Dr. Nick Opens New Practice as Beacon Veterinary Associates After Purchasing Roosevelt Vet on the Hudson (Sponsored)

Pictured Left: Dr. Bethany Souers, and Right: Dr. Nicholas Spaccarelli

Pictured Left: Dr. Bethany Souers, and Right: Dr. Nicholas Spaccarelli


  • Wellness care
  • Cat vaccinations
  • Dog vaccinations
  • In-house pharmacy
  • In-house lab diagnostics
  • Advanced dental services
  • Digital radiology
  • Soft tissue surgery
  • Affordable orthopedic surgery with both general practitioners and board-certified orthopedic surgeons
  • Chronic pain management

Major work has been going on in the center of Main Street at The Beacon Veterinary Associates, the new vet in the same strip as More Good, Towne Crier and Oak Vino. Six months ago, Dr. Nicholas Spaccarelli (aka Dr. Nick) bought Roosevelt Vet on the Hudson and has been enhancing it ever since, working with the existing staff and veterinarians like Dr. Bethany Souers, and preparing for their major name change.

Celebrating this Saturday at their Open House from 12 to 4 pm, you're invited to stop into their hospital and office location at 345 Main St., where they will personally take you on tours of the facility. You'll recognize several faces of the team if you visited prior, including Morgan, Dr. Souers, Nicole, and Heather. Soon you can meet Mike McCabe, LVT (Licensed Veterinary Technician) who sees patients during select Saturdays.

About Dr. Nick Spaccarelli

Our Motto is: ‘21st-century medicine and surgery, paired with 20th-century care and compassion.’ We feel we are small enough to offer that hometown community feel yet still provide advanced medicine and surgery. If we can’t offer you a service in-house, then we will make sure to find the right specialist to come to our hospital or facilitate a referral to the best specialty centers in the area.”
— Dr. Nick

Dr. Nick Spaccarelli was born and raised in the Hudson Valley. He went to SUNY Delhi where he received a degree as a veterinary technician. He later attended Purdue University and continued on to Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine.

In 2007, Dr. Spaccarelli returned to the Hudson Valley to begin working in private practice and to pursue his professional interests in surgery, rehabilitation and pain management in pets that have chronic issues. A few years later in 2011, he went back to Ross University as a faculty member and clinician at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

After three years on the island of St. Kitts, Dr. Spaccarelli returned to the Hudson Valley to fulfill his lifelong dream of practice ownership. He brings over 10 years of small animal experience to the Beacon Veterinary Associates. He is excited to be adding orthopedic surgery and chronic pain management to a long list of advanced offerings at the practice.

Dr. Spaccarelli resides in Hopewell Junction with his wife Megan and their newborn daughter Mackenzie. They have a dog named Marshall that they rescued, along with two red-footed tortoises - named Harry and Sally - from St Kitts. He is an avid traveler and has been to Europe, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean and Central America. His passions include surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, fishing, hiking, cooking and spending time with family and friends.

This article has been a Partner Post with Beacon Veterinary Associates as a Spotlight Sponsor. Thank you for supporting businesses who support this publication and the community!

Libby from Beacon Barkery Steps Out, Donald Steps In, and Barkery Moves Over

When the famed Beacon Barkery moved next door to its original location at the corner of Main Street and Willow Street, several people just thought it closed, and didn't see its newly decorated storefront window next door. What even more folks didn't know was that the original owners, Libby Faison and Nanci Pate, hadn't been in the Barkery since before the move, as they sold it to Donald McNeal, the father of one of their new employees, Jon McNeal.

Ten years ago, Libby and Nanci opened the Beacon Barkery to give back to the dog and cat populations in Beacon. Through their work within the community, they brought thousands of people and pets to Beacon through such annual events such as the Beacon Barks Parade, which attracted people from all over the state of New York, and was the unofficial kickoff to Spring during the first week of April. The Beacon Barkery became a known destination as a specialty pet boutique for healthy food options, quality clothing, treats, and the owners' experienced advice. For instance, it is to Libby's credit that I eliminated chicken from my dog's diet, as she had developed an allergy to it, causing her to itch and bite her skin, and eventually rip her hair out. Test after test revealed nothing, until one day, Libby suggested cutting out grain and chicken. It was the chicken that did it. My dog was cured and calm. No antihistamines necessary after that.

As of this spring, the Barkery has a new owner. Several business owners in Beacon already know him from his regular rounds, during his full-time job as route manager for a pest control company; Libby knew him as a customer. The Barkery isn't the first business Donald has owned, but he walked into it with similar passion for pets, their communities, and his own family's involvement in running the store.

The Background to the Beacon Barkery

When Libby and Nanci opened the Barkery, they had full-time jobs. They kept those up during all of the years they ran the Barkery, and still maintain to this day. Libby is a school administrator (now mostly retired, but working in the Wappingers School District), and Nanci is an occupational therapist who also works in schools. Two of their children worked in the store. One of them, Becca, even helped manage the store. Would the Barkery have paid the bills if they'd wanted to leave their full-time jobs? "No," says Libby. "There were three kids here and a mortgage. We really opened the Barkery not to make our first million, but to give back to the community on behalf of dogs and cats. We wanted to help the dog and cat population."

So what was the catalyst to selling? There wasn't one! "We were downsizing so that we could start doing some retirement planning." When I texted Libby questions for this story, she responded from Italy, so I asked her if traveling was part of those retirement plans. "Yes, like going to Italy. Honestly, when you own a store, it's really hard to plan a two-week vacation abroad." Jon, one of their recent employees who was quite enthusiastic about The Beacon Barkery, had told his father, Donald, that it was for sale. Jon and Donald were customers on behalf of their pug family, so the pull to own was strong.

The Puppia Harnesses That First Attracted Donald to the Beacon Barkery.

New Guys In Town

Though Donald and Jon live in and commute from Hopewell Junction, and are new to Main Street as shop owners, they've been around Beacon's Main Street for a long time. Through his day job, Donald counts several Main Street businesses, including Zora Dora's and Kitchen Sink, as his customers in the pest control business. He's also not new to entrepreneurship, having owned several businesses in the past, including his own pest control business, a barber shop, and even a fire extinguisher company. "I’m an entrepreneur at heart," he says.

It was the Puppia harnesses (pictured above) that first brought Donald into the Barkery. The McNeals are a pug family, owning three of them: Angel, 9 years old, Casper, 1 year old, and Eddie, 6 months old. Says Donald: "We always shopped here, and we first came for the harnesses. We went to a pug meet and I was the only one without a harness. When I went shopping for one, nobody had them, except the Barkery. We always liked the store. After Jon told my wife and I that it was for sale, my wife kept at me, 'When we going to buy the Barkery?'"

The new Primal refrigerator for a larger raw food selection.

The new Primal refrigerator for a larger raw food selection.

The New Beacon Barkery

Much is the same in the store, except that it's one door down, thanks to a rent increase that kicked in shortly after the McNeals moved in. Once the new ownership was transferred into place, the landlord increased the rent, so the McNeals packed it up and moved next door. They quickly painted the new space, set up new lighting, got new decals on the windows, and more. Says Jon: "People are finding us. The Car Show helped us. More customers who aren’t local know about us now, and for the locals, they are passing us in the new store, and they see that we are open."

New product is being carried also, such as Primal Raw Dog and Cat Food, freeze-dried treats, and goats milk. The new Primal refrigerator just arrived, and it will be fully stocked this week. For my picky cat with a chronic ear problem, I tried the raw goats milk at Donald's suggestion. “It's the way nature meant to feed our pets.” I have to say, never having ventured into the raw world myself, my picky cat who drinks no water, drank the milk. New clothing is arriving in the store, and the Beacon Barkery maintains it is the largest carrier of the Puppia and Easy Dog harness lines in the area.

Tasty dog and cat snacks.

Tasty dog and cat snacks.

Beacon Barkery To Continue Community Work

As active participants in the pug community, Donald and Jon know the value of socializing among pets, and giving back. "We have had one dog adoption already, and we plan on doing cat adoptions, and more adoptions in general. We would love to work with the new vet." They aim to continue with the Beacon Barks Parade.

Dog treat cookies, decorated for the season, are in the Beacon Barkery.

Dog treat cookies, decorated for the season, are in the Beacon Barkery.

What's Next for Libby and Nanci?

Libby and Nanci are not done with their animal work, nor with the Beacon Barks Parade. Says Libby: "We are going to be working with the Beacon Barkery for the Beacon Barks Parade, and will contact the Dutchess County SPCA in 2017. We will be volunteers!"

The Beacon Barks Parade isn't the only thing they are staying connected to. "We miss being in Beacon. We live in Wappingers, and we were down in Beacon every day. Now we are just customers of the Beacon Barkery!"

Advice on Running a Local Store

Libby and Nanci started the Beacon Barkery to improve a community, and it's the community that is the most important for them for running a local business. "It's very important to be part of what's going on, and being active. It also makes it much more fun, when you know your customers and the community. You help each other."

Shop and restaurant owners can often get stuck inside of their stores. Is it important to step outside? "You need to step outside of your shop and be involved. There were times that we had adoptions, and put our tent up out front, and did special kinds of celebrations. Like our Food Fest. The community needs to be able to find you. Beacon's Main Street is a very long Main Street. It's not all that easy for people on the East end to know what's going on the West end."

Cheers, Libby and Nanci, to your new working-retirement! Soon after the sale, Libby and Nanci booked themselves a trip to Italy to enjoy a good two-week vacation, something small business owners rarely experience.

Cheers to Donald and Jon, to your exciting new adventure as owners of the Beacon Barkery and helping so many dogs and cats feel good all over, even in quality fashion!

Libby (left) and Nanci (right) on their first two-week vacation after selling The Beacon Barkery.

Libby (left) and Nanci (right) on their first two-week vacation after selling The Beacon Barkery.

Karen of Get Frosted Cupcakery Closes After 3 Years of Living Her Dream

Karen Rokitowski's mom was sitting in the back of Get Frosted Cupcakery one Thursday afternoon, as she usually did, because Karen takes care of her aging mom on that day. Karen, the co-founder and owner of Get Frosted Cupcakery, was reflecting on the three years she has run Get Frosted on Beacon's Main Street. She turned to ask her mom a question: "Mom, did you ever think I was going to own a cupcakery?" Her mom simply nodded, and said: "Of course. You always wanted to do it when you were little."

The question is a fair one because prior to opening her first shop on Beacon's Main Street, Karen was a cosmetic chemist for 28 years in the corporate world, having worked for Elizabeth Arden, Avon, Chanel and Burt's Bees. She is directly responsible for the compositions of some beauty products many women use, as she holds three patents for her work: one for an Elizabeth Arden mascara, which uses her alcohol-modified wax to prevent it from drying out quickly and clumping up on lashes, and two patents for toothpaste and shampoo for Burt's Bees.

When Karen left the corporate world, she remembered how she did not know what she was going to do, and let herself be open to what "The Universe had in store" for her. She left North Carolina and returned to New York to reevaluate what she wanted. Karen has always found baking therapeutic: "It's like gardening. Like meditation." She never tires or gets bored of making each little cupcake, cake pop, or white-chocolate baguette.

One night, Karen and her sister were at a party and were analyzing the baked goods situation, and said to each other: "I think we can do better." Together, they looked around Beacon and couldn't find a cupcake to their standards. (Can anyone make a better cupcake than a chemist?) Karen credits her sister for pushing her to open Get Frosted, which they did together, and Karen bought out her sister's share a year later.

Catalyst For The Closure

When Karen opened, she told her accountant that she'd give it three years. Most of her business relied on foot traffic, which ebbed and flowed over time. Large orders for weddings and birthday parties increased, and both the foot traffic and large orders kept Karen in the black, having no debts at the three-year mark. At the beginning of October, her landlord presented her with a new lease. "They did increase my rent more than my business can absorb, especially with the price of eggs and butter rising." She adds, "The heating bill is astronomical here." As she was reflecting on the milestone third-year mark, debating whether to place her next big ingredients order, the decision became clear: "When the new lease came in, they made my decision for me."

"Did You Just Open?"

During our interview, the shop doorbell proudly rang its hopeful ring, and a customer walked in, looking for business donations for a local elementary school. While making her pitch, the fundraiser couldn't keep her eyes off the generously frosted cupcakes in the case, and took a moment to ask about the business, inquiring if Karen had just opened the store because she'd never seen it before - a common question for businesses on Main Street who rely on foot traffic. Karen calmly answered: "I've been here for three years."

Before continuing our interview, I asked Karen: "What's the key to being found on Main Street?" And we just laughed. Why is it so hard to stop into a store and find out what is in there? It's why A Little Beacon Blog has the "Come In!" series, exploring the interior of stores and sharing interviews with business owners, and illustrates why the series is so popular. Karen has two theories: "Main Street is so narrow, that people driving in their cars don't have time to stop and look around. But a lot of the complaints I get include 'I couldn't find a spot out front, so I decided not to stop.'"

Note to self: Walk everywhere. Smell the baking bread and sweets. Head into the shop.

What's Next?

Karen's already had an offer to be a baker for someone in Westchester, but isn't sure yet what direction she wants to take. "I'm going to wait and see what The Universe has in store for me." Could Karen work for someone else? "I don't know. I feel like I've done this, lived my dream. It's something I wanted to do since I was 12; I feel like I want to do something else. I just don't know what that is yet."

We wish Karen THE BEST on her next adventure, and thank her for bringing such sweetness to Beacon. Please open the door to ring that shop bell to give her a hug and buy your last cupcake.

Sponsor Disclaimer: Get Frosted Cupcakery was an advertiser in The Things To Do In Beacon Guides, so we had the pleasure of seeing her every week and getting to know her better when we came in to take photos of her cupcakes for our weekly newsletter and her photo gallery in our Restaurant Guide. This article is not part of her advertising.

Top Nabisco Pressman Starts Over at Age 54 To Open Salon - Mr. Bell's Story

Alvin Bell moved to Beacon from Virginia when jobs were scarce in the South, and booming in Beacon. Twenty-seven years later, Beacon hemorrhaged jobs and Mr. Bell quickly experienced again what he had fled in the first place. Now with deeper roots in the Hudson Valley, Mr. Bell stayed and did not move to pursue healthy job markets in other areas. Instead, he created his own. And he's still here, 25 years later in a barber shop. Many of you have sat in his red leather swivel hair chair, but some of you may not yet have walked in for a cut, or even peeked your head in to look inside of Main Street Beauty Salon. Well you can here, and after our interview with Mr. Bell for this edition of our "Come In!" series, Mr. Bell extends his walk-in invitation to you. Even if it's to play checkers with him. But watch out, he's the "Checker Champ!"

Barbershop owner Alvin Bell moved to Beacon from Virginia decades ago "when jobs were scarce in the South," according to the Beacon Historical Society's "Heroes of Main Street" book of profiles of longtime business owners in Beacon. At the time, Beacon was flourishing as a factory town. When Mr. Bell moved here, he took a job of pressman at the Nabisco Company right away, working in the building that is now Dia: Beacon. Rising up to become Top Pressman, Mr. Bell was "responsible for everything that came off the press," he says, which meant that he spent a lot of time under the large ceilings and north-facing skylights to inspect the color and design of everything printed.

That is, until Beacon went through a change of a different kind, and the factories began to empty out, including Nabisco. After 27 years, his position was downsized. Mr. Bell was left without a job at age 54, too young to start drawing from Social Security. That's when the lightening bolt of entrepreneurship hit him, and his life changed forever. Mr. Bell, a spiritual man, credits Proverbs 3:5-6 for his guidance: "He will direct your path." (Note: This is Mr. Bell's quote of the wording.)

"Out of nowhere, God gave me a vision," he recalls. Mr. Bell's wife, Shirley Bell, was "doing hair" as he calls it, and Mr. Bell always had dreams of opening a salon. He got a license, and moved forward even through his family "looked at me like I was a little crazy." However, his wife Shirley was excited, and he opened the shop as Main Street Unisex Salon, which he changed to Barber and Unisex Shop years later just to stir things up. It is currently called Main Street Beauty Salon.

At first, mothers brought in their kids, and their client base built up. The Bells dove into community work by giving away clothes and food. A spiritual man, Mr. Bell says "The spirits showed me how to run the business." Call it intuition or a good business sense, the path that Mr. Bell followed was clear for him from days after he got laid off, continuing today, and hopefully for many tomorrows.

When asked what he credits his success to, Mr. Bell looked straight ahead and out his storefront window, past the barber chairs and magazines and to Main Street and replied: "Be loyal to your customers. And be polite."

Though not a boastful man, Mr. Bell has kept his years of press coverage and special involvements in a cardboard box in the back of the shop, or has hung pictures on the wall. Insider info for you: There is one bit of printed press on the wall that identifies Mr. Bell as "Albert Bell." Believe us when we tell you his name is Alvin. But it's framed, and he blows it off with the brush of his hand, appreciating the acknowledgment.

A singer and performer in his heart, Mr. Bell relives the days of performing numerous times with Pete Seeger and other band members. Mr. Bell held a solo performance at the Howland Cultural Center in 2009, performing 10 songs by himself, a memory he is quite proud of and can re-live for probably the whole day with you if you stayed to get a perm.

A blue banner hangs above the barber shop on Main Street next to BJ's, congratulating Mr. Bell for 25 years in business. When the banner went up, his building's landlord, Janelle Piccone Styles, wrote into A Little Beacon Blog to make sure we knew about him, as she was responsible for making and hanging the sign. When asked what she thought was the reason for his success, she replied: "I would say Mr. Bell's attitude! He is always smiling, always has a kind word. It's contagious."

As for Mr. Bell's parting words and advice for staying in business: "Show love."

Sit if you dare, in Mr. Mac's chair at this checker board, and take on the Checker Champ, Mr. Bell. Tell us when you do - we'd love to watch and learn from both sides!