Second location planned for Leader of the Pack

After opening their first location in 2009, John and Lisa McDonald are getting ready to open a second location of their Leader of the Pack Canine Institute. 

The new facility will offer training, day care, boarding, grooming and pet supplies for all breeds of dogs. 

The McDonald’s recently closed on a multi-million-dollar SBA 504 construction loan that will enable them to open a new location on three and a half acres of land in a business park in Forks Township. 

The original location is on Farm Bureau Road in Upper Macungie Township. 

“We have been wanting to open a second location that is convenient for our families that live on the East side of the Lehigh Valley,” said John McDonald. “The time was right when we found the right piece of property. We’ve decided to take a leap of faith and open a second corporate location in Forks.” 

Jeff Barber of Lehigh Financial Group arranged the combination SBA and conventional construction loan from TD Bank that the McDonalds will use to build the new location.   

He noted that Leader of the Pack Canine Institute also has a franchise offering, which the McDonalds are marketing with a regional approach for additional expansion of their pet services business. 

The McDonalds said they hope to break ground on the new facility at 1200 Braden Boulevard in June. When complete, it will be a 28,125-square-foot building.  

Construction is expected to be complete by early spring 2024. 

The new location will have about 50 employees. Its current location employs 45. 

The McDonalds were represented by Attorney Joseph Piperato of Eastburn & Gray Law Offices in Bethlehem and Paula Csaszar of Penn Star Land Transfer, LLC. Rob Millman and Todd Sparks of TD Bank funded the loan. 


Hot diggity! New owners take over iconic Bethlehem hot dog shop

The iconic Pete’s Hot Dog Shop in Bethlehem has a new owner, but will the famous hot dogs return? 

The eatery, which had been located at 400 Broadway since 1937, closed in March. 

The new owners of the property, Lehigh graduate Yongkang Gao and his business partner, Bill Geddes, recently purchased the once popular eatery and an adjacent three-story building that houses two residential units.  

They plan to reopen a restaurant in the Pete’s building at 400 Broadway after renovations to it are complete. They also plan to renovate the two residences, each of which has its own entrance. Geddes is a contractor and has experience in renovations. 

Gao said they had some idea of what they want to do in the Pete’s space, which is small, but haven’t made any decisions yet other than it will be a restaurant. 

Whatever they decide, Geddes said, yes, a hot dog will be on the menu “because that’s what people want,” but he expects the menu to be “a little bit of everything.”  

Jeff Barber of Lehigh Financial Group, LLC, in Allentown, arranged the commercial financing so that the partners could purchase the restaurant and residential building which were sold together and make renovations to them. The purchase price was not disclosed. 

Gao hopes the residential units at 406 Carlton Avenue will be ready for occupancy by late summer and the restaurant at the end of August, beginning of September. “We need to do a lot of renovations,” Gao said. 

An electrical engineer, Gao, who earned his PhD at Lehigh, had eaten at the hot dog shop a few times while a student. 

Giddes, who is also known as Executive Chef Billy G, has restaurant experience — including a hot dog truck — and will oversee the renovations and opening of both. Giddes, who lives in South Jersey, is moving to Bethlehem to oversee the project. 

Jackie Vasko of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Benjamin Real Estate of Schnecksville was the listing agent and represented both buyers and sellers. 

Lori Lewis and Sonya Bieber of Lighthouse Abstract in Bethlehem assisted with the closing. 

Caterer buys long-vacant Plainfield Township building to build business

The building at 5664 Sullivan Trail in Plainfield Township will be home to Modern Fusion Catering. PHOTO/COURTESY LEHIGH FINANCIAL
The building at 5664 Sullivan Trail in Plainfield Township will be home to Modern Fusion Catering. PHOTO/COURTESY LEHIGH FINANCIAL –

A Lehigh Valley caterer is setting up shop in Plainfield Township. 

Chef Angelo Napoli, 34, has purchased a long vacant three-story building at 5664 Sullivan Trail and plans to convert it into a commercial kitchen for his catering business, Modern Fusion Catering.  

Modern Fusion Catering specializes in custom menus for weddings, celebrations and corporate events. 

According to a press release, Napoli plans to completely gut the building and outfit it as the main prep kitchen for his catering business, which he plans to someday expand beyond Pennsylvania.  

“This is going to be a completely new wave of wedding food everywhere as we don’t do typical wedding food,” Napoli said. “We are totally different.” 

Napoli, who grew up in Bethlehem Township, said he often saw the building on Sullivan Trail on his way to his father’s pizzeria in Bangor, Napoli’s Pizza, on South First Street. He said he often thought it would make a great restaurant and had dreams of buying it one day. 

Napoli, who started his catering business in 2015, had been using his dad’s restaurant kitchen. But his catering business has expanded to the degree that he needed to find his own place.  

“We were getting too busy for it to be for two businesses,” Napoli said. 

Napoli expects the renovations to be complete by mid-summer. The catering kitchen will have a tasting room for wedding clients by appointment.  

It will not have a dining room open to the public. 

Apartments are planned for the second floor and possibly for the third floor if zoning allows, Napoli said. Each floor is 2500 square feet. 

Napoli has some big goals for the property. He said he plans to franchise his business and use the commercial kitchen as the main food supplier.  

“My idea is to franchise the company, but this is where the main food supplier will be,” Napoli said. 

Jeff Barber of Lehigh Financial Group LLC in Allentown arranged the business loan so that Napoli could buy the building and convert it into a commercial kitchen on the first floor and apartments on the second. 

The purchase closed at the end of February. 

HVAC firm buys new facility in Pen Argyl

80 Savorcool Avenue in Pen Argyl. PHOTO/SUBMITTED –

Lehigh Valley HVAC is moving to Pen Argyl. 

Mohammed Yaseen has purchased a property at 80 Savorcool Avenue in Pen Argyl, and plans to move his business, Lehigh HVAC LLC that he co-owns with his brother-in-law Waqas Ahamd.  

The company is currently located in Easton. 

The partners closed on the 6,000-square-foot property, which had been formally used by Tru Colors Restoration, earlier this month. 

Lehigh Financial Group of Allentown assisted with financing for the purchase. 

Lehigh HVAC specializes in providing heating and air conditioning services for residential and commercial buildings. 

“The property includes offices and a warehouse that are ideal for our business,” Yaseen said. “And we can move in right away without renovations.” 

Yaseen and Ahamd started the business in 2014 in New York and moved it to the Lehigh Valley in 2014. They had been renting space in Easton and had been looking for a property for their business that they could own for a number of years, Yaseen said. 

Yassen said the Pen Argyl property was ideal for them because it had what they were looking for: office space and a large warehouse. “We could not find anything more suitable,” he said. “The way it’s set up is perfect for us.” 


Couple to open UPS store in Shepherd’s Corner

Shepherd’s Corner PHOTO/SUBMITTED –

A husband-and-wife team, Krunal “Ken” and Priya Patel, have plans to open a UPS Store in Shepherd’s Corner, a new six-unit strip mall just south of the Hamilton Crossings shopping center.  

They plan to open the store in two to three months when construction is complete and the store is fully outfitted.  

The strip mall has been in the works for more than two years but faced some pandemic related delays. 

The Patels closed on an SBA loan August 24 that will enable them to finance the project. Jeff Barber of Lehigh Financial Group LLC in Allentown arranged the SBA loan for them. 

Krunal Patel, of Reading, said he had been looking for the best location to open his UPS store for some time and was familiar with Allentown having worked there for several years.  

“I’m very excited to open in Allentown because it’s a growing area,” he said. Also, Patel said, due to COVID, more people are making online purchases and need mailing services. 

The UPS Store, Patel said, is the nation’s largest franchisor of retail shipping, postal, print and business service centers. It has about 5,000 locations across North America. 

Patel said his 1,500-square-foot store will offer shipping, shredding, printing, fax, passport photos and notary services. Also, the store will feature personal and business mailboxes. 

Patel had previous business experience as the owner of a tobacco store. 

The store will be located at 5585 Hamilton Boulevard.