Style Storehouse Closes In Beacon - Remains Open Online

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Style Storehouse was a boutique at 484 Main St. in Beacon on the far east end of town, beyond Tioronda Avenue (Howland Cultural Center), all the way around the bend toward the Dummy Light. A collection of lovely boutiques, galleries and eateries are located in this strip, which is known as the quiet end of Main Street, and some argue, the most charming. May marks the final month for Style Storehouse, who announced the closing of their location via Instagram, with intentions to carry on via their online store.

Said store owner Savanna Ainsley in her post: “We are sad to announce the closing of Style Storehouse on Main Street in Beacon, NY. Although we are sad to say goodbye to what has been our home for 5 years, we are beyond excited to announce that we will be continuing Style Storehouse as an online boutique!”

The Beginning Of Style Storehouse

Style Storehouse was started by Michele Pitcairn Williams from Poughkeepsie. She dug into Beacon by advocating for more business on the east end of town, trying to create initiatives to encourage people to go beyond Tioronda to continue discovering Main Street shops. She joined the board of the Beacon Chamber of Commerce for a year, endured flooding into the shop from the apartment above (that we wrote about here, to educate about the benefits of renters insurance for apartment renters), and worked with her then-neighboring business Waddle ‘n Swaddle to jazz it up on that end of Main Street. (Waddle ‘n Swaddle later closed their Beacon location, remaining in Poughkeepsie.)

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Shop Life Under New Owner

Michele, who has three young children and recently welcomed a fourth addition, later sold Style Storehouse to her then-manager, Savanna Ainsley, who ran it successfully for years after and developed the online version of the shop. Savanna also hails from Poughkeepsie and commuted to Beacon to open the shop each day.

Said Savanna of her customers: “None of this would have been possible without our amazing customers. Without your love and support, Style Storehouse would not be what it has been.”

Brands that Style Storehouse carries include Hardtail, Free People, Mother Denim (best jeans with stretch), Minkpink, Madewell, and many more. The curated collection was known for comfortable large and small sizes.

Shop Life Beyond Tioronda - Not To Be Missed!

While the building that housed the two boutiques - Style Storehouse and Waddle ‘n Swaddle - now has empty storefronts, there are plenty of not-to-be-missed shops, galleries and eateries around that area. Denise Gianna Designs just opened her interior design shop in the former Utensil spot, Kaight Shop Beacon, who sells eco-friendly fashion, is located past Style Storehouse and has jeans and overalls you want to discover. The Blushery offers makeup and beauty services such as waxing and laser, and many others.

Shopping is exciting on that end of town, and you can even get ice cream and chocolate-covered Oreos to punctuate your experience at the Chocolate Studio, followed by coffee at Trax, and Thai dinner at Sukhothai.

Be sure to follow Style Storehouse on Instagram as they design their next moves and make announcements.

Explore A Little Beacon Blog’s Shopping Guide to discover all of the shops as you visit Beacon. If you live here, our Shopping Guide is a great way to keep up with which business is where, as shops shift all the time!

Lauren & Riley Boutique Moves On; Darryl's Boutique For Contemporary Women Moves In

Photo Credit: A Little Beacon Blog

Photo Credit: A Little Beacon Blog

There are some shifts for businesses on Main Street this early pre-spring season. If you’ll recall, last spring, many retail businesses either moved into town, or moved across town.

Lauren & Riley was one such shop who flipped ends of town, leaving her east side location (replaced by The Beacon Underground) to the west side (replacing Theo Ganz Studio). However, the move was not to last. In an announcement to her people on the business Facebook page, the owner of Lauren & Riley, Kim, has announced that she is moving on:

”After eight years we will be closing :-( I am so lucky to have met so many great people and to have been part of the Beacon community. Moving on to a new chapter for me and I'm excited. Everything in store is 40% off. As of right now, we will be open Friday thru Sunday till further notice.”

Kim was a staple in the Main Street retail scene. You could always see her hanging with the Marion Royael Gallery folks outside on the sidewalk (in both locations - Marion Royael Gallery had been on the east end as well!). She will be missed! But don’t you worry - Kim will still be producing and burning her candles at fairs and online. Follow Beacon Candle Company at Facebook, and their website.

Darryl’s Clothing Boutique Opened In October

A few things quietly happened in October, including the opening of Darryl’s Clothing Boutique (replacing Nella’s Bellas clothing boutique), owned by Darryl and Ed. This is the third (!) location for Darryl’s, the first being in the big city of New York, and the second being in the Hudson Valley town of Rhinebeck. “We live in Wappingers, and have been watching Beacon grow for some time. We wanted to be a part of the community.” You can learn more about Darryl and Ed at their website, or better yet, say “Hi!” to them in their shop!

These shops have been updated in A Little Beacon Blog’s Shopping Guide. If you have any tips for us - like if any business snuck in and didn’t reach out to us yet - please let us know! We created the Shopping Guide to represent all of the shops, and would love to know about yours. Must be a storefront :) We also have the Beauty Guide and the Restaurant Guide.

Store Closing: Howling At The Edge Of Chaos Owner Diagnosed With Ovarian Cancer; Seeks Peace

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Howling at the Edge of Chaos is closing on Saturday. Valerie J. Mitchell opened in Beacon a year and a half ago, and created a store that showcases artists' creations that "howl their truth," which is the store's motto. Valerie was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer in June. Less than three months after her treatments ended, she has learned that the cancer is back. It is in her liver and colon and she is considered terminal. Valerie says that she has chosen quality of life, and is not pursuing treatments. She will be traveling with family and being at peace with her next steps.

The lights have been on in the store hit or miss, in between doctor's appointments. We stopped in and made a few purchases (pictured above) yesterday, making sure to get in while she was open, pushing aside any other commitments that were on the calendar. Howling at the Edge of Chaos is at 428 Main Street in Beacon, NY, which is that tiny sliver of a store next to the Beacon Hotel, just down the block from Ella’s Bellas.

Two Lessons Here

A first impulse for some has been to reach out to help. Valerie’s passion is spreading truth and awareness, and so far she is doing both: about ovarian cancer, but also about supporting local businesses.

First: Valerie wove into her shop's mission to get out the truth. Her storefront window was dedicated to ovarian cancer awareness, as it is one of the most silent and swift of the cancers that often goes undetected. She wants more people to be aware of their bodies and to stay in front of them. A Little Beacon Blog will be sharing an ovarian cancer awareness post to help spread the word and educate about early signs.

Second: After Valerie and I hugged and laughed a lot about anything and everything at all, Valerie made sure to tell me about the “Just A Card” campaign. She's very eager to sell everything in the store, so do go in. The shop is very festive, with her sparkly Christmas trees and music (see our Instagram video). The "Just a Card" campaign is one that sends the message that if every person who walked into a shop and expressed their love and appreciation for it just "bought a card" - however small the purchase - it helps the store continue and prosper.

A personal regret of mine has been not buying more from Howling at the Edge of Chaos. Many times, I have walked past the store and seen her posts of rings and necklaces on Instagram from different artists she carries, and each time I thought: “Beautiful! I want that! But I'll treat myself to that later when I deserve a treat."

Later may never come. Out of this entire galaxy of time, we only live for 100 years of it, if that. Some of us only have 36 years, or 17 years, or 9 years, or 2 years. Don't wait for later. If you want this beauty in your life - these shops, these people who set up the shops and take big risks to be here - go inside. Treat yourself. Make someone happy with a gift.

Shopping Guide Shuffle: 3 New Shops in Beacon! LaMere, Underground Beacon, and Artifact

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Updates have been made to A Little Beacon Blog’s Shopping Guide! Some of these shops moved in several months ago, and some a few weeks ago. Take a look at these fresh collections and experiences waiting to delight you inside:

La Mere Clothing and Goods

436 Main Street, Beacon NY
This shop moved in when Matteawan Gallery moved out. We had a mourning period for the art gallery for a bit, and are embracing this new space! April has been quickly setting up and sharing on the shop’s Instagram page all of the styles catching her eye. Inside the shop, you’ll find fashion, from cheetah print to bobble sweaters (what is a bobble sweater? you’ll want one, check it out). LaMere Clothing and Goods has brought more fashion options to the ladies in Beacon. Located in the cute storefront with stairs in front in a small building on your way to the east end of town. Welcome!

Photo Credit: Screenshot of    @lamereclothingandgoods

Photo Credit: Screenshot of @lamereclothingandgoods

The Underground Beacon

462 Main Street, Beacon, NY
This destination for comics moved in when Lauren and Riley moved out of its original space, as the established Beacon boutique moved to the other (western) end of Main Street. The Underground Beacon is on fire with what they offer, which includes board games, a gameroom to play Magic and other real person-to-person games, a video game console on the wall, and most recently, skateboards. As you can see from this screenshot of their Instagram, they sell unusual games too, like this Golden Girls-themed Checkers and Bingo set. Obviously this is on your holiday gift list!

Photo Credit: Screenshot of    @thebeaconunderground

Photo Credit: Screenshot of @thebeaconunderground

Artifact Beacon

17 East Main Street, Beacon, NY
Not totally new to Beacon anymore, but still under a year old, is Artifact Beacon, the shop with uncommonly beautiful jewelry, art, home décor and more. They are in the space formerly occupied by Gwenno James’, who used to sell the silk scarves that she designed in the building. Artifact continues with the art by bringing you even more of it. If you get some familiar vibes while you’re shopping, it’s because you may have shopped Artifact’s selection before, when they first popped up in A Little Beacon’s Space in the Made and Given Pop-Up Shop! They had so much fun setting up and running a shop, that they put roots down on the far east end of town. Find Artifact Beacon on your way to Dogwood. If you’re staying at the Roundhouse, this is an easy shopping destination to pick up some amazing goods.
Pro tip: If you’ve been curious after seeing the Instagram page of Beacon Mercantile, who makes small-batch, natural, cruelty-free candles and apothecary goods including colored lip balms, then you will be happy to find this line carried in Artifact Beacon!

Photo Credit: Screenshot from    @artifactbeacon

Photo Credit: Screenshot from @artifactbeacon

Photo Credit: Screenshot from    @beaconmercantile

Photo Credit: Screenshot from @beaconmercantile

Luxe Optique Expands Next Door - Use The Door On Right!

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Luxe Optique came to Beacon about two years ago. It wasn’t the first glasses store that owner Laurie Riehle had opened - and it won’t even be her last. Prior to coming to Beacon with her loyal crew, Laurie sold her optics shop in Warwick, NY, but couldn’t sit still. She moved into 183 Main Street, the spot on the corner of Main Street and Cliff Street that had been the location of School of Jellyfish, the curious combo shop that was half sustainable architecture teachings, and half hot chocolate bar and source of an award-winning truffle (really, it was a place to present green architecture with bait of really good chocolate - it worked).

After a time, the building that housed Luxe Optique went up for sale, and Laurie went for it. She bought the building, which included two storefronts. At the time, Beacon Pilates was upstairs (they have since moved to West Main Street by Brett’s Hardware, with better parking - and you can always find their outpost at All Sport) and Bellus on Main, one of my personal favorite boutiques while they were here for high-end shoes.

Stretchin’ Their Legs

Luxe Optique are collectors of distinct lines of hand-crafted glasses, and have fantastic eye doctors to give eye exams to adults and kids in their store for glasses and contact prescriptions. You can see how Luxe Optique quickly got crowded with their ever-growing number of frames for kids and adults, and the eye exam office. Luxe Optique began an expansion into the second storefront. For now, the original side of the store on the left is under construction, and the new side on the right is open!

Look for the following enhancements when the work is complete:

  • A larger selection of children's frames - getting a thorough eye exam is really easy.

  • A larger selection of sophisticated affordable brands to make sure everyone has access to good quality eyewear, no matter the budget.

  • A private lounge that patients can book (for free) to secure time with an optician like Ryon, Christos, Julia, or Laurie herself so they can receive the best experience possible.

  • And an overall facelift!

Keep your eyes on these folks - and get some new glasses and an exam to see everything better.

P.S.: Luxe Optique is known for making super-fine adjustments to glasses. For those with particularly tricky prescriptions, going there is like therapy for your glasses while the pros adjust them.


Editorial Note: Luxe Optique is a sponsor of A Little Beacon Blog, but this article is not a part of their campaign. Their expansion is part of the energy and Shopping Guide Shuffle on this end out town. Do see their listing with more pictures in our Shopping Guide.

Utensil Kitchenware Moving Across Town In Latest Building Renovation

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You’ve driven by it countless times - the construction going on at 143 Main Street, the building that formerly held the office for Shane Hobel’s The Mountain Scout Survival School. Prior to that storefront, the space was the location for the art gallery Fovea before it moved across and up the street to the second floor of Hudson Beacon Glass.

Slated for a Saturday, November 10, 2018, grand opening, Utensil Kitchenware, owned by Emily Burke, will move from her location on the east end of town to this larger, fully renovated space on the West End. Emily and her architect husband designed it specifically to fit the kitchenware store.

The store has always held a cozy collection of pretty much any kitchenware item you needed - or didn’t know you needed - and now will offer an interactive demonstration space so that you can learn how to use the gadgets that Emily has discovered. The front doors have been expanded to be double doors, the front windows enlarged. If you’ve walked by, you may have seen exciting red ceiling beams on the inside.

The building Utensil originally opened in is currently for sale. Says Emily of her new location: “I am really excited about this new chapter. Although I will miss the East End, I think the community will like the new location too. I secured a long-term lease at 143 Main Street a very fair rate. The building owner is a great guy who really cares about Main Street, the tenants and building renovations.”

Newest shop, Darry'l’s Contemporary Women’s Clothing, opened in former Nella’s Bellas, which had been Global Home.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Newest shop, Darry'l’s Contemporary Women’s Clothing, opened in former Nella’s Bellas, which had been Global Home.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Fun Fact for Beacon Trivia Lovers: This is not Emily’s first time working on this end of town. She worked at the home decor shop, Global Home, before it pulled up its pins several years ago. That location was later occupied by Nella’s Bellas, and now Darryl’s Contemporary Women’s Clothing. (A brand new shop… looks like they are also in Rhinebeck and NYC on Amsterdam of the UWS… We are investigating!)

West End Of Beacon’s Main Street Is Basically Getting Renovated

There’s a lot going on at this end of town - referred to often here as “the west end of town near the train” - from building renovations to business relocations. This change started when a large swath of property - 20 parcels - changed hands from the Piccone family (see our coverage in “Top Nabisco Pressman Starts Over At Age 54 To Open Salon - Mr. Bell’s Story”) to new owners in one of the largest real estate deals in Beacon’s history.

Colorant, now located at 146 Main Street started out inside of Beacon Healing Massage as a pop-up shop, turned perma-pop-up shop, and now has a permanent home across the street in the space formerly occupied by Miss Vickie’s Music.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Colorant, now located at 146 Main Street started out inside of Beacon Healing Massage as a pop-up shop, turned perma-pop-up shop, and now has a permanent home across the street in the space formerly occupied by Miss Vickie’s Music.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Storefront shops always come and go on any Main Street, but taking a moment to reflect on what’s going on, not only has their been an ongoing Shopping Guide Shuffle since the summer, but there are building improvements as well.

Renovations Have Begun

At first blush, one might think that a bunch of new businesses are moving in. However, Beacon businesses already located here, for the most part, are simply moving around. The first major move and renovation was to Colorant’s space, which used to be a seasonal pop-up shop in Beacon Healing Massage’s space, which is right next door to the (now former) Mountain Scout office. Beacon Healing Massage’s new neighbor will be Utensil.

Colorant transitioned into a perma-pop-up in the Beacon Healing Massage space, and then officially moved out and across the street into the studio where Miss Vickie hung her musical shingle - but not before that space was totally renovated for Colorant. Miss Vickie has since moved to another location owned by the same people a few blocks up, down the alley near the shoe cobbler and Mr. Bell’s barbershop.

Miss Vickie’s Music, down the alley near Mr. Bell’s barbershop.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Miss Vickie’s Music, down the alley near Mr. Bell’s barbershop.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

reMADE, the boutique carrying handmade Hudson Valley items recently closed, yet the space has re-opened as a new store - Lewis and Pine. The new shop, however, occupies half the space. The store was essentially two stores inside with an existing wall and door separating the two. This can make for an awkward layout - or not - depending on how you set it up. The space will now be two storefronts.

Says Liz Ferrera, owner of reMADE and PAX Studios of her decision to close the shop: “For me personally, the decision to close reMADE was primarily ‘life getting in the way.’ More specifically, aging parents and my desire to learn all that I can from them while I have the opportunity. The maker community in the Hudson Valley is just incredible! The craftsmanship and creativity that I saw being produced just blew me away. Educating people on the benefits of handmade will continue to be my passion.”

Wait - Where Is Mountain Scout Going?

A survival training workshop on the Mountain Scout property in Hopewell JuncTion.  Photo Credit:    The Mountain Scout Instagram

A survival training workshop on the Mountain Scout property in Hopewell JuncTion.
Photo Credit: The Mountain Scout Instagram

The inside of the Mountain Scout office was really neat, and was set up as if you were outside in the wilderness. The Mountain Scout trains in survival tactics in the wilderness and taps into primitive stuff we humans otherwise may have disconnected from thanks to modern technologies. The true training takes place on several acres of land that Mountain Scout owns in Hopewell Junction, just 5 minutes from I-84 or the Taconic.

The big, tan Mountain Scout passenger van you see driving around Beacon is part of their offerings of shuttling clients to and from the Beacon train station to their land in Hopewell Junction for workshops or private trainings. His classes are just so neat - you should check them out for survival tactics for kids or adults, including Family Emergency Planning.

Meanwhile… On The East Side Of Beacon Near The Mountain

There are incredible finds! So many shops, galleries and eateries. We have a few articles slated to tell you about them, but a lot of good stuff. Loopy Mango (giant yarn), the No. 3 Reading Room for extremely rare art books and interesting print things not found in art galleries or book stores, The Vault for creative cocktails and one of the best baby kale Caesar salads, and Jeffrey Terreson’s curious dimensional paintings.

Eat up our write-ups of all of the shops in A Little Beacon Blog’s Shopping Guide, and the eateries in our Restaurant Guide. Don’t miss our Brunch Guide, of course!

Beacon Pilates Moves Locations After 13 Years

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When Beacon Pilates opened 13 years ago in a second-floor studio above Main Street, it was met with skepticism and conviction that no one would want to try this newfangled form of exercise. That's how most successful businesses are met at first, actually, in Beacon. It's possible that new-business reception is like this all over the world, but particularly in Beacon, when something fresh launches, it is usually met with doubters. Before you know it, a cult following has formed around it. Remember the howls about the 20-minute wait for the hand-fixed donuts at Glazed (and it's not 20 minutes, BTW), or the $8.50 bacon and egg breakfast sandwich at Stock Up that launched 1,000 Facebook comments? Or the upscale glasses store that everyone thought would never work? The successful Luxe Optique now has superfans from around the region (like this shop owner from Cold Spring) coming in to seize the latest designs.

So too with Beacon Pilates. A fixture in Beacon for people who needed to get firm, strong, and toned, Beacon Pilates faced a major business change when they needed to move from its original location. The thing about change is, it often produces unexpected positive results - the Silver Lining, if you will. Beacon Pilates' owner, Juliet Harvey, reached out to A Little Beacon Blog to advertise the studio's change in our Classes for Adults Guide program, but the change is so much more than a simple location swap. So we reached out to Juliet to see if she had found a Silver Lining, and it turns out, there were several. This is the beauty of owning and running a small business. Especially one in Beacon, which is filled with so many talented people.

ALBB:
Sometimes a change like this produces unexpected results. What can you tell us?

Juliet Harvey, Owner of Beacon Pilates:
I loved my old space. It was almost more like my home than my house! But yes, there have been many silver linings.

First and foremost, being so incredibly overwhelmed with just how much my husband, Luc, and his business partner, Jason Hughes, and their employees at LNJ Tech Services did for me.

ALBB: So that our readers can piece everyone together - Luc and Jason own the white building on Hanna Lane that is famous in its own right, but got famous again after hanging the welcome sign. Jason is married to Ella's Bellas' owner Carley, and LNJ Tech Services also did custom design work at Ella's Bellas, including making the really cool whisk-inspired light fixtures. It's fun to know who is behind some of these visual touches that have come to define Beacon.

Juliet Harvey, Owner of Beacon Pilates:
Yes, exactly. The list that they helped me with was enormous, but basically, while I was going through an emotional crisis, they were at my space every day making sure it was going to be a beautiful and inviting studio. Luc was helping to make every single decision in his creative, technical, calm and detail-oriented way. I was completely supported and taken care of by him.

Secondly, and to my shock, all of my clients have told me they like the new space better! The space is so open and light-filled and beautiful. Also, as everyone knows in Beacon, the parking situation is not getting any better. So they LOVE the parking lot. My clients never burdened me with their parking problems at my old space. But now that I'm at the new space, all their stories are coming out and they are so happy not to have the Main Street parking worry.

ALBB: Thank you for sharing, Juliet!

* * *

So guys, just so you know, the winter is the most dreaded part of the year for businesses in Beacon. It snows. Things close. Everyone gets sick. It's awful. But Beacon Pilates is prevailing and bucking the system by having their Grand Re-Opening Party this weekend - Valentine's Weekend - and you can show them some love by going. It's from 5 to 8 pm on Saturday (yes, it's Beacon's Second Saturday).

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Juliet is keeping super busy: Not only is she hosting Beacon Pilates' grand re-opening, but as co-president of the South Avenue PTA, Juliet is supporting South Avenue's first parent/kid dance, aka the Small Tall Ball, the Friday night before her Pilates party. And if that's not enough, her grand re-opening party will even include a donation dedication. It's the kickoff for “Goods for Good,” a weeklong sporting goods drive for The Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie, which is dedicated to providing a safe and nurturing environment to improve the lives of and empower at-risk children and families in the Hudson Valley and surrounding communities.

Donations of newly purchased indoor or outdoor sporting goods can be brought to Beacon Pilates on Second Saturday, February 10, or dropped off during business hours the following week. Equipment needed includes basketballs, volleyballs, soccer balls, skateboards, roller skates, lawn games, double-dutch jump ropes, wooden baseball bats, and tennis balls, as well as safety equipment like helmets and pads.

See you at the party!

Libby from Beacon Barkery Steps Out, Donald Steps In, and Barkery Moves Over

When the famed Beacon Barkery moved next door to its original location at the corner of Main Street and Willow Street, several people just thought it closed, and didn't see its newly decorated storefront window next door. What even more folks didn't know was that the original owners, Libby Faison and Nanci Pate, hadn't been in the Barkery since before the move, as they sold it to Donald McNeal, the father of one of their new employees, Jon McNeal.

Ten years ago, Libby and Nanci opened the Beacon Barkery to give back to the dog and cat populations in Beacon. Through their work within the community, they brought thousands of people and pets to Beacon through such annual events such as the Beacon Barks Parade, which attracted people from all over the state of New York, and was the unofficial kickoff to Spring during the first week of April. The Beacon Barkery became a known destination as a specialty pet boutique for healthy food options, quality clothing, treats, and the owners' experienced advice. For instance, it is to Libby's credit that I eliminated chicken from my dog's diet, as she had developed an allergy to it, causing her to itch and bite her skin, and eventually rip her hair out. Test after test revealed nothing, until one day, Libby suggested cutting out grain and chicken. It was the chicken that did it. My dog was cured and calm. No antihistamines necessary after that.

As of this spring, the Barkery has a new owner. Several business owners in Beacon already know him from his regular rounds, during his full-time job as route manager for a pest control company; Libby knew him as a customer. The Barkery isn't the first business Donald has owned, but he walked into it with similar passion for pets, their communities, and his own family's involvement in running the store.

The Background to the Beacon Barkery

When Libby and Nanci opened the Barkery, they had full-time jobs. They kept those up during all of the years they ran the Barkery, and still maintain to this day. Libby is a school administrator (now mostly retired, but working in the Wappingers School District), and Nanci is an occupational therapist who also works in schools. Two of their children worked in the store. One of them, Becca, even helped manage the store. Would the Barkery have paid the bills if they'd wanted to leave their full-time jobs? "No," says Libby. "There were three kids here and a mortgage. We really opened the Barkery not to make our first million, but to give back to the community on behalf of dogs and cats. We wanted to help the dog and cat population."

So what was the catalyst to selling? There wasn't one! "We were downsizing so that we could start doing some retirement planning." When I texted Libby questions for this story, she responded from Italy, so I asked her if traveling was part of those retirement plans. "Yes, like going to Italy. Honestly, when you own a store, it's really hard to plan a two-week vacation abroad." Jon, one of their recent employees who was quite enthusiastic about The Beacon Barkery, had told his father, Donald, that it was for sale. Jon and Donald were customers on behalf of their pug family, so the pull to own was strong.

The Puppia Harnesses That First Attracted Donald to the Beacon Barkery.

New Guys In Town

Though Donald and Jon live in and commute from Hopewell Junction, and are new to Main Street as shop owners, they've been around Beacon's Main Street for a long time. Through his day job, Donald counts several Main Street businesses, including Zora Dora's and Kitchen Sink, as his customers in the pest control business. He's also not new to entrepreneurship, having owned several businesses in the past, including his own pest control business, a barber shop, and even a fire extinguisher company. "I’m an entrepreneur at heart," he says.

It was the Puppia harnesses (pictured above) that first brought Donald into the Barkery. The McNeals are a pug family, owning three of them: Angel, 9 years old, Casper, 1 year old, and Eddie, 6 months old. Says Donald: "We always shopped here, and we first came for the harnesses. We went to a pug meet and I was the only one without a harness. When I went shopping for one, nobody had them, except the Barkery. We always liked the store. After Jon told my wife and I that it was for sale, my wife kept at me, 'When we going to buy the Barkery?'"

The new Primal refrigerator for a larger raw food selection.

The new Primal refrigerator for a larger raw food selection.

The New Beacon Barkery

Much is the same in the store, except that it's one door down, thanks to a rent increase that kicked in shortly after the McNeals moved in. Once the new ownership was transferred into place, the landlord increased the rent, so the McNeals packed it up and moved next door. They quickly painted the new space, set up new lighting, got new decals on the windows, and more. Says Jon: "People are finding us. The Car Show helped us. More customers who aren’t local know about us now, and for the locals, they are passing us in the new store, and they see that we are open."

New product is being carried also, such as Primal Raw Dog and Cat Food, freeze-dried treats, and goats milk. The new Primal refrigerator just arrived, and it will be fully stocked this week. For my picky cat with a chronic ear problem, I tried the raw goats milk at Donald's suggestion. “It's the way nature meant to feed our pets.” I have to say, never having ventured into the raw world myself, my picky cat who drinks no water, drank the milk. New clothing is arriving in the store, and the Beacon Barkery maintains it is the largest carrier of the Puppia and Easy Dog harness lines in the area.

Tasty dog and cat snacks.

Tasty dog and cat snacks.

Beacon Barkery To Continue Community Work

As active participants in the pug community, Donald and Jon know the value of socializing among pets, and giving back. "We have had one dog adoption already, and we plan on doing cat adoptions, and more adoptions in general. We would love to work with the new vet." They aim to continue with the Beacon Barks Parade.

Dog treat cookies, decorated for the season, are in the Beacon Barkery.

Dog treat cookies, decorated for the season, are in the Beacon Barkery.

What's Next for Libby and Nanci?

Libby and Nanci are not done with their animal work, nor with the Beacon Barks Parade. Says Libby: "We are going to be working with the Beacon Barkery for the Beacon Barks Parade, and will contact the Dutchess County SPCA in 2017. We will be volunteers!"

The Beacon Barks Parade isn't the only thing they are staying connected to. "We miss being in Beacon. We live in Wappingers, and we were down in Beacon every day. Now we are just customers of the Beacon Barkery!"

Advice on Running a Local Store

Libby and Nanci started the Beacon Barkery to improve a community, and it's the community that is the most important for them for running a local business. "It's very important to be part of what's going on, and being active. It also makes it much more fun, when you know your customers and the community. You help each other."

Shop and restaurant owners can often get stuck inside of their stores. Is it important to step outside? "You need to step outside of your shop and be involved. There were times that we had adoptions, and put our tent up out front, and did special kinds of celebrations. Like our Food Fest. The community needs to be able to find you. Beacon's Main Street is a very long Main Street. It's not all that easy for people on the East end to know what's going on the West end."

Cheers, Libby and Nanci, to your new working-retirement! Soon after the sale, Libby and Nanci booked themselves a trip to Italy to enjoy a good two-week vacation, something small business owners rarely experience.

Cheers to Donald and Jon, to your exciting new adventure as owners of the Beacon Barkery and helping so many dogs and cats feel good all over, even in quality fashion!

Libby (left) and Nanci (right) on their first two-week vacation after selling The Beacon Barkery.

Libby (left) and Nanci (right) on their first two-week vacation after selling The Beacon Barkery.