Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ka-Noon Thai Cuisine Restaurant Opens

Ka-Noon Thai Cuisine Restaurant Opened May 29th at 168 Great Road at the former location of Lemon Tree Cafe in the Bedford Marketplace. I recently spoke with Malee, who works at the restaurant. According to Malee, the restaurant was purchased outright from the Lemon Tree Cafe (the other Lemon Tree location is Burlington is still open). The restaurant is operated by 2 partners which have operated Yoong Tong Thai Restaurant in Northborough for the past 10 years. The partners were looking for a new location and really liked the Bedford area.

While the restaurant equipment and furnishings were purchased, the interior of the restaurant was renovated giving it a more modern and slightly more upscale look. 

The renovated interior includes recessed lightning and artwork and a small bar area.

Along with the interior changes, the menu was revamped. It's still Thai Food with a few other Asian dishes such as Salmon Teriyaki and Wonton Soup, but the focus is on emphasizing healthy foods, what Malee described as "True Thai". This fits in well with the name of the restaurant, Ka-Noon which is a popular fruit in Thailand. According to Malee, the most popular dishes so far are Red Snapper and Curry.

 While much of the interior has been redone, the old fish tank from Lemon Tree Cafe has been retained.

The restaurant features both a Lunch (Mon-Sat) and Dinner menu and does offer delivery.

A more permanent sign is expected soon.

It will be interesting to see how the new restaurant does as Asiana Bistro and Ginger Restaurants are just a few blocks away. Lemon Tree Cafe never seemed to be very busy. I don't recall them ever advertising which I think was part of the problem. My advise to Ka-Noon is to reach out to both Bedford residents and workers. Yelp seems to becoming an increasingly popular service for reviews of restaurants and other retail businesses in Bedford.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bedford Farmers Market Set to Open for 2010

The Bedford Farmers' Market is set to begin it's 3rd Season on Monday June 14th across from Depot Park. I recently spoke with Co-Founder Barbara Purchia. According to Barbara, the Farmers' Market is adding 10 new vendors this year including fresh pasta, artisan cheeses, Lebanese and Egyptian food and more. Besides adding new vendors, one of the goals for this year is customer education such as composting demos and seed planting for kids.

2009 Opening Day (June 15th 2009) at the Bedford Farmer's Market 

 While the Farmers Market was pleased with the growth in 2009, things slowed down in July and August as many people went away for the summer. For this year, Barbara and her team plan to combat this with additional activities such as weekly entertainment throughout the summer. In addition, there are future plans to add a marketing person.

As far as Iron Chef Bedford, Barbara mentioned that while it was successful getting people out, it did not seem to benefit the vendors. Iron Chef is being replaced by Taste of the Market in which a company will showcase what is in season. For example on Labor Day, Flatbread Pizza is bringing their portable pizza oven to the market and will add all the toppings from the local vendors and will then cook up some pizzas.

According to Barbara, the long term goals of the Bedford Farmers' Market are to continue to grow and help educate residents on the importance of what you eat, where your food comes from and how the food is grown. Barbara also stressed the importance of community in terms of being able to have conversations with people you run in to at the Farmer's Market, something that she thinks is lacking at the supermarkets.

1. While I think the additional vendors and activities will help with the growth of the market in 2010, one component still missing is outreach to employees who work but do not live in Bedford. In my informal talks with nearby workers last summer, many people were unaware of the Farmers Market which was going on just a few blocks away but had a pretty positive reaction upon hearing about it. Perhaps some flyers distributed to some of the nearby office parks would boost awareness.

2. It is nice to see the Bedford Farmer's Market website take advantage of mostly free basic web tools such as Google Calendar and online scheduling for Volunteers (although I do recommend they add Twitter). This is something that many local Bedford retailers do not take advantage of. Twitter 101 for business is probably a good place to start.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Back on Track Physical Therapy Opens in Bedford

The main treatment area. More equipment such as Treadmills is expected soon.

Back on Track Physical Therapy recently opened it's seventh location in Bedford at 186 Great Road in the Blue Ribbon Shopping Plaza at the former location of J. Gregory Lamp and Shade. I recently spoke with Susanne Nasson, the General Manager. Back on Track, which opened it's first location in 1999, had previously sublet space from the Burdenko Institute for Aquatic Therapy at the Bedford Veterans Hospital until last fall, when the VA ended the lease. Since most Back on Track clients were from the local community (mainly Bedford, Concord and Lexington), Back on Track had been looking for a new space in the area.

The new location, which had a soft opening on May 5th, is actively looking to work with a local pool in order to offer Aquatic Therapy again. Susanne mentioned that 80% of their local clients want Aquatic Therapy.

According to Susanne, the Back On Track therapists blend traditional physical therapy methods with holistic programs to provide a full range of care. Back on Track also offers one on one treatment in private treatment rooms. Paul Salvi, the Clinic Director for the Bedford location, had worked at the Bedford VA for many years and is well known to many Back on Track clients.

 One of the private treatment rooms. The room was designed to offer a soothing experience.

Back on Track has recently started taking referals from Lahey Clinic. In addition to offering physical therapy, Back on Track is also planning to add Wellness Programs, including Yoga classes and is also looking in to  Massage Therapies. The Bedford location currently has 4 employees and is looking to add another 4 as business ramps up. They are planning a Grand Opening Celebration in Early July.