A treasure trove
Cindy Brossart, owner of Cindy’s Country Cupboard on Main Avenue has some advice to people who visit her store: Set aside lots of time.
Brossart will give visitors an extra opportunity to stay a while when she hosts her re-grand opening November 1-3, during Rugby’s Christmas in a Small Town event.
“My hours are 10-8 on November 1; then on the 2nd, they’re 10-5, and on the 3rd, they’re 10-4,” she said. “We’re having sweets and sparkling cider.”
“Sometimes I see people come in, and they don’t even get past the front counter, and they just turn around. And I think, ‘You haven’t even begun,'” Brossart said of some people who visit her store.
But plenty of them stay to stroll through pathways of t-shirts, vintage dolls, and western-themed books and art.
Brossart says she fills “every nook and cranny” of her compact shop with one-of-a-kind collectables, dcor items, jewelry, even snacks and treats. She makes good use of wall space handmade wreaths of materials from burlap to metallic garland line the upper portion of her store wall above her counter.
More handmade items await in the store’s new addition, remodeled by Jason Miller.
The doorway on the right leads to the room, past a nook displaying baby items. The entrance faces a wall with another door on it, fashioned after a barn door, with wheels on a track above it to slide it open. Walls feature a variety of wooden clocks, their faces painted with a variety of designs.
But the star attractions sprawl out around it shelves stocked with table runners, placemats, blankets hand-knitted by Brossart, and dolls dressed in evening gowns handmade by Brossart. A table holds Christmas decorations. More shelves filled with very special items sit on the wall in the far corner of the room.
Brossart indicated piles of delicate doilies on these shelves: “The doilies, made by Marion Nelson, are even more special, since she just passed away.”
Brossart’s baby room holds even more handmade treasures from the deceased prolific crafter. “These are from Marion Nelson, who did the doilies,” Brossart said. She picked up a pair of booties, delicately crocheted with off-white yarn.
More hand-knitted items surround the booties. “I do have handmade items by my daughter, Justine Fjellanger, and my daughter-in-law, Missy Brossart,” Cindy Brossart noted.
“We have knitted and crocheted scarves all three of us do those. Like all those on top are Missy’s,” she said, indicating brightly colored knitted scarves. “All the Panther ones are Missy’s. And then Missy does baby shoes,” Brossart picked up a pair of booties knitted with red yard threaded with silver sparkles. “Like the ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz,” she noted. “And there are (other) little boots. I did the Panther booties. And then I did the caps,” Brossart said, and pointed to knit hats topped with pom pom snowman faces.
Brossart said visitors to her store like her doilies, yard flags, and Leaning Tree greeting cards and refrigerator magnets, and the t-shirts that adorn walls and entryways throughout the store.
“We put all the retirement shirts over by our candy,” Brossart noted, pointing to what she calls “retro candy”: Necco Wafers, bubble gum cigars, candy cigarettes and black licorice pipes.
The store also began selling tank tops recently.
“This was the best seller this summer Feed me tacos and tell me I’m beautiful,” Brossart read from one top.
Cindy’s Country Cupboard began in 2002, when Brossart, a crafter who sold her wares at events in several states, decided, “I just wanted to settle down in one place.”
“It’s gone well these past 16 years,” Brossart said of her store, “but I needed more room, so I just wanted to re-do things and update it a little bit.”
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