We are shining a spotlight on our small businesses! We want to introduce you to some of the small business owners throughout our center. You can learn more about the products and services these businesses offer and what motivates the entrepreneurs to succeed!
Meet Steve Greene, owner of Adirondack Axe, which opened recently in Aviation Mall. Adirondack Axe Throwing has been in business since 2019. They offer indoor Axe Thowing and mobile services. They will be expanding to add knife throwing and a paint room experience in the coming weeks. They have multi-seasonal leagues as well as space for team-building and group events such as birthday and holiday parties.
Steve started throwing when he lived in Virginia. When he moved back to New York, he read an article regarding a venue opening in Albany. Steve stated, “I said to myself why not in the Lake George/Queensbury area. It’s fun when you get to throw stuff indoors, like your mom said not to! We decided to move to the mall for better walk-in exposure and a better atmosphere than we had at our prior location. I am also excited about Aviation Mall’s plans to diversify in the future. We plan to continue to expand our footprint in the community. We have made various donations to local causes such as SHMD, school donations, Festival of Trees and more. We are always willing to help local causes in any way we can. The best piece of business advice I could give is have a plan but don’t over-extend yourself. Building slowly is okay. Take time to see what works, try new things but be ready to change gears. We are totally self-funded, we built the business in stages and the key learning from that process helped us to grow and expand!”
Meet Grant Fish, owner/partner of Adirondack Zombie Hunters LLC. Grant is from Lake George and has been in business 3 1/2 years. Adirondack Zombie Hunters is family owned and operated and offers state of the art professional grade Milo-Range Shooting Simulators that feature 7’x12′ screens to give a truly immersive shooting experience. These simulators were originally designed for military & law enforcement training applications and provide an unmatched level of accuracy & precision. A wide variety of computer generated scenarios have been developed to give a game-like feel & play-ability. Unlike a typical arcade shooter, kill zones and target areas are not inflated, so success requires true accuracy and form. These simulators are an affordable, safe alternative to a live-fire range for shooters at any skill level and allow for two simultaneous shooters. ADKZH also offers a wide variety of name brand survival related retail products so that anyone can be ready for whatever comes next including: tactical gear and apparel, functional & fantasy cutlery, defense products, pellet & bb air guns, and the area’s largest selection of Air Soft equipment.
When asked how he came up with the idea for the business, Grant stated, “I was tired of waking up everyday, dreading going to work, knowing no matter how much I did, at the end of the day I’d end up in the same spot over and over and over again. I wanted to do something I could go all in on and be excited about. The question then became how to combine all of my favorite things from camping to horror movies, shooting sports to video games & heavy metal. The obvious answer was Zombies! From there it really all just fell into place. Building this business has been the most rewarding experience of my life thus far. It gave me the opportunity to be creative and let my imagination soar from building all of our zombie displays and writing music for our commercials, to designing parade floats and setting up competitions on our shooting simulators. It was a total roll of the dice, but after the first few days at our original store in Lake George, it became pretty clear we were on to something. We’ve been growing steadily and so has our following. We see customers from all over the country year after year that tell us they just can’t come to town without stopping by and shooting some zombies. If I had known we would have a move and a pandemic in our first couple years, I may have rethought jumping right in, but so far so good, thanks to the ongoing support of our loyal customers, to whom we are forever grateful. I have quite a few big ideas for the next couple years and can’t wait to see what the future holds. I love the uniqueness of our business. As far as I know, we’re basically one of a kind. Between the simulators, our custom one of a kind zombie displays, and the hand picked variety of retail products, we offer a fun and truly unique experience. The mall was the perfect move for us because they were very willing to work with our businesses specific needs, while providing our customers with an easily accessible location. We did well at our original location in Lake George Village, but found the lack of parking and heavily seasonal traffic made it challenging to reach a local audience and operate year round and being at the mall has solved both issues. We always try to be as involved as possible in community events. Over the past few years we’ve been involved in many parades and conventions, even an outhouse race or two; most recently the S.A.I.L. and American Legion Trunk or Treat events. We also offer an everyday discount on simulator sessions for all first responders and members of our armed forces (active or veteran) as a small thank you for all of their sacrifices in serving our community. Because even in the apocalypse, individuals survive, but communities thrive! I would tell anyone interested in starting a business, as cliched as it may be, to do something you’re passionate about and you won’t work a day in your life. The excitement on people’s faces, making people smile and going out of your way to make someone’s day better is the most rewarding part.”
Adirondack Zombie is located next to Peter Harris Clothes. You can check out his website at www.adkzh.com.
Meet Sammy Foda, Founder/Owner of 2 Strains CBD. 2 Strains is a dispensary-style Hemp flower and Cannabinoid retail store located in Aviation Mall. We carry a range of products for those that are new to CBD to those that are experienced Cannabis users. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to come by the store or send an email to [email protected] Our main goal is to help, and we are so grateful to be able to offer a solution to people in our community at the most reasonable prices we can.
Let me tell you a little bit about how we got here.
When I was 15 years old, a traumatic event brought about a drastic change in my personality. After this event (I’ll spare you the details), which was front page news in the small town I was from, I feared going to school for the judgement I would face, and I became extremely uncomfortable. It was at this time that I discovered the relief that alcohol and marijuana could bring me. I was able to go to school and “not care” what others thought about me. Little did I know, I was refusing to face my own demons, and simply masking the symptoms of trauma with various substances. The ages of 18-24 were a blur for me. What I thought was “recreational” alcohol and marijuana use escalated quickly. Soon, the effects I desired were only captured again for brief periods of time at higher doses, or through the addition of new substances. Then, I discovered what I thought was the ultimate relief, Oxycodone. In a short period of time, my existence became centered around those moments of peace that opiates brought me. In 2013, I was arrested. Shortly after, I overdosed two times in three days while waiting to start drug-treatment court. I spent the next 3 ½ years going from jail, to detox, to long-term treatment facility, to halfway house – only to relapse within days or weeks of arriving there. 3 ½ years’ worth of this cycle was defeating, and brought me to my knees. I came to a crossroad: I couldn’t live with drugs and I couldn’t live without them. I often reflect on what brought about the sudden acceptance of this situation, rather than continue to fight to be able to use drugs successfully. On November 4th, 2016 I decided I would not use for just that day. I have been sober one day at a time since then.
You may be wondering why this story is here. What does this have to do with Hemp or CBD? With millions of people in recovery, and many more entering every year, Cannabis use (including CBD) is often a controversial subject. I leave this story up for those people. Many in recovery still have to deal with severe pain, anxiety, depression, and other ailments. Low THC high CBD Cannabis can be an alternative. As someone in recovery, I believe that certain substances can trigger an almost immediate physical response of craving. Hemp is the only non-impairing substance I have found that provides relief. Still, others in recovery can use THC successfully without triggering physical cravings (if you are like me, changes in brain chemistry have made delta 9-THC unusable). Every body is different, and it us up to you to discover what can work for you. My recovery wouldn’t be possible without love, family, and purpose. But I do feel comfort knowing that if things ever get out of hand emotionally or physically, CBD can be safely used as a tool to help me stay sober during those times, without jeopardizing my sobriety.
I created 2 Strains with the hope that we could provide people with a safe, natural, and effective alternative to get the relief they need. We are so grateful to be part of this industry. If one person out there can relate decides to give this a shot, and experiences relief, then 2Strains has served its purpose. You can get more information about 2 Strains by visiting their website at 2strains.com.
Meet Mike Dinsmore, owner of Custom T’s & More and Fast Track Phone Repair and Accessories. Mike grew up in Warren and Washington Counties and has lived in Queensbury for the past twenty years. He bought these two businesses recently. When asked about his services and products, Mike replied, “For Custom T’s & More, our goal is to offer people the experience of the joy of having apparel created with their own stamp on it, so to speak. When people come into the store, we offer quick prints on t-shirts, hoodies and other apparel, bu the real joy is when people come into the store and want something that either expresses something they want to say, or helps them promote something important to them such as a business, a wedding, a concept, or just something that makes a statement about who they are or a unique gift they want to give. We love it when people come in to create a single piece of apparel, but we also take joy in offering custom prints for larger groups, teams, etc. We are also excited to create unique gifts for people this holiday season. Being new to this business, we are looking forward to expanding into other customization offerings. Stay tuned!”
“For Fast Track Phone Repair, we offer the experience of having people be able to get their screens replaced, batteries changed and other repairs for their Android phones or Iphones. It’s a joy to see people leave with a brand new screen on their phone or some other restorative repair and a unique case that expresses who they are. We are also looking forward to providing some great Black Friday and holiday gifts including ornaments and Air Pods.”
“We purchased the assets of a previous business with our own certain goals and dreams in mind of where to take things. Both businesses fill a unique need in the community and we are glad to offer these services to the community we live and work in. I see Custom T’s and More as a store where people can have fun creating something that is unique and special to them or someone they care about. We get to see the joy of people leaving the store having been able to make a unique statement about who they are or what they do. In a sense, it engages the mind in a creative, fun process. It also provides a service to businesses and groups that need branding such as teams, organizations and events. I am excited that our business is located in Aviation Mall, as I see the mall shifting and inviting more businesses that are entertainment/experience oriented in addition to businesses that provide services. I believe we fall into these categories in a unique way. When people are looking for something to do, they can shop, but they can also come to the mall for some unique and fun experiences. We are offering a multitude of services at Fast Track Phone Repair including the fixing of Android/Samsung/Iphone, and repairs of other electronic items. For Custom T’s, we offer affordable branding, and a unique fun experience. ”
“The best piece of business advice I could give is to stay connected and really listen to what people want while continuously letting people know what you do and how you can serve them. As a new business we are already receiving requests for more things we could offer. We are expanding our offerings for unique products and services. Listening to what people are asking for helps guide us into where to expand our offerings.”
Custom T’s & More and Fast Track Phone Repair are located near Auntie Anne’s Pretzels.
Meet Shane Avery, founder of Junbucha, a vendor from the weekly Glens Falls Farmers’ Market at the mall. Shane explains, “Junbucha specializes in handcrafting small batch, super-premium Jun Kombucha. We source local, raw wildflower honey and add it to unique and exciting teas from all over the world to create an unparalleled, probiotic rich health elixir. Jun Kombucha is made with honey instead of sugar. With a passion for sustainable and healthy systems, we have a vision for the future, a future where small businesses can thrive by sharing new ideas about ethical entrepreneurship for a regenerative future, a future where we build up innovators who are making a difference right now and making it their business. Junbucha offers an 40% discount assistance program for veterans, disabled people and people with low-incomes.” Shane’s best piece of business advice is, “Find a mentor and apprentice in your trade of choice”. You can stop in to see Shane at the Glens Falls Farmers’ Market at the mall every Saturday through April from 9 am to 1 pm. You can also visit his website at www.junbucha.com.
Meet Nicole Mabey, Owner of Buddy’s Barkery, a vendor from the weekly Glens Falls Farmer’s Market at the mall. Nicole has been in business for six years. Many people ask about her products and services. Nicole explains, “I make dog treats using minimal ingredients and never any preservatives or additives. I had five large dogs and used to buy bulk dog food and treats. One day my husband asked if what I bought was made in China, and I found that it was. There were many recalls and stories of dogs who died because of tainted dog food and treats from China, so I started baking treats, developed my own recipes and began selling the products at the Glens Falls Farmers’ Market. The thing that is unique about my business is that there are no gimmicks, just treats made using ingredients that we all have in our home panties. Buddy’s Barkery gives local dog lovers a place to purchase healthy, incredibly delicious treats”. Nicole’s best piece of business advice is, “There will be bumps in the road but believe in yourself and your product and you will succeed”.