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Smithsburg business effort is all in the family

November 05, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

SMITHSBURG - When Debbie Stanley opened The Village Emporium in mid-June, it was a dream come true for the fledgling entrepreneur.

But considering the volatility of the current business climate, it was also a leap of faith - a leap she was willing to take with God's help.

"I've always enjoyed shopping in stores like this, so I thought, 'Why not?'" she said.

Stanley chose the store's name carefully so people would know that the inventory is wide and varied.

There is seasonal home decor, candles, primitives and inspirations, Stanley said. "There are a lot of gift possibilities here," she said.

The Village Emporium's hours are Tuesdays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Fridays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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As the holidays approach, those hours may expand, she said.

Stanley and her husband, Doug, own the building at the corner of Main and Water streets in Smithsburg. They are renting out space next door to a couple very familiar to them.

Debbie Stanley's mother and father, Jesse and Beulah "Botts" Bell, opened J&B Trains there about two months ago.

Their business had been in Hagerstown at Antietam and Mulberry streets for eight years.

"We live near Myersville, so this location in Smithsburg is a little closer to home," Botts Bell said.

The train store is open to walk-ins as well as model train enthusiasts shopping via the Internet, she said.

Describing business as "fair," Botts Bell said she and her husband are hoping things will improve.

For more information on the Village Emporium, call 301-824-2247. To contact J&B Trains, call 240-420-4930.

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