ROSS TWP. — Simply Country became a shopping destination shortly after opening in October.
Located at 5220 Main Road in Sweet Valley, Simply Country features a selection of Amish-made furniture, Pond Creek Candles of White Haven and a variety of Lancaster-based Kitchen Kettle products, including jams, jellies and salsas.
“I wanted to provide a little piece of Lancaster right here in Northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Lori Novajoski, owner of Simply Country.
The retail shop is the first entrepreneurial endeavor by the Dallas resident who is thrilled with the community support.
“We have regular customers that come in almost weekly from Bloomsburg, Dallas and Wilkes-Barre,” she said. “We had a fantastic Christmas season with some patrons coming from as far away as New York.”
The big draw — country flare.
Novajoski said her grandfather runs a similar retail store near Allentown.
He advised her to fulfill her business dream by opening a shop in Northeastern Pennsylvania to sell Amish-made furniture.
Networking with the Amish community can be difficult unless you know someone, she said. Through her grandfather’s connections, Novajoski struck up a business agreement with four Amish families in the Lancaster area.
“I have a list of what they make,” she said. “I go down to Lancaster monthly.”
Merchandise varies from week to week, but high-quality large china cabinets with artistically detailed metal work, creative small doorknob tables and even a children’s table and chair set are some of the treasures found in the 1,200-square-foot shop.
Novajoski said dealing directly with the Amish allows her to keep prices affordable by cutting out the “middleman.”
“Besides the outdoor furniture, I don’t think there is anything here that is more than $800,” she said.
To make purchasing easier for consumers, Novajoski offers a layaway program and holds monthly sales.
Also, consumers will find a whimsical assortment of wall hanging creations made from wooden pallets that provide unique ideas for shelving or just a place to store a few wine glasses, as well as wreaths made from fabrics, metal stars, two detailed metal giraffes with curled eyelashes and one feisty metal rooster stretching his wings.