Chef Christian DeLutis greeted us at the door with a special request. Since opening Koda about a year ago, the chef-owner has preferred the Harrisburg restaurant’s dishes to be photographed with staff, to showcase the culinary team alongside their dishes rather than focusing on solo foodie shots.
“It’s a team effort—the dishes don’t represent me alone,” says DeLutis. “There’s no ego. We strive to be good people with integrity, empathy, honesty, and we bring that into our food, cooking with love.” Continue reading Friendly Fare
Brothers Wade and Drew Leedy say opening Fourscore Beer Co. on July 31 was the big payoff.
Five years of dreaming, planning, and clearing hurdles paved the way for the South Washington Street brewpub to open its doors.
While the Leedy family name is synonymous with good pizza in Gettysburg—Drew and Wade’s grandfather opened Tommy’s Pizza in 1973—the family’s newest venture into brewing is history in the making. Continue reading Fourscore Beer Co.
On a bright September day, under a completely blue sky, excited chatter from a group of women floated across the lawn at Renfrew Museum and Park. It was still summer, but the golden hues of fall, including neighboring cornfields, infused the green agricultural landscape. Continue reading Hidden Gem
Anastasia Joy* calls it the skeleton in her closet.
“I didn’t tell anyone about that part of my life until the FBI got involved,” said the 25-year-old Harrisburg-area resident. Continue reading Forging a Path
The day that her husband pushed her into a wall was the day that Cherie Faus-Smith left.
“It was a feeling of shock and fear,” she said. “The back of my head hit the wall, and two things ran through my mind—my son was in the house, and I was afraid of what Phil* might do next.”
Overall, one in three women experience severe physical violence by a partner. Last year, 122 people died as a result of domestic violence in Pennsylvania. Continue reading Style and Substance
If butchers were rock stars, chef David T. Mills III would have his name in lights.
Smoke & Pickles is half butcher shop, half restaurant, with ambiance supplied by rock music and Mills’ larger-than-life personality playing a starring role. Continue reading Rockin’ Mechanicsburg with Flavor
Emma Lower laughs wehn asked if agriculture is in her family’s DNA. The 33-year-old is a fifth-generation co-manager of Boyer Nurseries & Orchards in Biglerville.
“There are farmers on both sides of my family,” she says. “We have a healthy love for growing plants and quality fruit–it runs deep.”
Come along as we visit seven young Adams County entrepreneurs in many unique fields to learn how the concept of “family” has guided and inspired them. Continue reading All in the Family
Amie Bantz is constantly doodling.
“I never thought it would take off, but it’s evolved into my style,” said the 25-year old Carlisle High School art teacher.
Her latest doodles combine iconic images of Carlisle into a playful landscape across an unlikely canvas—one of the town’s electrical boxes. Continue reading Electrifying Art
Tina Weyant has a distinct childhood memory—helping her grandfather, a distiller in Germany, put labels on bottles.
Her grandparents lived on a property encompassing an old monastery with a cellar under the church. It was surrounded by vineyards.
Today, Weyant, 57, has come full circle. For the first time since childhood, she again is surrounded by vineyards. She and husband Jeff own Cumberland County’s first vineyard winery, the Winery at Long Shot Farm. Continue reading Bull’s-Eye in a Bottle
You don’t have to rise at the crack of dawn to run a successful bakery. Amanda Wiles, co-owner of The Cake Bar in downtown Hanover, is living proof of that.
“It’s modeled off big city dessert bars, which are open in the evening when we typically eat dessert,” explains Wiles. “Plus, I hate mornings,” she says with a laugh. Continue reading Hanover’s Sweet Spot
Cumberland County’s craft beer community has beverage lovers covered from A to Z—that’s ale to zymurgy (the chemistry of the fermentation process). The Cumberland Valley Beer Trail, conceptualized in 2016 and launched in 2017 with 15 locations, has grown to 30 locations today.
We visited two of the trail’s crafty Carlisle locations where everything shines—from golden beverages to flashy magic tricks, silver brewery tanks, and gleaming chrome bumpers. Continue reading Crafty Carlisle
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know the Eastern hellbender is now our official state amphibian.
It’s the largest salamander in North America and actually does live under rocks. Although it’s not endangered, its population is declining. So why should people care about a big nocturnal salamander, also nicknamed the devil dog, the mud devil and, my personal favorite, the snot otter? Continue reading Sign of the Salamander
June 22, according to Ashley Mentzer, will be “the best fitness day ever.”
Except, when she says it, it sounds like “ev-aaahhh.”
Mentzer, organizer of the 2nd Annual Thrive Fit Fest, said that fitness should be approachable and fun. She pointed to a publicity photo.
“This is what fitness looks like—all different shapes and sizes and body types,” she said. “We’re real people.” Continue reading Fit Takes Flight
Youthful creativity, energy, ideas, hard work, and a stroke of good luck—these seem to be the factors that propel young entrepreneurs on their paths to founding successful businesses.
Here are the stories of three businesses founded by young people—a 9-year-old Lancaster County boy following in the footsteps of his entrepreneurial parents, a “herd” of Gettysburg teens and 20-somethings making their own mark on history by showcasing today’s pop culture, and a popular Harrisburg coffee shop owner who began brewing up her business when she was 26. Continue reading Young Entrepreneurs
Imagine a fall wedding in the woods, a casual reception in a barn. There’s hot apple cider, pull pork, pies, popcorn, and just a good time “hanging out” with close friends and family.
It sounds in many ways like a picturesque storybook wedding. And, it was.
But it took years for this bride with her beautiful smile to consider marriage. That’s because she’d already had the traditional, big fairy-tale wedding with all the trimmings years before–a first marriage to her high school sweetheart that ended in tragedy. Continue reading Second Chance at Love
Not many people decide to open a restaurant during their retirement years. Cheri Ann Freeman operates Chez Cheri Cafe with a vitality and energy that seem to defy her age of 72. Continue reading Worldly Flavors, Friendly Faces
What do you imagine yourself doing at the age of 68? While retirement is likely at the top of most people’s lists, that’s not the case for Diane Krulac, owner of downtown Mechanicsburg’s popular candy shop Brittle Bark. Instead, she recently launched a new line of unique chocolate truffles and bars called Cocoa Creek Chocolates. Continue reading Mechanicsburg’s Sweet Spot
Gettysburg reminds Lori Korczyk of Epcot.
Just like the Disney park’s microcosm of world cultures, Gettysburg’s downtown streets are dotted with eclectic and ethnic restaurants, from Thai to Mexican, Italian to Irish, plus plenty of American eateries that blend cuisines—like melting pots—with culture and history.
Korczyk saw an opportunity to establish Savor Gettysburg Food Tours (SGFT) six years ago, to appeal to foodies and history lovers alike. Continue reading Taste of History
Loretta Claiborne didn’t walk or talk until the age of 4.
Born partially blind with intellectual disabilities in 1953, Claiborne was one of seven children raised in York by a single mother. Public school brought bullying, name-calling, anger and fighting.
The odds were against her. Sports, however, transformed her life. Continue reading Changing the Game
John Naylor started an Instagram account to document all the plastic he was pulling out of the Susquehanna River and into his canoe. Continue reading Spring Cleaning
Dust off your bike, come out of hibernation, and blaze some new trails—rail trails, that is—throughout the Susquehanna Valley. The number of rail trails—old railroad lines converted to recreational paths—is growing throughout the country, and Central PA is no exception. Continue reading Riding the Rails
Nicole Baer’s home-based cupcake business was so popular that her kitchen wall oven was on nearly all day, every day, and she still couldn’t bake enough cupcakes to fill orders.
That all changed when she opened Ann’s Cupcakery on Mechanicsburg’s Main Street last fall.
Continue reading Let Them Eat Little Cakes
Mediterranean and Ukrainian cuisine are married throughout the adventurous, flavor-filled menu at Tatiana’s Restaurant, Mechanicsburg—the perfect symbolism for husband-and-wife owners Tatiana and Ashraf El Seaidy. The restaurant’s namesake, Tatiana, hails from Ukraine, while her husband of 19 years, chef Ash, was born and raised in Egypt. Continue reading A Destination to Love
Health and wellness in the golden years are more important today than ever before. That’s because Americans are approaching a shift in population. By 2030, all baby boomers will be 65 and older.
As more and more of us approach and enter senior status, what can we do to protect our health? Nutrition plays one of the most critical roles, according to area health experts. Continue reading Nourishing and Flourishing
How do you choose the food you eat? It may sound like a simple question, but how often do you truly evaluate your nutritional choices and diet? We talked to a number of Susquehanna Valley residents, including health and wellness professionals, who made significant changes by switching to vegetarian, vegan, or plant-based diets and lifestyles. Their anecdotes and results may surprise you. Continue reading Plant Powered
Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned runner, you can find motivation in lacing up your sneakers for a good cause. Putting purpose into every step and every mile will not only help you reach personal fitness goals, but also help you double your joy by running races that benefit area nonprofits. Continue reading Run with Purpose
Whether they were built in the 1700s, 1800s, or 1900s, Adams County’s homes and buildings are historic treasure troves. But it’s during the renovation process when surprises are often revealed: antiques are found tucked away in an attic, time capsules are discovered behind a wall, or buried treasure is literally uncovered in a yard. We went digging and found Adams County stories worthy of historical significance–and others that just make for colorful tales. Continue reading Hidden Treasures
When Rob Whitaker of Camp Hill began taking classes at Harrisburg’s Thrive Fit Co., he couldn’t physically complete a class.
“I was not fit at all,” said the 34-year old financial planner. “But when you come from a non-fitness background like I did, you want to be surrounded by positive people.” Continue reading Fight for Your Might
Jeff Jurkowski says he was probably about 4 years old when he first saw crabs being steamed.
Growing up in Baltimore, an uncle owned and operated a popular crab house that served up 600 bushels of crab weekly. With watermen also in the family, Jurkowski grew up learning about the Chesapeake Bay’s bounty. Seafood just might be in his genes, and now the chef/owner is sharing his flair for adventuresome dishes at Gettysburg’s newest restaurant. Continue reading The Hoof, Fin & Fowl
With a name inspired by nearby eagle sightings and owl calls, the Eagle & The Owl Public House at Liberty Mountain Resort features a menu that’s just as adventuresome. Between the sweeping mountain views of the 400-acre Adams County property and the innovative menu, you just may be swept off your feet. Continue reading Taking Creative Liberties
A white dog, dripping blood, came into the Humane Society of the Harrisburg Area as a cruelty case.
Living in a backyard, he got loose just before his scheduled surrender to the society. While on the run, he was shot in the face. Coincidentally, his name was Bullet. Continue reading Have Yourself a Monster Little Christmas
Jason McNew says his military background provided the perfect training for his current field, cybersecurity.
“Veterans are security minded by nature…it’s a mindset,” he says. Continue reading A New Battleground
Open, light, and advanced: That’s how many describe the new, multimillion-dollar Jeanne and Edward H. Arnold Health Professions Pavilion that opened for all students in August. Perched on the northern edge of campus, the stunning facility is poised to meet not only the needs of health professions students but also the imminent needs of the healthcare community on a local, regional, and even national level. Continue reading Everyone Wins
Trailblazing runner Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to compete in the Boston Marathon, once said, “If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.”
Harrisburg-area residents can do exactly that this month when the 44th Annual Harrisburg Marathon winds through the city. Continue reading Marathon Made
Self-described foodies who enjoy traveling and visiting the world’s finest restaurants, Donna and Tom Ponessa opened Amorette (“little love”) in May of 2018.
“We took the best ideas from all our travels and put them under one roof,” says Donna. Continue reading A Little Love for Foodies
Mickey Minnich wears a silver bracelet inscribed with the phrase, “One day at a time.”
It’s a reminder, he said, to stay focused on the moment, helping one family at a time as they face cancer. Over the past 15 years, his organization, Vickie’s Angel Foundation (VAF), has raised more than $2.6 million, helping more than 1,500 families throughout a nine-county area of central Pennsylvania. Continue reading Angels Among Us
Central PA’s tourism organizations began jumping on the beer trail bandwagon about six years ago, recognizing the opportunity to collectively market area brew pubs to both residents and visitors alike. Brewers seem to embrace and enjoy the team spirit aspect of trails, calling it camaraderie and community, rather than competition. There’s Beer Here! Where to hit the trails for ales, Susquehanna Style, October 2018 Continue reading There’s Beer Here! Where to hit the trails for ales
It’s like shooting a bow and arrows: A Spring Grove couple is taking aim at a delicious new trend in the food industry and hoping to hit the sweet spot right in the middle of the target. Continue reading Dough & Arrows
One of the biggest indoor home design trends is officially “uncorked” in the Susquehanna Valley: Home wine cellars are adding value, beauty, and storage for wine collectors’ prized possessions. Outdoors, the trend is to turn backyards into beautiful, relaxing retreats complete with water features. Whether your idea of luxury includes wine or water, enjoy exploring dreamy, over-the-top options with local designers—who also provide down-to-earth, budget-friendly ways to incorporate these trends into your own home. Continue reading Luxurious Living: It’s All About Water and Wine
When the West Shore Theatre’s marquee went dark, one thing was for sure. It wasn’t going to stay dark for long.
The community rallied, making it known that they wanted the show to go on at this New Cumberland landmark. Continue reading The Show that Never Ends
“Why does September seem sunny as spring?” asks one version of the classic Hollywood song, “Singin’ in the Rain.”
Stosh Snyder, whose favorite musical of all time is “Singin’ in the Rain,” likely has the answer. Continue reading Glorious Feeling
Lesa and Brennan Brackbill of Hershey have endured something no parents should—the death of a child.
Now they’re determined to create a lasting legacy by advocating for changes to Pennsylvania’s newborn screening laws that could have prevented their daughter’s death. Continue reading A Loss, A Purpose
Many of our Susquehanna Valley landscapes are simply breathtaking, adding natural beauty and color to our days. Now, thanks to grassroots community organizers, artists, supporters, and lots of vision, many of the Susquehanna Valley’s urban environments are being transformed into colorful, artistic landscapes just as worthy of our attention. We visited several local towns and cities where they’re taking art to a whole new level—street-level. Continue reading Mural Magic
Abraham Lincoln presenter James Hayney has held numerous roles throughout his life. But this self-described “high school dropout” who served in the Navy never saw his ultimate role coming. Continue reading The Role of a Lifetime
“We married our family’s two passions together,” says Kevin Knoiuse, business manager at Thirsty Farmer. “Farming–and blending that with a love of craft beer. Thirsty Farmer is centered around agriculture and who we are.” Continue reading Thirsty Farmer Brew Works: An Authentic Adams County Experience
In April 1948, York County native Earl Shaffer set out to do what no man had done before—hike the Appalachian Trail’s (A.T.) 2,000-some miles in one continuous hike. His motivation was to “walk off the war” and his experiences serving in the U.S. Army during World War II.
Last month (May 2018), during this 70th anniversary year of Earl’s first hike, two of Earl’s relatives launched their own A.T. adventure to pay homage to the legendary trail figure. Continue reading Duo Treks AT in Memory of Uncle, First Thru-Hiker
Kelly Martin was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis more than 25 years ago.
So, when the 53-year-old Middletown woman heard about floatation therapy from a co-worker—and found a discount for Camp Hill’s Dissolve Float Spa on Groupon—she decided she had nothing to lose. Continue reading All Afloat
Every couple wants their wedding day to be unique–that’s the top trend we discovered while talking with some of Adams County’s wedding experts. So, how can couples plan unique, personality-filled, memorable weddings? Read on to learn all about the latest trends. Continue reading Adams County’s Top 10 Wedding Trends for 2018
Take a trip off the beaten path to 3 Hogs BBQ in Hanover and you’ll feel as thought you’re discovering the South’s best-kept secret. And we’re not talking “south” as in South Central Pennsylvania; you might actually feel like you’ve been transported somewhere south of Memphis. Continue reading “Hog Wild” for Barbeque at 3 Hogs BBQ
“Adaptive reuse” is one of the most popular buzz phrases in today’s economic development circles. Here in the Susquehanna Valley, there are numerous, exciting new uses for old, abandoned architectural icons. Like phoenixes rising from the ashes, these historic structures are breathing new life into our towns and cities, sparking innovation and economic prosperity. Continue reading Upcycling Architectural Icons
Whether your favorite animals are in a barnyard, native to the Pennsylvania woods, or from another land, chances are you can find them in the Susquehanna Valley. Turn the page for a list of parks, nature centers, wildlife sanctuaries, and refuges where you can go wild in Central PA! Continue reading 20 Ways to Go Wild in Central PA
Spring fever has set in and we’re making our bucket list for warmer weather dining destinations. There is nothing like enjoying a stunning outdoor view with a dinner menu to match. From gardens to riverfront views, decks to hillside terraces, urban oases to countryside respites, the region’s top restaurants offer a wide variety of unique outdoor dining backdrops to accompany their exquisite menus. Continue reading 25 Hot Spots to Dine Out(doors)
Each spring, about 3,000 people set off on the journey of a lifetime.
That’s how many attempt to “thru-hike” the entire 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, about 750 people—one in four—succeed. Continue reading Through It All
Against the backdrop of Tuscany, Rynn and David Caputo decided that shortly after their wedding, they would leave their jobs, move to Italy, and attend culinary school together. “I would say our parents were concerned,” recalls David Caputo. Continue reading Caputo Brothers Creamery
Alison McIndoe says she always knew she would be an interior designer. She spent a lot of time with an aunt and uncle who often remodeled and redecorated their home. “I saw the floor plans, the fabric swatches, and I became so enamored with the process that I decided to make a career of it,” she says. Continue reading Dreams and Destiny
The long driveway leading to Allenberry Resort, framed by tall trees, seems to beckon visitors to the longtime Cumberland County resort. “You could travel all over the world and not find as bucolic a location as Allenberry on the Yellow Breeches,” says Mike Kennedy. Continue reading New Frontier
Tracey Wakeen says that everything she does revolves around her mission statement, written in marker at the top of her office’s dry erase board: “Unlocking true potential by strengthening all women in body, mind and spirit.” Continue reading Gaining Momentum
A “roost” is defined as a safe place, a haven, where birds can sit and rest their wings. Step inside one of downtown York’s newest restaurants, Roost Uncommon Kitchen, and you too can “rest your wings,” recharge your batteries, and feel right at home. Continue reading A Place to Rest Your Wings
If the sweeping mountain views aren’t enough to sweep you off your feet, then Eagle & The Owl Public House’s fresh, homemade approach is sure to wow you. Continue reading Eagle & The Owl Public House
Their friendship got off to a “rocky start.”
A mutual friend introduced Travis Haines to Kyle Stapp, an experienced rock climber, about five years ago. Continue reading On the Rocks
It was Timbrel Wallace’s father who suggested she call her downtown Gettysburg gift shop “Lark.”
“I wanted a name that was happy and uplifting. Of course, a lark is a bird, and the two sayings that come to mind are ‘happy as a lark’ and ‘doing something on a lark,’ indicating spontaneity. That all resonated with me,” says Wallace. Continue reading Happy as a Lark
It’s a timeless source of inspiration: Nature’s beauty and bounty, in every season, has inspired our creativity for centuries. So it was only natural that two of the Susquehanna Valley’s prominent wedding planners recently focused on winter, spring, summer, and fall to develop seasonal wedding vignettes. Continue reading Love is in Season
Brittle Bark could quite possibly be the happiest place in all of central Pennsylvania—especially during the holiday season. Tucked into a tall corner storefront along Main Street in Mechanicsburg with a brightly decorated seasonal front window, the chocolate and candy shop has earned a sweet reputation over the past 10 years. Continue reading Sweet Break
Domingo Mancuello says people constantly call him an “old soul”—and he’s the first to admit that they’re right. The pianist’s specialty—ragtime and popular music from the 1890s to 1940s—puts Mancuello’s “old soul” directly in the spotlight. Continue reading The Old Soul Ragtime Show
Yonder Star, an Adams County business, has cultivated relationships with artisans and manufacturers of nativity scenes located around the world for 17 years. Owned by husband and
wife Brett and Cindy Snyder, Yonder Star is keeping the Christmas tradition of the nativity alive—using today’s technology as an online business. Continue reading Following Yonder Star
Gettysburg’s place in history was cemented due to its location—at “the crossroads of America.” During the Civil War era, all major routes running north and south, east and west, met in Gettysburg. Today, just a block from Lincoln Square where those crossroads still collide, a downtown Gettysburg restaurant is gaining a reputation for its creative American fusion menu—bringing traditional American flavors together from the north, south, west and east in fun new ways. Continue reading At the Crossroads of American Fusion
Located almost exactly at the midway point of The Appalachian Trail, the Appalachian Trail Museum tells the story of the A.T., “the most popular hiking trail in America.” And it’s an excellent place to launch an Appalachian adventure of your own. Continue reading Appalachian Adventure
As primary caregiver for her father—diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease—Stephanie Weimer always knew his whereabouts thanks to a tracking device on his cell phone. About two years ago, he drove himself to a routine doctor’s appointment and became disoriented while driving home. “He was lost, and the tracking device didn’t work because his cell phone had gone dead,” Weimer said. Continue reading Home Safely
People often talk about “finding their calling in life.” Dr. Domingo Alvear’s began in his native Philippines, inspired by a country-doctor uncle who let his nephew tag along as he made house calls in a bouncing Jeep. Six decades later, Alvear is retiring after both a long career as a pediatric surgeon in Harrisburg and as a founder of the nonprofit World Surgical Foundation (WSF). Continue reading Medical Journey
Augmented reality, or technology that allows computer-generated images to be superimposed over the iPad’s camera view, provides battlefield scenes as if the visitor is standing on the battlefield during the July 1863 battle. Continue reading InSite Gettysburg
Fred Joslyn ran on his wedding day. And on the days his three children were born. Joslyn, in fact, runs every day. No exceptions. If there’s a face of Harrisburg’s running community, Joslyn’s is it. Continue reading Born to Run
Inspired by family, traditions and Sunday dinners, Chef AnnMarie Nelms has created a warm, welcoming atmosphere at Thea. Tranquil colors, hand-crafted tables and a finetuned menu infused with family heritage all work in gracious harmony—as if Nelms is inviting you directly into her home. Continue reading Like Family
Flour is the foundation of some of our favorite “comfort foods,” including pizza, subs, and pasta. So, how appropriate that Antica Napoli Pizza features more than a dozen unique pizzas, more than three dozen subs plus Stromboli, and a dozen varieties of pasta, all created by Owner Ignazio “Iggy” Farina, whose very name “Farina” is Italian for “flour.” Continue reading Antica Napoli Pizza: Putting Pizazz in Gettysburg’s Pizza
“Athletics teach us real life lessons,” says Gareth “Lefty” Biser. “And loss [not only in athletics, but in life] is an opportunity to build character.” Continue reading Building Character through Tragedy
“It’s been a life-long fascination…I’ve been interested in American history from childhood–I followed it, studied it, and ultimately painted it… professionally, since 1963,” says artist David Wright, known as “the artist of the American frontier.” He makes interpreting history through a paintbrush sound easy–“I paint history,” Wright says. But the intriguing paintings captured on canvas only emerge after painstaking research. Continue reading History Meets the Arts