Pelham merchants aim to return to business as usual as Covid redefines customer interaction

Pelham merchants aim to return to business as usual as Covid redefines customer interaction

Pelham businesses have sought various ways to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic and serve the residents of the community.

Ballet Arts

Ballet Arts has always been known for their traditional, classic way of teaching the arts to young students. While most dance studios strictly act as a place for children to learn dance, Ballet Arts branches beyond that. They build self esteem and confidence, while teaching their students in a nurturing and safe environment. Because of this, children who attend Ballet Arts have a very strong relationship with their instructors and directors of the studio.

According to Sheran Daniele, the owner and artistic director of Ballet Arts, people need the arts in times like these, which are filled with stress and anxiety. Knowing this, Ballet Arts has gone above and beyond when it comes to re-opening their business. This ensures safety for all of their students, as well as their instructors. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, most dance studios were not allowed to open up until just recently. During lessons all participants are required to wear masks, and there is a clear, plexiglass screen barrier separating the instructor from the students. Supporting Ballet Arts means supporting one of Pelham’s finest local businesses, and you gain back some of the normalcy we lost over the past few months.

Go Greek

When going out to eat in an ethnic restaurant, you want it to be as if you are in that country eating their native foods. That is one of the greatest things about GoGreek here in Pelham. Dan Krystallis, along with his two brothers, would go to Greece each summer during their childhood. After spending summers eating gyros and other food native to Greece, returning home was a little difficult. “When we came back home, we couldn’t eat the gyros in the US, as they weren’t half as good as they were in Greece,” said Dan Krystallis, co-owner of GoGreek. As Dan grew up, the thought of opening his own restaurant was always in the back of his mind. However, it didn’t take action until Dan’s older brother passed away, and Dan and his younger brother, Chris, came to the conclusion that there is no time like the present.

Everyone here in Pelham is really rooting for you to make it.

— Dan Krystalli

Opening in Pelham really enhanced their business, as they believe that there is such a family atmosphere, and the community is so nurturing towards small, local businesses. “Everyone here in Pelham is really rooting for you to make it,” Dan Krystallis said. Dan and Chris wanted to make the menu very simple and non-overwhelming and ensure that everything on their menu is under ten dollars. Greek restaurants can be known to be a bit on the pricey side, so this aspect really differentiates GoGreek from other traditional Greek places.

Over the last few months GoGreek never really closed, doing primarily take out and curbside pickup. However, now that restaurants are able to re-open, GoGreek has made the mindful decision not to allow customers inside for indoor dining, taking into consideration how limited their space is. Because they have been working all throughout the pandemic, they are very much used to all of the safety precautions they have to take, and their staff is highly trained to maintain all of the guidelines provided to keep our community safe and healthy. If you are looking for an authentic taste of Greek culture, shop locally and head over to GoGreek!

Wise Hardware

The true meaning of “shopping small” and supporting local business would be to direct all of your needs to a smaller storefront rather than going to the obvious bigger chain stores that surround us. A store such as Wise Hardware faces this competition each and every day. However, Wise offers all that these bigger stores do, and much more. Wise Hardware has excellent customer service, as well as a wide variety of supplies, covering all of your hardware needs. Bill Wise, the owner of Wise Hardware, has spent many years perfecting the store and building relationships with his customers. Wise takes pride in how knowledgeable his employees are; they are not afraid to answer any questions you have. Having been open for a while now, Wise Hardware knows how to handle pretty much any problem you may have, since there’s not much they haven’t seen.

Going to Wise Hardware means helping small businesses win the battle between bigger chain stores.

During Covid-19, Wise Hardware has been an essential storefront, so it has stayed open for the span of the pandemic. They started out doing strictly curbside pickup for the safety of their customers, and as the area has opened up they have recently been allowing a steady flow of walk-in customers to enter the store. They have a capacity limit of people allowed in the store and they also take extra precautions to clean and sanitize the entire facility everyday. Going to Wise Hardware means helping small businesses win the battle between bigger chain stores that are, unfortunately, some people’s first choice when in need of hardware services. By making Wise Hardware your first choice, you are supporting local businesses and in times like these, that is one of the best things you can do as a member of this community.

DaniLee’s Helping Hands

Both Danielle and Alyssa Marrero grew up in Pelham and attended Pelham Memorial High School, and their love for the community really shows through DaniLee’s Helping Hands. They strive to encourage youth as well as provide as much help to their families as possible, sharing their positive childhood experiences with the modern day youth of Pelham. DaniLee childcare helps out in more than just giving children something to do. “We like to think of ourselves as family, rather than babysitters,” said Danielle Marrero. Both their love for children, as well as their love for the Pelham community, aided the creation of this loving business.

Danielle and Alyssa’s staff consists mostly of Pelham alumni.

In appreciation to their community, Danielle and Alyssa’s staff consists mostly of Pelham alumni, as well as Pelham high schoolers. It is important to them to build connections between kids of all ages, and it also gives teens a sense of responsibility. They know how important it is for teens to get opportunities that will be useful for the rest of their lives, and Danielle and Alyssa want to be the ones to give Pelham teenagers that chance.

DaniLee’s Helping Hands differs from other childcare services because both Danielle and Alyssa make equal efforts to create one big family with all of the children and themselves. They go out of their way to make sure all of the children feel comfortable and safe. Due to Covid-19, DaniLee’s activities have become much more outdoor oriented. They have gone on fishing and lake trips, as well as nature hikes. Danilee’s also has virtual meetings that include baking virtually and arts and crafts. With kids returning to school, DaniLee’s Helping Hands is trying to amplify their tutoring skills, as they are aware of how hard virtual learning can be for some students. With their patience and tenderness towards children, both Danielle and Alyssa are ready to help children conquer whatever this school year throws at them. If you are a parent looking for a reliable and local childcare service for the upcoming school year, be sure to support a Pelham business and check out DaniLee’s Helping Hands!

Nicholas Day Spa & Salon

One of the most unique things about shopping locally is the relationships that are built between the store employees and their customers. An excellent example of this type of relationship would be Nicholas Spa. The salon has been blessed to have such a loyal following over the years that they have been in Pelham, they know their clients and all of their individual needs. “Because we have been here for so long, it is amazing to watch the generations come and go,” said Adrienne Brini, who has been working at Nicholas for 20 years. It is extremely important for Nicholas Spa to know their customers, and the full-circle act of watching their clients’ children come in for their first haircut really means alot to them.

Being involved in their community is extremely important for Nicholas Spa.

Something you may not know about Nicholas Spa is all of the space that they have, as well as just how many services they provide. They take full advantage of their 4,000 square foot space and offer much more than just haircuts. Nicholas Spa is not only a hair salon, but they do nails, massages and are even able to offer you a cup of tea and a magazine. Especially in times such as these, people are looking for a place to be a one-stop shop, or a place where you can get everything done. In that case, Nicholas Spa is ideal, as they can take care of all your needs under just one roof!

With the re-opening of their business, Adrienne, amongst many others working at Nicholas Spa, are looking forward to seeing Pelham and their loving customers again. Being involved in their community is extremely important for Nicholas Spa, which is why they take extra steps to really get to know their customers and build relationships with them, but most importantly, keep them safe. Because their space is over 4,000 square feet, it is easy for them to maintain the social distance protocols. If you want an extra safe, one-stop shop to get everything from a haircut to a massage, Nicholas Spa is the place to go!

Thrive Barre & Fitness

When it comes to fitness centers, the most important thing for customers is to feel comfortable in their own skin. For Thrive Barre & Fitness this has always been a priority. Both Danielle Aviever and Carol Hinchcliffe, co-founders of Thrive studio, have always wanted to serve the community by bringing people together and making sure that everyone who visits them feels comfortable and good about themselves. Before opening their Wolf’s Lane storefront, Thrive had a makeshift studio in Christ Church on Pelhamdale Ave.. Having been in the realm of fitness for so long, both Danielle and Carol have found the true meaning in owning a studio. Before their closing in March, Thrive wanted to differentiate themselves from other barre studios and fitness centers that neighbored them. Instead of advertising their studio to one type of person, they wanted to make it known that Thrive was a place for everyone, of all body types, and all levels of ability. Having this be their top priority allowed for all of their customers to be comfortable in their own skin and feel as if they could do anything they put their mind to.

Thrive offers outdoor classes seven days a week.

Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, Thrive was forced to close just 12 days after their grand opening. It’s extremely hard to imagine how difficult it was to be forced to close a business that they worked on for so long, but this does not mean that we have no way of supporting them. They offer outdoor classes seven days a week and the schedule is posted on their website, They also are selling merchandise, and have a style profile on their website that you can fill out. After completing, you can order your athletic wear by messaging @mountkristy on instagram. Being one of the last businesses in Pelham allowed to re-open, Thrive needs all the help they can possibly get, which can only be fulfilled by your support!

Patty Pops

In stressful times like these, sometimes all we really need is just a little boost of happiness, and that is exactly the mission at Patty Pops. Baking has always been a passion in Patty Petroula’s life, and Patty Pops started out as an online business that she created while in college. Once it became clear that Patty Pops was a huge success, the next obvious step was to get a storefront of her own. When Patty Pops opened on 5th Ave. in December, they were overwhelmed with all of the support that was shown from the community. The location of Pelham also made it easier for them to keep in touch with their customers from the Connecticut area, as well as New York City.

When it comes to comparing Patty Pops to other bakeries in this area, the three person team at this small bakery think of their goods as much more than just sweet treats. “Sometimes, we almost forget that we are baking, and we think of each individual piece as art,” said Patty. Being such a small team of skilled bakers really allows them to take each every order with care, as they are known for their custom orders. They take pride in their detailed work and how quickly they can get the job done. On their website,, you can see that there is an option for same day pickup for customized cake pops, so you don’t have to worry about calling days in advance.

In stressful times like these, sometimes all we really need is just a little boost of happiness.

Since Patty Pops has a background in being fully online, changes mandated due to Covid-19 were not new to them. They worked through the pandemic, and even made specialized treats for the holidays that were modified due to quarantine. If there is one thing that this pandemic has taught them it is the importance of maintaining a frequently updated website, as well as being active on social media platforms. Patty Pops wants to be known as the business that can be reached without going into the store in order to uphold their relationships with their loyal customers, even though they may not be seeing them in person. To become one of their supporters, show them some love and order your own custom cake pops as a sweet treat personalized just for you.

Sue’s Corner

As many already know, Sue’s Corner has been Pelham’s corner store for a long time. Being able to uphold the same storefront for 50 years takes a whole community and a steady flow of customers. Sue’s Corner is known for their traditional charm, which you can see from the inside and out. They are very personable and really try to take into consideration what their loyal customers want to see in their shop. One specialty that Sue’s Corner offers is personalized gifts. They write names on many children’s items, such as storage bins, buckets and even Christmas ornaments using beautiful lettering, which you can see done right there in the shop. Another must-have from Sue’s Corner is their plethora of Pelham related decorations. If you ever need some Pelham pride in your home, you can never go wrong with a stop to Sue’s Corner.

Due to Covid-19, Sue’s has been extremely cautious as they started to reopen for walk-in customers. However, if people are hesitant to go into the store, they are providing curbside pickup for anything that you order. By going to their website,, you can easily see how pickup and delivery services work. If you are looking for an adorable monogrammed gift, or want to help to keep a 50 year-old business thriving, support Sue’s Corner!

Bella Caruso wrote these business portraits as part of an internship with the Pelham Chamber of Commerce. The businesses profiled were selected by the chamber.