MILROY - Though Dutch Pantry Gifts has seen many changes in the past year, they have finally settled down in an ideal location in Milroy. Previous vendors from Talk of the Valley Gift Shop have relocated a short distance from the Big Valley Antique Center to the shopping complex beside the Best Western Hotel in Milroy. The grand opening celebration will begin today and carry on through Aug. 18.
The store offers a variety of crafts and gifts, including hand-crafted jewelry and accessories, home decor, hand-crafted furniture, gourmet foods, and hand-crafted soaps, lotions and body products. Dutch Pantry Gifts is more of an artisan shop in that nearly everything in the store is made locally by talented and creative individuals.
Owners Scott Keys and Brian Powers feel they have brought a great group of people together to form this co-op.
Sentinel photo by HANNAH?WALTERS
Dutch Pantry Gifts co-owner Scott Keys shows off his large selection of jams, candies and other edibles which can be sampled daily at the store in Milroy.
"We have regular meetings where together we can decide what we feel is best for the shop whether it's marketing and advertising decisions or something simple," Keys said. "It's a good way to jazz each other up and really support one another."
Keys also commented that with anchors in the community dissapearing such as the Dairyland Complex and Peachey's, Dutch Pantry Gifts is really trying to pick up the torch until those businesses can recover.
Vendors Diane and John Allison raise alpaca in Reedsville and send the wool off to be spun and turned into clothing. In the store you can find a variety of sweaters, socks and other items made from their animals.
Local artist, Robin Radek, of Port Royal, decided to venture into the world of retail after her work was well received at art shows. Her section of the store houses items such as fused glass, jewelry and pottery. Much of the artwork is both functional and decorative.
Carrie Metzger, of Milroy, shows off her artistic talents with hand-made cards, gift bags, photo albums and baby albums. Each piece is different and unique which can make gift giving and receiving a much more personal experience.
Vendors Marv and Jan Brubaker have been in the gift shop business for 15 years and have a wide selection of really great items including Penn State merchandise, gifts, knick knacks and home decor.
Scott Keys' Dutch Pantry offers homemade chocolates and candies, gluten free items, twisted sugars, Himalayan salts and aged extracts which have become very popular. Keys initially started out selling jellies, jams and preserves made from his grandmother's old family recipes, all of which are still available today.
After several years of setting up booths at seasonal market venues in the Juniata Valley, he decided it was time to expand and have a permanent location. Nearly all products are available for sampling every day.
Tim and Eric's Keepsakes and Memories offer a variety of scarves, handmade jewelry, pins, sunglasses and earrings. Such a unique variety that every age group can find that perfect item.
Bare Nekked Bath and Body offers soaps, lotions and various items made with essential oils and natural colors. Owner, Brian Powers, has even come up with a dirt-scented soap which is ideal for hunters who want to go undetected. He also offers a variety of soy candles and tarts.
Jenny Landis offers a huge variety of attitude pins and magnets. These sarcastic and humorous buttons are great for those of any age and are geared toward nurses, teachers, fisherman, animal lovers and anyone else you might need the perfect gift for.
The business has drawn out other talented locals and sells various unique craft items made in Mifflin County such as adult and children's aprons made from recycled overalls and the very useful baked potato bags.
Dutch Pantry Gifts vendors include: Robin's Nest Crafts, which is owned and operated by Robin Radek, of Port Royal; All For You Alpacas, owned and operated by Diane and John Allison, of Reedsville; Brushstrokes and Blessings, owned and operated by Marv and Jan Brubaker, of Harrisburg; The Dutch Pantry, owned and operated by Scott Keys, of Burnham; Jay Bee Yell, owned and operated by Jennie Barren Landis, of Lewistown; Tim and Eric's Keepsakes and Memories, owned and operated by Tim and Eric Hinkle, of Lewistown, and Bare Nekked Bath and Body, owned and operated by Brian Powers, of Burnham.
Dutch Pantry Gifts is located just off the Milroy exit in the shopping complex beside the Best Western Hotel. The mailing address is 15 Commerce Drive, Suite 400, Milroy. Store hours are from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. For more information call 667-0310 or visit www.thedutchpantry.com.