The modern-day general store
Adorn Goods combines the inventory of handmade items from artisans with the look of a modern-day general store.
By Richard L. Gaw
Adorn Goods - Artful Home & Epicure
in Centreville is the article in Oprah magazine about the
vision of entrepreneurs that sticks with you long after you read it.
Adorn Goods is small-town life with a contemporary flair; a gathering place with a generous helping of the unique.
Adorn Goods is the segment you see on your favorite Home & Garden Network program that confirms that a store of this kind can be a workable concept, not only offering one-of-a-kind gifts, but asking customers to linger for a while.
Adorn Goods, tucked into the fabric of a still-small hamlet in the heart of the Brandywine Valley, is the vision of Bree Wellons and Jennifer Steiner. The key business concept of Adorn Goods is immediately seen on its many shelves and along its wide-beam wooden floors: Small-batch gift and food items brought to the store from farmers and artisans Wellons and Steiner have partnered with, like Blackberry Farm in Knoxille, Tenn., Farmhouse Pottery in Woodstock, Vt., as well as local chefs and bakers. Adorn Goods is the wrapped bundle of nostalgia meeting modernism; the place where convenience collides with necessity; and the end result of what happens when two friends get together, toss away the envelope of convention and come up with an idea to open what is quickly becoming the coolest general store of its kind.
From pottery, tableware and home accessories to locally sourced gourmet foods, Adorn Goods is an all-in-one shopping experience.
"Adorn Goods is the culmination of our passions," said Steiner, a former advertising executive in Wilmington. "Bree and I have always been interested in the concept of what makes a house a home, and we hope for Adorn Goods to become a community spot for ideas, whether you're coming here for gifts, or food or the events. We want it to be an all-around easy place for people to make it a part of their routine."
"Because families are so busy these days, frozen, pre-made foods are a huge hit these days," Wellons said. "We're already finding that people love the convenience of stopping by Adorn Goods and taking home delicious meals made by local chefs."
Beginning in September, Adorn Goods will offer fresh baked goods every Saturday morning from different local bakers and a fresh coffee bar. A dairy section is planned for the fall that will become a source for locally produced milk.
"Our goal is to make Adorn Goods the place to go to on Saturday mornings, where you can come in, grab a morning coffee and a homemade muffin, and then take home some meals to go, such as seafood and meats from our freezer," Wellons said. "We'll not only have your food needs covered, but if you need to get that special gift, we've got you covered, too."
Since its opening, Adorn Goods has also hosted small private events, such as cooking classes, women's nights, baby showers and small business meetings. Nearly a dozen events have already been booked through the summer, which will not only take advantage of the interior space, but the spacious front and side porches as well.
It won't take long to track down personal touches -- influenced by their memories and their travels -- that Wellons and Steiner have brought to the store. In 2009, Wellons launched Dilwyne Designs, a design studio influenced in part from her extensive travels around the world. She's brought that eye for detail to Adorn Goods to combine a small-town feel with a modern-day vibe. When she was a child growing up in Carlisle, Pa., Steiner and her brother would visit a local candy store one day a week and fill small brown paper bags with penny candy. Sure enough, kids of all ages can fill up on a lot of sweet things at Adorn Goods.
"What we've found is that the products we have chosen to showcase, combined with our travels and experiences, have given us the ideas for what became this store," Steiner said. "As our small towns begin to expand, we are very quickly losing everything that people want from a store -- the connection that businesses of this kind have with the community they serve. We are bringing that environment back to the community."
Adorn Goods is at 5712 Kennett Pike, Centreville, Del. To learn more, visit www.adorngoods.com.