It’s our last article of 2014, and we wanted to take a moment to look back and reflect on what 2014 meant for our Main Street Clarence community.

Small biz Saturday 010Instead, we found ourselves reflecting on what our Main Street community meant to us. Amidst all the noise and chaos of 21st century life, Main Street is a touchstone to something more permanent. It’s a hidden jewel of our community, a place where the personal relationships we all find ourselves longing for are still there. A place that’s family-focused and family minded.

In short, it’s a place where we can enjoy the simple pleasures of everyday life. For that we are grateful.

With this in mind, we wanted to share some of our favorite simple pleasures:

goodrich coffeeGoodrich Coffee. When you are going through the drive-thru and the owner can still recognize your voice and call you by name, you know you have found something special. Not to mention the coffee, which is bold, enjoyable and remarkably effective, as is their charming farewell wish to “have a Goodrich day!”

Sponge Candy. It’s a WNY tradition that we all take for grantedSponge-Candy but family members who have moved away ask for every holiday season. Main Street is home to several purveyors of this tasty treat – each with their own secret recipe. We’ll leave it to you to be the judge of which is best, but you know what we’re talking about.

The Clarence Town Park – Main Street Edition. Clarence is funny in how they call all their parks Clarence Town Park, but the crown jewel of the Clarence park system resides on Main Street, just at the top of the Hollow. It’s home to many of the Town’s most memorable festivals and social gatherings, including Winterfest, Lobsterfest, A Day in the Park, Hollowfest, and the Taste of Clarence – by no means a complete list.

While we are talking Main Street festivals, the 10th annual Rock the Barn raised a record $57,000 to benefit local Meals on Wheels services for Clarence, Akron and Newstead, and organizers are promising a 2015 edition lineup to top even that. Stay tuned.

WP_20141018_15_32_03_ProLunchtime on Main Street. There has never been so much to choose from! When you are meeting friends or business associates, there’s no need to confine yourself to the Transit Road chains. Find yourself a hidden gem like the Cozy Café, authentic Mexican food at the El Ranchito or the freshest fish sandwich you’ll ever have at Hayes Seafood. Once you’ve started, you can try someplace new on Main Street every week for all of 2015 without repeating.

Locally owned Dash’s Markets on Main Street offers healthy choices, and can always be depended on for just what you need, like sesame seed oil for that Asian salad my wife made last week. One other bonus – you don’t need to carry an extra discount card to shop there.

Antique World has grown to become the largest flea market in WNY. Antique World Flea MarketWe love our Sunday mornings there, not only for the finds but also for all the chance encounters with friends and neighbors. And when Fall starts, the Pumpkin Farm keeps everyone coming back with a whole season of fun activities.

Clarence High School. Always well regarded academically, the high school is also a hub to community life, and it’s not just limited to high school sports. Did you know they offer open swimming to Clarence residents in their pool before school hours? Remember, when you support Main Street businesses, their tax dollars come back to the Clarence School system, while on much of Transit Road the taxes go to Williamsville.

Do you have a favorite Main Street Clarence stop you just couldn’t live without? Share it in our comments section.

The link to comments can be found at the top of the article.

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