By Rachel Kovach, Communications & Marketing Intern, GRCA
Here at GRCA, we want our members, especially small businesses, to feel recognized, welcomed and appreciated in the Greater Reading community. One way we do this is by frequent features on our social media channels and in our print publications and newsletters.
Since I’ve been the Communications and Marketing Intern for the past two summers, this year I was assigned larger and more meaningful projects. These projects came in the form of Instagram Reels — short, concise, attention-grabbing videos, featuring the highlights of what our local businesses have to offer. I was lucky enough to personally visit each of these remarkable businesses to hear their stories and film video content for the Reels. Here are a few fun facts and anecdotes from each business!
Crystal Cave, located in Kutztown, Pa., is a hidden gem of Greater Reading. It is the first “show cave” in Pennsylvania and remains one of the oldest operating show caves in the United States. This cave was discovered in 1871 by two farmers who were looking for limestone and became a tourist attraction very soon after its discovery. Crystal Cave is always a chilly 54 degrees Fahrenheit, since it’s mostly underground. The cave also is home to one of the rarest cave formations, called a “Lion’s Tail.” Also on the grounds of Crystal Cave are a gift shop, miniature golf course and the Crystal Cave Mining Company, making it a picturesque filming location. It’s important to note that Crystal Cave has been a long-time member of GRCA — since 1966!
Reading Science Center is an exciting hub of all things STEM for kids in the Greater Reading community. It boasts over 50 STEM-related interactive exhibits, all of which were so cool, even for me! In addition to the fun-filled exhibits, the Science Center is open for privately scheduled field trips. In these trips, kids get to participate in interactive experiments as well as watch more advanced experiments happen right before their eyes. Though the Reading Science Center has only been in business since 2020, it is evident that the educational opportunities it provides has a lasting impact on the students that visit.
The Reading Public Library is the 6th oldest library in the United States, and its main branch has been serving members of the Greater Reading community for over 100 years. It offers a huge selection of all types of books, movies and CDs, a section dedicated to Pennsylvania related materials, a teen loft, kids’ area and individual study rooms. It’s a beautiful library with a lovely staff, so it’s certainly worth a visit.
Since 2006, Reading Pride Celebration has been the county’s leader in acceptance and advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community. I was lucky enough to attend its largest event of the year, Pride Festival, which was attended by over 5,000 people! The event featured performances, nearly 200 vendors and 30 food trucks, designated spaces for kids and teens and even a space for sober attendees. It was clear that everyone was so happy to be there, and Reading Pride Celebration made it a positive and safe environment for the event.
Berks Arts is the creative force behind so many arts-related events in Greater Reading! Berks Jazz Fest, The Art of Jazz, The Reading Blues Fest and more are all orchestrated by Berks Arts. In addition to those events, this year is Berks Arts’ first year hosting the Berks Summer Fest, which has activities and music for attendees of any age! Berks Arts also chose and enlarged many pieces of artwork created by local high school students and put them up around the city. We have so many talented students in our area!
Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery in Breinigsville, Pa. sprawls across about 60 acres of land with room for growth, too! During my time there, I got a behind-the-scenes look at where the wine is made, stored, aged and bottled. It was a fascinating tour! I learned that Clover Hill had six vineyard locations, and it grow 12 different types of grapes throughout the locations. Clover Hill Winery just recently celebrated its 38th anniversary with live music and major sales on its wines. Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery is a perfectly picturesque place to enjoy wine and good times with friends or family. It’s beautiful and so serene there!
Learn more about the resources GRCA offers to small businesses.