LH stores and businesses open; Residents happy to see them


LOCK HAVEN — American author James Lane Allen once said “adversity does not build character, it reveals it.”

These words are never more evident than when you walk along Main Street in downtown Lock Haven.

Flags with “open” printed in large, bold letters flutter in the wind and many store fronts that were once barren or covered are now decorated for the coming holidays. Residents and visitors to the city make their way up and down the streets, often with shopping bags in hand or a box of baked goods tucked under their arm.

For some, the dream of downtown becoming more lively was put in jeopardy by the COVID-19 pandemic. The ordered closure of restaurants, businesses and bars, left Main Street a desolate place in March 2020 and for months after.

The fate of the city’s downtown business district was uncertain. Would its already growing number of empty store fronts increase? Could the downtown that once existed decades ago ever be able to exist again?

PHOTO PROVIDED Sand Piper Design is located at 100 E. Main St. and sells a variety of items.

For most, a boom of commerce was just a dream while the pandemic continued to rear its ugly head.

But, as Allen said, adversity did reveal this downtown’s character.

Existing businesses began to offer curbside pick up, create websites for online sales and even held virtual sales through social media. When fall rolled around, even more good news came to the area as multiple businesses opened their doors.

Within the span of just a few months, several businesses chose to make downtown Lock Haven home, fitting in well with the many others already nestled along Main Street.

During Downtown Lock Haven Inc.’s Small Business Saturdays in December, the streets were often bustling with holiday shoppers, something similar to the days that many folks remember from years-gone-by.

PHOTO PROVIDED A group of card game players are all smiles as they take part in match at Nerd Haven in 2019.

Perhaps it hasn’t quite reached what it was in the hey day of the 1950s or 1960s, but given time, it just might.

With the weather preparing to warm up, take a walk downtown one weekend. There are many businesses that are open and anxious to let you know they’re back and ready to do business again.


Emma’s Primitives, 8 Bellefonte Ave., Lock Haven, has been providing quality home decor and delicious Hershey’s ice cream, among other items, since first opening its doors in 2019.

Since then, the store has gone through a variety of changes, its most recent being the installation of a walk-up window.

PHOTO PROVIDED Valerie Simone poses for a photo in front of a display case of pastries at Simone's Bakery.

“Customers can call-in an order or walk up to the window,” owner Tamy Lamey said. “I’m hoping to get some signs out there to list the ice cream flavors.”

The walk-up window, located between her business and Jersey Shore State Bank, was installed in early 2021 to provide another option for customers who don’t feel comfortable shopping indoors, Lamey said.

Ice cream lovers can get excited for spring, as Lamey plans to expand her options for the sweet treat.

“I’m going to be doing milk shakes, sundaes and possibly other options,” she said.

Beyond ice cream, Emma’s Primitives offers a wide variety of home decor and gift items ranging from candles, wall hangings, tables, chairs and even curtains and bedding.

LAURA JAMESON/THE EXPRESS Hanna Stover, owner of Momoyo Otsu, poses for a photo at the entrance of her store. At left, are displays of jewelry and at right racks of clothing can be seen.

“I can get bedding, curtains or other items, you just have to ask about them,” Lamey said.

Emma’s Primitives is open Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Fridays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Lamey noted that these hours are expected to change in the spring to Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can check out the store’s Facebook page Emma’s Primitives or contact Lamey by calling 570-484-1206 or email theemmasprimitives@gmail.com.


Skeleton Key Boutique is gearing up for summer.

LAURA JAMESON/THE EXPRESS Fabre Sanders, left, and Larry Miller, right, pose with their favorite hot sauces at It Is What It Is.

The women’s clothing store, located at 19 E. Main St., is beginning to stock bathing suits, sandals, shirts and shorts for everyone who would like to upgrade their wardrobe before the temperatures heat up.

“We’re getting 80 plus new styles every week,” owner Ashley Foltz said.

Recently, the store has begun stocking DIFF eyewear, Purvida jewelry as well as Kan Can and Judy Blue jeans and shorts.

Foltz said Skeleton Key stocks sizes small to 3X both in-store and online at their website — www.skeletonkeyboutique.com — or their free app Skeleton Key Boutique.

“It’s awesome,” Foltz said about the app, which has been active for a year. “It’s so convenient to shop with.”

The app also allows people to join in on the live sales they hold each week. The sales are held on the app and the store’s Facebook page Skeleton Key Live!

Foltz started Skeleton Key online in October 2018. Almost a year later she opened a physical location in Flemington before taking the leap and coming to downtown in 2020.

Skeleton Key Boutique is open Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Simone’s Bakery, 24-26 E. Main St., is gearing up for the spring holidays.

Owner Valerie Simone said her bakery has been taking a lot of orders and is preparing for Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and graduation.

Simone said anyone who is interested in making an order can call the store at 570-858-5653. The bakery offers a wide variety of baked goods from specialty cheese cakes, cupcakes, cookies, layer cakes and much more.

If you aren’t sure what you may like, you can also stop in the bakery to get a taste. Each day Simone’s offers a variety of pasteries, cakes, cheesecakes, bread and other items to enjoy.

“It changes everyday, the flavors, the pastries, all of it,” Simone said.

Beyond pasteries, in the winter, Simone’s offers a soup of the day. Although that option will be gone for the season soon, Simone noted that the bakery recently purchased a refrigerator to provide cold drinks to go along with your sweet treats.

To keep up with Simone’s and what options they are providing, check out their Facebook page Simone’s Bakery.

Simone’s Bakery is open Tuesday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Sand Piper Design, 100 E. Main St., is the little shop on the corner that is sizzling with deals.

Stop in and see them while you are shopping downtown!

The shop opened in 1987 and has been serving customers of downtown Lock Haven ever since.

The store carries women’s clothes and accessories, jewelry, candles and pottery, specialty books, pillows, some new and antique furniture, interior design and caligraphy and so much more.

Sand Piper Design is open Thursday and Friday from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information call owner Carol Terry at 570-660-5981.


Sanders Window Fashion, 107 E. Main St., continues to provide quality products for its customers, both residential and commercial.

The business, owned by Art Sanders, was first opened in 1942 by his father Lester. Lester started the business out of his home before Art and his wife, Bonnie, joined. After that, the business opened a location along Hogan Boulevard. However, due to the 1972 Agnes flood, the store moved to 28 E. Main St. In 1996 Art moved the store to its current location.

Art is the longest running retailer in downtown Lock Haven, he said.

Sanders boasts a wide variety of Hunter Douglas window treatments, one of the largest in central Pennsylvania.

From custom draperies in a wide variety of fabrics to curtain rods and bed spreads, Sanders offers a wide variety to choose from, all of which is installed by Art or his son-in-law Larry Miller.

“We come to the location, we measure and we install,” Art said.

In all his years on Main Street, Art said the people of Lock Haven have been supportive.

“The Lock Haven people have really been good to me. Business has been great, the people have been great, I really enjoy it,” he said.

To learn more about Sanders,visit www.sanderswindowfashions.com.


For three years It Is What It Is, 109 E. Main St., has offered a wide variety of products for those searching for the perfect gift. However, the shop is more than just for gift giving.

It Is What It Is opened in 2018 and is owned by Art Sanders, with his daughter Fabre and her husband Larry handling day to day operations.

“We’re not just a gift store. Come find something for yourself too,” Fabre said.

Fabre said there’s always something new in the shop, with inventory coming in almost daily. The store has a variety of specialty foods from spices such as their array of hot sauces to something sweet like gourmet rice crispy treats, chocolates and other candies. Beyond food, It Is What It Is also sells bath and body items, baby products, pet items, pajamas, hats and their large and colorful sock wall.

If you’re unable to visit the store in-person visit www.shopitiswhatis.com or tune into It Is What It Is’s Facebook page where Fabre and Larry hold live sales every Wednesday night at 8 p.m.

“We showcase products, give recipes and Larry tells a few of his dad jokes,” Fabre said.

It Is What Is also offers gift bag services. You can visit the store and pick out the items in person or call Fabre at 570-748-3686 and learn more about what they offer.


Although The Bus Stops Here, 115 E. Main St., is known for its educational toys, books, games and decorative items for classrooms, it’s not just limited to those in the educational system.

“It’s a store for everybody,” owner Paula Neyhart said.

Neyhart said she offers a wide variety of children’s books, toys, games and puzzles for infants to children in late elementary school to enjoy — all of which hold educational value.

The Bus Stops Here was opened in 1993 by Neyhart and her husband John with the idea that the area would welcome sound educational materials that would not only be useful for teachers in classrooms, but also for anyone with children in their lives.

Paula is a retired teacher of nearly 40 years with a passion for educating youth. Her long teaching career and continued interest in what’s current in education, enables her to bring insights and experience to the product needs of customers, she said.

The Bus Stops Here provides decorative items such as posters, bulletin board decorations and more. Neyhart said these items aren’t just for teachers, Sunday Schools, the local SPCA and others also utilize these items and so can others.

Although there aren’t any specials currently at her store, Neyhart encouraged those who are able to keep a close eye on The Bus Stops Here’s Facebook page for deals in the spring.

The Bus Stops Here is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and closed Wednesdays and Sundays.

For more information visit www.the-bus-stops-here.com or call 570-748-0321.


After five years in business, Embellish Salon & Formal Wear Studio, 131 E. Main St., is getting a make over.

Owner Ashley Kramer said the entire salon and studio is in the process of being revamped, with plans to expand the business’s waiting room and include more boutique items as well as add more chairs to the salon.

Currently, Embellish hosts up to 10 stylists as well as a nail technician, lash technician and body waxer. Kramer said the number of stylists is expected to increase once the remodel is complete.

“We’re definitely a full service salon,” she said, noting the remodel will add to the “urban boutique” feel.

To celebrate the remodel, Kramer said Embellish will be holding a grand reopening on April 3. A variety of deals will be available for customers including 15 percent off all merchandise; the first 10 customers to spend $20 will get a graphic t-shirt of their choosing (excluding vintage t-shirts); customers who spend $200 or more will get a free month tanning voucher and for every $50 spent, customers will enter into a raffle for a variety of gift cards from local businesses in Lock Haven.

“I wanted to show my support for local businesses with this,” Kramer said.

Embellish offers a variety of services for hair, nails, facials, body waxing, eyelash extensions, UV sunbed tanning, spray tans as well as services for weddings and proms.

Embellish Salon & Formal Wear Studio is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To learn more about the salon and what is offered visit their website www.embellishsalonstudio.com or call 570-748-3055.


Alaceus Men’s Clothing, 108 E. Main St., has taken flight in recent months and is continuing to provide quality, name brand clothes for its customers.

Owner Mo Ahmed-Ahrar opened the store, the only men’s clothing store in the city, to offer options for those who prefer to shop in-store rather than online.

The name of the store comes from a Greek demigod who was given the gift of flight. Ahmed-Ahrar hopes that his store can add that feeling of taking flight to his customers.

Alaceus offers a variety of items from t-shirts, sweatshirts, jeans, sweatpants, shoes, hats and scarves in well known brands such as Champion, Nike, Supreme, Off White and Diamond Company among others.

Ahamed-Ahrar said the clothing is styled for casual or street wear, however he has stocked more professional attire for those who need it.

Alaceus is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

To learn more about what Alaceus offers, visit their website www.alaceus.com or call 570-502-3267.


Fostering a love of music and the instruments that create it are central to Lanning Music’s mission.

Owners Brad and Brittany Johnston have been helping local musicians and those who aspire to create beautiful tunes ever since they took over the business from original owner Lori Lanning in 2014. Prior to that, Lanning had operated the store, located at 119 E. Main St., since 1989.

Lanning offers a variety of services including buy, sell and trade, instrument repair and lessons by Brad.

The business is mostly centered around string instruments such as acoustic and electric guitars and piano as well as drums, Brittany said.

“For guitar, we have pretty much everything you need to get started,” she said.

Lanning sells Washburn, Fender Squier and Epiphone guitars and is soon getting in an order of Schecter as well. The business also sells amps from Marshall, Ampeg and PV Avey and accessories from Ernie Ball and Martin Strings.

Brittany noted that, although they are guitar based, Brad can repair other instruments. He also offers lessons for various instruments. Just visit the store or give them a call to learn more.

Lanning Music is open Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Keep up with Lanning Music by visiting their Facebook or Instagram pages, Lanning Music, or give them a call at 570-748-3313.


Although the COVID-19 pandemic has hindered some of Nerd Haven’s services, the game based business is still here to help with all your gaming needs.

The business, located at 124 E. Main St., sells a variety of card games such as Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic the Gather as well as video games for a plethora of gaming systems.

Owner Zach Hess said they also buy, sell and trade gaming systems and video games as well as playing cards.

“Right now we’re really doing the best we can due to the pandemic,” Hess said.

Hess said he would typically hold tournaments for card and video games before March of last year. He noted he still tries to accommodate small groups who wish to use Nerd Haven to play video and card games.

“We have an open space to play games. We’re pretty accommodating,” he said.

Nerd Haven is open Friday through Monday 4 to 8 p.m. To keep up with new releases and what events may take place in the future at the store, follow Nerd Haven on their Facebook page or call the store at 570-858-1121.


At Momoyo Otsu, owner Hanna Stover wants you to feel loved and be loved.

“Our big mission is to make everyone of all sizes feel beautiful. We want everyone who comes in here to feel loved and be loved,” Hanna said.

Hanna and her husband Jordan opened the women’s clothing store in November, after already operating through a website for two years prior.

The name Momoyo Otsu pays homage to Hanna’s grandmother, lovingly known as Peachy — Momoyo means peach in Japanese. Hanna said her grandmother was always a warm and inviting woman who was willing to cook you a meal and make you feel at home no matter if she knew you or not.

Her grandmother’s attitude toward life plays a large part in the clothing store’s mission. To honor this mission Hanna does what she can to ensure everyone feels welcome.

Momoyo Otsu stocks a variety of clothing from tops, to jeans in a variety of sizes as well as jewelry, accessories, purses and more.

The store is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To learn more about Momoyo Otsu visit their website www.momoyootsu.com or visit the store.


A Little Bird sells products that specifically meet a set of values. Those values are reflected in products that give back to charities, are eco-friendly, support other small or women-owned businesses, or encourage and promote positivity or well-being.

Lisa Henderson and Tina Newberry, who have been friends for 36 years, always dreamed of owning a small business together. But their passion was found in giving back.

A Little Bird started online in 2019 and the brick and mortar location followed in November 2020 at 310 N. Grove St. The physical store gives Lisa and Tina a bigger platform to not only sell items in a retail environment but also host charitable events and be involved in the community.

The store and website offer something for everyone. From clothes and accessories, to bath and body products, home decor and items for children and pets.

Store hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Or you can shop online at www.alittlebirddesigns.com.

LAURA JAMESON/THE EXPRESS Tamy Lamey, owner of Emma's Primitives, poses for a photo with a variety of merchandise in the store.

PHOTO PROVIDED Lisa Henderson and Tina Newberry pose for a photo outside their store, A Little Bird, located on Grove Street.

LAURA JAMESON/THE EXPRESS Alaceus Men's Clothing sells a multitude of clothing items including sweatshirts and backpacks, pictured above.

PHOTO PROVIDED Emebellish Salon & Formal Wear Studio sells clothing as well as offers a variety of services including hair, nail and eyebrow care.

LAURA JAMESON/THE EXPRESS Paula Neyhart, owner of The Bus Stops Here, poses with items she sells in her store.

LAURA JAMESON/THE EXPRESS Brad and Brittany Johnston play music together in their store Lanning Music.

LAURA JAMESON/THE EXPRESS Art Sanders, left, is pictured with his son-in-law Larry Miller inside his store, Sanders Window Fashion.


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