25th Annual Crystal Apple Award finalists are:  Bodhi Holistic, LLC; Chatham Brewing LLC; Family Eyecare Center; Pondside Nursey; The Barlow and The Spine Institute of Columbia Memorial Hospital.  The Crystal Apple Award is presented to a Chamber member business to recognize an extraordinary contribution to economic progress, community improvement, and the quality of life in Columbia County over the previous year.  To read more on each nominee see below.  If you wish to vote for one of the nominees please go to http://tinyurl.com/2014CrystalApple

The Barlow

With the ever-increasing popularity of Columbia County, The Barlow opened in June 2013 to provide visitors with a new lodging alternative from which to explore the area.

The Barlow takes its name from the Barlow-Osborn crest that appears at the building’s roofline. After a fire destroyed a neighboring building in 1927 a large portion of the Barlow Osborn was rebuilt extensively.  Since then, the building has housed various offices but has remained vacant for the past several years.

After an extensive 9-month renovation, the building was transformed into a 16-room European-style boutique hotel blending historic and architectural charm with modern amenities and comfortable furnishings.  Each guest room is complete with a walk-in spa shower, fireplace, mini-refrigerator, Keurig coffee maker as well as a host of other amenities.

In order to encourage guests to shop and dine locally and enjoy local entertainment, The Barlow Privileges Partner Program was created.  Guests of The Barlow are offered a discount at over 75 Partner shops, restaurants, galleries and entertainment venues.  Based on guest and business owner feedback the Program is a great success.

Bodhi Holistic, LLC

Bodhi Holistic is located at 543 Warren Street in Hudson.  This beautifully renovated building allows Bodhi the opportunity to offer an eastern-influenced menu of spa services including:  acupuncture, facials, wild lime scalp treatments, and holistic nutritional counseling along with tension-dissolving western massage.  This business helps to make Hudson a destination for people seeking spa services and serves to enrich the lives of the people of Columbia County.

Chatham Brewing LLC

Some of the Hudson Valley’s best beers are “Imported from Main Street”- that’s 59 Main Street in Chatham, NY–and the beers come from Chatham Brewing.  ==Winner of the 2012 Matthew Vassar Cup for Best Craft Brewery, this exceptional local micro is stepping up production at their new facility.

This project employed local engineers, architects, contractors, skilled tradesmen–and veterans– to transform an empty building into a sleek tasting room, alongside a fully sustainable, solar powered brewery.

Chatham Brewing makes a variety of ales, artfully blending malts and hops while using many locally sourced ingredients to create rich porters, citrusy IPA’s, and barrel-aged ales, offered at the County’s finest establishments.  The County’s first Farm Brewery, Chatham is proud to part of the regional agricultural economy through its purchases, sales at farmers markets, and providing spent grain for compost.

The brewery also supports many charities including libraries, the Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity, Columbia Land Conservancy, Art Omi, Rotary Clubs, Hawthorne Valley and the Chamber of Commerce.​

Family Eyecare Center

Family Eyecare Center was founded by Nicolette Sacco-Brown and is located at 183 Healy Boulevard in Greenport.  Dr. Brown has been an optometrist since 1988 and has owned her practice since 2007.  This family owned business is recognized for outstanding customer service and support of charitable organizations in the community.  Family Eyecare Center prides itself on having state-of-the-art equipment and providing the highest quality and latest designs in eyewear.  This technology helps patients maintain optimum ocular health.

Pondside Nursery

After returning from SUNY Cobleskill, where he completed a degree in Horticulture, Claverack native Jake Watts established his first successful business, A+ Gardens, in 2002.  Building on his prior experience as a foreman with a local landscaping firm, Jake pushed his start-up to the top rank of Columbia County landscaping professionals within a few short years.

Then after purchasing a home and adjacent property on Rte. 9G just south of Hudson, his vision for the next level of achievement began to take shape.  In 2011 he dug the pond that became the namesake of the business, and in the winter of 2012-13 constructed the building to house the retail division, Pondside Nursery.  Jake brought on board key employees of the former Loomis Creek Nursery in Claverack to help realize his vision of a top-notch garden center in central Columbia County, and stocked the nursery with hand-selected specimen trees and shrubs, the best of the best perennials, annuals and tropicals, and the highest quality tools, pottery and accessories.

The first year in business brought brisk sales and rave reviews from long-time residents and weekenders alike, and provided a beautiful gateway to the City of Hudson, where previously there had stood some ramshackle billboards on a weed-choked lot.

Jake and his staff look forward to a great 2014 season, providing our customers with the highest quality merchandise, expert garden advice, and excellent customer service at Hudson’s new home for the avid gardener, Pondside Nursery.

The Spine Institute of Columbia Memorial Hospital

One of the keys to a strong local economy is a healthy and able workforce. The Spine Institute of Columbia Memorial is home to a team of surgeons and staff who specialize in a multi-faceted approach to the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of spinal conditions that cause back and neck pain. The team delivers a superior level of care that allows patients to lead more active, productive and rewarding lives.

The Institute can quickly diagnose problems and provide patients with a broad array of treatment options, including physical therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic services. And in those instances when conservative treatment options are not effective, the Institute’s surgeons and pain management specialists offer the latest technologies for minimally invasive surgical procedures.

Situated near Hudson’s vibrant downtown, the Institute is located in the lower level of the Hudson River Bank & Trust Medical Office Building on Prospect Avenue. The Institute is proud to be one of six finalists for the Crystal Apple Award and is committed to improving our community and our quality of life.

Chamber President, David Colby stated, “The slate of candidates include outstanding businesses that have contributed immensely to the vitality of Columbia County.  The Crystal Apple event is a fantastic opportunity to collectively share our appreciation for their imperative support.

The official slates of six nominees were all nominated by their business peers.  The ballot of official nominees is mailed to the Chamber membership for voting to determine the recipient of the 25th Annual Crystal Apple Award.  The prestigious award consists of a stunning crystal apple.  The apple symbolizes Columbia County’s simple beauty, agricultural heritage and quality of life.

The recipient of the Crystal Apple Award will be announced at the awards event on Friday, March 28, 2014 at Omi International Arts Center.  The is the premier Chamber event in the area and all members of the Chamber are invited to attend.  The event will feature a video presentation of each of the nominees.

Invitations and ballots will be mailed to the Chamber membership.  Tickets for the event are $50 per person and can be reserved by contacting the Chamber at (518) 828-4417 until March 24.  Omi International Arts Center is located at 1405 Route 22 in Ghent.

Columbia Economic Development Corporation, Ed Herrington, Inc. and Fingar Insurance are Contributing Sponsors of the event.  DELL’s Plumbing, Heating & A/C, Inc.; Freeman Howard, PC; Shallo, Galluscio, Bianchi & Fucito CPA’s, PC and The Bank of Greene County are Supporting Sponsors of the event.

Media Sponsors for all Chamber events this year are: Clear Channel Radio, Columbia-Greene Media and Mid-Hudson Cablevision, Inc. are Media Sponsors.

Major Sponsors for all Chamber events this year are: A. Colarusso & Son, EP Nevins Insurance Agency, Kinderhook Bank and First Niagara Bank.