Category: Small Business

  • Bertrand H. Farr and his Dream Garden

    Foreward Roughly a year ago I was contacted by a man named George Edmonds. He wanted to talk to me about books he wrote revolving around his home town of Wyomissing. George was kind enough to share photos with me as well as send me a copy of one of those books, “Dream Gardener –…

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  • The Ranch House

    A staple on Penn Avenue in West Lawn for nearly a half century, the owners of the Circle S Ranch House announced on March 30th that they would be closing permanently on April 8th, 2022. The building was built in 1969 as a Schell’s. It replaced the location that was further east down Penn Avenue…

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  • 503 Penn Street

    The building located at 503 Penn Street in its footprint dates back to the 1800s and has hosted numerous businesses over the proceeding centuries. In 2016 this building was purchased by Weidenhammer Systems Corp and redeveloped by Muhlenberg Greene Architects. In 1872 there was a fire which wiped out the entire north side 500 block…

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  • On this Day – Dec 1st 1984

    A fire rips through the building at 527 Penn Street destroying a photography studio on the upper floors which caved into Ciao Restaurant, a pizza shop, on the main level.

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  • Ronco’s Pharmacy

    Michael Ronco, RPh first opened his pharmacy in June of 1956. The original pharmacy was located at the corner of Dwight Street and Cleveland Avenue in West Lawn. In 1967, the pharmacy moved to 3311 Penn Avenue in West Lawn, where it remained for nearly half a century. Michael retired from his pharmacy business in…

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  • A.T.V. Bakery

    Their beginnings can be traced back over a century ago when Paolo Alberti came to America from Palermo, Sicily and opened “Alberti’s Bakery” in the early 1900s. In the beginning Alberti’s competed with two other local Sicilian bakers; Tomasi and Vecchio. Paolo’s son, Joe, decided to join forces with the rival bakers and in 1941,…

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  • Reading Brewing Co Closes – On this day 1976

    On this day in 1976 the Reading Brewing Co. shuttered permanently. Employee’s cited miss-management for the bankruptcy of the company. Management blamed industry giants killed the small-guy brewers like Reading. Maybe a little bit of both are true. All local breweries that were once popular met their demise around this time due to heat from…

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  • Woomert’s Store | West Reading

    According to a 1931 Reading Times article Woomert’s Store was located at Third Avenue and Sunset Road in West Reading and owned by a William H. Woomert. The building is still standing but has been renovated since the above image. From street view you can tell that some of the brickwork has been altered to…

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  • Zeswitz – 812 Penn Street

    Zeswitz is a music store that most Berks Countians recognize, but some of you may remember when one of the locations was in downtown Reading on the 800 block of Penn Street. Zeswitz was founded in 1923 by Philadelphia native William “Bill” Zeswitz Sr. According to Zeswitz’s website he was, “master luthier and maker of…

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  • Jake’s Sandwich Shop – Mt. Penn – Then & Now

    Jake’s was opened in 1946 and sits at 232 Carsonia Avenue in Mt. Penn. It will be celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. The establishment was opened by Jake Meyers at its original location on Perkiomen Avenue. By the 1960s it was located in its current spot on Carsonia. The menu started out with burgers,…

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Berks Nostalgia