Up & Coming Establishments

Dante's Books, a small used bookstore, is the newest addition to Main Street in Geneseo.

"We're really all about great, affordable books here," said Soren Thomas, owner and founder of the store. Dante's Books opened just over three months ago and is adjacent to Mama Mia's pizza parlor.

"I was inspired by a love of great books and a love of sharing great books," Thomas said. His father, Dante, was a professor of English at Geneseo from 1967 to 1989.

"About 50 percent of all the books in the store are donated from his personal collection," Thomas continued.

The store sells used books from a range of categories including classic fiction, history, philosophy, art, photography, science fiction, poetry and theology. Most of the inventory sells for under $10.

Dante's also offers first editions of books, rare books, used children's books and used comic books. Several walls of the store are adorned with artwork and photography, and Thomas said he intends to showcase local and student artists.

The store hosted a poetry slam last Friday and raised money for Invisible Children at a book sale on Saturday. A creative writing workshop will be held this Friday.

"We're looking to go above and beyond a retail establishment," Thomas said. "We want to make this a store directly connected to the student community."

The store has enjoyed a favorable response from students so far. "[Dante's] has a great selection of books, and the books are inexpensive," said senior Alissa Herman. "Dante's Books is a treasure."

"It's what a bookshop should be, as opposed to cold, chain bookstores," said sophomore Marie-Jo Nassar. "You can spend hours in there just finding tons of books you'd love to read."

"[Dante's] has a very eclectic mix of books, so everybody can find something they love," said freshman April Lenhard.

Dante's Books is open seven days a week.

Byrne Dairy, a Syracuse-based convenience store, intends to open a Geneseo location at 39 and 41 East South St. across from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The company began in the 1930s, delivering milk by wagon in central New York. Since then, it has expanded both its line and production to include premium ice cream, butter, cheese and yogurt. Today, the company even makes its own bottles.

Byrne Dairy has been working to open a convenience store in Geneseo for about six months. Progress was slow to start as plans were complicated by a zoning code prohibiting any "fuel-dispensing equipment" within 300 feet of a public entrance, in this case, a church.

The zoning has since been approved, however, as the distance between the church and proposed lot just barely clears at 318 feet. The building itself, once a Sunoco, has been cleared and is being demolished in order to make way for the new 4,000 square-foot store.

Whether or not the store would be able to sell alcohol was another point of contention due to the church's proximity, but according to the NYS Alcohol & Beverage Control Board, alcohol may indeed be sold for consumption off the premises.

According to its Web site, Byrne Dairy takes pride in the quality of its products and advertises baked goods fresh from the oven and dairy from local farms. The company ensures that its dairy comes from untreated cows.

Typical locations offer fresh dairy products including ice cream, baked goods, pizza, subs and gasoline.

Applications for employment are now available at byrnedairy.com.