Lancaster County Coffee Roasters Coffee and Candy Cane

10 Last Minute Lancaster Gift Ideas from Our Neighborhood

We talk a lot at Benjamin Roberts about how a company’s choice of furniture can impact internal culture and success, from encouraging collaboration to providing greater access to technology anywhere in the office to creating a beautiful and comfortable place to get things done! Another way to create a positive company culture is to show your appreciation for your employees, co-workers, and clients in meaningful ways.

So, since we’re still a week away from Christmas, we thought we would help you out by showcasing a few of our downtown Lancaster neighbors whose products and services would make great gifts for your work family!

A Few of Our BR Team’s Favorite Things (in No Particular Order)

Dinner at Ma(i)son

We might as well start with our neighbors immediately next door to our downtown Lancaster showroom on Prince Street! Dinner at this local “Urban Cookery” is a delicious way to show your clients and colleagues that you care.

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Dessert at Penny’s 

Just few doors down from our office is Penny’s brick and mortar ice cream shop (they have a food truck, ice cream cart, and kiosk at the mall, too!). You can’t go wrong with a gift of locally-made ice cream in all kinds of yummy flavors!

Penny's

Lunch at Rachel’s Cafe & Creperie

Two words. Nutella. Mocha. Soooooo good, and the food is wonderful, too. These neighbors are just around the corner from us on Walnut Street – you can’t miss their cheerful yellow building and beautiful new patio!

Rachel's Cafe & Creperie

Coffee at Lancaster County Coffee Roasters (and Basically Everything Else You Can Find at Lancaster Central Market)

We have quite a few coffee drinkers around our office, and quite a few regulars at Lancaster Central Market, as well, so we can easily recommend this downtown Lancaster landmark as a great place for locally-made gifts! That’s a Peppermint Bark coffee you see, below. Yum! And you can also get coffee beans, K-Cups, and more at the Market stand.

Lancaster County Coffee Roasters and Central Market

Tickets to the Fulton Theatre

Tickets for a show at this Lancaster County landmark just a few blocks away from BR is another fun and entertaining gift idea for your clients, co-workers, or employees.

Fulton Theatre

Coffee at Passenger Coffee

Like I said, we have quite a few coffee drinkers on our BR team, and another of our many local favorites are these neighbors a few blocks away on King Street. We love this ethical company that knows their coffee – a delightful gift option for your caffeine-loving colleagues!

Passenger Coffee

Lunch at Roburrito’s

These guys are right across Prince Street from us, and a regular spot for our employees to grab some lunch. So glad to have them in our neighborhood – check them out!

Roburritos

Popped Anything at The Pop’D Shop

Popcorn. Poptoast. SodaPop. Popsicles. Locally sourced and handcrafted. We just bought some of their popcorn bags as a giveaway for a holiday networking event, and boy was it worth it! Swing by their new Shop on The 300 Block of North Queen Street (and check out the other great shops on the block, as well)!

The Pop'D Shop

Artwork from Friendship Heart Gallery and Candy and Ice Cream from Miesse Candies & Ice Cream Parlor

You can’t beat a one-stop shopping opportunity like this one! These two neighbors a block away on Water Street share an entrance and have a variety of gift options to satisfy an art lover or a co-worker with a sweet tooth! (P.S. We also have some Friendship Heart Gallery art for sale in our showroom, for anyone who might be interested in supporting the work of this amazing local non-profit organization that provides opportunities to individuals with disability and autism.)

Friendship Heart Gallery and Miesse Candies and Ice Cream Parlor

So there you have it! We hope you are inspired to do a little local holiday shopping from our awesome downtown Lancaster friends and neighbors. All the best to you in the New Year!

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“The Art of Board”

Using recycled skateboard tiles as his medium of choice to create one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted mirrors, furniture, and more, local artist Rich Moorhead, founder of the skateboard-inspired textile company Art of Board, has molded his childhood passion into an innovative art and design career.

Rich with Mimeo Task Chair

Whether he is crafting recycled skateboard tile masterpieces at his studio in Hanover, PA, or working with his business partners at Art of Board to create signature textile collections for both interior and fashion design, you can see the artistry and passion Rich brings to every project.

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Our Benjamin Roberts team was first introduced to Rich when he was a contract furniture manufacturer sales rep. And now, we are thrilled to partner with him, again, this time by featuring Rich’s art and decor at our December 7 Lancaster First Friday art gallery event, as well as offering Art of Board-upholstered lounge furniture and task chairs as part of our BR contract office furniture collection. Check it out:

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Inspired by what you see? You can check out Rich’s amazing work on First Friday, December 7 from 6 to 9 p.m. at our showroom – 240 N Prince Street in Lancaster!

Join us for an interactive, family-friendly art gallery experience where you can:

  • Browse and shop Rich’s Art – a fun and festive, one-of-a-kind gift option
  • Make and take home your own recycled skateboard tile key chain – a great activity for adults and kids
  • Enjoy light refreshments
  • Try our selection of workplace lounge furniture and task chairs upholstered in CF Stinson fabric featuring Art of Board’s iconic skateboard designs

Signed posters of Rich’s original mosaic – “The Art of Board” (which will be on display at the event) – will also be available for purchase.

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We hope to see you here on December 7!

The Art of the Office – Launching our BR Places: Gallery

Rebecca Fox was walking down Prince Street in Lancaster City one day in 2008, when she spotted a man and woman standing on the sidewalk holding on to their bikes and talking to each other. She subtly snapped a photo and filed it away as inspiration for a future painting. Then in 2015, she pulled the picture out, again, and started to paint, and “Young Love” in oil on canvas emerged. She posted it to her Etsy shop, and waited for it to sell.

Rebecca Fox_Young Love Painting Reference Photo

Fast forward to 2018.

Our Benjamin Roberts team was just beginning the process of reimagining what our impact could be on our employees, customers, and community. We were working hard to put words to the values we had already been living out as a company, and “Creating Art” was an obvious one. It’s part of what we do as a contract furniture dealer with designers on staff who work with our sales team to help create beautiful, functional, and inspiring workplace furniture solutions for our clients.

We also have been slowly and steadily building our collection of local art over the years. And since art is a natural complement to office furniture, it was also only natural to fulfill our value of Creating Art by creating the BR Places: Gallery in our showroom to help us better showcase the work of talented local artists in our community, ultimately helping to bring in new prospects and supporting the local arts movement that drives our economy and benefits us all.

So, we jumped on Etsy and started searching for artists in Lancaster. As we scrolled through the listings, we came across Rebecca’s Young Love painting and had to do a triple take. “Hey, that’s our building!”

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The photo Rebecca had taken 10 years earlier was captured right in front of our offices and showroom! So, of course we had to have it. And we’re thrilled to now have “Young Love” as part of our permanent collection.

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And we didn’t stop there. We launched the BR Places: Gallery to give us a platform to support the arts, encourage clients who are designing their workplaces to decorate with art by local artists, and to have a unique avenue to reach prospective clients that we didn’t have, before.

We hosted our inaugural Lancaster First Friday event on October 5 – with an “Art of the Office” theme – featuring our friends down the street at Friendship Heart Gallery. And on November 2 from 6 to 9 p.m. in our showroom at 240 N Prince Street in Lancaster, we will be hosting Rebecca Fox as our featured artist for our next First Friday BR Places: Gallery event.

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Interested in decorating your workplace or home office with local art? Swing by on November 2 and see what Rebecca and other local artists have to offer. Want to create a gallery space to feature local artists at your workplace? Stop by on November 2, and check out what we’ve done. We’d love to meet you and help in any way we can.

See you in November!

5 Inspiring Higher Ed Designs to Take You Back to School

The school year is now in full swing, and we thought it was time to get inspired by our surroundings and the start of a new season with a look at some beautiful, student-centered spaces at colleges and universities in the Central PA region.

Dickinson College Library – Carlisle, PA

The multi-story windows in the library at Dickinson College flood the peaceful, quiet space with ample light for students working hard on their next assignment in this comfortable seating option by Allsteel called Reflect.

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Elizabethtown College’s Myer Hall – Elizabethtown, PA

The residents of Myer Hall on the Elizabethtown College campus have plenty of comfortable places to choose from when it comes time to study or spend time with friends thanks to the new lounge furniture, updated paint and flooring, and college student-friendly amenities like a new TV room and game room that were installed in 2018.

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HACC Harrisburg Campus Cooper Student Center – Harrisburg, PA

The centerpiece of the Cooper Student Center at the HACC Harrisburg Campus is this stunning floor-to-ceiling glass fireplace. And the bright and comfortable Kimball Villa Lounge Seating surrounding the fireplace is the perfect place to relax, chat with friends, or get some work done.

Bright pops of color in the rest of the Kimball furniture throughout the Center are a fun and energizing contrast to the neutral tones of the space.

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Shippensburg University – Shippensburg, PA

Can you guess what Shippensburg University’s colors are? Take one look at the furniture, and you will figure it out! Bright reds and blues, coupled with the other fun accent colors in their Allsteel furnishings, help incorporate Shippensburg’s brand and school pride into the built environment.

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York College of Pennsylvania’s Kinsley School of Engineering Sciences and Technology – York, PA

Cool, contemporary, and peaceful, the Kinsley School of Engineering Sciences and Technology at York College is housed in a building formerly occupied by a manufacturing company. The clean lines of the furniture are the perfect accent to the industrial feel of this beautiful space.

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Inspired by what you see? Learn more about the contract furniture products and services available to colleges and universities in the Central Pennsylvania region from our Benjamin Roberts Ltd Office Interiors team of experts at www.benjaminrobertsltd.com!

Creating Shared Success with Cargas and 101NQ

If you’ve driven by the old Bulova building on the corner of Queen and Orange Streets in Lancaster, recently, you know that the team from LeFevre Funk Architects Inc. and  Warfel Construction is slowly chipping away at the tired brick exterior, transforming the architectural landscape of the block and creating new opportunities for economic success in our downtown neighborhood!

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The stunning new structure taking the place of the Bulova building is called 101NQ and will feature retail spaces, offices, and private residences. The anchor tenant for the project is Cargas Systems, a Lancaster-based company that helps businesses implement customer relationship management, accounting, and enterprise resource planning solutions.

So where do we come in? We’ve been selected as the contract office furniture dealer for the Cargas space at 101NQ! As we go, we’ll share updates on the process and progress of the project. Check out what we’ve done so far in the timeline, below, and look for more updates over the next several months!

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The Cargas Project – A Timeline

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Step 1 – Fall 2017 – Cargas held a one-hour meeting with representatives from five dealerships. The representative from Benjamin Roberts was Sales Team member Brock Miller. After that meeting, they narrowed it down to two dealerships.

Step 2 –  Cargas provided company growth projections, rough workspace needs, and cultural priorities, along with the 101NQ floorplan, to the two dealerships.

Step 3 – December 2017 – Each dealership delivered a two-hour formal presentation centered on the procurement process, design concepts, and budget projections.

Step 4 – Early 2018 to the Present – A winner was named, and it was us! Then came space planning and furniture design with our BR team working parallel to the architect. The process included initial design meetings with the Cargas internal planning team, a survey of and meetings with the entire Cargas staff to assess needs and gather ideas, and continued design meetings with the internal team to work towards a final furniture plan.

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Once plans are finalized and the 101NQ building is complete, the furniture we order will be delivered and installed by our BR team of Installers, and Cargas can enjoy their new workplace! But in the meantime, stay tuned for updates on the exciting things happening at the 101NQ Cargas project.

Want to know more about the contract furniture process? Comment, below, or give us a call at 717-291-1001.