Q & A from the Field

Villa at Saugerties Q&A

Kingston, NY

Proprietor: Amanda Zaslow & Joe Moseley

Live: Saugerties, Ny
Previous Life: (Amanda) Interior Designer | (Joe) Studio / Scheduling Mgr. Post Production at The Food Network
Activities: (Amanda) Making a mean ginger lemonade cocktail, Garden Design | (Joe) Music, Making Amanda laugh 'til she cries

When did you first open?
New Years 2016

When did you purchase The Villa, and how long did it take to renovate it?
We purchased the property in the spring of 2010, a modest 1929 Mediterranean style country house with a partially renovated animal barn built around the turn of the century. Although we thought we would open later that summer, one electrical and structural surprise after another led us down a very long road that we most definitely did not anticipate.

Clove and Creek Q&A

Kingston, NY

Proprietor: Scott Neild

Live: I live in an apartment near the shop with my dog, Jasper.
Previous Life: I started out pursuing a career in musical theatre in Chicago - that lasted about a decade. In a way, that brought me to NYC where I ended up working as an event planner. A couple wrong turns landed me in the right place, Bovina. And now here I am, in a life I could've never planned.
Activities: Thinking about my hobbies makes me homesick for my pre-Covid life. I spend my life in restaurants, crowded bars, and theatres. Can't wait to see you there again someday

When did you open Clove and Creek, tell us a little bit about your journey?
My best friend, Michael Cook, and I started Clove and Creek as a series of pop up markets in 2015. We collaborated with And North, Table on Ten, Brushland Eating House and Bushel Collective, primarily representing handmade goods made in Delaware County. We opened our shop in Kingston in 2016 and have expanded our collection to include handmade products from South America and heritage brands from Europe?

West Taghkanic Diner Q&A

Kingston, NY

Proprietor: Kristopher Schram

Live: Hudson, NY
Previous Life: Movie theatre projectionist (I was 16)
Activities: Tennis, hiking, fishing, foraging
Side Gig: Turning a 1977 Airstream into a future WTD bed and breakfast

When did you start Gaskins, tell us a little bit about your journey.
We opened Gaskins in June of 2015 after getting married the previous year and moving upsate. I have worked in restaurants since I was sixteen, starting at a little French Bistro in Goshen, NY. I previously managed small owner operated restaurants in NYC including Diner, Marlow & Sons, Roman’s and Franny’s. Nick is the chef and previously operated his own catering company, Backyard Cooking Company, worked at the Modern in NYC and attended the French Culinary Institute. I grew up in Orange County, NY and Nick grew up in Westchester and CT. Once we decided we wanted to open our own restaurant, we started spending time in the Hudson Valley and the Catskills. We were drawn to this region because of the abundance of small farms, vibrant business community and beautiful setting…

Phoenicia Diner Q&A

Kingston, NY

Proprietor: Mike Cioffi

Live: Kingston, NY
Previous Life: Viking
Activities: Color Correlation, Recipe Hoarding, Dog Mom
Side Gig: Keyboardist in Tsunami Bomb

When did you open the Diner, tell us a little bit about your journey?
Mike and his family have had a second home in Margaretville for about 20 years. The diner sits on the route they take to get to their place. Mike always admired the building and was inspired by it, often thinking of it’s potential. What started as just a stop in to check it out ending in him stepping into the restaurant business.

Tell us about Phoenicia and where you are located.
Phoenicia is a small hamlet in the Catskills. By small, I mean the main street is only a few blocks long. Those few blocks are filled with wonderful and unique local businesses. We are located just about a mile southeast of the center of town right across the street from the Esopus Creek with some of the best trout fishing around.

Gaskins Q&A

Kingston, NY

Proprietor: Sarah & Nick Suarez

Live: Germantown, NY
Previous Life: running other people's restaurants in Brooklyn
Activities: swimming in lakes, creeks, pools and oceans, reading, making cocktails Etc… cuddling in bed all morning with Milo, drinking coffee, talking with women

When did you start Gaskins, tell us a little bit about your journey.
We opened Gaskins in June of 2015 after getting married the previous year and moving upsate. I have worked in restaurants since I was sixteen, starting at a little French Bistro in Goshen, NY. I previously managed small owner operated restaurants in NYC including Diner, Marlow & Sons, Roman’s and Franny’s. Nick is the chef and previously operated his own catering company, Backyard Cooking Company, worked at the Modern in NYC and attended the French Culinary Institute. I grew up in Orange County, NY and Nick grew up in Westchester and CT. Once we decided we wanted to open our own restaurant, we started spending time in the Hudson Valley and the Catskills. We were drawn to this region because of the abundance of small farms, vibrant business community and beautiful setting…

Foster Supply Q&A

Livingston Manor, NY

Proprietor: Sims Foster and Kirsten Harlow Foster

Nothing shows true character like going through a crisis. Kirsten and Sims are the founders and operators of Foster Supply Hospitality, a hotel group with a few different locations in Sullivan County. They also founded the not-for-profit organization called A Single Bite, whose mission is to change the way kids think about food, choice, and perhaps life. One single bite at a time. Both Kirsten and Sims’ core belief in life and business is “community first.” We sat down and chatted with them to see how they have been handling this pandemic and how the strength they have shown their community, staff and family are true models of how to act during a pandemic.

Are you open for Business?

Some of our locations are doing to-go orders, but most of our locations have shut down to make meals for kids in Sullivan County through our not-for-profit called A Single Bite.

Wild Common Wine Q&A

Andes, NY

Proprietor: Kortney Lawlor

Live: Franklin, NY
Previous Life: Costume Supervisor for Film + Television
Activities: Founder: Wild Common Wine Cycling Club, organic gardening, discovering new places through food and wine

Give us a little background about your thought process (which I imagine was pretty fast) during these times and how you turned things around to modify for these times?

We didn’t seem to have much time to process the change- suddenly there were rumors about retail businesses closing as we watched our friends’ restaurants and bars shuttering. There was a large increase of people stocking up on wine and spirits, so we thought we would just stay open for as long as possible to make sure the community could get what they needed. (And by we, I mean me, as I wanted to ensure my employees were safe). When Cuomo declared retail wine stores an essential business, we had a quick strategy session that was basically “order as much as humanly possible”.

Brushland Eating House Q&A

Bovina Center, NY

Proprietor: Sara Mae Zandi & Sohial Zandi

Live: Bovina, NY

Are you open for business?

Not In the way we used to be, no. Our hours were Wednesday- Sunday, 5:30-10 pm and because of the pandemic, we had to end dinner service as we knew it. We’ve gotten creative though and are finding ways to feed people.

Have you pivoted your business since it became apparent things were about to drastically change? 

Our last shift was Sunday, March 15th. That week leading up to us closing indefinitely, was a strange one. We started making necessary adjustments to spread customers out, take tables away from the dining room floor, to be extra cautious with handling plates and glasses, sanitizing like crazy, but then it was like ‘even this doesn’t feel like enough.’ The day after we decided to close, the government made it clear we had to, anyway. It only took a few days of being in quarantine and not having our regular routine though, to hatch a plan for something else.

Valley Rock Inn & Market Q&A

Sloatsburg, NY

Proprietor: Michael Bruno
Hotel • Restaurant • Market • Gallery

Live: Tuxedo Park, NY
Previous Life: Founder 1stdibs.com
Activities: Hike, Bike, Swim, Ski, Cleaning floors
Side Gig: Real estate brokerage, Antique store, Guides

Why are you so passionate about Upstate NY?

When I first moved to the lower Hudson Valley 8 years ago I had never been Upstate. I spent years traveling all over Europe to find antiques dealers I thought should be on 1stdibs. When I went Upstate for the first time it reminded me of the European country side with small inns with their own restaurants and shops and farms to discover along the way. NYC is so close to Upstate that it attracts special talent in the art, design and hospitality fields. The diversity of what you can see and do in a day, let alone for a weekend, will keep you going back for more.