BRIARCLIFF MANOR, SLOATSBURG & TAPPAN, NY – Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick (D-Rockland/Westchester) recently visited three women-owned businesses and presented New York State Senate Empire Awards. 

“I am proud to honor three impressive women business owners,” said Senator Reichlin-Melnick. “Empire Awards recognize businesses that go above and beyond selling merchandise or providing a service, and give back to their community. The three women we honored this month have made community service a core value, and no doubt that is part of their recipe for success.”  

Sue Taub, owner of Holbrook Cottage in Briarcliff Manor, thanked the Senator for the award and went on to say, “We are a true team at Holbrook Cottage and are dedicated to conducting an exciting retail business and giving back to the Westchester Community. From the day we opened our doors 25 years ago, we have strived to make a positive contribution to all of our neighbors.” Holbrook Cottage has partnered with the Ossining Children’s Center to host their Festive Stroll of Homes fundraiser for two decades and they hope to renew that annual event with the evolving COVID guidance. Other local community organizations that they have supported with their Shop for a Cause events include Ossining MATTERS, and Briarcliff PEO Educational Foundation for Women.

Barbara Berntsen and Nicole Scanlon, owners of the Village Blend in Sloatsburg, are a mother-daughter team. “The Village blend is family-owned, with three generations of women who are passionate about great food, community, and really good coffee,” they said. “We’re very fortunate to have Harriman State Park as our backyard so our cafe is truly a warm and inviting feel-good hub surrounded by nature and wonderful people.” Beyond coffee and treats, the Village Blend is known for promoting local artists and coordinating the Sloatsburg Plein Air Art Event. In time away from the coffee shop, Bernsten is President of The Friends of Harmony Hall, a historic house in Sloatsburg.

Mimi Platas, owner of Mimi’s Plate thanked the Senator for the award and expressed appreciation for those who help make her business a success, “I have the very good fortune of being located in Rockland County where the community has supported my shop and my pursuit of making the world a better place little by little. My passion for cooking has allowed me to have a small impact on community concerns and raise money for important causes. I am also very fortunate to be supported by a staff of extremely talented and hard-working women who make my job look easy!!” Platas supports and nourishes community organizations including the Blue Rock School and the Orangeburg Volunteer Fire Department.

NYS Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick at Holbrook Cottage in Briarcliff Manor.
NYS Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick at The Village Blend in Sloatsburg.