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Business Intel: Mercantile brings Amish wares to Vinton

Business Intel: Mercantile brings Amish wares to Vinton

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KB Mercantile

KB Mercantile, which recently opened in Vinton, offers baked goods, Amish crafts and furniture. 

A mercantile offering baked goods, Amish furniture and crafts has opened in Vinton.

Owner Kristie Wirt described KB Mercantile, which opened last month, as a “real quaint little shop” that mixes old with new. In addition to Amish furniture and crafts, the shop has items like ceramics and face masks from other vendors. Wirt makes many of the baked goods, such as cupcakes and breads, herself.

Wirt said she developed relationships with some Amish families in Pennsylvania several years ago. It started on a road trip, when she and her husband stopped to talk with girls selling Amish crafts on the side of the road.

Wirt said she admires the Amish community, particularly their craftsmanship. Where some furniture is manufactured, she said, theirs is crafted.

Without realizing it, Wirt said, opening the mercantile was following in her parents’ footsteps. They at one time owned an antique store in downtown Roanoke called Jadavios. Though Wirt said her father died when she was young, Wirt’s mother brought her along to antique sales and taught her how to spot a good find.

“I think that’s probably what sparked my interest in all this,” she said.

The mercantile is located in a building familiar to Wirt; she previously sold Amish crafts there as a vendor when it housed Izzy’s Place. She had a good customer base there, she said, so it made sense to return. Wirt said she also thinks Vinton does a good job of helping its small businesses grow.

“I want to be a part of the community, to give back,” she said. “I really do want to be the little shop that everybody does want to support when things are tough.”

KB Mercantile is at 302 E. Washington Ave. in Vinton. It’s open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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Casey Fabris covers business for The Roanoke Times, where she has been a reporter since 2015. Previously, Casey covered Franklin County. She can be reached at (540) 981-3234 or casey.fabris@roanoke.com.

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