10/13/08 — New craft store opens inside O'Berry Center's log cabin

View Archive

New craft store opens inside O'Berry Center's log cabin

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 13, 2008 1:46 PM


O'Berry Center has a new log cabin to sell handmade soaps, pottery and other artwork.

The long-awaited log cabin which will be home to Berry Towne Crafts at O'Berry Center opened last week, just in time for the Southern Heritage and Craft Fair held Saturday Construction began on the building in September 2007. The 1,620-square feet building is nearly four times the size of the former store, said Charles Spiron, marketing director.

"We have got more products here, just kind of expanded so we could take advantage of the increased space," he said.

The store now features a more "general store" feel -- with its hand-hewn logs and pine flooring as well as an array of artifacts and decorations, some donated by members of the O'Berry staff.

Berry Towne Gifts still offers a variety of products made on the premises by residents, including stoneware pottery, a complete line of natural handmade personal products such as soaps, lotions, baby care products and bath salts. O'Berry's bakery program also contributes to "Sweet Treats," offered in the coffee bar area of the store.

In addition the popular roasted pecans, there are cakes, pies and assorted pastries for purchase. Special orders are also accepted.

The store also has wood crafts, wreaths, decorative bows and gift baskets, Spiron said.

"We have a greenhouse on campus, so we also have house plants, mums and seasonal plants," he added.

The effort has been a long time coming, officials at O'Berry said. After meeting with approval from several levels, there were several delays along the way.

No state money was used for the project.

"It was funded through receipts from our program over the last 15 or 16 years -- from the sale of products, which are made by the individuals here," explained Barbara Doerter, who manages the center's vocational program.

The project included new landscaping and a fountain out front.

"It was well worth it," said Carolyn Davis, director of vocational and educational services.

"Our ability to display our items improved. Our presentation of the items that are for sale is much better," Ms. Doerter added.

They also fit the atmosphere of the store, Ms. Davis said, pointing out that the former location "was just an old classroom."

The new rustic building also gives a more personal feel to those who live on the campus, Ms. Doerter said.

Hopefully, the entire Goldsboro community will discover the new facility, Ms. Davis said.

"I would love to see long-term -- the kitchen area for people to stop every day, get something to eat, sit on the porch when we put rocking chairs out there," she said. "I can envision it being a place to just come and relax, visit."

New store hours will be weekdays from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., with the addition of Saturday hours from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Another option added is the store now accepts debit and credit cards.

For more information on Berry Towne, visit the Web site at www.berrytownecrafts.com.