Amherst Welcomes Two New Businesses

TRBA News by Wendy Wolfe

The Tomorrow River Business Association elected officers and board members for 2020 at their Annual Meeting and Social, November 5, 2019. Amherst Café provided beer and a selection of tasty treats. We donated the proceeds of $1008 from the silent auction at Celebrate Amherst to the Amherst Opera House. As in past years, we earmarked $500 to the Never Forgotten Honor Flight, which pays for a Veteran to fly to Washington D.C.

Our new President is Lonnie Przybylski, Vice President of the International Bank of Amherst. Lonnie served this past year as TRBA Treasurer. He also served the Iola Community as Treasurer of the Chamber of Commerce for many years. Randy Swanton, Klismith Accounting, will continue to serve as TRBA Vice President. Kelly Loken of Community Insurance was elected as Secretary and Sally Prideaux, retired and President of the Tomorrow River Valley Historical Society is our new Treasurer. Our Board Members at Large include Tom Parker, Mark Nowak, and Ron Trzebiatowski.

One of the goals of the TRBA is to showcase area businesses and encourage residents to buy local. We believe local businesses are the heartbeat of America and for good reason. Local businesses generate 70% more local economic activity per square foot than big box retail. Local shops produce a net annual return of $326 per 1000 square feet compared to a big box store, which generates a net annual deficit of $486 per 1000 square feet. Money spent at a local business generates 3.5 times more wealth for the local economy compared to money spent at a chain owned business. If every family in the US spent an extra $10 a month at a locally owned, independent business instead of a national chain, over $9.3 billion would be directly returned to our economy. Buying local is also good for the environment as it reduces transportation, packaging and processing waste.

We are fortunate in Amherst to have many opportunities to buy goods and services from outstanding businesses. Now, we have two more great reasons with the recent opening of two new businesses.

Nancy Daniels is the new owner/manager of Middle Earth, the Village Bookstore, located at 147 N. Main Street, next door to the Village Hive & Swarm. In this inviting space you will find hundreds of used books on most topics, children’s books, some new books, greeting cards, locally made jewelry, rocks, crystals, cds and more. I was amazed at the vast selection.

I spoke with Nancy recently about her new venture. She said, “I encourage people to put down their devices and pick up a book”. My vision is that the Middle Earth is a space where people feel comfortable to browse, share ideas and talk about their favorite books.” A true bibliophile, Nancy chose the name of the store in honor of her all-time favorite book, The Hobbit, which evokes her love of the Earth as a place for all beings. Before opening the Middle Earth, Nancy worked part-time at the Bookcellar in Waupaca, owned by her partner, John Ryan who is supportive of her new venture. She spent 26 years as a massage therapist (now retired) and 30 years as a student of astrology. She teaches classes in astrology and does astrological charts for individuals. Look for learning opportunities on a variety of topics in the future at Middle Earth.

Curious as to why Nancy chose Amherst, I asked her what drew her to our village. “I’ve been thinking about opening a book store for some time and always enjoyed the special community of Amherst. When a friend shared about the space opening next to the Village Hive & Swarm it seemed perfect. People can stop by after a cup of coffee, tea, or even a beer at O’Brien’s. “

If you’re like me and have way more books than you need, you can donate your gently used books to the Middle Earth. New books are generally 10% off retail and you can order books (and avoid Amazon) as well, one more way to shop local. The winter hours are currently set for 10am-4pm, Wednesday through Saturday. The store will likely be closed during heavy snowstorms. The phone number is 715-445-1357. Please stop by and welcome Nancy to our community.

The other new business in Amherst is Adeline’s Closet, at 142 South Main Street. Previously an online-only venue, it opened as a brick-and-mortar shop early in October. The store carries new women's clothing from sizes XS-3X, product from local vendors, hand made decor, leather earrings, metal/leather combined jewelry, hand crocheted hats and headbands, soaps, candles and more. 

I sat down with owner, Sheila Kuffel Tuschen for a bit, recently and asked her what inspired her to entrepreneurhood, and she told me, “Adeline's Closet Boutique was not something I had always "dreamed of". But I felt a need for more boutique-style plus-size clothing options, as I struggled myself to find plus-size boutique clothing. I had stepped back from my nursing career to be a stay-at-home mom in 2016. During this time I started selling online with a Facebook group, Adeline's Closet, in November 2017. With an infant, three- and four-year-old, I wanted a way to help contribute to the family finances while raising our children.

“As a nurse, it is in my heart to help people. Finding clothing for all sizes, that they will feel great in, truly fulfills my love to help.”

Adeline’s Closet, which held its grand opening November 16 and 17, will be open during the Tomorrow River Christmas Parade on December 5, and has a booth at the Tomorrow River Christmas Craft Show at the Jensen Community Center, December 7.

“I love the Amherst area! I grew up south of Arnott and traveled to Amherst many times with my parents,” said Tuschen.

Adeline’s Closet Boutique is open Wednesday 10-5, Thursday and Friday 10-6, Saturday 10-4, and occasional Sundays in December. Visit shopadelinesclosetboutique.com for more information.

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