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Specialty shops diving into downtown spots

November 24, 1997

By RICHARD F. BELISLE

Staff Writer, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Debbie Simmers has been raising exotic birds in her home since 1992, when her husband Terry bought her a pair of lovebirds.

She loved the birds and they loved each other and started to multiply. She branched into other breeds and began to sell her birds and some accessories. She soon outgrew her home business and started to bump up against some zoning rules.

Simmers decided to open her own pet shop, a place where she could raise her birds and expand her business. She found a vacant store at 215 W. Main Street in Waynesboro and opened up Simmers House of Pets and Birds earlier this month.

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So far, she said, business is good and getting better.

A few months earlier, Marilyn Wishard moved her Main Street Emporium into a house she bought at 244 W. Main St. The shop was in Mont Alto, Pa., before that. She moved it to expand her Yankee Candle line, her best seller.

The emporium offers a varied inventory, including candles, Christmas items, home fragrances and Victorian jewelry.

Like Simmers, Wishard thinks business will be better at the far edge of the central business core because there is more parking.

Molly Cooper of Bel Air, Md., opened her Oak Spring Antiques shop in a vacant store on the southeast corner of the Public Square last week.

"I'm going to try it for a few months to see how it does," she said.

Jackson and Hewitt, a tax service chain, opened an office at 18 E. Main St., its first full-time office in Waynesboro, said Bev Stitely, general manager. It's starting off with a tax school, she said.

The business picked a downtown Waynesboro location, Stitely said, "because we got a good deal on the rent."

Across the street at 27 E. Main sits C.J.'s Doughnuts and Bakery, opened in mid-November by Henry and Cathyjo Chaney of Chambersburg, Pa. Their location couldn't be better. The address has been a bakery for nearly 100 years, Henry Chaney said.

"We wanted a small-town location," he said.

Small-town hospitality has already made its way to the shop in the form of a surprise bunch of congratulatory flowers sent by Above the Rest, a flower shop across the street. The Chaneys returned the favor by bringing doughnuts to downtown businesses as a good-will offering.

Just south of the downtown, at 310 S. Potomac Street, Craig Kennedy reopened Auto Details. His is a history of disaster. The business on Pa. 16 near Greencastle had only been open for eight weeks when a recent fire destroyed the building he was renting. He found the Waynesboro site and converted it to a detail shop and show room. He reopened earlier this month with five full-time employees.

"There's pros and cons about this location. My other building was brand new and had more room. I have limited garage space here, but a lot of traffic goes by," he said.

She said she's keeping some of her old customers and new ones are discovering her shop.

Cooper, from Bel Air, Md., specializes in Victorian oak and walnut furniture, vintage clothing and accessories.

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