Daniel M. Vincenti Electrical

When someone works on our house, whether it’s electrical work or some type of installation, we want the experience to be simple and pleasant. Our home is precious to us, and we only want soDan Vincenti, Philadelphia Electricianmeone we trust to work on it. We don’t want any confusion over the cost, a lack of punctuality or difficult personalities. You will never run into any of these factors with Daniel M. Vincenti.

Dan is one of the most reliable and personable electricians you will encounter. His customers know him as a friend, and return to him because he’s efficient and courteous in his work. If you ever have confusion about why he’s setting something up in your house in a certain way, Dan is more than happy to answer every question. He loves explaining his process to people, and making sure they fully understand his approach.

What led you to become an electrician?

Right out of high school, it kind of clicked with me. The first electrician I started working with taught me nothing. He was a grump, and was hard to impress. He just wanted me to hand him the right items at the right time, and not much more. I ended up having to make sense of everything myself, and when I did, I think it kind of shocked him. I see him at supply houses today. We’re cordial, but when he sees me, there’s this recognition that I made it on my own. IMG_1444

How did you discover you had a facility for electrics? 

For some reason, electrics always came easy to me. I like to use my hands, whether it’s electrical work, playing a guitar or fixing a car. Anything that involves using my hands I’ve been able to get a grasp on. Also, both my grandfathers were electricians. My grandfather on my mother’s side was a linemen for the Philadelphia Electric Company. My grandfather on my father’s side was an electrician on submarines, and went on to teach that as a subject. A couple years ago, my maternal grandfather gave me an old multimeter, sort of as a relic, like he was passing it down. I guess it runs in the family!

Do you remember the first moment you realized you liked working with your hands?

My father never believed in taking your car to a mechanic. Or if you did, the mechanic would have to be a buddy you help work on the car with. I grew up wrenching cars with my Dad, but it was like pulling teeth sometimes getting the tools out of his hands. So I think it all may have started with that eagerness to work with my hands. I remember there was one weekend when my parents were leaving town, and they gave me a bunch of responsibilities. I had just started driving, and needed to fix my car before they left. I was actually able to use all the tools my Dad used. I wanted to fix the whole thing, from start to finish, and I did. I did all my brakes, the front disc, the rear drum, everything.

IMG_1396How do you approach running your own business and your relationships with customers?

If people are paying me, they should be happy. Sometimes I’ll take more time with customers to make sure I communicate everything to them. In the past, I’ve worked with a lot of guys who were headstrong and had an attitude that they were the professionals so everyone should listen to them. Even though I was just the lackey looking on, I could see it all over the customer’s face. They’d get mad or upset. As much as you know about a certain trade, you can’t be arrogant about it. Everybody’s got a different perspective on how they want things to be done in their house. Being a good listener is key. You have to listen to the person that’s paying you if you want them as a return customer.


What passions do you have outside of your work?

My number one passion is my family. I do everything for them. My wife and kids are the reason I get up. Secondary to that is music. I’ve been in bands since I was 14. I listen to a lot of bluegrass, blues and straight country. Music can get you through situations, anytime you have a problem. Sitting down and writing a song pacifies you, especially if you need to meditate on something. Playing a song is one of the best remedies for that, at least for me.

What satisfies you most about your work?

Electrical is fun to me because there’re a lot of different bits and pieces you have to work with, and a hundred and one scenarios for each issue. It’s like a puzzle. I’m always trying different approaches and improving my process. Outside of being an electrician, I’m a musician and a songwriter at heart. Every time I pick up a guitar, I like writing something different. I try to transfer that over into my work, which makes me love it. Doing things a little differently each time requires you to use your problem solving skills, and that’s what inspires me.


Visit the Daniel M. Vincenti Electrical website to learn more.

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Saint Benjamin Brewing Company: Tim Patton & Christina Burris

Saint  Benjamin Brewing IngredientsWalk by the 1700 block of North 5th Street, and you might overhear a hum of machinery inside one of the buildings. Construction workers are coming in and out of a garage space. At the back, there’s a door slightly open. Look inside, and you’ll see several large vessels, surrounded by dozens of kegs stacked on top of each other. Appearing on each of the kegs is a colorful stencil of a man you may know as “The First American,” peering over his bifocals as usual, with a pensive and contemplative look.

The building at 1710 has seen many lives in the past—brewery, motor cargo company, sewing machine factory, storage warehouse, and now again, brewery. After over a century, its trajectory has finally come full circle. Except, whereas the last brewer to occupy the building owned a stable of delivery horses, the new one is a software developer who owned a coupon-and-deal website.

In 1876, Theodore Finkenaeur purchased the location, and by 1890 he was producing 15,000 barrels of lager beer. Tim Patton and Christina Burris, co-owners of Saint Benjamin Brewing, possess the same entrepreneurial spirit as the original owner, and plan to revitalize this vestige of Philadelphia’s rich history in beer making.

Brewing lifted both of them out of their previous careers. What was once a personal passion has matured into a business, and another seed of entrepreneurship in Kensington, Philadelphia.

Saint Benjamin Brewing Owners Tim Patton & Christina Burris

What is your background, and what led to your interest in brewing?

Tim: I was a software developer for about 10 years, and a co-founder of a website called dealcatcher.com. Brewing began as a hobby, but eventually became part of a new progression for me when I started looking for a different career direction. I already knew I enjoyed the freedom and flexibility of being a business owner, but I wanted work that was both intellectually and physically challenging, where I could use my hands to actually build something. I also wanted to interact with people more and become more involved in the community.

Christina: I was an architectural conservator, which is the materials science side of historic preservation. I tended to jump from job site to job site. Like Tim, I wanted to become more involved in the community, but I also wanted to manufacture something I could be proud of. There was a lot of soul searching on my part before I arrived at brewing as a career. I took a step back from historic preservation and decided to focus on something I had already been doing for eight years—being a homebrewer.

Saint Benjamin Brewing Storefront

How did you form your partnership?

Tim: I had been going to Christina for advice about the brewery for a while. She was really one of the only people who understood where I wanted to go with it. There came a point about a year ago when I realized I needed a lot of extra help from someone who was knowledgeable. Christina’s experience in architectural conservation and her skills as a brewer were essential. She came up with recipes that were unique and very different from my own.

Can you describe your approach towards brewing Saint Benjamin beer?

We like to take the process and make it the best it can be, improving one thing every time. Once we nail the production, everything falls into place. There seems to be two different perspectives we follow when it comes to the type of beer we’d like to get in people’s hands. We create very historically accurate beers that may have fallen by the wayside, like the steam beer or cream ale, but also traditional styles with an interesting spin on them, like the Coffee Kolsch we’ll be releasing in the fall.

Saint Benjamin Brewing Equipment

 What was it like establishing your own business?

Tim: A difficult and long journey. We encountered every bizarre road block possible, and each of them were unique. Anything that could’ve gone wrong, has. Nonetheless, through all of that, we learned a lot, and the learning never stops.

Christina: Something new confronted us every step of the way, and we had to learn how to deal with each obstacle. The whole process could be a small book, let alone an article unto itself.

What is beer’s place in our culture?

Tim: Beer doesn’t have to be overly sophisticated, but it can definitely be more than just pounding light beers at a sports bar. I really appreciate some of the culture I see surrounding beer in Fishtown, at places like Memphis Tap Room and Johnny Brenda’s. When you get a few pints, sit and talk with your friends and listen to a great musician, beer takes on its rightful place. Beer can play a role that’s on an equal footing with wine in terms of sophistication, while also being the everyman’s drink.

Christina: Beer brings everyone together! It’s a quality product that you share with your friends. You don’t just have to have those light beers, you can have excellent craft beer, and you can enjoy it when you go out, talk with people or have it over a meal with family. Beer is best when it’s part of our everyday social interactions.

Does Saint Benjamin’s have any new announcements?

We are hoping to open a pub on-site within a year. We would still continue to distribute throughout Philadelphia, but this would basically be a neighborhood bar. Also, at some point in the summer we want to commence tours and tastings. Towards the end of the summer and early fall we’re aiming to begin growler sales here as well.

What are your future goals for Saint Benjamin Brewing as a business?

I would love if our business inspired other entrepreneurs to come here, and for other people to live here. When Johnny Brenda’s opened up in Fishtown, people suddenly started coming to the neighborhood more, and realized it was different from what they originally thought. There’s a lot of vacant land in Kensington and a lot of possibilities. Those possibilities can be realized without displacing anyone. Empty lots can be filled with houses, apartment buildings and storefronts. At the moment, we want to remain Philadelphia-focused. We work here, live here and go out here. This is our home, and this is where we want to see our beer.

Saint Benjamin Brewing Kegs

The Saint Benjamin Brewing Company is located at 1710 North 5th Street in Philadelphia. Go to the Saint Benjamin Brewing website to learn more.

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Fishtown Pharmacy: Kris Hunsicker

“My wife and I don’t know what to talk about anymore. All we used to do is complain about our pharmacy.”

These words were recently spoken to Kris Hunsicker by a newly transferred customer to Fishtown Pharmacy. It’s a complement that shows how his business is a more personal alternative to the chain stores. Fishtown Pharmacy alleviates the common inconveniences and unpleasantness you might find at a CVS or Walgreens. Kris and his technicians aim for a totally different experience from what this customer and his wife are used to. Read the reviews on Yelp and Facebook and you’ll find a general consensus. The service here is friendly, on time and stress-free.

Fishtown Pharmacy Storefront

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Sketch Burger: Phyllis Farquhar

Sketch BurgerPhyllis Farquhar, owner of Fishtown’s Sketch Burger, has made it her goal in life to simplify. “That’s what I try and do everyday,” she said in our interview. “I do the best possible work in the simplest way.” If you’ve been to Sketch, you know this philosophy holds true for her restaurant—the burgers are simply delicious. Continue reading

Wynn Philadelphia: More Than a Proposal

Two major factors should be taken into consideration for the next casino in Philadelphia: investment and environment. Wynn Philadelphia is unmatched in these aspects. It’s more than a proposal for city growth—it’s a guarantee.

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Philadelphia Federal Credit Union

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An elegant brick and terracotta building stands at the corner of East Dauphin Street and Trenton Avenue in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia. This is the former 26th District Police Station, originally built in 1896 by architect John T. Windrim. Several decades ago this once beautiful and proud-looking piece of historical architecture suffered decay and neglect, and became abandoned. In 1984, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. A section of its nomination form for the Register reads, Continue reading

Bahdeebahdu: Warren Muller


Bahdeebahdu is the invention of two creative forces: interior designer R.J. Thornburg and sculptor Warren Muller. Together, they offer design services to homes, hotels, restaurants, and corporate settings. Their work has been featured in numerous magazines, and in places like the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Digitas Health, and the Westin Hotel in Philadelphia. Bahdeebahdu has gained a notable reputation in the Philly art scene because the work of R.J. and Warren perfectly complement each other. While R.J. designs interiors, Warren illuminates them. Continue reading

The Head & The Hand Press: Nic Esposito

Ampersand Strip 1Writers can present profound insights through their work, but for some their ideas may not reach beyond the page. They flourish in the world of words but become unstable in the world of people. We all know the image of the troubled author seen in someone like Hemingway, or the poet Dylan Thomas. Continue reading

Sustainable Butchery in Fishtown: Preview of B-Side Social Club at the Greensgrow Community Kitchen

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The Greensgrow Community Kitchen at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church recently held an event titled, “Whole Animal Butchering with Bryan Mayer and Michael Pasquarello.” The event was not only educational, but presented some of the ideas behind an exciting new culinary project in Fishtown called B-Side Social Club. Continue reading

Rossi Brothers Cabinet Makers: Victor Rossi

The desk in Victor Rossi’s office is laden with diagrams and drawings of furniture design, heavily annotated with notes. Above this disarray is a row of antique clocks Victor likes to fix, and a reproduction of Peter Paul Rubens’ “Prometheus Bound.” The wall opposite his desk is an extensive library of art books on different eras and crafts: Bernini, Art Deco, Bugatti. The collection is rich in variety. What’s apparent from Victor’s office is his overall appreciation for craftsmanship, and his deep knowledge of design. Victor has dedicated his life to his skill, and is able to reproduce any style of furniture with impeccable detail. A ceiling high bookcase from Victorian England, a French Empire style armchair fit for Napoleon Bonaparte—if it existed at some point in history, Victor will know how to make it.

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