Downtown welcomes La Bodega and Sparks and Embers

ITHACA NY OCTOBER 27, 2020 —  City, Downtown Ithaca, and Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce officials welcomed two new businesses — Sparks and Embers and La Bodega — to the community during welcoming ceremonies held at each place on Monday. 

Sparks and Embers opened earlier this month, bringing a whole new and fun layer of indie labeled women’s apparel, home decor, and skincare to the community. This unique specialty shop, owned and operated by Brooklyn, NY transplants Jack and Sarah Clausen, is located in Press Bay Alley on West Green Street. 

“We chose Ithaca as it seemed to us to be a perfect mix of modern amenities, progressive thinking, breathtaking nature, and old-world charm! Our plan was to return to Brooklyn once we felt it was safe to do so, but we fell in love with our new life in Ithaca and decided to open a business! Press Bay affords us a wonderfully diverse and supportive community of businesses to be a part of, and we adore our neighbors. There are so many inspirational entrepreneurs and community leaders within this family, and in Ithaca at large, we wanted to be part of that,” says Jack Clausen. 

The second new business, La Bodega, held its grand opening on Monday and presents an authentic Spanish menu with items like freshly prepared deli-style sandwiches loaded with Jamón Ibérico (Iberian dry-cured ham) or Chorizo (spicy pork). Pedro Liébana, a master ham carver, is the owner of this new eatery and delicatessen. 

“I chose downtown for my business because I can offer a very unique and different product that will make Ithaca even more interesting. I make and sell gourmet foods and I’m sure there are a lot of people in Ithaca looking for these types of high-quality food products,” says Liébana.

City and Downtown Ithaca officials are confident these newcomers provide the types of special shopping and dining experiences folks have come to expect when they visit the community. 

“I was extremely pleased to welcome these two new amazing businesses to downtown Ithaca. These are very unique, exciting businesses. It says a lot that their owners are willing to relocate here and invest in our community, especially in the middle of a pandemic. They have also secured great locations — Sparks and Embers in Press Bay Alley and La Bodega on the Dewitt Mall’s ground floor. I encourage everyone to come downtown and check them out,” says City of Ithaca Common Councilperson Joseph Murtagh. 

“Sparks and Embers and La Bodega represent exactly what we want to see here in Ithaca — young professionals moving here to our community, from Brooklyn and from Spain, to become entrepreneurs and investing in the future of downtown. They add to the eclectic and dynamic mix of local, independent businesses that form the backbone of our downtown economy,” adds Downtown Ithaca Alliance Executive Director Gary Ferguson. 

“We are so grateful to have new businesses to celebrate during this time, and we commend these entrepreneurs for choosing Ithaca and making their investment in our community,” says Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Jennifer Tavares. “The unique product offerings of Sparks + Embers and La Bodega will enhance our downtown shopping experiences and please our tastebuds.”

Sparks and Embers and La Bodega join a lengthy list of new businesses to join the community this year. Odyssey Bookstore, Cayuga Nail Spa, Kimchi, Ithaca Mini Mart, Ooy’s Deli, The Downstairs, Big Time Barber Shop, and The Portrait Studio are among the group of businesses to open downtown in 2020. 

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Darlene M. Wilber, Communications Manager
Downtown Ithaca Alliance