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Mead to order: New business hopes to capitalize on popular craft brew industry

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Mike Manning, (Mazer) and Greg Heller-LaBelle, CEO, host a grand opening at the Colony Meadery in Allentown.
Mike Manning, (Mazer) and Greg Heller-LaBelle, CEO, host a grand opening at the Colony Meadery in Allentown.

One of the world’s oldest fermented beverages is now at the center of one of Allentown’s newest businesses.

The Colony Meadery opened in a 900-square-foot space at the Bridgeworks at 905 Harrison St., Allentown.

There, CEO Greg Heller-LaBelle and mazer (mead brewer) Mike Manning craft their mead.

Mead, which is essentially a honey wine, is increasing in popularity with people involved in the craft-beer industry who are looking for something different, they said.

“Artisanal products in general have been growing in popularity and [people] are looking for new tastes. We think mead can fill one of those holes in the market,” Heller-LaBelle said.

While the fermenting of honey is an ancient tradition, Manning explained that only in recent years has the fermenting technology improved to the point where the commercial production of mead would be more viable from a business perspective.

Before, most mead making was being done by home brewers in small batches, with only a small number of larger meaderies around the world, he said.

With the increased selection of mead beverages in the marketplace, the product is coming back into vogue, Manning said.

The mead-making business takes its name from the home of its main ingredient – a bee colony.

“We’re big on the bee puns here,” Manning said.

And while Heller-LaBelle countered that he thought their bee puns were kept under control, he admitted the business’ slogan, “get buzzed,” was a pun he couldn’t resist.

A small, startup operation, the Colony is selling its mead Friday nights and weekends out of its Bridgeworks offices.

The Colony sells a variety of different styles and flavors of mead ranging in price from $10 to $18.

The mead also is being sold at the Brew Works in Allentown and Bethlehem, The Strange Brew Tavern in Allentown and at Broadway Social in Bethlehem.

For more information, visit www.thecolonymeadery.com.

New Attitude Salon and Day Spa in Easton has a new owner and will be adding services.

Patricia McAdams-Burt bought the business from its founder, Rosemary Pugliese, who has been running the salon for 25 years. Pugliese will stay on as a stylist, and other staff also will remain.

“That’s a 25-year-old, established business. These people here know what they are doing and I am not going to change that,” McAdams-Burt said. “I am not going to take anything away, but we will be adding some things, such as massage therapy.”

New Attitude specializes in upscale styling, makeup, facials, coloring, waxing and related spa services for customers from the Easton area and beyond.

McAdams-Burt was a licensed and practicing stylist, skin technician and makeup specialist for 15 years before leaving the industry to help her husband start his business. She said it had long been her dream to return and to own a salon, and buying the established business helped her achieve that goal.

New Attitudes Salon and Spa is at 4003 William Penn Highway, Easton.

For more information, call 610-253-5550.

Just a couple of months after getting its first Checkers fast food restaurant on Easton Avenue in Bethlehem, the Lehigh Valley has a second Checkers. The new eatery is at 1935 S. Fourth St. in Allentown. There also is a Checkers on Fifth Street Highway in Reading.

The new restaurant is a franchise location.

The chain started in Mobile, Ala., in 1986. It specializes in burgers, chicken, hot dogs, french fries and other fast food items.

For more information, visit www.checkers.com.

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Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle Stacy Wescoe on .

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