A&J at new location

From left, Jacque Grabher, Abby Grabher and Holly Page last week at their new business.

Here’s the story of how a trio of local ladies with a flair for fashion and food turned a long-empty location and a dream into reality.

Jacque Grabher and her daughter-in-law, Abby Grabher, started a line of repurposed home decor in late 2017.

Soon after that, they added a line of boutique clothing for women. The business was dubbed A&J Vintage Market & Boutique.

“That just exploded,” Abby said.

The pair, who had been using booth rentals to market their wares, soon realized they needed more space with the expanding interest in their business.

“We found the (Uncle) Rooster’s location and decided to open a storefront, pretty much on a whim,” Jacque said.

The duo opened up shop in a small space attached to the popular Uncle Rooster’s restaurant, located along U.S. 60 with prime highway frontage.

However, as talk of the Uncle Rooster’s building changing hands became more serious and as the boutique, again, grew, it became time to look for another space.

“Brian (Jacque’s husband) mentioned one evening that Jerry Kleier still owned this building, and thought I might ask him if he would be interested in leasing it,” Jacque said.

As luck would have it, Kleier had been in the process of remodeling the long-empty space on Lynch Drive and was interested in leasing.

“We thought it would meet our needs, with a lot of natural light and again, good highway frontage,” Abby said.

However, the pair felt that the expanded space warranted more offerings and another reason to draw in customers — namely, food.

They approached longtime friend Holly Page about opening a tea room in the back space of the business. Page was immediately on board.

“I loved the idea of serving the community this way,” Page said.

She dubbed her restaurant The Mason Jar Tea Room.

The Mason Jar Tea Room offers a variety of hot, pressed sandwiches and cold sandwiches, a popular chilled strawberry soup, salad and “cake that will change your life,” Page said with a smile.

The tea room’s cinnamon rolls have also proved to be a hit, especially with the gentlemen visitors to the tea room.

With the addition of The Mason Jar, fi nally, A&J’s offerings were complete.

Now, A&J offers children’s clothing and women’s clothing, sizes small through 3XL. They also carry accessories, including Myra handbags. Other brands include a Simply

Noelle boutique line and VHC brand home decor.

Many of the displays for the clothing and other items are made by a local vendor, who also takes custom orders.

What’s next?

The weekend after the Seymour Apple Festival, the boutique will host “Junkin’ Journey,” a pop-up event that will offer vendors, boutiques, food trucks and more fun.

“We’re now seeking vendors,” Jacque said. “They are welcome to stop by the boutique for more information.”

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