amazing chefs, Head Chef Mike Finkel and a Johnson and Wales trained Sous Chef, Dan Branton.

One of the things that Dave is most proud of is the craft beer selection. The restaurant has 30 draft selections and over 100 bottle selections. Dave noted that central Pennsylvania consumers require beers like Miller Lite, Coors Light, and Yuengling Lager to be on draft at all times. But Dave devotes many of his taps to seasonal brews and IPA’s. His criteria for selecting brews? Beer Advocate and Rate Beer.com ratings must be from 80 – 100. He likes to have a regular rotation of craft beers so the consumers have plenty to choose from. The Batdorf also has a wine draft system for those that “prefer the vine” as they put it. They also have a cutting-edge drink menu in which each cocktail is unique to the Batdorf.

Another unique aspect of the Batdorf is their one-of-a-kind PubTiki, which is a year-round deck that offers outdoor seating in the warmer months and insulated glass doors for the cooler months. There are also a variety of other rooms such as the Hearth Room, the Mustard Room, the Copper Room (which seats 40 and can be rented for private parties), the main bar, and a loft about the main bar (which seats 30). The Batdorf also offers live piano on Thursdays from 7 – 10 with Roy Lefever and Fridays from 6 – 9 with Dale Rotunda. These live piano players offer a perfect setting for a date night or a relaxing atmosphere for a night out with the family.

The Batdorf also offers quite a number of daily food and drink specials. For more information about these specials, check out their website at: BatdorfRestaurant.com/events/foodspecials.

With the quality of the food, the ample selection of beer and spirits, the history of the building, the Pub Tiki, the live entertainment and the daily food and drink specials, it is clear that the Batdorf Restaurant is a gem in central Pennsylvania and should be a destination for any occasion.

Bart Kaminski at LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/bartley-kaminski/38/53b/56a

Kollision Media website:  http://kollisionmedia.com/

Kollision Media on Twitter:  @KollisionMedia

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@solutionsforadvertising.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

Contact Helpline and 211

CONTACT Helpline (http://www.contacthelpline.org) is a valued client of ours at Solutions for Advertising and we enjoy our relationship with them very much. Cathy Haynes (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/cathy-l-haynes/1a/b46/ab3) has been an absolute pleasure to work with and we look forward to an opportunity to support CONTACT in the future. Cathy was kind enough to answer some questions that I had about the new 211 Service. Below is the transcript of the interview:

Paul: In reading about the 211 adoption in Harrisburg, I read that the floods pushed it in to effect before it was supposed to be. Can you describe in a little more detail about this situation?

Cathy: CONTACT is still in the “soft launch” phase of switching to 211. While there is still a lot to be done before we can officially go live, one of the things we accomplished (in August of 2011) was the configuration of our phone lines to accept 211 calls. Fortunately for our 211 calling area (Dauphin, Cumberland, Perry, Franklin, Adams and York counties) the 211 number was ready when Tropical Strom Lee hit in September. We researched shelters, clean-up services, how to apply for FEMA financial assistance, and even where to take your pet if you are flooded out of your home. Keep in mind this information was changing on a daily basis; some shelters closed and others opened, churches opened food and clothing banks, college fraternities organized clean-up crews, and municipalities put together their own action plans. 211 provided a centralized and simplified way to consolidate this ever-changing information. Imagine you are the member of a church and you want to help your flooded neighbors by collecting & distributing clothing. How do you get the word out? 211 gives everyone a centralized option for both our neighbors in need and our neighbors wanting and willing to help.

Paul: What does the 211 system mean for Contact Helpline?

Cathy: CONTACT Helpline has been providing health and human services information and referral for over 41 years, so the overall concept of what 211 does is nothing new to us. So far, the biggest changes have been internal; computer and phone related as well as certain licenses and accreditations necessary to be part of this bigger 211 network Going from a 3 county service area to a 6 county service area, coupled with the increase in awareness of what 211 offers, will mean a significant increase in call volume. We anticipate our call volume to quadruple by 2014 to over 100,000 calls a year, which of course means we will need more hotline volunteers. Most of all, 211 means easier and greater access for our callers, and what is important to our callers is important to CONTACT Helpline.

Paul: What has the response been over the last few months with the adoption of 211 in the Harrisburg area?

Cathy: For the most part the Greater Harrisburg Area has no idea 211 exists! Because we are not yet officially launching 211 we have not attempted any significant publicity for 211. That said, everyone we have spoken to has the basic same reaction, basically “sounds like an important service, what has taken PA so long to get on board with this?” The response from local organizations has also been positive. We have had a lot of support from the United Way of the Capital Region and some local foundations like the Wells Foundation and the Foundation for Enhancing Communities.

Paul: How does 211 change your fundraising methods?
Cathy: The adaptation to 211 has been and continues to be very expensive for CONTACT Helpline and this is in a time when both business and personal donations are scarce and budget cuts have affected existing support for the hotline, so fundraising is more important than ever. We have applied for grants specific to certain 211 costs, and we are exploring the possibility of allowing a major partner to associate themselves strongly with the 211 initiative in Pennsylvania over the next three years. When we do officially launch we expect a lot of first and second year publicity and our major partner will get the benefit by association with CONTACT and 211.

My impression from the interview is that it is clear that 211 is a much-needed service in the region and it is great to know that this service is available. Cathy also wanted to stress the importance of their official launch party Saturday, March 31. Cathy said the event is called “An Evening with the Artists” supporting CONTACT Helpline, Central PA’s 211. It will be held Saturday March 31stat the Harrisburg Hilton. The event will start with a cocktail reception that features six artists from the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen. Each of the artists will be at a station answering questions and demonstrating how they create their artwork. There will also be a silent auction during the reception, with specialty baskets filled with donated items and gift certificates.  Dinner features a wine pairing presented by Bill Kohl of Tres Bonne Annee. After dinner, there will be a live auction that includes art donated by the six participating artists. Our Platinum Sponsors will each be invited to act as a celebrity auctioneer, auctioning off a donated piece. Alicia Richards will be the Mistress of Ceremonies. Tickets are $125 each and available by calling Cathy at 717-652-4987.

Solutions for Advertising is proud to be a sponsor of CONTACT Helpline and wish them the best of luck with their 211 venture. Please do not hesitate to call Cathy at 717-652-4987 or email at cathy@contacthelpline.org and she will be able to assist you any way she can.

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@solutionsforadvertising.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495