Name: Sharrone Sofer
Occupation: Owner, The Compound
What are your top 3 interests?: Food • Music • Real Estate
Tell us about yourself! Who are you?: I’m a serial entrepreneur and general big-picture guy who’s come back to CNY from Austin, TX after a lifetime rambling all around the USA. Currently a real estate agent with the Jay Groah Team and an owner at the greater Utica area’s premier Grilled Cheese and Butter shop, The Compound, I’ve previously sold land rovers, fronted a touring band, gotten a few very unrelated degrees, and generally experienced a (sometimes too) full life. Oh, I wrote a book that’s very popular in Germany, too. Not sure why.
Why should we feature you?: I’m awesome! Or at least that’s what I tell myself – I’ve done a lot, been to a lot of places, and think that Upstate NY is the best place in the world. I’m here to raise my family and put down roots – #1 for me? Community. I think there’s a lot on offer here and we’re poised for a comeback, and I hope to be a part of it.
What do you love about living here?: What’s not to love? 4 real seasons, a quiet life, enough culture to go around, and honestly being close enough to whatever we need whenever we want. I was tired of the hustle and bustle of the big city – and the prices – and I love that I can come here and really feel like I’m finally getting some traction. When you don’t have to live somewhere huge to do your work then why would you?
What is Upstate, NY to you?: Upstate NY is the home I never knew. I was born in Utica, as was my mom and her parents before her. But I left young, at around 4 years old. So now I find myself a stranger in a strange land, returned to the place that I’m from but, oddly, where I’ve never really been. I’ve been telling people I’m from Utica through 14 different schools in 12 states and it’s amazing to finally get to find out what that means.
Are you originally from here?: Yes
If yes, have you ever left and came back? : Yes. First it was Pittsburgh, then Dayton Ohio and Cincinnati, then North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Arizona, California, Texas, up to Seattle then Portland then back to TX, then Florida again for a spell and finally back to TX for a minute before coming up here in 2019. Oh, I lived in South Africa and London in there, too, somewhere between California and Arizona.
How long have you lived here?: 3 years – ish
Why do YOU choose to live here?: Because it’s awesome! The ground is in my blood, honestly. I look out at the natural world in this area whether it’s snowing or raining or perfect (as it so often is) and I can’t help but to feel like I’m at home. Oh, and now I’ve got a couple awesome careers here, too, so that’s a plus. I love local!
List some of your favorite, local “must-visit” hot spots:: I think I have to say the Compound here for the sake of shameless self-promotion.
Otherwise I love Fly Creek, Tailor and the Cook, basically all of Old Forge but especially the candy shop. Clinton green is like Star’s Hollow from the Gilmore Girls and the historicity of the buildings in the greater Utica area, even just the houses, is impossible to overstate. I’m also strangely drawn to Fort Stanwix, but I couldn’t tell you why
List some of your favorite, local “must-do” activities:: Man, I don’t even know. I love the state fair and the food truck showdown in Syracuse but Cars and Corn or whatever other weird local tradition is happening is absolutely my jam. Going on the winter train rides is pretty amazing, too.