CLARKS SUMMIT — Duffy’s Coffee House officially has a new home, and patrons won’t have to travel far to find it.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Wednesday, Nov. 11 at the new location, in the former Bunnell Hardware building at 306 S. State St., next door to where the business opened exactly four years to the date.
In addition to gourmet, locally roasted coffee, homemade baked goods, a daily lunch menu, art and music, there are kiosks in the back of the building housing different types of vendors.
“It’s such an advantage to the community to have a large building filled with excitement, promise and forward thinking,” Clarks Summit Mayor Patty Lawler said. “It’s something brand new to the community. It’s almost like a small version of Quincy Market (in Boston). It’s multigenerational in that both older and younger groups of people can enjoy it.”
Duffy’s owner Mari Walker believes the warm, friendly atmosphere makes it a popular destination in the Abingtons and led to its expansion.
“I think it’s the sense of community and celebration of people whether it be musicians or artists,” she said. “We try to provide a welcoming environment to anyone who walks in.”
Walker is also confident the partnership will be beneficial to both her business and the artisans who pay rent to occupy the kiosks.
“I think it’s a win-win for both of us,” she said. “I think the traffic from the coffee house crowd will help the vendors, but I also think they will bring their own customer base.”
According to Walker, a community space in the upstairs of the building is expected to be completed within a month and will be available to be rented out for lessons, football parties or group outings.
“I came in touch with so many different people through the business,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to accommodate what they’re asking for.”
Among the vendors is Beth Aquilina, who is excited to have her own space to sell merchandise. Aquilina Oddities specializes in handmade jewelry, including precious stones.
“I don’t want to have a big store but this seemed like a really good opportunity,” she said. “I have stuff in other little stores around the area, but this is my first foray into having my own place. I think it’s a really great idea.”
Aquilina first became interested in working with metals while taking a class at Abington Heights High School, sponsored by Keystone College. She has experience crafting custom engagement rings, hand-carved wax original models, and various items through cold and hot forging.
“I enjoy the creative outlet,” she said. “I get in a nice zone and it makes me happy. I like making pretty things.”
Cheryl Kaiser looks forward to expanding her client base and conversing with others about photography.
“It’s a good opportunity to be present in front of the community and get back involved in Clarks Summit and the downtown,” she said.
Kaiser, who owns Cheryl Kaiser Fine Photography, believes the new space will allow her business the chance to grow.
“It’s definitely an opportunity to meet people as they’re coming through,” she said. “I’ve been very involved with the Abington Business & Professional Association (ABPA) over the years. A lot of my friends are here and it’s close to my home. I’ll be starting a couple little groups, in the next several months, including Coffee and Cameras, where I’ll be sitting down about once a week and talking to people who love photography with the goal of inspiring and helping each other.”
Maryann Corey, founder of BLOOM, will sell beaded jewelry, artwork and other unique gifts. All proceeds benefit the non-profit organization The Portable Playhouse, which has traveled to hospitals and cancer centers to provide a bedside beading program for women and children for the last 16 years. Her kiosk will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“We’ve wanted to get into Clarks Summit, but had not been able to find retail space,” Corey said. “This opportunity gives us a start to get our feet wet.”
Corey plans to host a Ladies Night once the upstairs area is completed where women can learn how to create their own beaded jewelry.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.