Town shops were busy on small business weekend

by Trish Rudder

Shopping after Thanksgiving on Small Business Saturday was good for the shop owners in town even though the weather outside was frightful.

But people shopped on Friday and Sunday when the weather was sunny and the holiday weekend was successful, shop owners said.

Lori Hansroth, executive director of the local Chamber of Commerce was handing out more free shopping bags to businesses on Sunday.

“People came,” Hansroth said. “Saturday was not as good as a sunny day, but they came and came back on Sunday.”

Holiday decorations were displayed in the shopkeepers’ windows and Berkeley Springs State Park was decked out with snowflakes and greenery.

Decorating the town parking meters for the holidays began on Sunday, November 25 and have to be finished by Friday, December 1, Hansroth said.

A new Letters to Santa mailbox was moved from the park entrance and placed next to the entrance at the Morgan County Public Library where there is more parking available, she said.

“It’s always a good day to shop small in Berkeley Springs,” said shop owner Jules Happy Rone of Jules Enchanting Gifts on West Fairfax Street. Her sales were good and plenty of people came by and took “selfies” in the Santa Sleigh that she put in front of her store for the first time.

Geoffrey and Alice Wendel, shop owners of Portals on North Washington Street said sales were not bad in spite of Saturday’s weather, but Friday was better, Geoffrey Wendel said.

The shop has been open on Washington Street for six months and they like the location, he said.

“Friday was an exceptional day,” said Berkeley Springs Memories shop owner Barb Wolfe on North Washington Street.

Saturday turned out to be a pretty good day and the weekend was fine. “It was definitely a small business weekend.” She said. “People did spend money.”

Sales were brisk on Sunday afternoon at the Itty Bitty Global Gift Shop on East Independence Street. Margaret Ferrara said she bought presents for herself and her grown grandchildren.

Abby Chapple, who works at the Ice House Gallery across the street, was helping at the cash register on Sunday.

Chapple said when she opened the Ice House Gallery at 11 a.m. on Saturday, someone was waiting outside to purchase an item they saw on Friday. “We were very busy, even though the weather wasn’t great on Saturday.”

Shopkeeper Jenna Hansroth of Inspired Chaos on West Independence Street had good sales on Saturday. “It was fantastic,” she said. “Black Friday was good, too. A great Friday.”

She said her store has a lot of local support but shoppers told her they came from Hedgesville, Hagerstown and Winchester.

She is also looking forward to the Cocoa Crawl on Friday, December 7 where shops offer free cocoa from 5 to 8 p.m. Hansroth said each shop will have a different kind of hot chocolate. Her cocoa will have a red velvet cake flavor.

She said more than 100,000 hits have been made on the Berkeley Springs social media “Hometown Holidays page” regarding the Cocoa Crawl, so she is expecting a lot of people to participate.