Fwd: Young women entrepreneurs open their own business in downtown Troy that offers a unique product line
- if you have not hit shake shake mama's yet - well, then you are
behind the times union in terms of being with it, which is hit or
miss. thus get on it.
also relevant to this list - check out the part about a potential
showcase for local artists...
Begin forwarded message:
> Coffee's been OK, but it's not their cup of tea
> Young women entrepreneurs open their own business in downtown Troy
> that offers a unique product line
> By TIM O'BRIEN, Staff writer
> First published: Wednesday, July 13, 2005
> TROY -- Royah Ansari and Amelia Stickelmyer are looking to shake up
> downtown Troy's overcaffeinated eateries.
> After working at Higher Bean, a coffee shop in the lobby of the Keenan
> Building at 258 Broadway, they began to think too many people were
> selling coffee. When developer Sandy Horowitz offered to sell them the
> business, they had a better idea.
> The result is Shake Shake Mamas, a new store in the same location that
> sells healthy alternatives to coffee: smoothies made with locally
> grown fruit, supplemented with such ingredients as bee pollen and
> elderberry booster.
> "It wasn't really going anywhere, but we both had ideas," said
> Stickelmyer, 25, who had been manager of Higher Bean since late 2004.
> Fresh from getting her MBA at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,
> Ansari, 24, was working at Higher Bean but also had ideas for her own
> eatery. Her boss became her business partner.
> "I've wanted to open a cafe in Troy for years now," Ansari said. "We
> saw there were so many coffee cafes that opened in Troy. The market
> for coffee is just saturated. We decided we wanted to go the healthy
> food route."
> So while they still sell coffee and tea, theirs isn't much like what
> Dunkin Donuts sells down the street.
> "We want to do everything a little bit different," Ansari said. Where
> others would sell iced tea, she said, "we have Earl Grey Honey Lime
> Iced Tea."
> The drinks can be supplemented with bee pollen, which their menu says
> is a rich source of vitamins in a single food, or elderberry booster,
> which helps the immune system, and other ingredients.
> But the co-owners are aware that a business can't thrive on drinks
> alone, especially when colder weather comes.
> "At month's end, we are going to expand into food," Stickelmyer said.
> They plan to sell vegetarian sushi rolls, gourmet salads and wraps.
> When the weather turns cold, they plan to add soup and paninis to the
> Ansari and Stickelmyer both live in downtown Troy, and they said they
> often eat out.
> "There are options, but there aren't that many healthy options,"
> Ansari said. "We wanted to serve food that made you feel good about
> yourself and makes your body happy."
> The store is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and
> 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. They plan to expand their hours when
> college classes resume in the fall. They are about to get free
> wireless Internet access for their customers, thanks to Boxel.net, a
> computer business located upstairs.
> The two women also want their business to become a center for local
> artists. They plan to display locally produced art on their walls and
> to offer space for electronic and video artists to perform in the
> evenings when the colleges are in session.
> "I just want local artists to know they have a place to exhibit for
> free," Stickelmyer said. "We want to circulate work from month to
> Ansari has worked with local electronic artists.
> "For those who feel their work might not fit into a traditional
> gallery, we want them to know we're available to them," she said.
> Both are upbeat about the future of Troy.
> "I kind of fell in love with this city," said Ansari, who received
> both her bachelor's and master's degrees from RPI. "We're the young
> people who want to stay here. We have so many friends who say 'I have
> so many ideas.' We want other people to see if you have a dream, Troy
> is a place to start it."
> Stickelmyer, whose family has been in Troy since the Civil War, said
> she is amazed by the help people have offered the fledgling business.
> "We have been blessed with a minimal budget and have so many people
> help us out," she said. Local residents have helped connect them with
> suppliers, lawyers provided legal service without charge and other
> businesses have taken their menus to display.
> "I think they are excited, too, to see young people starting
> something," Ansari said.
> But Stickelmyer adds that their drinks and soon food -- are meant to
> appeal to all ages.
> "We don't want this to be a place just for young people," he said.
> So far, they have no other employees but both say they don't mind the
> long hours.
> "We're passionate about it. When we're not here, we're out to dinner
> talking about the shop," Ansari said.
> "It's not a drag in any sense of the word," Stickelmyer agreed.
> All Times Union materials copyright 1996-2005, Capital Newspapers
> Division of The Hearst Corporation, Albany, N.Y.
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jason steven murphy
jason at televaw dot com