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Meet the SUNY Brockport alumna and Greece native behind JetHiking

Originally published in the July/August 2014 issue of Rochester, NY’s (585) magazine.

I do know this — the big and mysterious America is bigger than I thought. And more mysterious.” John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

Amber Nolan is thumbing her way across the country, but she’s not plodding down the interstate waiting for an altruist to pick her up. As the self-dubbed “JetHiking Gypsy,” she’s traveling the country on private planes.

“I’ve always had this adventurous spirit,” said Nolan. Two years ago, after graduating from SUNY Brockport and a short stint working for a travel rag in New York City…


Bergen brothers bring Sapienza Design to Brooklyn

Originally published in the May/June 2014 issue of Rochester, NY’s (585) magazine.

For an expat of those wide-open spaces that surround our Flower City, nostalgia paints memories of driving down backroads scattered with farmhouses and fields. The weatherworn beams of old barns sprout from the earth like the ruins of a forgotten time. Perhaps it’s this nostalgia that anchors Brooklyn-based brothers William and Andrew Sapienza. Originally from Bergen, Genesee County, they made their way to a furniture design company, albeit in a roundabout way.

A few years ago, older brother William packed up to move to Brooklyn. He accepted a…


Farm Brewery License ushers in an era of homegrown hops and malthouses

Originally published in the March/April 2014 issue of Rochester, NY’s (585) magazine.

A new breed of breweries is cropping up all over the state — with hopyards and malthouses sprouting alongside them. Modeled after the New York Farm Winery act of 1976 that launched the Finger Lakes wine region into a bona fide agritourism destination, the newly minted Farm Brewery license aims to encourage the growth of not only beer tourism in the state but also the agricultural endeavors of hops growing and malting.

The legislation, which went into effect in January 2013, offers license holders opportunities like holding beer…


Hops provide a booming option for agricultural entrepreneurs

Excerpted from a three-part story originally published in the March/April 2014 issue of Rochester, NY’s (585) magazine.

Bluebell Hopyard’s story begins with three disparate lives: Kurt Charland, an engineer; Rob Potter, a retired schoolteacher; and Fred Armstrong, owner of a Rochester animation studio, whose mutual backyard hobby brought them together in a venture that hearkens back to the hops industry’s heyday in New York.

“We’re quite an eclectic group,” said Charland. “Rob and I have been doing beer for quite some time, and Fred dabbles in it himself.” A few years ago, each of them cultivated a miniature hopyard for…

Rachel Repard

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