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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Borough mainstay closing

  • HONESDALE - A longtime Main Street business will soon be closing.
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  • HONESDALE - A longtime Main Street business will soon be closing.
    Antique shop Morning Glory Gifts is holding a liquidation sale and could be closed my mid-April, owner Kelly Birmelin said Friday.
    "I loved my 18 years in retail," said the business owner, adding she is optimistic about the future.
    Birmelin, 44, a lifelong borough resident, has owned the shop at 617 Main Street since 2005. She's been working there since 1997, when she was a manager and it was owned by her parents.
    Prior to 1997 the shop was operated for more than 50 years by the Kretschmer family.
    Birmelin said the construction on Main Street was a detriment to the business but she also is looking to take on new endeavors.
    "I want to start something new," she said.
    Business took a hit initially when Church and Main turned to one-way streets, Birmelin said. The recent gas and water work on Main Street has not helped either, she added.
    "The additional work on Main Street doesn't help," said Gail Tucker, executive director of the Greater Honesdale Partnership (GHP), who also was sad to see the shop close. "It's never good when a store closes."
    GHP works to enhance, promote and preserve the vitality of the greater Honesdale area for the benefit of the businesses, residents and visitors.
    The hard-hitting winter didn't help matters either, Birmelin said.
    "This winter has put hell on everyone's checkbook," she said, noting that foot traffic has decreased but the bills are still coming.
    Birmelin said the stagnant economy also hurt, especially since her shop sells items that are not considered necessities.
    The closing of the shop is "bittersweet" for Birmelin, who will miss her many loyal customers.
    One of them is Raymonde Hluchnic of Tafton, who stopped by Morning Glory on Friday morning.
    "I'm very sorry," the longtime customer told Birmelin as the two embraced.
    Hluchnic added, "I'm not happy," noting how unique the store is.
    Hluchnic began coming to the shop years ago while on vacation from her native Connecticut.
    "It was a ritual to come here every year," she said.
    Hluchnic remained loyal, and became a more frequent visitor,when she moved the Pike County.
    The Tafton woman said she is "very sorry" the store is closing.
    Birmelin said, "The customers are as sad as I am, so I know I did something right. I can't tell you how many hugs and tears the customers are shedding."
    Birmelin added that Honesdale is a "fabulous town" and she plans on staying here. She talked about when her nephew was diagnosed with leukemia and the town came to his aid.
    Page 2 of 2 - "I love Honesdale," she said.

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