Hi all! This is Rachel, back with you again after three months of having my nose in the books, sniffing around for things. That totally sounds like a Caseyism. Oh well. He’s rubbing off on me… and that’s a good thing!
It’s good to be on break from college and to be able to work on some of my own projects again, including making mittens!!!
This post is another one of those “projects” to get done, and it’s been long in the making. Casey asked if there were any topics I particularly wanted to blog about, and I chose the store and the bakery (stay tuned for that post!). Don’t ask me why, but these are the two areas that I’m uber excited about. Of course, I’m excited for having goats and rabbits and growing things in the garden, but the store and bakery are up my ally with creating things… creating nice things and yummy things that will bring people enjoyment (especially if we can do so at a good bargain, which is another one of my favorite things). Of course, the store has other goals too, like promoting community, which I will get to in a moment.
Now for a little background on the store idea. I don’t really remember when the idea first came about, but it was definitely before Casey’s dad (Joe) looked into buying any of the property next-door. I think that we were planning to build a little store between the two houses we will be living in. However, the idea really took off when the new land also came with two apartment houses (which the seller no longer wanted to maintain). One of the houses became designated as Tom and Hannah’s future home, and the other one, a large white house, provided options for many of our ideas: the store, some storage, offices, a big kitchen, with maybe some space left over for a small apartment. As you can tell from the sound of it, this would be a large project and may take many years. The houses aren’t in fantastic shape and our first priority is making the Taft house a home. However, we still maintain the goal of getting the store up and running in 5 years.
Here is the 5 year plan progression as of right now: the first year (this summer!) we plan to have a roadside stand with fresh produce, plus an “order form” for meat, baked goods, jam, crafts, etc. Meanwhile, we will get to see the public interest in our idea and see if starting a store is really feasible.
Whether you are a Glen Aubrey local reading this, or a far-off friend, your interest in the store matters to us. This is not only because you may occasionally be a customer, but also because we would like this store to have a community focus. In fact, the vision we have for the store will not be possible without you.
Here is our vision for the store: a place where people enjoy gathering together, whether for a cup of coffee and donut, to take a class, or to come as a family activity to check out the farm.
Another part of the vision is this: to offer handmade items made by people in our own communities…. friends, family, ordinary people who have a knack for craft… I know many people who can quilt, knit and crochet things, and make jewelry that is better than what you can buy at most stores. Some of these people sell their things online, using etsy.com and such, but most of them do not. We would love for the store to be an opportunity for these people to sell their items while at the same time having these items contribute to the personal touch of the store. Of course, the crafts would have to represent the Hust Roost with good quality, but we don’t imagine turning many people away.
We would only profit a small percentage off of the things contributed by others (and, knowing this percentage–probably 8-10%–the contributors could set their own prices). Over the next few years, we will be bringing this idea up to the crafters we know, to get their input and to see if they would be interested in any way. I am so excited for this! Of course, I am excited to craft my own items as well. 🙂
^That idea is just one of our ideas for the store. Other than that, we would love to have baked goods (coming soon in the next post), our own canned items like jams and salsas (of course abiding by all of the rules for selling that sort of thing), our fresh produce in the summer and some frozen produce in the winter, cartons of eggs, cups of coffee… One of our other favorite ideas is having a used book section, where people can bring a book to donate in exchange for one of the ones on our shelves. In a way, it would be a library with no obligation to return. However, we would make sure that the books on our shelves were good ones. We would recycle any of the under qualified books which people bring in.
Aesthetically, we hope that our store will be an open and inviting place. When we remodel the old house, we plan to take out some of the ceilings to add more room. There is a fire place along one wall. We want it to be a place where people want to be. I hope that, one day, each of you will show up there and we will share a conversation. This may all sound like a dream too good to be true, and maybe it is (we are dreamers!) but we want to be doers too, and shine God’s love and light in the world, and this is a great opportunity to do just that.
“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” ~Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)