October Kitchen - May 2020

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Meet the Team Behind Your Meals MAY 2020

OctoberKitchen.com | 860-533-0588 | 309 Green Rd., Manchester, CT 06042

This month, I need to shout out two of my biggest cheerleaders and the guys I am ultra-grateful for, especially following our big renovation. Believe it or not, one of them happens to be my landlord. Tommy Tomko is the landlord of the illustrious Blue Duck Plaza and he’s honestly the greatest landlord in America. We have been in the Plaza for close to 30 years, and Tommy has been a supporter, advisor and confidant since the day he and I met. He’s an old-fashioned businessman with a tremendous business sense. When I need a sounding board, he’s one of the first people I go to. Tommy is a huge part of our operation and he’s almost like a silent partner — but he’s never silent. Tommy has the gift of gab. A five-minute conversation with Tommy always ends up being half an hour, but it’s a fun half-hour. Tommy has been extremely generous to us and with October Kitchen’s growth and evolution in the Plaza. The space next to us in the Plaza was vacant for several months. Tommy wasn’t interested in putting anybody in there that wouldn’t be a terrific fit for the Plaza. He was very concerned with the balance of business and services available, A Salute to Tommy and Drew HERE’S TO THE TOMKO GUYS

bringing in the right foot traffic and making sure no one was competing in the same niche. After some time, we approached Tommy about taking the space over. He was immediately on board. To be honest, I think he wanted us to take the space all along. The second guy I have to shout out this month is Tommy’s son, Drew, my other favorite hero. Drew owns Tomko Remodeling, and he’s a fantastic craftsman. Drew’s company does a lot of the projects around Blue Duck Plaza. Tommy and Drew did all the demolition and the build-out for our new space. It was fantastic. Not a lot of landlords would be so involved with a project like this, but Tommy was dedicated to improving the space and making sure it worked for us. The space hadn’t been touched in 25 years, so Tommy and Drew really worked their magic. Everything the Tomko guys do is done right the first time. That’s just how they operate.

“Everything the Tomko

guys do is done right the

first time. That’s just how they operate.”

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LIFE IN GOSHEN What’s New With Audriana and Bryen?

T here’s a legend we like the kitchen and struggling to find a name that would capture his vision. It wasn’t until he visited his daughter’s school for parent-teacher conferences that inspiration struck in the form of a child’s drawing on the bulletin board. It was a crayon drawing of a cornucopia full of a fresh harvest — just like a kitchen in October. As fate would have it, that exact drawing, which would become October Kitchen’s first logo, was drawn by Chef Paul’s daughter, Audriana. to tell at October Kitchen about how our business got its name. Years ago, Chef Paul was just opening Audri was in first grade back then and quite a lot of time has passed since. You may recall our reports on Audriana graduating from veterinary school and marrying her husband, Bryen, last May. This month, we’re catching up with Audri and seeing how this new chapter of her life is treating her. “Things are going really great,” Audriana reports. “Starting my career as a veterinarian was really nerve-wracking at first. I knew what I was doing, but school is like a protective bubble. It’s totally different when you’re out in the real world. Suddenly I was the one who needed to make the decisions. There weren’t any clinicians to tell me what to do. Fortunately, I have great mentors who have taught me so much in just the last year. I’ve gotten to learn how to do a lot of procedures, and I’ve seen a lot of interesting cases. Being a veterinarian is very rewarding.”

After getting married last year, Audri and Bryen moved to Goshen, Indiana, where Bryen was already working as a dairy veterinarian. In addition to getting the hang of their careers, this happy couple also had to get the hang of being husband and wife. Their first challenge? Cohabitation. “Married life is treating me well, though I’ll admit it was a struggle at first. Bryen and I didn’t live together before we got married, so we had to get used to that. I’m very tidy and Bryen can be a bit messier, so we’ve worked to find a balance. We’ve been getting used to each other’s schedules and routines, and it’s been going well. It’s been an adventure, one I’m glad we’re on together.” As for that October Kitchen legend we love to tell? Though she’s not a chef, Audriana says she’s proud to hold a piece of the family business. “I didn’t know at the time I drew the drawing that it would be featured, but it was cool. I remember being so happy that my dad was using my picture for his business. October Kitchen has transformed into something great and big. Watching it grow over the years has been amazing. My parents have always been so supportive of me, and I’m so proud to see the business they’ve built thrive. I know October Kitchen has helped many people, and it’s wonderful to have that as part of our family legacy.”

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A SILVER Couple Gets Their Last Wedding


D.C. It was good for “one teaspoon, one place knife and one place fork in ‘Rose’ by Stieff.” In an interview with Present 50 Years Late

Traditionally, the 25th wedding anniversary is the “silver anniversary.” But Maryland couple George and Cathy Jones celebrated their 50th anniversary with silver when they redeemed a gift certificate they’d received in 1969. Last November, George and Cathy Jones celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. A few weeks before the big day, they pulled out their wedding album and took a walk down

their local news station, the Joneses revealed that

they’d been building a set of Stieff Silver for years. They had always meant to redeem the gift certificate but never got around to making the almost hourlong drive from their home in Anne Arundel County to D.C. Though the certificate had expired, George decided to try his luck when he learned Bensons Jewelers was still open. George emailed the store owner, Ken Stein, who was delighted to honor the gift certificate. The factory that once produced the utensils had stopped making silver in 2007, but Ken was willing to buy the utensils from a reseller. “Oh, I lost money,” Ken admitted in an interview. “But I’ve gained a customer and I gained a good story out of it. I think it’s a cool thing to do.” To celebrate, George and Cathy broke in their new silverware at dinner with their great-granddaughter. Talk about a late wedding present!

memory lane. Among the photos and other mementos, they found a wedding present they’d long forgotten: a gift certificate for three pieces of silver.

The certificate, which had been a gift from Cathy’s then-boss, was from Bensons Jewelers in downtown Washington,

_____________________________ Write your name here and fax the completed puzzle to 860-533-0585, send it via empty delivery box or bring it to the shop and receive 10% off your next order . Limit one per customer. Expires May 31, 2020. WORDSEARCH

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I am so thrilled that God put Tommy and Drew in our path and that everything about this space lined up for us. It’s truly meant to be. We have more space, more elbow room and more possibilities for the future. We’re so excited about this next step in the game, and we’re starting out on the right foot thanks to the Tomko guys. I’ve heard plenty of stories about apathetic landlords and less-than-professional contractors. It’s a blessing to know that Tommy and Drew are always just a phone call away. They’re part of our formula for success and I can never thank them enough.

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24/7 Emergency Services O tob Kit hen.com 860-533-0588


309 Green Rd. Manchester, CT 06042 INSIDE To Get Things Done Right page 1

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Catching Up with Audriana

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An Exception for Expiration Dates

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Word Search

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Is a 55-Plus Community Right for You?

Depending on your wants and needs, buying a home in a 55-plus community might be a financially savvy way to set yourself up for retirement. But is it the right decision for you? Here are a few financial pros and cons associated with moving into one of these neighborhoods. The Pros and Cons of Buying a Home in a 55-Plus Community

Pro: Amenities are included.

Most 55-plus communities include amenities like exercise classes and educational programs for their residents. They also invite community organizations and leaders to speak about local issues or upcoming elections. Some even have a clubhouse or dining hall for social gatherings. Save money by taking advantage of these programs instead of paying for a gym membership or a course at the local community college.

Pro: The homes are in excellent condition.

Oftentimes, 55-plus communities provide maintenance services, including housekeeping and landscaping. Also, it’s likely that only a handful of people have occupied the home since it was built, so buying in a 55-plus community means you’ll get a property in excellent condition with less wear and tear.

Con: It’s a limited buyer’s and renter’s market.

Most people who buy in a 55-plus community plan to retire there. If this is your original intention but your plans change down the road, you might have a harder time selling your home here than you would in a community that is open to people of all ages. Make sure to budget for those potential holding costs and plan accordingly. Regardless of where you decide to buy, be sure to consult an experienced real estate agent and a financial planner. Here’s to living out your golden years in comfort and convenience!

Con: You’ll have to pay a monthly fee.

Unfortunately, all the great stuff doesn’t come free. Usually, you’ll have to pay an extra monthly bill, similar to a homeowners association fee, to live in a 55-plus community. Some communities include all maintenance and amenities in the monthly rent or mortgage (some even cover utility bills), but make sure you understand what is and isn’t covered before you sign a contract!

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