MOUNT VERNON — Numerous business changes are currently taking place in Mount Vernon and around Knox County. Some new businesses are opening, others are closing, while some are expanding or making some facility changes.
Those who have a sweet tooth or a hankering for some fresh baked goods can satisfy their cravings at 8 Sisters Bakery at 856 Coshocton Road. Opened June 9 by owner Emma Lister, 8 Sisters boasts the proud heritage of Amish baked goods, offering up a variety of cakes, pies, cookies, doughnuts, rolls, breads, specialty items and all-occasion items. Lister is one of eight sisters in her family and has eight brothers as well.
“Our motto is ‘You name it, we bake it,’” said employee Diane Snell, who has also worked at the 8 Sisters location in Mount Gilead and at other bakeries with Lister. Goods are currently being shipped in daily while the kitchen is completed, which is expected around Aug. 1. A drive-thru service will be offered then as well. Business hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Fridays, 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; and Saturdays, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. They will also take orders over the phone at 392-2252.
For those in need of a car repair, check out Alan Oswalt Car Maintenance at 15746 Wooster Road near Deakins Road just south of Amity. Oswalt opened his business on Nov. 1, performing car and truck engine repair and maintenance. He specializes in diagnostic work and air conditioning work.
“It’s been good,” said Oswalt of his business traffic thus far. “I’m not setting the world on fire, but I’m good and steady.” Oswalt can perform a variety of auto repairs on nearly any make and model, foreign and domestic. He can be reached by calling 392-0442.
Another new business opening soon is the Sunny Garden Chinese restaurant and buffet, located 120 Newark Road in the former location of Chen’s Buffet and Grill. Owner Jimmy Zhao has been working with family members at a Chinese buffet in Michigan and hopes to be open for business in Mount Vernon between July 19 and 22. He is waiting for his food operations license to be finalized with the Knox County Health Department.
Sunny Garden will feature a lunch buffet with a variety of Szechwan, Hunan and Cantonese offerings. “It’s New York style,” said Zhao, who stated he will try an all-day buffet at first but may switch over to menu ordering during the dinner hours. Moving into a former Chinese buffet was convenient for Zhao who doesn’t really have to make many changes inside the restaurant. “It’s all pretty new,” said Zhao. “We just need to clean and make sure it’s healthy and ready to go.” Menu orders can be placed any time during the day and can be made in advance by calling 326-6980. Carryout will also be available.
Heart of Ohio Hardware has joined forces with Carquest Auto Parts for a one-stop shopping opportunity at 3941 Columbus Road in Centerburg. “The demographics of the area just make sense since this is a rural, farming community,” said Mike Washington, who owns the two businesses with his two brothers, Jim and Bob Washington. “We feel the two are a good combination for our customer base and complement each other well.”
The Washingtons purchased Heart of Ohio on Jan. 1 and then opened up Carquest on May 1. “We offer a full line of auto parts and accessories, but this is not your typical auto parts store,” said Washington. “You can also find garden tractors, welders, and small lawn and garden equipment.” The Washingtons are also owners of Carquest Auto Parts at 685 Harcourt Road in Mount Vernon.
One local business which recently closed its doors on June 30 after 24 years is Bemiller Carpeting and Flooring. “Business was just slow,” said owner Greg Bemiller, who had operated his business in two locations since 1987, most recently on South Mulberry Street. “The economy is not good. People will live on their old floors while they pay their other bills,” he said in response to recent slow business.
Making a move in just a couple weeks will be Paragraphs Bookstore as they will be relocating from 105 S. Main St. to 229 S. Main St. at the northwest corner of Ohio Avenue where Aunt Bee’s Quilt Shop was previously located. “We will have much more space to serve our readers,” said owner Anne Storan. Paragraphs will be closed on Friday and Saturday, July 29-30, for packing and moving and is expected to reopen in the new location Monday, Aug. 1. “This will be bigger and better,” said Storan, adding that the new location will include a “Used Book Nook.” “This community, they are readers. They have helped us grow for the past 15 years,” she said.
Just having received a facelift is Firestone at 855 Coshocton Road in the Mount Vernon Shopping Plaza. “This is “re-image vs. remodel,” said manager Chris Smith, telling how Firestone Corp. is making many changes at numerous locations district by district. With most of the projects being completed July 1, customers will see new signage, new paint colors, new displays, new counters, new doors and new floors. “Basically, it’s a new store image,” said Smith.
Keeping up with the times, the floor is maintenance free and environmentally friendly, and all new energy-efficient light bulbs are now installed.
Word had previously been heard of Frisch’s seeking to open a restaurant on Coshocton Avenue. “We haven’t heard any additional information,” said Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis. “We believe we have approved everything we need to thus far. They are trying to configure a location of the building.” Representatives from Frisch’s state they “don’t have any current plans,” although property along Coshocton Avenue has already been purchased.