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Fwd: Young women entrepreneurs open their own business in downtown Troy that offers a unique product line

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  • jason steven murphy
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2005
      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:

      > http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?
      > storyID=378762&category=RENSSELAER&BCCode=&newsdate=7/13/2005&TextPage
      > =1
      > 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
      > menu.
      > 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
      > month."
      > 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
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