Local shops close out the old year, and look to the new one

by Stacia Friedman
Posted 12/30/21

Local businesses deserve a big thanks for keeping our community cohesive and economically viable during the pandemic. We urge our readers to continue to shop and dine locally throughout 2022.

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Local shops close out the old year, and look to the new one


With the challenging year that was 2021 winding down to its very last day, we here at the Local thought we’d check in with some of the business owners who have been keeping Germantown Avenue vibrant and lively to see what they’re thinking about - and hoping for - in the upcoming new year. 

These diverse businesses, which are so important to the life of Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy’s commercial districts have struggled - and learned - throughout the ups and downs of Covid’s 2021 closings and openings. They deserve a big thanks for keeping our community cohesive and economically viable during the pandemic, and we urge our readers to continue to shop and dine locally throughout 2022.

Starting at the top

“It’s been a wonderful year and a great holiday season,” said Laura Cohn, owner of From Bali to US. “I am so looking forward to what we can do to help the global economy recover.” That is what Cohn’s business model is all about, helping support the craftspeople of Bali. During the holidays, Cohn has a seasonal shop at 8532 Germantown Ave. and continues to sell artisan crafts throughout the year via her website. “Next year, I hope to see everyone’s faces and smiles sans masks - but that is a big hope,” she said. frombalitous.com

George Breslau, owner of the Paperia, at 8521 Germantown Ave., is also concerned about the recent Covid uptick. “We had a couple of good months starting in September when people felt more confident and began ordering wedding invitations again. But now it’s slowing down,” he said. Hopefully those wedding bells will start ringing again soon. thepaperia.com

Caleb Meyer, owner of Caleb Meyer Studio, at 8520 Germantown Ave, is also in high spirits. “This has been a good year. The Hill is bouncing back with more businesses and occupancy,” said the maker of custom gold jewelry and purveyor of fine art crafts. “I hope it continues.” calebmeyer.com

“I hope everyone can be as happy as I am now,” said Debbie Gress-Jansen, owner of the new store, Booked, at 8511 Germantown Ave. “Having this book store is my dream come true and everyone has been so lovely,” she said.  Gress-Jansen, who previously taught at Springside Chestnut Hill. The first book store on the Hill since Borders closed in 2010, Booked offers a wide choice of best sellers, fiction and nonfiction for all ages. Plus author readings and signings. bookedch.com.

"In 2022 we are looking forward to continued success and growth," said Chrissy Dress, owner/aesthetician of CURE de Repos, skin care clinic and spa at 8439 Germantown. "We wish the virus to be under control of some sorts; we are all exhausted. We also look forward to continuing to support and engage with the Chestnut Hill Community as this is our home." curederepos.com

Lisa Howe, co-owner of Artisans on the Avenue at 8440 Germantown Ave. has a similar goal. “Not being shut down,” she said. “I just want people to feel comfortable going out and that’s not happening right now.” The fashion forward women’s clothing which Artisans on the Avenue carries is designed for an active social life of parties, concerts, fine dining and travel. Not sitting at home in your sweats watching Netflix! artisans-on-the-avenue.shoplightspeed.com

If you are a regular at Night Kitchen Bakery & Cafe, 7725 Germantown Ave, you probably have glimpsed co-owner Amy Edelman, who makes frequent appearances behind the counter. But you may not know John Millard, Amy’s husband, co-owner, and talented chef who has been making all those cakes, cookies and pies in the kitchen. Their New Year wish reflects a priority for many of us. “We are looking forward to everyone getting vaccinated and an end to Covid,” said Amy, “We hope 2022 will bring better health.” nightkitchenbakery.com

Crossing into Mt. Airy

Will Maggs, co-owner of Adelie Coffee House at 6610 Germantown Ave. looks forward to “...a better year in 2022.” Located on the street level of Pelham Place, a luxury hi-rise building between Phil-Elena and Hortter streets, Adelie Coffee House specializes in bagels delivered from NYC daily, along with croissants and a wide assortment of coffees and teas. (What’s the difference between a NYC bagel and those sold in supermarkets? Sort of like the difference between a Maserati and a Kia.)  www.adelie.coffee

And over by the co-op

“We hope the community will continue to support local businesses,” said Yolanda Booker and Theresa Hill, managers at Wild Hand, a West Mt. Airy yarn shop at 606 Carpenter Lane, across the intersection from Weavers Way food co-op at Carpenter and Greene streets. Owner Liz Sytsma adds, “When it comes to 2022, I'm very hopeful. While the road still feels a bit bumpy and uncertain, I hope for a year where our close-knit Wild Hand community grows - welcoming more folks to fiber craft and all of the joy that comes along with making something by hand alongside friends and neighbors. I also hope that we have the supplies to continue to distribute free yarn and tools to community groups that need it through our Little Free Fiber Library. Besides selling yarns, Wild Hand hosts workshops in Appalachian Basket Weaving, Wheel Spinning and Badass Cross-Stitch, giving the oldest form of embroidery a radical spin.  Wild-Hand.com

"I see this past year as a transitional year. It was all about re-learning how to be a business owner in a pandemic world," said Jen Kinka, owner of Nesting House, 542 Carpenter Lane, which specializes in new and gently used clothing, toys, books and accessories for babies, toddlers and children. 

"All of our time and energy went to making sure we landed in a sustainable place. This coming year, we are super excited to get our idea hats back on and think about what we want to do next!" said Kinka. Nesting House's motto, "Responsible retail for the next generation" reflects their commitment to organic, socially responsible products from cotton diapers to recycled strollers. TheNestingHouse.net.