WADDINGTON - From its walls peppered with paintings and watercolors by local artists to its black forest crepe topped with chocolate mousse and maraschino cherries, Artworks Creperie, 2 Main St., has grown to become a unique stop for travelers along Route 37.
Although owner Mark Scott may not be an artist, he does recognize the importance of investing in local talentbe it the three employees who craft his crepes or the dozens of artists whose works line the walls of his restaurant and gallery.
As far as I know, were the only creperie north of Lake Placid, Mr. Scott said. I wanted to create a destination that would bring people to Waddington. Not many people know about Waddington. I am noticing more and more that many people who stop here will often ask me where the local real estate office is.
Going into its fifth year in business, Artworks Creperie has expanded to include a space for live entertainment, Sunday morning breakfast buffets, a summer dinner menu, and more space for artists to display their work.
Employees continue to create new sweet and savory crepes, such as vegetable fete, ham and Swiss cheese, and apples and cinnamonMr. Scotts favorite.
Many times my staff will come to me with their own creations, he said. I always say its my idea, but its the people that work for me who make it happen. You have to have good people.
A Russell native, Mr. Scott said he moved to Waddington in 1997 after living in the Binghamton area for over 12 years.
We decided to move back to the north country because, in my mind, there is no better place to raise children, he said. Its a quiet, safe and rural environment with good schools, clean air and fresh water. When you first drive down Main Street in Waddington and see the St. Lawrence River, its an incredible sight. You cant beat it.
It was the river that provided inspiration for Mr. Scotts first business venture, St. Lawrence Boat Tours.
The boat tour company began as a way to invest in the area, he said. I wanted the building fixed up. I wanted to see something good happen and jobs created. Eventually, it became too difficult to keep up. I began searching for business that was year-round, and thats when I came up with the idea for a creperie.
While working on Main Street, Mr. Scott joined a committee comprised of a dozen other residents called the Waddington Redevelopment Association.
The group aimed to revitalize Main Street through private investment and public outreach.
The groups efforts spawned the Clark House project, Waddington Recorder, Waddington Concert Series, and gazebo project.
We were trying to engage our elected officials at the time, he said. Thats how I became involved in local government. I started going to all the town board meetings. Eventually, once you start getting that involved, you become part of the process.
After serving on the Town Council for two years, Mr. Scott decided to run for Town Supervisor. Since he was elected, Mr. Scott said his main goal as Town Supervisor has been to bring economic development to the area.
In 2011, Mr. Scott and the Town Council worked with residents to conduct a strategic economic development study that eventually became the towns community plan. The community plan, which took almost a year and half to complete, outlined potential plans to develop over 200 acres of land returned by the New York Power Authority in 2005 as part of the St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project Relicensing Settlement Agreement.
Development of our former NYPA surplus lands is critical to the future of Waddington, he said. At times the debates can become contentious, but I am confident were getting closer to finding agreeable solutions that will benefit the community as a whole.
The future, he says, will rely on balancing the preservation of Waddingtons idyllic, small town charm with new development.
The future of Waddington is a combination of things that are compatible to the tourism component and outdoor recreation, Mr. Scott said. Waddington could be an outdoor recreational destination. It could also be a place for art and culture. Many people have asked me why not build a creperie in Potsdam or Canton, but I say why not Waddington? This is where we live and raise our families. Why shouldnt we invest in our community? I hope that by joining other businesses here, I can encourage other potential business owners to invest here as well.
For more information about Artworks Creperie, visit the restaurants website at www.artworkscreperie.net.
Mr. Scott is this years recipient of the Clarkson University Reh Center for Entrepreneurships Entrepreneur of the Year Award, which recognizes a practicing entrepreneur who demonstrates an unwavering commitment to building their small business and supporting their community.
He will be honored at the Reh Center for Entrepreneurship at Clarkson Universitys third annual Entrepreneur Recognition Dinner beginning at 5 p.m. April 19, at Clarksons Cheel Campus Center.
Marc Compeau, instructor for Clarkson Universitys School of Business, will receive the Entrepreneurs Hero Award at the dinner.
Jeff Taylor, director of the Career Center at Clarkson, will receive the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award. Alumni Randy Rothe, chief executive officer of ViTEX, Mooresville, N.C., will be inducted into the Clarkson Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.