Chocolate Crepe Is Perfect For An Afternoon Sugar-Low Snack: In Beacon!

Wednesdays mean one thing: a chocolate crepe from Royal Crepes Beacon with strawberries, bananas and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

After delivering a TuneUp webinar at Tin Shingle, the most perfect answer to a sugar low after cramming in preparation for the class, is this dish. Almost ate it without sharing the picture. The horrors!

Royal Crepes is right down the block from our office here at A Little Beacon Blog, near The Studio Beacon and Enoteca Ama. You can get it to go, or stay inside their warm and cozy eatery.

Find more delicious restaurant ideas in A Little Beacon Blog’s Restaurant Guide!

It's Ready! New Deli Open At Key Food, Serving Buffalo Wings - And Did You Notice The New Parking Lot?

Left: The new deli, with all your favorite cheese and spread options back in the case.  Right: The new parking lot, with arrows to help keep people moving in the right direction.  Photo Credits: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Left: The new deli, with all your favorite cheese and spread options back in the case.
Right: The new parking lot, with arrows to help keep people moving in the right direction.
Photo Credits: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Key food new deli and food-2.jpg

You’ve walked through the doors of construction at Key Food.

You’ve walked around the usual checkout line to exit when new or moved walls were going up.

You’ve wondered what is going on behind the wall with all of the banging, and you heard that it was a new, bigger deli.

And now, the new deli is here and open! The team at Key Food has been scampering around, climbing onto the roof to hook things up and connect everything just so in order to bring Beaconites more food options for those who want to eat and run, or just eat and not cook.

The deli grew longer, a hooded kitchen was added to the back of it, and the crew is already cooking their own original Buffalo wings made in a secret sauce. Key Food is currently hiring looking to expand the deli staff!

This isn’t the first mega project the folks at Key Food have undertaken. Jb Said opened the Craft Beer Shoppe right next door, Junior and Co. opened Beacon International across the street, and the Smoke Shop and More was an addition as well.

What’s For Lunch/Dinner?

Buffalo wings at Key Food in their secret sauce. Blue cheese dressing available on the shelf nearby.

Buffalo wings at Key Food in their secret sauce. Blue cheese dressing available on the shelf nearby.

Hot prepared meals fill the warming rack at Key Food starting at about 12:30 pm. You can still get fresh rotisserie chicken that is cooked behind the deli counter, and now you can also get Buffalo wings in a secret sauce, chicken tenders, fried chicken, and a lot of other chicken options. Bottles of blue cheese dressing are conveniently located in the aisles of the store. You can keep an entire bottle back at your office fridge. No more worrying about asking for extra blue cheese and hoping it made it into the bag.

Sides are available, like crunchy broccoli salad, tabbouleh, potato salad, and other staples. Sandwich-wise, you can get egg salad, tuna salad, and of course, sliced meat sandwiches. Soon, the grill will be on and you’ll be able to get hot sandwiches. The menu is currently being taste-tested before becoming public.

Catering From Key Food

In addition to the new hot foods lining the case, Key Food Beacon has been quietly catering, working out their systems on friends and family in order to bring catering to you. Consider it in a soft beta launch for now. Foods like sesame chicken with broccoli and Middle Eastern chicken on Spanish rice were big hits, and make it into the rotation of take-out lunch items on the hot shelf. Watch their Facebook page for announcements, but better yet, come in to see what’s up. Don’t wait for digital! Show up for food.

New Helpful Arrows In Key Food Parking Lot

Our office here at A Little Beacon Blog is right across the street from Key Food. We sit at one of the trickier intersections on Main Street. There are worse intersections, but this one is pretty active with illegal U-turns, kids popping wheelies on bikes in the middle of the road, people driving the wrong way up South Brett Street, and cars pulling into the Key Food parking lot going the wrong way.

If you’ve never noticed before, the driveway on the left of the parking lot is the Entrance, and the driveway on the right is the Exit. Although there is a good amount of parking in the Key Food parking lot, there isn’t much room to maneuver two-way traffic, so it’s one-way.

To help everyone drive safely, Key Food had bright yellow arrows put down on their new parking lot paving job. A few parking spaces to the right of the front door were removed in order to make for better parking of the delivery trucks. As has been discussed at City Council meetings recently, Main Street is pretty narrow and congested with delivery trucks. Key Food now has a dedicated place for the trucks to park, making movement easier for everyone. See the picture of that cozy truck down below?

7th Customer Appreciation Day Hosted By Key Food Beacon

This Saturday, August 17, Key Food is hosting their 7th Customer Appreciation Day. It is an especially big deal this year, as everyone made it through the store’s enhancements. From their invitation: “Come celebrate with us. We want to thank you for your business. Join us for a fun event for the community. There will be free food, free beverages, free snacks, music, kids activities, giveaways and much more. Thank you so much for all your support and we hope to see you all there.”

When you come to the Appreciation Day, pop across the street to the Pop-Up Shop happening at A Little Beacon Space for some vintage T-shirts and possibly video game playing!

See you there!

Sun & Earth | Farm & Food Festival From Common Ground Farm at Stony Kill This Weekend

Photo Credit:  Common Ground Farm

Photo Credit: Common Ground Farm

DATE: Saturday August 3
TIME: 3 to 8 pm
RAIN DATE: Sunday, August 4

The Sun & Earth | Farm & Food Festival, presented by Common Ground Farm, will be a celebration of gratitude for natural resources, from the sun in the sky to the earth; highlighting sustainable agriculture, local food, music, and the supportive community. This happens on Saturday, August 3 from 3 to 8 pm.

Located on the historic Stony Kill property, the Sun & Earth Festival will welcome guests to explore Common Ground Farm, eat delicious local food, enjoy music performances and engage in food and farm activities. The event will highlight multiple activities including yoga, music, children’s activities on the farm and cooking demonstrations with farm-fresh produce. The evening will conclude with a fun outdoor dance party!

Food and Activities From Your Local Favorites

FOOD: Confirmed food vendors include Barb’s Butchery, Las Tres Americas taco truck, Samosa Shack, Zora Dora paletas and Drink More Good.

YOGA: Programs offered include yoga with local instructors Julian Paik and Kyla Wedenko, mindful relaxation with Beacon of Light Wellness, pottery with Newburgh Pottery and a farm activity led by Common Ground’s farm manager, Leah Garrard.

KIDS ACTIVITIES: There will also be children’s activities provided by Compass Arts, and cooking demonstrations and tastings with fresh Common Ground vegetables, led by Chef Sonya Joy Key and Chef Nicholas Leiss. Musical acts include live music from Tony DePaolo and a dance party DJ’ed by Jamie Pabst, aka Miss Behavior Music!

Sponsors who make this event possible include Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, and activity sponsors Allsport Fishkill (yoga), Vassar Brothers Hospital (yoga) and Stop and Shop (cooking demonstrations). Admission is free, with donations accepted to support Common Ground Farm’s efforts in expanding food access throughout the Hudson Valley.

About Common Ground Farm

CGF’s mission is to serve the community as a model for food justice and education for people of all ages and incomes. The organization maintains a 7-acre vegetable farm at the Stony Kill property in Wappingers Falls, runs education programs for children and adults on the farm and in the schools, and operates farmers markets and mobile markets in Beacon and Newburgh. You can find the farm’s produce weekly on Wednesdays at their Common Greens Mobile Market (a partnership with Green Teen Beacon and Cornell Cooperative Extension) at Forrestal Heights and the community health center in Beacon, Saturdays at the Newburgh Farmers Market, and Sundays at the Beacon Farmers Market.

House Made English Muffin Breakfast Egg Sandwich at The Beacon Daily Is Legit


Long ago, there was a flare-up of where was the best breakfast egg sandwich, or the merits of what constituted the best breakfast egg sandwich. We don’t do a “best of” around here because everybody’s best is different. But we can know what is legit (and by “legit” we mean really, really good), and the house-made English muffin breakfast egg sandwich at the new Beacon Daily, on Teller Avenue, passes the test - it hits the spot. 

What Makes This Breakfast Egg Sandwich?

Already this sandwich is off to a great start, with the double wrap of tissue paper to absorb and hold the American cheese and house-smoked bacon grease drippings, wrapped in a final closure of tin foil to keep the heat. So far, however, Mr. V’s has the hottest and most tightly wrapped English muffin in town (how do they get it sooo piping hot?).

Marilyn, A Little Beacon Blog’s Managing Editor, also got one, and we were both happily scraping off the extra cheese drippings from the paper after we finished the sandwich, which is a requirement of an excellent breakfast egg sandwich.

House Made English Muffins

The Double BOGO Sale on English muffins at Key Food.

The Double BOGO Sale on English muffins at Key Food.

The Beacon Daily is as obsessed with English muffins as we are. (You know how we stalk the double BOGO sale in the bread shelves at Key Food for the Thomas English muffin. You read that right - double BOGO means Buy 1 Get 2 Free. The best time for that sale seems to be Mondays, and sometimes Sundays.) The Beacon Daily takes their passion a step further. The Beacon Daily bakes their own English muffins. This is devotion.

A Pancake Egg Sandwich?

Back on the griddle were large buttermilk pancakes, which we really wanted to order, but we were on the clock and needed a real protein breakfast. The Beacon Daily heard our not-so-silent plea for both pancakes and the breakfast sandwich, and toyed with the idea of making a breakfast egg sandwich out of pancakes!! That would be amazing.

Coffee, by Ready Coffee Co., made for a nice second cup to an early morning home brew.

Who Is Behind The Beacon Daily?

The Beacon Daily is owned by two brothers of the Crocco family, Chris and Andrew, and an unofficial, non-blood brother (aka friend), Bill, who is known as “the sausage King of Poughkeepsie.” Bill makes the house-made sausages and smoked meats at The Beacon Daily, as well as Mill House. An actual brother, Danny, who is not an owner, is the chef at Mill House and helped create the menu, space and logistics of The Beacon Daily. And running The Beacon Daily’s social media is yet another family member, Kimberly, who confirmed all of these family tree roots for this article. Clearly there is a lot of food creativity, family and vision coming from this eatery.

There are many meals to try at The Beacon Daily. And there are pies. There are pies you want to try, the varieties of which rotate weekly, usually with two types available at a time. During the writing of this article, there was a Strhubarb (strawberry rhubarb) and apple pie available for slices. Full pies are available upon pre-order.

Beacon Design Trivia

Speaking of the menu, the designer behind the logo is Ken Rabe of Beacon-based design firm Rabe and Co., whose work you’ve seen all over town and on national brands. We always like to give shout-outs to designers, who otherwise can be invisible behind the branding you love.

Zero To Go Transitions Residential Compost Pickup To Community Compost Company (CCC)

Photo Credit: Zero To Go

Photo Credit: Zero To Go

Zero To Go (ZTG), an education-based waste management company focused on composting and recycling, was the first to offer residential pickup of food waste in Beacon in order to keep it from landfills, and eventual methane gas production. After years of operating food composting pickup service in Beacon, Zero To Go has transitioned its Beacon Compost Residential and Farmers Market Collection Program to Community Compost Company (CCC), a New Paltz-based company that is currently servicing several Beacon businesses, according to Zero To Go’s soon-to-be sole owner, Atticus Lanigan. “We are very excited about this,” said Atticus in a letter to Beacon Residential Compost customers, and proceeded to list the reasons:

  • CCC pioneered the Table to Farm compost collection service in the Hudson Valley and is experienced handling residential and commercial collection.

  • CCC is a New York State certified woman-owned business based in the Hudson Valley.

  • CCC is reliable, has great people. and follows the "4P" ethos (People, Planet, Place and Profit).

  • CCC processes the scraps they collect into organic soil amendments on farms in the Hudson Valley, and is already composting the food scraps from ZTG events and collection.

Zero To Go will continue to service events, and “can be hired to handle waste at events in a responsible way,” said Atticus.

Why Does Methane Gas From Food Matter?

If you’ve never experienced methane gas production, try leaving a smoothie in your car in a closed coffee mug for three weeks, and then open it in your kitchen. Spoiler alert: There is so much pressure built up inside of the closed cup from the food rot process, the top will shoot off and hit anything across the room, cracking your plastic water filter container. Some people build potato guns. You could easily build a smoothie gun with yogurt, bananas and strawberries with minimal effort, just some time.

The History Of Zero To Go

Zero To Go was best known for being hired to manage trash/recycling/food waste at events, and branched into servicing businesses in Beacon by picking up their food waste. Zero To Go, founded by Sarah Womer, then launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise $20,000 (see this interview with Sarah in this Tin Shingle Training TuneUp webinar on how she did that), to start their residential food pickup program, originally powered by people on bikes.

zero to go event waste collection.jpg

Fast-forward years and hours of work later, Sarah took a full time job at Riverkeeper, and Atticus Lanigan came in to manage the company. In addition to raising two children, Atticus has a background in Sociology and Urban Planning, and also works for Dutchess Outreach, an organization fighting food insecurity in Dutchess County that offers a hot meals program (formerly known as a “soup kitchen”).

Says Sarah when A Little Beacon Blog reached out for comment: “Atticus and I put in huge numbers of hours and sacrificed a lot of our own time to run and grow this company (like any start-up owners do)! It's been a real labor of love. It feels good to see the compost program take flight under new ownership - if we have a strong, visible, affordable compost program in town, it's something to be very proud of!”

Today, Atticus continues her work for Dutchess Outreach, and officially moves into the sole owner role of Zero To Go, which will specialize in event waste management. Sarah works in Harlem at a sustainability consulting firm. Both are always moving and shaking in the world of waste management and their commitment to educating about it. They will be contributing in other areas, so keep your eyes peeled.

Plastic Bags Out Of Food Compositing

Plastics bags are leaving the Hudson Valley (see press release about Governor Cuomo banning single-use plastic bags from New York State), including the food compositing arena. Said Atticus to prep customers about plastic bags: “CCC will not be accepting compostable plastics in the buckets, which includes compostable bags. This will be the biggest change as many of you are using compostable plastic bags in the process of getting your food scraps out to your buckets.”

Atticus began preparing Zero To Go customers for a plastic bag transition: “Ultimately, the use of bio-plastics is not ideal. As lawmakers work to deal with the overwhelming issue of garbage, many are seeking the abandonment of all single-use plastics and plastics in general. By drawing ourselves away from the use of it, we will be ahead of the curve.”

SIDE NOTE: Food Rot Container Tip

Fortunately, my compost food collection container is in a very pretty white jar from Pottery Barn, and my food collection system does not involve a plastic bag. The container is a porcelain flour jar that I repurposed to be a food compost container with a rubber-sealed lid. You could also find such a jar at Utensil or maybe even Raven Rose in Beacon. I just walk this pretty pot of rot to my compost bucket outside on my back porch, and that’s it. Happy to not have to wean myself off of a plastic bag! Am currently working on weaning myself off of Ziploc baggies.

To sign up for residential food pickup from Community Compost Company, click here. It’s about $32/month for weekly pickup, and lower rates are available for fewer pickups.

The Valley Table Acquired by Hudson Valley Magazine’s Today Media

Photo Credit: Magazine Cover of The Valley Table

Photo Credit: Magazine Cover of The Valley Table

Food and drink are serious matters in the Hudson Valley, and their excellence is part of what makes living in this region so rich. The founders and publishers of The Valley Table recognized this in 1998, when husband-and-wife team Jerry Novesky and Janet Crawshaw started The Valley Table magazine, “to give a voice to local chefs, farmers, and makers.” As a result, the magazine, which is based out of 380 Main Street, Beacon, above The Beacon Pantry, consistently covers anticipated restaurant openings, interviews chefs, provides recipes, and spotlights ingredients - and the farmers who grow them - to which you may never have given a second thought.

Hot off the digital press on Monday, June 3, The Valley Table announced that they have been acquired by Today Media, which is the publisher of several regional magazines including Hudson Valley Magazine, Westchester Magazine, Delaware Today, and Main Line Today.

Events Produced By Magazines

Events are big for publications, and eight years after launching the print magazine, The Valley Table created one of the biggest dining draws in the region: Hudson Valley Restaurant Week. This property is also included in the merger, to join the strong event lineup from Today Media, which includes:

June 4-9: Wine & Food Festival
July 24: Best of Westchester Party
August 15: Hudson Valley Magazine’s Burger & Beer Bash
September 26: Westchester Magazine’s Wingfest
October 10: Best of Hudson Valley Party
November 4-17: Hudson Valley Fall Restaurant Week (usually also held in the spring)

Says Today Media’s Hudson Valley Group Publisher, Michael Martinelli, of the deal in the press release: “This acquisition enables Today Media to expand its audience and build on The Valley Table’s success while honoring the mission and values that have made Valley Table an authority in its specialty. It will also bring together two of the largest, most iconic food events in the region, as many of the restaurants that participate in Hudson Valley Restaurant Week will also be featured at Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Festival, June 4-9.”

Print Publication Of The Valley Table Will Continue

The Valley Table will continue publishing, according to a statement released by The Valley Table’s co-publisher, Janet Crawshaw: “Today Media’s deep roots in the Hudson Valley and its expertise in publishing make it the perfect fit for carrying on and growing The Valley Table magazine, its digital platforms, and Restaurant Week event.”

Read more about this at Westchester Magazine and at LoHud.