Cortlandt Retailers Draw Customers With Classes

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Susan O'Keefe, of Baked By Susan, began children's cooking classes this winter. Photo Credit: Jessica Glenza

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Cooking classes, game design workshops and home brewing demonstrations are just a few class offerings local retailers have designed to bring people into their shops.

"January is a little bit of a slower month and we decided to start offering the adult cooking classes just because we had the time to do it," said Susan O'Keefe, owner of Baked By Susan, a homey bakery at 163 Grand St., Croton.

"Then, every time we put out an adult cooking course, somebody would email me, 'you should put out a kids cooking course.' So that's why we decided to do it," said O'Keefe.

Two children's cooking classes have been scheduled for February so far, and both are sold out. Cupcake and cookie decorating classes running Feb. 3 and 10 have space. Admission is $30 plus tax.

At The Green Growler, sales are driven by Super Bowls and holiday gatherings. Manager Bill Bird says the Growler could "never survive" on home-brew supplies alone, but that people who attend the $15 home-brew classes "are the best connoisseurs for us anyway."

"We love them. They allow us to learn and see the products that go into the beer that we do sell, so we understand the brewing process and the ingredients that go into the brewing process, and thus we have a finer appreciation for the brewing process," said Bird.

The classes are offered outdoors at irregular intervals. The shop is at 368 S. Riverside Ave., Croton.

A partnership between 3rd Universe Comics, at 35 N. Riverside Ave., Croton, and Fun Blue Tree LLC produced a 12-week game design workshop. The $200 class has a 10-student cap. Each class is three hours long and addresses everything from prototyping to publishing the board games.

Most of these entrepreneurs said the best way to find out about classes is to seek their Facebook presence or email lists, where updates are regularly posted. 

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