Chester County Briefly: August 8

Image via Longwood Gardens.

Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens is on pace to once again break visitation figures by year’s end, thanks in no small part to the reopening of the Main Fountain Garden after a two-year, $90 million renovation, writes Kenneth Hilario for the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Since the Main Fountain Garden reopened on May 27, and through July 31, about 325,699 people visited Longwood Gardens. That figure represents a nearly 70 percent increase over the same time frame last year.

Current numbers represent a strong start to Longwood’s summer season (May 27-Sept. 30), and if performance keeps up, officials expect to end 2017 with 1.475 million visitors, another record.

Derek Fiorenza

Derek Fiorenza

Derek Fiorenza of Exton’s Summit Group Retirement Planners has been announced as one of three national finalists for the Catalyst Award as part of the 11th annual Invest in Others Awards. Fiorenza is being honored for his work with Downingtown-based Fiorenza’s Food for Friends (F4), which will receive a $5,000 donation from the Invest in Others Charitable Foundation. If Fiorenza wins his category, the donation will increase to $20,000.

The Invest in Others Awards program recognizes the charitable work of financial advisors and financial services firms in communities across the country and around the world.

Fiorenza has been concerned with food insecurity since his undergraduate days at Villanova. His earliest efforts at feeding the hungry involved bringing his family together to serve 25 meals at a homeless shelter over the holidays in 2007. This initiative grew each year and, in 2011, Fiorenza founded Fiorenza’s Food for Friends (F4) with the vision “to create a world without hunger.”

Originally financed out of his own pocket, the startup organization has blossomed, serving more than a million meals across 23 states in the past five years.

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Yellow Springs Farm

Yellow Springs Farm, a family farm business in Chester Springs focused on selling artisanal goat cheeses to local communities and restaurants, was recently awarded First Place for its Black Diamond, Second Place for its Goat’s Beard, and Third Place for its Red Leaf goat’s milk cheeses at the annual American Cheese Society Awards in Denver, Colo.

The ACS is a not-for-profit trade organization founded in 1983 to support the North American artisan and specialty cheese industry. There were an impressive 2,024 cheese products evaluated this year from 281 different producers.

“We are ecstatic to have won the goat cheese trifecta at this year’s competition,” said Catherine Renzi, co-owner of Yellow Springs Farm.

Victory Brewing

Victory Brewing Company has introduced Home Grown New American Lager, its innovative, hoppy lager. Six varieties of 100 percent American whole-flower hops — Azacca, Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Citra, and Mosaic — are the star ingredients in this very drinkable 4.8 percent ABV lager. The carefully selected combination of “homegrown” American hops pairs juicy and resinous aromas with a unique mix of low-bitterness and citrus flavor with a touch of pilsner maltiness.

Home Grown New American Lager is the brewery’s latest shining star of authenticity, proving Victory’s leading brewing principal of combining European tradition and American ingenuity is alive and well within the saturated beer market.

“Lagers have always been a successful and labored style in Victory’s portfolio,” said Ron Barchet, Victory’s co-founder and COO. “Our expertise in cold fermentation and use of whole-flower hops effectively guided our innovation process for this ‘hoppy lager.’

“After 16 iterations of experimentation, we were able to bring these flavorful hops into a lighter body, while creating a sufficient, crisp finish.”

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