Sunday, August 17, 2003

Business notes

Encore Cafe adds Symmes location

Encore Cafe has lived up to its name and given its customers an additional performance.

The West Chester Township eatery, owned by restaurateurs Paul and Pam Sturkey, has expanded to a location in Symmes Township. The cafe, like the original on Tyler Corner Drive, serves steak, seafood, pasta dishes and hearth-fired pizzas for lunch and dinner. The dessert menu features a selection from pastry chef Pam Sturkey.

The owners say their goal is to give Encore's menu a regional flavor while drawing from culinary trends.

The new restaurant is at 9521 Fields Ertel Road, near the intersection with Montgomery Road. It is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday, and dinner from 4 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 4 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Information: 774-7072.

Medical benefits firm's expertise

First Source Benefits Group provides employee health and welfare benefits to small and medium-sized companies.

The new business, based in Blue Ash, consults with and designs plans for companies with two to 500 employees. It can also assist individuals with health and life insurance.

"We espouse the virtues of consumer-driven benefit plans, offering employees more flexibility and control over their medical outcomes and their budget constraints," said First Source owner William R. Brunk. This includes offering multibenefit plans to a single employer, as well as high-deductible health plans tied to health reimbursement arrangements and medical savings accounts.

Brunk has more than 25 years' experience in banking and insurance, with the past 10 years focused on employee benefits. He is a member of the National Association of Health Underwriters and is a Life Underwriters Training Council Fellow.

Information: 792-0930 or

PR firm adds eatery to stable

PR-Link Public Relations has landed a tasty account.

The firm was selected by Max & Erma's Restaurants Inc. to handle the opening of its new Eastgate restaurant this month. This will be the Columbus-based chain's fourth Greater Cincinnati location. Other Max & Erma's restaurants are in Norwood, Kenwood and West Chester Township.

Max & Erma's operates 70 restaurants and has franchised 14 others. Most are in the Midwest and Southeast.

PR-Link president Pamela Gilchrist has previously launched Olive Garden restaurants in Ohio.

Since establishing her firm in 1999, she has worked with clients such as LasikPlus, The Alliance Institute for Integrative Medicine, Coty Inc. and Lighthouse Youth Services.

Information: 233-9090.

Have music videos made from photos

A new company in West Chester makes music videos from customers' photos and other visual records.

Heritage Productions combines still images with clips from home movies and videotapes to make a family history.

"Your narrated music-video removes the element of time that occurs when viewing photo albums and other disorganized memories," said owner Joyce Lochard. "Through our creative editing, special effects, titles, music and your voice-over, we now make it fun and exciting to view all the highlights of your family history in less than an hour."

The company, a franchise of Family Tree Video Co., can also produce corporate videos.

It is located at 7124 Butterwood Drive.

Information: 777-0625 or

Custom painting is studio specialty

Color washing, textured finishes and murals are some of the wall decorating techniques available from Faux Studio 24, a new business in Milford.

"People want to personalize and add interest to their surroundings. I can make any room come alive with just a little paint," said studio owner Anica Cassinelli.

Cassinelli's background includes arts and business experience. She recently attended faux finish sessions in Detroit and Atlanta.

Faux Studio 24 is at 5656 Wolfpen-Pleasant Hill Road. It is open by appointment.

Information: 576-1999.

Ben-Gals lead dance studio

The Dance Pro boasts instruction by two Ben-Gal cheerleaders.

The studio, open since May, is at 11974 Lebanon Road, Suite 208 in Sharonville.

Under the direction of Larkin Sell, it offers classes in a variety of dance techniques. Coordinators are Michelle Warner and Hazel Denight.

Information: 554-0888.

E-mail or fax 564-6991 with openings, expansions and other news about neighborhood businesses.

DHL will be sorting packages faster now
Cell phone fee may bring profit
New flavors help keep Faygo afloat
Caviar importer hatching dream
Furniture co. owner shapes small business
Creative, cheap ads can work
Business notes