Tioga County awarded $1.8 million In Restore NY funding 

Tioga County awarded $1.8 million In Restore NY funding A view from the deck of the former River Rose Café, once located off the back of the Hand of Man. Renovations with the upcoming funding and expansion include waterfront seating. (File Photo / Bob Hoag)

Tioga County was recently awarded $1.8 million in Restore NY funding for the rehabilitation of two prominent buildings in the Village of Owego. The currently vacant buildings, located at 178-180 Front St., are the future home of Fuddy Duddy’s Confectionery, currently located on Lake Street in the Village. 

Stephen and Kimberly Cruty, owners of Fuddy Duddy’s Confectionery, recently purchased the properties to further expand their business. With the help of the grant funding, the buildings on Front Street will be transformed into new retail, production, and office space, as well as a loft apartment suite on the third floor. 

“We are thrilled to receive this Restore NY grant award,” said Stephen Cruty. “These buildings have played an essential role in Owego’s retail community since 1850. With this support, we will create an immersive destination in the Village that will take our guests back to a simpler and sweeter time. With the help of TEAM Tioga we were able to secure this funding so that we could realize our vision, while remaining in downtown Owego.” 

Their plans include expanding bakery and confectionary offerings, returning coffee and espresso service with in-house roasting capability, adding an old-fashioned nut roastery and popcorn poppery, reconstructing the riverside deck with waterfront seating, and developing the adjoining park to include a European-style Christmas Market during the holiday season. 

For the project, the Cruty’s have retained Johnson-Schmidt & Associates of Corning, New York as their Architects of Record. The group specializes in historic preservation, rehabilitation, adaptive reuse, and renovation of historic properties throughout New York State.  

LeeAnn Tinney, director of Tioga County Economic Development and Planning, stated, “Our Team strives to aid in the retention and expansion of businesses in Tioga County. We are very pleased that the Restore NY funding will be used to rehabilitate two important historic structures in the Village of Owego for the expansion of a small local business.” 

Construction on the buildings is anticipated to start in 2023.

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