2017-12-13 / Education

Ella’s Mercantile making a mark with assortment of local products

New business has opened doors in Halcottsville
By Eddie Donoghue

The hamlet of Halcottsville has some new life in it as Ella’s Mercantile opened for business at summer’s end and is beginning to establish itself in the community.

The store was opened by Carley Franklin-Hughes, owner of Ella’s Bellas Bakery in Beacon, in part, because she had noticed in recent years the lack of options for local produce during the week.

Franklin-Hughes describes the store by saying, “We are a little bit farm stand, a little bit general store, a lot of hospitality and a whole lot of heart.” She told the News recently, “The reason I called it mercantile is because it’s all local and we’re doing craft things, candles, scarves and blankets, we cover lots of areas—local produce, eggs and cheese, local beans, jams and maple syrups— a good amount of food.”

All New York products

All the products at Ella’s, including their own line of bath-washes and bath-salts, come from New York, and most from within the immediate Delaware County area including an increasing number right from Halcottsville. Currently Ella’s is in talks to, over the next six months, add even more items from the Halcottsville area as they become more of a fixture and continue to build ties in the area.

“I can point to everything and tell you where it’s from,” Franklin-Hughes said.

The opportunity for the Ella’s Mercantile venture came to Franklin-Hughes unexpectedly, as she says, “It was completely by luck. I think I saw the building listed the first day it was up.” Having been unfamiliar with the area, she was drawn to the building by its history, it having served in the past as a sculptor’s studio, a gun shop, cauliflower storage, and Franklin-Hughes’ favorite, a dance hall on the second floor with livestock parking on the first.

Room rentals

These days, the second floor will serve as an Airbnb, having recently opened, with specials being offered throughout December. It features three rooms and an updated kitchen, but still maintains some of its original wood floors. The building is located just next to Susan’s Pleasant Pheasant Farm where visitors can rent kayaks and canoes for nearby Lake Wawaka.

The store is currently open Thursday through Monday, and its operator is looking toward the future, with Franklin- Hughes saying, “We want to talk to the local farmers. We have a decent space out back and we’d like to do one workshop a month. We want to coordinate with the community going into the next year,” adding they have even entertained the idea of a weekly jam session on Sundays.

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