Downtown business changing hands

March 22, 1997


Staff Writer

The reins of a downtown Hagerstown institution have changed hands, but the new owner says she plans to continue the tradition of quality merchandise and service.

After 29 years at the helm of Lena Darner Boutique, Marjorie Grumbacher is retiring.

She sold the store to Cheryl Kendig on March 13 but is continuing to work at the shop to ensure a smooth transition, she said.

"I've made a lot of friends," said Grumbacher, 77. "I've enjoyed outfitting people for special events and travel."

Kendig plans to continue the personal service the boutique offers its loyal customers. She purchases clothing for the store that she believes specific customers would want.


The 59 N. Potomac St. boutique offers women's apparel, outerwear, formal wear, jewelry and handbags and carries Merle Norman cosmetics. The store is known for its mother-of-the-bride dresses, Kendig said.

Kendig, 39, of Hagerstown, first became familiar with the boutique as a small girl accompanying her mother shopping.

Becoming owner of the shop is a dream come true, she said. Her husband, Harry, will be a business consultant for the boutique. Their daughter might join the business in the future.

Lena Darner founded the boutique in 1955 across the street from the store's current location at the corner of North Potomac and West Franklin streets.

She sold it to Grumbacher, once her store manager and then her partner, in 1984. The store moved to its current location in February, 1985, Kendig said.

While Grumbacher is retiring from the boutique, she will remain active.

"I expect to be busy," said Grumbacher. She will volunteer more hours with a self-help group at the Maryland Correctional Institute, where she has volunteered for 25 years, she said.

She also plans to spend more time with her husband, Richard, and their five grandchildren.

The store's hours will change on Monday. The new hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and on Saturdays, and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays.

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