Pa. labor secretary tours Chambersburg businesses

Julia K. Hearthway asked owners how the down economy has affected them

August 04, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |
  • From left, Andy Gartenberg and Kathy Mahon of Gartenberg Jewelry in Chambersburg, Pa., speak Thursday with Pennsylvania Labor Secretary Julia Hearthway and state Rep. Rob Kauffman during Hearthway's tour of downtown Chambersburg.
By Jennifer Fitch, Staff Writer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Downtown Chambersburg's bookstores, printing services, an insurance agency and other small businesses were on display Thursday for Pennsylvania Labor Secretary Julia K. Hearthway.

State Rep. Rob Kauffman, R-Franklin/Cumberland, led Hearthway on her first visit to Chambersburg. The pair later toured Volvo Construction in Shippensburg, Pa.

Hearthway asked business owners how the down economy has affected them.

"It's a challenge," said Will Pananes of Olympia Candy Kitchen.

Still, Pananes said he's committed to downtown and wants to keep it looking nice.

"It's a beautiful little town," he said.

Steve Gray of Printaway said he feels fortunate to have made it through the worst of the recession.

"We have a history of being here, while a lot of other shops have come and gone," he said.

Ellen Pogue of The Gift Enclosure said she feels customers appreciate attention from employees and services such as free gift wrapping.

"It's important to me as a consumer, so we try to do that for our customers, too," she said.

Hearthway started her downtown tour at Gartenberg Jewelry. There, Andy Gartenberg talked about his family immigrating to the United States in 1946.

"We're part of this community," he said. "We've been a part of it for 65 years."

Hearthway admired the results of Gartenberg Jewelry's remodeling six years ago.

"It's like a little gem in the city," she said with a smile.

Hearthway asked if Gartenberg Jewelry is one of the oldest stores in Chambersburg, and Gartenberg said there are older ones, including a men's store, another jeweler and Olympia Candy Kitchen.

Kauffman took Hearthway to Potomac Bead Co. and explained how the business plans to expand into an adjacent, vacant store.

Hearthway said she found Chambersburg to be charming and similar to what a newly forming community near her home in Chester County, Pa., is trying to establish.

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