Exciting New Frames From Anne & Valentin Visiting Luxe Optique

What a delightful surprise while making our sponsor rounds today for this weekend’s Friday Feature in the newsletter (subscribe if you haven’t!). When stepping into Luxe Optique, we got to see a real live stylist and representative from Anne & Valentin with the newest designs.

Often, actually, we stumble in when a major line is in the store with all of their suitcases filled with precious goodies while we’re collecting a feature photo.

Meet Andry pictured here. He was sooo nice, and knew all about the designer curves of all of these new frames. Look for Luxe Optique’s feature photo in their sponsor spot this Friday!

Discover more shops in A Little Beacon Blog’s Shopping Guide! You can always tap Guides and Calendars in the navigation above - from your computer or mobile.


A Girl Can’t Pass Up A Good Sale Rack...La Mere Delivers

A girl can’t pass a good sale rack... La Mère Clothing and Goods always delivers.

It was a pleasure visiting the shop and #shootingtheshingle (a new Tin Shingle term!) during our mini-photo session for her sponsor spot in A Little Beacon Blog’s Shopping Guide!

Go visit our Shopping Guide to learn about more Beacon stores, by tapping Guides and Calendars, then tap Shopping Guide.

Do hit up this clothing rack in person!


2019 Parade of Green Grand Marshal Fred Antalek Shares His Fondest Beacon Memory - "Rowing Behind Rite Aid" (Sponsored)


You’ve seen this face before - longtime Beacon resident and business owner Fred Antalek. Fred was born in 1937 and still works for his family business, Antalek & Moore Insurance Agency, coming to work “faithfully to keep everyone in check.” On Saturday, March 9, 2019, he’ll be bundling up along with everyone else to serve for his first time as the Grand Marshal in Beacon’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade of Green.

To find out how Fred feels about being this year’s Grand Marshal, we reached out to his daughter, Susan Antalek Pagones, who now runs the business with her partner Vince Lemma and their team of staff members. “Fred is quite honored about being the Grand Marshal this year,” Susan replied. “People ask if he is Irish… LOL, he is actually from the Gallagher family, so don’t be fooled!”

Fred’s Fondest Memory of Beacon

Schoonmaker’s, a department store in Beacon. Open from 1929 to 1960.  Photo Credit: Beacon Historical Society

Schoonmaker’s, a department store in Beacon. Open from 1929 to 1960.
Photo Credit: Beacon Historical Society

Our Beacon elders are filled with fond and important memories. We asked Susan for one of Fred’s: “When Fred was 10 years old, he used to row around in a boat on the street behind Rite Aid,” Susan recalled. That street is also the location of Antalek & Moore’s current Beacon office. “This area was always flooded.”

Flooded? “Yes,” said Fred. “Matteawan Brook is what constantly overflowed. This brook caused major flooding to the back of what is now Rite Aid and the intersection of Church and South Chestnut Street.” Before Rite Aid, the location was the home of Schoonmaker’s.

Schoonmaker’s, which you may have heard references to in old stories, was one of the first department stores in Beacon. According to the Beacon Historical Society:


Schoonmaker's Department Store. Beacon had its first "modern" Department Store when Schoonmaker's opened its doors in the Christmas season of 1929. With "60 departments under one roof" (including "Toyland" in the basement), Schoonmaker's was the first stop for your Christmas shopping on Main Street. Later on, across the street at 341 Main, was the W.T. Grant store (Schoonmaker's biggest competitor), where you could even buy a live parakeet for Christmas! Like so many other good things in Beacon, Schoonmaker's and Grant’s were both gone by the late 1960s.

- Beacon Historical Society


A map of Beacon from 1876, when the town was known as Fishkill on the Hudson. The Map shows the Matteawan stream.

UPDATE 3/9/2019: Since first publishing this article, a reader wrote in with a picture of a map of Beacon from 1876 when it was known as Fishkill on the Hudson. The stream is also on the 1867 map we covered earlier. The reader, Air Nonken Rhodes, is on the Resources Committee for Beacon, a new committee that is currently compiling all known natural resources in Beacon. Residents who live in that area still experience some flooding, so we asked Air about the stream as it is today:

“They buried the stream circa 1910 - scavenger hunt to find the plaque in Memorial Park commemorating that! The stream-burying was done rather poorly. It was especially challenging since it was swampy ground all around what’s now Rite Aid. That’s a big part of why the center section of Main Street wasn’t developed sooner and more fully. So, flooded basements still today, and not many historic buildings along there.”

More Beacon Business Trivia

Family businesses run deep in Beacon. Fred used to have his office on East Main Street, where Tiko’s Hair is now. “I remember it well,” recalled Susan. “I used to slide along the floor, where the large picture window is. playing with my toys. His sister Mary Ann worked for him.” In the late ’70s/early ’80s, Fred moved to 308 Main Street, where the Darrow Brothers used to have their clothing store. When Fred merged with Pat Moore, the business moved to 340 Main Street, Antalek & Moore’s current location. Fred’s mother worked at Gallagher’s Market, the current location of BAJA.

Continuing in her father’s footsteps, Susan has recently closed on the purchase of their building. She is one of Beacon’s newest female building owners. She’s got her eyes fixed on a new project on their roof involving a light. “We are trying to get the ‘beacon’ light on the roof - look for it the next time you pass by. I think that might be neat to find out the history of that.”

Stay tuned…

Antalek & Moore is a sponsor of A Little Beacon Blog, and this article was created with them as part of our Sponsor Spotlight program. It is with the support of businesses like theirs that A Little Beacon Blog can bring you coverage of news, local happenings and events. Thank you for supporting businesses who support us! If you would like to become a Sponsor or Community Partner, please click here for more information.

Local Shopping to Local Pickup! La Mère Clothing and Goods Changes How People Shop Local (Sponsored)

Main Street is getting even more shoppable as business owners invest in their websites so that locals - or out-of-towners who have never been here, yet - can easily shop a local store online to buy in advance and reserve at the shop for local pickup.

For La Mère Clothing and Goods, it may be easier for owner April’s clientele (who tend to be women, who sometimes need to have their children tagging along when out and about) to buy in the middle of the night as they are thumbing through La Mère’s very active Instagram feed. This way, April’s customer (or men who buy for partners or their home) has the option of buying something without bringing the whole family inside of the shop to complete the purchase of the coveted pink velvet ballet flats shown here. And yes, those are mine now, purchased on a Sunday night at 10:30 pm, picked up on a Friday morning while I was in the shop taking La Mère’s advertiser photo for our weekend Happening This Weekend newsletter.

Our sister design agency, Katie James, Inc. designed La Mère’s website and fashioned the Free Local Pickup option on the site. Whenever in the shop, I “shoot the shingle” (a term used over at my other training business, Tin Shingle) with most business owners about how business is going, what is working and not working. Turns out, when La Mère’s owner, April, told customers in the store that they could “buy an item online,” they took that to mean that she was giving them permission to go elsewhere and purchase it online, like at Amazon or something (I’m not a fan of Amazon for a myriad of reasons). Turns out, shoppers needed to be educated about La Mère’s own online shop, and that it was OK to shop local that way. The online store was the end result of the sale.

To let shoppers know about the online shopping feature, we came up with this official Local Pickup Pile in the store. April made a sign for it, and she may show it more to her customers via Instagram and a future newsletter to customers. Shoppers can select the Free Local Pickup option at checkout, and then come in when they can, and visit with April! I love getting these personalized pink Post-It notes on the bag!

Up Next: Knot Too Shabby on the other end of Main Street is in the final stages of website redesign for her shop. Stay tuned! There are LOADS of things you’ll find in her store other than the Annie Sloan furniture paint. Which is of course, everyone’s favorite.

PS: I had insider intel that these pink velvet ballet flats - which suddenly went on sale - were only available with one pair left in my size. You know what that means: midnight shopping for local shopping. 🛍

Editor’s Note: This article is a Sponsored Partner Post that A Little Beacon Blog did with Katie James, Inc., which is also part of A Little Beacon Blog and is also run by me - Katie (it’s like owning different restaurants that serve different food). This article a way to show you about our design and consulting services, but it made for a pretty good article regardless, don’t you think? ;) We can do these kind of editorial approved Partner Posts for your business as well. See our Media Kit for details, and reach out if you have a topic that might be appropriate.

Welcome Firefly Yoga As A Sponsor Of A Little Beacon Blog's Adult Classes Guide!

Welcome to our new Sponsor of A Little Beacon Blog’s Adult Classes Guide, Firefly Yoga and Juice Bar! With their support, we are able to show you inside their beautiful studio, feature regular and special classes, and promote to this Guide in general, showcasing many small businesses in it. See all the pictures and offerings by hitting our Adult Classes Guide right here!

A Big Thank You To Our Supporting Sponsors Of The Shopping Guide!

A big Thank You to the sponsors and supporting businesses of A Little Beacon Blog’s Shopping Guide!

This is a Guide we created that includes all shops in Beacon (if we missed you, email us!), and businesses have the opportunity to stand out with a Sponsor Spot to show readers photos inside of their shops, and special events.

Supporting Sponsors include Luxe Optique, Lambs Hill Bridal Boutique, Binnacle Books and La Mère Clothing + Goods. Thank you so much! Your ongoing support helps us maintain these Guides, and produce the Happening This Weekend newsletter that everybody loves that comes out on Fridays. We’re busy working on that today!

An exciting weekend is coming up, with Second Saturday and the Parade of Green! You can always visit the Shopping Guide here, that lists all shops with addresses and links. Share with your friends who are visiting! Or use it yourself to go inside the stores! You'll be so happy you did.

If you run a business and are interested in participating, click here to our Media Kit for details.

New Shingle In Town On The Telephone Building

Look who got a new shingle! Our building, Beacon’s own Telephone Building, which was built in 1907 and restored almost a century later. A Little Beacon Blog’s office and venue space is located inside on the first floor, sharing the building with other great business tenants.

Owner and master gilder Deborah Bigelow has completed her renovations to this building, a project that has taken her many years. Yet you’ll always see her outside tinkering on something with the building, such as securing the food compost bin or cleaning marks from the limestone.

We are honored to be a part of her journey as a tenant, and also as her branding partner with the designing of her first website to showcase the building. A Little Beacon Blog’s sister design agency, Katie James Inc., designed her website so that you can learn about all the building and the work Deborah and her team put into it over the years: www.telephonebuildingbeacon.com.


Antalek & Moore Hires Local Talent For Website Makeover (Sponsored)


Crucial to the success of a community is jobs. Some people have full-time jobs and work for other people. Antalek & Moore Insurance Agency in Beacon, NY, employs a staff of 10 full-time employees and 1 part-time employee. Other people create their own jobs based on their creative talent as small business owners and entrepreneurs. Antalek & Moore reached out to these entrepreneurs in the local market when they decided to kick off 2019 with a new online presence, featuring a cleaner, mobile-friendly website!

Hiring Local Design and Photography Talent

Says Susan about the website design process: “Two years ago, we changed how we market, using social media and a new website. We wanted to work with locals to create this for us.” Antalek & Moore entered the social media landscape with Kate Rabe of Marketing Inbound, who works with several organizations throughout the Hudson Valley.

For the website design, Kate referred Antalek & Moore to Katy Dwyer Design, who is known for working closely with clients. Katy and her team produced the design, and Kate shaped the content. “The goal was to re-vamp the website so it is more user-friendly, and not so stiff,” explains Susan.

“One of the most exciting aspects of the project is how we were able to use the photography of our longtime friend of the family, Scott Snell, who is a broadcast camera operator and drone photographer (learn more about him in his interview in the Highlands Current). He was responsible for the beautiful local artwork that now hangs on our walls.” Scott is known for sharing beautiful photography of Beacon with the public on social media.

New Website Features


Whether you’re looking to pay your bill, request a quote, or want to find out when Susan’s next Defensive Driving course is scheduled, the new design provides easier navigation for visitors. Since Antalek & Moore Insurance Agency serves as your local agent and liaison with whichever national insurance agency you elect to go with, you can pay that insurance company directly as well, if you’re used to paying that way.

If you are curious about updating your coverage for your home, car, or business - visit Antalek & Moore at www.antalek-moore.com.

Personally, I’m all bundled up with Antalek & Moore! Home, Car, Business. Easy.

Antalek & Moore is a sponsor of A Little Beacon Blog, and this article was created with them as part of our Sponsor Spotlight program. It is with the support of businesses like theirs that A Little Beacon Blog can bring you coverage of news, local happenings and events. Thank you for supporting businesses who support us! If you would like to become a Sponsor or Community Partner, please click here for more information.

Barb's Butchery - More Than Cuts Of Meat! (Sponsored)


A Little Beacon Blog is excited to welcome back Barb’s Butchery as a Restaurant Guide Sponsor! We met Barb when she opened Beacon’s first butcher shop in December 2014 and has since become a staple in the city. The shop butchers grass-finished beef, lamb, pork and poultry, all raised in the Hudson Valley.

Barb’s Butchery, located at 69 Spring St in Beacon, is open daily from 11 am to 6 pm. The grill is on during those hours so walk-ins are welcome for enjoying a tasty meal in-shop such as burgers, sandwiches (including brisket, and corned beef), tacos and so much more. You can see Barb’s full eat-in menu here. If you plan to visit, you can call in your order for faster service.

Not only can you get your stock of fresh, local, grass-fed meats, you can order fun treats for your party such as Meatballs topped with Mashed Potatoes , a Meat Party Cake, and Meaty Muffins…. yes, you just read all of that correctly. This is a meat-lovers dream!

Check out her monthly specials! Their front door is a stop on the Beacon Free Loop Bus route, so there’s no excuse to not pay a visit.

Barb’s Butchery
69 Spring Street
Beacon, NY 12508
(845) 831-8050

The Highlands Current Needs Your Help! Seeking Fundraising To Continue Covering Beacon

The Highlands Current is a local newspaper you’ve seen around town, stacked in storefronts, and now in the blue boxes that keep popping up on street corners. The paper is a nonprofit organization, and while they do rely on advertising, they count on individual donations more - 75% of publishing costs come from donors! The paper, which is distributed for FREE, is in the final, heated days of their big fundraising appeal, and needs Beacon’s help! Beaconites are so important to the publication, that the paper has invested in an ad campaign here at A Little Beacon Blog to help them get the word out. And you know we love helping to spread the good word.

Years ago, the Highlands Current was launched and covered Cold Spring, Garrison, Nelsonville and North Highlands. In 2015, they expanded their coverage to include Beacon by dedicating at least two reporters, Jeff Simms and Brian PJ Cronin, to cover the Beacon “beat” (newspaper term), as well as Alison Rooney to feature stories on the arts, Michael Turton with some articles (he also delivers the papers all around town) and Pamela Doan, the editor of the Calendar section that includes Beacon events in their roundup. And now I too have joined the ranks as a columnist with my “Kid Friendly” column over there. If you attend City Council or Board of Education meetings, you stand a good chance of seeing Jeff or Brian in the unofficial “press box” (aka somewhere in the front rows).

Highlands Current Quick To Report On Important Issues

Thanks to this dedication, The Highlands Current is often the first to report on big changes coming out of our City Council - changes that impact your daily life here in Beacon. Also because of this investment, their reporters follow different events each week at these meetings, so are super familiar with the twists and turns the issues make, and often weave these significant details into their articles for better context. Because they print on paper, a newspaper doesn’t get to use as much space as a blog does, so often they have to select their words so carefully, and cram hours’ worth of events and pages of supporting documents into three tiny paragraphs!

The paper published this picture to show how two Beacon Reporters  work from the Telephone Building  through Beahive’s shared office space.

The paper published this picture to show how two Beacon Reporters work from the Telephone Building through Beahive’s shared office space.

Beacon Newspaper Reporters Work From The Telephone Building

Little known fact to bolster your Beacon trivia base: The Highlands Current stations their reporters out of the Telephone Building in Beahive’s shared work space. A Little Beacon Blog also has our office in the Telephone Building! It’s fun to be in a communications hub like this.

Fundraising Opportunity - Double Match Going On Now ’Til December 31!

Thanks to a grant from NewsMatch and an anonymous donor, any contribution from $1 to $1,000 will be matched two times until December 31! Even if you gave just $10, it matters!

Yes, the dollars help, but new donors are equally important. New donors signal to the newspaper that you care, and you want their coverage to continue. If you have already donated to the Highlands Current this year, consider asking your spouse or best friend to also donate if they haven’t yet. #NewDonorAlert!

PS: If you are reading this article after December 31, 2018, you can still donate! Every little bit helps.

Gratitude Alert: Antalek & Moore Insurance Agency As Lead ALBB Sponsor


During this holiday season, we’re sending out a simple message of gratitude to one of our first and longest sponsors: Antalek & Moore Insurance Agency. I first met Susan Antalek Pagones during a joint BeaconArts / Beacon Chamber Member Mingle at St. Rocco’s, and it is an evening I will always remember for its illumination of how history is handed down in Beacon.

Right after introducing myself and saying I had just moved here and where my house was, Susan turned to her colleague, Terry Williams, to ask her: “Whose house is that?” Now, I knew whose house it was from the young family we bought it from (they bought it years ago, and opted to move closer to the mountain), but Susan and Terry knew it from the two generations of the family who had lived there prior.

I have since heard about this other family from our first plumber who could identify the pipes in the basement as his own among the other pipes that were not his work. The next person who knew our home better than me was a handyman I hired for my office to hang an OPEN sign from the ceiling. It turns out he was friends with the son of the family who owned our home decades ago. They have since both turned into professional home improvement professionals, which makes sense when I notice the creatively custom-built details around our home.

Susan teaches me about community-centered business all the time. Susan, her partner Vince Lemma, and their team of dedicated agents can help make it easier for you to decipher insurance, whether home, condo, renters, business, health, car, etc. Learn about how they do it in this exclusive interview with Susan Antalek Pagones here, and the interview we did with Vince here.

Thank you Team Antalek & Moore for supporting local media and A Little Beacon Blog!

Where To Buy A Faux Christmas Tree - And Could It Cure Your Cold?

Faux Christmas trees were the answer to this family’s recurring sniffles and chronic coughing.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Faux Christmas trees were the answer to this family’s recurring sniffles and chronic coughing.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin


Most of you are searching for where to buy a real Christmas tree in Beacon right now. And why wouldn’t you be? 'The hunt for the live Christmas tree is the most fun part of the start of the holiday season! But did you know that your Christmas tree, and any live-greens garland, might be bringing on that mystery “cold” you just can’t kick?

I know - I’ve been a denialist for years about this, until I went to the ER in Poughkeepsie two Christmases ago with a really bad asthma cough, and actually got better at the ER, surrounded by goopy, miserable people. Hear me out:

The Christmas Tree Can Bring On Allergies, Causing Asthma, Runny Noses, Prickly Skin

Pretty much every year, I get really sick. We all do, right? It’s normal. While at an in-law family Christmas dinner down South years ago, where the halls are decked with loads of garland, I basically had to sit outside in the cold fresh air for most of the dinner preparations, while my head calmed down and I could breathe again. I called home to my mom, telling her of my symptoms. “You’ve always been allergic to the Christmas tree!” she said. Oh yeah… I forgot.

I forget every year. Two years ago, while pregnant with my third child, my asthma was really acting up. But it wasn’t like an asthma attack, it was a simple tickle-cough. Totally normal, right? Doesn’t everyone have a tickle-cough? At the Holiday Family Fun Night in the school cafeteria, PTA parents were handing out the wreaths that families bought as part of a fundraiser. I was slowly fading away into a head fog, but just thought I was tired. Eventually I couldn’t speak to people anymore, without coughing. I was whispering.

The next morning, I called my midwife to ask her if it was safe to take my kid’s inhaler while pregnant. My kids both have asthma coughs, so I’m a professional nebulizer person. Her response? “I can hear you not breathing. I can hear you pushing the words out. Take yourself to the ER to measure your oxygen.”

Great. So off my dad and I went to Vassar. The waiting room was overflowing with the flu. As my dad Googled how to fix the computer board on our broken washing machine (Darn that thing! Pro tip: Buy the cheapest washing machine with the least amount of bells and whistles!!!), my lungs started clearing up in this germ-infested room. After half an hour, we left. And I remembered about the Christmas tree.

Therefore, out went the live Christmas tree, and so began our hunt for a fake Christmas tree!

The Hunt For The Fake Christmas Tree

We went to #allthestores to find the perfect faux Christmas tree, and wowzers, there are fun selections. Clearly we will be having several different trees because it’s too hard to pick just one. Great news, though: We have many options for artificial Christmas trees here in Beacon and around the Hudson Valley:

Faux or Artificial Christmas Trees In And Around Beacon

BRETT’S HARDWARE - 18 West Main Street, Beacon, NY

bretts hardware true value storefront.JPG

Brett’s Hardware (True Value)

Your closest and friendliest option is Brett’s Hardware at 18 West Main Street in Beacon, NY, down toward the train near the Hudson River. There, you’ll find all the things you need for a faux Christmas tree Christmas. With rainbow pre-lit trees, prices start at $89 for a 7-foot tree that has plugs for the lights running down the tree, and $149 for a 7.5-foot tree without plugs to fiddle with, so just piece it together and it works once plugged in at the bottom. BAM! You’re done.

But maybe you want more lights, so more lights you shall have. Brett’s has different colored Christmas lights, and those neat laser lights that all the neighbors are getting. You want some instant holiday stars? You got ‘em. There are different styles and prices of the laser light spinner as well. Brett’s Hardware also has plastic bin containers to store your ornaments and decorations.

Brett’s Hardware is open until 8 pm every weeknight, so if you’re commuting home, just stop on by. Brett’s is open ‘til 7 pm on Saturdays and 5:30 pm on Sundays. Brett’s is in the True Value family, so they can get in on good group pricing.

Pier 1

Way up Route 9, you’ll find Pier 1. Luckily, it’s right near a Starbucks to help fortify you through the afternoon shopping. There are beautifully bushy white artificial Christmas trees there, but they start at $400. If you weren’t planning on investing in a faux Christmas tree this year, you might want to put this on your wish list for Santa for next year. (Or check back after Christmas - maybe there’ll be a big sale?)


Target in Poughkeepsie is where I found the smallish silver tinsel tree (about $80) that graces my office here at A Little Beacon Space. To be honest, I was looking for a pink tinsel tree, like the one Howling At The Edge Of Chaos has in her storefront window. But this fun one will work for now!

Rite Aid

Located in the middle of Main Street in Beacon, you may find some short (about waist-high) faux Christmas trees that could fit in a small window - with white frosting on the tips. After three years, the white “frost” on one of ours just turned yellow. Soooo… time to check on these options!

Happy decorating!

SPONSOR SUPPORT: Brett’s Hardware supported this article with an Article Sponsorship! We can bring you stories and ideas like this with the help of all of our advertisers at any level. Thank you for supporting businesses who support us!

Back to School Tips for Kids and Parents, From Michelle at Rhinebeck Bank (Sponsored)

Rhinebeck Bank works hard to connect with the community. That’s why they started the video series “Wake Up With Rhinebeck Bank” with Michelle Barone-Lepore. Their first episode of the new season kicked off with some great Back To School Tips in this video. The tips were so great, that we wanted to be sure you saw them too. Here they are:

Buy Bulk Snacks for Kids

After summer - when kids are free to snack anytime they want - the start of the school year is a good time to think about giving your children healthy snacks, and stocking up on good-tasting food. Kids love to snack and having their favorite snacks will help them feel comfortable in their new environment, and will give them fuel for the end of their day.

Set Weekday and Weekend Evening Routines

Now’s a great time to set up a routine that works for you and your children. Bath time, reading, supper time and bed. It’s great to try out audio books for soothing music that will lull your little ones to sleep, especially for those who are entering school for the first time.

Set your alarm for bedtime. Figure out the right balance for screen time, play time and reading, preparing for each child to transition into the Habits of Homework. By keeping your children in a routine, it may allow them be more focused in the classroom.

Establish a Set Family Time

Sitting around the table enjoying a meal inspires conversations and builds family relationships. It’s important to set aside time to talk about your day. Talking about highlights of your day brings you closer.

Have Your Kids Set Realistic Goals for the New Year

  • Pick which books to read for pleasure as well as study.

  • Getting in the habit of nightly homework.

  • Getting ahead on projects that may be due in a couple of months.

  • Figure out chores for your kids and set up allowance for the year. One goal could be reading 30 books. If that’s not your child’s goal, create something of interest to be their goal so they can feel accomplished at the end of the year.

As you know, childhood goes by in a flash. Start saving for your child’s college costs. Open an account or 529. You won’t just have smart children, you’ll be a smart parent as well.

Rhinebeck Bank is a proud sponsor of A Little Beacon Blog, and this article was created with them as part of our Sponsor Spotlight program. It is with the support of businesses like theirs that A Little Beacon Blog can bring you coverage of news, local happenings and events. Thank you for supporting businesses who support us! If you would like to become a Sponsor or Community Partner, please click here for more information.

Putting the Community in "Community Bank" at Rhinebeck Bank (Sponsored)

When you live in the big city, you tend to not think about community banks. You may have heard about the financial benefits of banking with credit unions in financial books you’ve read. However, the concept of a “community bank” is one that shows up mostly in movies like “It’s a Wonderful Life” where community banker Jimmy Stewart is saved by his community after years of his independent bank helping people during their own financial challenges. 

What what does "community bank" mean in your real life out here in Beacon and the Hudson Valley region? When banking with a community bank like Rhinebeck Bank?

At Rhinebeck Bank, "Your Success Is Our Success"

“Your success is our success.” I’ve heard this statement spoken by the bankers at Rhinebeck Bank. Their involvement in the community through sponsoring events and elevating awareness puts them in the middle of everyday life. Finances of a community bank are directly connected to the people and the businesses in that same community. If a business who has a loan with Rhinebeck Bank fails, then the bank is impacted as well. Big banks that are too big to fail and have branches all over the world don’t feel that loss in quite the same way.

Listening To Customers

Stacey Schindler is the newest branch manager at Rhinebeck Bank’s Beacon Branch, located on 9D just before the Renegades Stadium. “I have been in banking for 21 years and it was always my dream to become a Branch Manager,” says Stacey. “One of the reasons is due to one of my all-time favorite movies, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’ I LOVE that you referenced it in this article.”
(PS: I gave Stacey a sneak peek of this article before going to publication.)

"The connections and relationships that are made with the people in our community and businesses here at Rhinebeck Bank have the same nostalgic feel of that movie. Here at Rhinebeck Bank, we connect with local people and help them realize their dreams through education, active listening, and genuinely caring about helping them find the best financial solutions,” says Stacey.

History Matters

Rhinebeck Bank, one of the only independent banks in the Hudson Valley, opened in 1861 and has made community involvement its top priority ever since. Many of your favorite organizations and businesses do business with Rhinebeck Bank, including The Art Effect (formerly Spark Media Project), and Mill House Brewing Company.

Plugging Into The Community

Dedicated to bringing people together to help business flourish, Rhinebeck Bank has sponsored hundreds of events over the years, working closely with entities including BeaconArts here in Beacon, and municipalities like the City of Poughkeepsie.

“At Rhinebeck Bank, we not only take pride in knowing the value of helping our community, but being a part of that community,” says Rhinebeck Bank’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, Michelle Barone-Lepore. “As a good neighbor, that means making a real difference and striving to create a positive impact on as many lives as possible, beyond just writing a check. Rhinebeck Bank has and will continue to always be a part of the fabric of the communities we not only serve, but embed ourselves in.”

Watch Rhinebeck Bank’s Show on TV!

Rhinebeck Bank also produces an interview series, called “Wake Up with Rhinebeck Bank” that features their business clients. Binge-watch it, because you’ll learn all sorts of things about the origins and special business challenges of big and small local businesses around you.

To learn about how Rhinebeck Bank can help you realize your business dreams, schedule a call with Beacon’s Branch Manager, Stacey, at (845) 831-0300, or visit one of Rhinebeck Bank’s many other qualified business bankers.

Rhinebeck Bank, Member FDIC

Rhinebeck Bank is a proud sponsor of A Little Beacon Blog, and this article was created with them as part of our Sponsor Spotlight program. It is with the support of businesses like theirs that A Little Beacon Blog can bring you coverage of news, local happenings and events. Thank you for supporting businesses who support us! If you would like to become a Sponsor or Community Partner, please click here for more information.

The Personal Touch From the Independent Insurance Brokers at Antalek & Moore (Sponsored)


When you see the words "insurance agency" or "independent insurance agent," what does that mean to you? Do they sell insurance? Are they the insurance company? No. Independent insurance agents are your personal liaisons, your personal agents of change when it comes to getting what you want and need out of the insurance policy that you buy with the big-name insurance companies, like Progressive, Travelers, and many others. Your local insurance agent knows the distinct differences between each of them. The agents know where a lower price indicates savings, and where it means a dip in quality. They do the homework; you do the living.

We are used to doing things ourselves. But with insurance, we don't have to do it alone. We can have a helping hand. To show you what this means, we asked Susan Antalek Pagones, a Partner at Antalek & Moore Insurance Agency, to give us a few examples of real-life situations where insurance is a must. If all goes well, all you do is pay a policy. But if something happens, you get to know the claims process real quick. Susan enlightens us a bit:

When Insurance Goes From a Quarterly Bill, to a Policy Claim

Susan recalls some of the tougher cases they have handled. “We had an insured family that had a fire and lost the whole house. We met them on the scene on the day after with a large basket filled with everyday essentials we take for granted - shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, socks - all toiletries you could think of, plus some gift cards to go shopping and to get clothes to put on their backs.”

Our customers become our family. In the time of need, you always help out family. 
— Susan Antalek Pagones, Partner, Antalek & Moore

This is the kind of detail and personal touch that continues to draw people to Antalek & Moore. They go above and beyond to stay on top of their insured customers. When Beacon and a good part of the mid-Hudson Valley lost power after the huge storm in May 2018, Antalek & Moore stayed open.

“We stayed open at the office running on jetpacks and laptops. I gave my cell number to any insured customer who wanted it, to call me after-hours with any questions they may have had. We asked adjusters to give our customers advancements on claims. This means that we asked them to cut a check for a certain amount right on the spot so that our customers could start the process of normality." 

Antalek & Moore Advocates on Behalf of Their Customers

Susan explains what their mindset is at Antalek & Moore, what drives them to produce the kind of personal service that they provide: "Our customers become our family. In the time of need, you always help out family."

Sometimes problems can arise during claim-submission process after an accident or unexpected incident. Says Susan: "Sometimes the company may not always agree on certain things that should be paid at the time of a claim. We are the voice of the customer if we feel things should be covered, and we get right in there with the insurance company to advocate on behalf of our customer if there is a problem." 

Lots of people in the Hudson Valley had major tree and house damage after the big storm in May. "We had a customer that had a HUGE tree fall on their house. The customer had previous plans to go away to visit Texas. We made sure that she did go, as her house was not livable. We worked closely with her son to help get the claim settled. There were many hiccups along the way. I was also on a planned trip, but kept in touch constantly by cell with our customer to help. I am not saying it was smooth sailing trying to get this customer back up and running in their home, but whenever they reached out to us, morning or night, weekday or weekend, we always made sure we were there to help out."

Going Local With Insurance Can Make Life Easier

Whether it's buying a home or starting a small business, you need insurance. With so many options available, shopping for insurance can be overwhelming.  A Little Beacon Blog's Managing Editor, Marilyn Perez, used Antalek & Moore when she purchased her condo a year ago and was so happy having established that relationship with a local insurance broker to narrow down the best option for her.

Antalek & Moore is a sponsor of A Little Beacon Blog, and this article was created with them as part of our Sponsor Spotlight program. It is with the support of businesses like theirs that A Little Beacon Blog can bring you coverage of news, local happenings and events. Thank you for supporting businesses who support us! If you would like to become a Sponsor or Community Partner, please click here for more information.