Church in Knowlesville opens cafe, pie and gift shop

Posted 5 September 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos by Sue Cook – The shop is currently stocked with many autumn items.

By Sue Cook, staff reporter

KNOWLESVILLE – The Knowlesville United Methodist Church opened a new shop today to support their efforts to pay for a new church roof. Co-chairs Linda Baker and Ruth Higgins started the shop together with the blessing of Pastor Chris Wylie and the church’s administrative board.

“We started it to go toward our roof fund for our church,” Baker said. “Once our roof is finished, it will be up to the administrative board of the church to determine where the funds will be needed most or what sort of projects need to be done.”

They are hoping to attract customers from outside their own congregation. The new business is called The Abundant Harvest Cafe, Pie & Gift Shop. The Knowlesville Church will be changing their name soon as they join forces with the Millville Church to become the United Methodist Church of the Abundant Harvest.

“We urge people just to come in, sit down, rest awhile, have a conversation and goodies and then just look around at our little shop here,” Higgins said.

“It’s just a place for people to come and have fellowship,” added Baker.

During this year’s Lenten season they made the gift store an official part of the fellowship hall. Baker and Higgins had cleaned out and painted a former front office. A volunteer helped them set up shelving and displays. The items sold vary depending on the season and holiday and are handmade, store-bought or gently used.

There are five freezers stacked with frozen pies.

The church has sold pies before at their different events, but they decided to sell those throughout the year starting this week. Customers can come in and enjoy coffee and sweets, then provide a donation back to the church and are able to buy frozen pies. The pies are handmade by members of the congregation and then frozen. Customers receive the frozen treat with baking instructions. The pies come in 13 flavors.

“We sell a lot of pies at holiday time,” Baker said. “When we sold pies during our Lenten fish fry people were saying that it was great they didn’t have to wait until Thanksgiving.”

The church also sells their apple butter, which is normally made for their Apple Festival in October.

“We do have other people that work with us that help us set things up,” Baker said. “It’s all volunteer. We have someone that helps us with our advertising, another person set up the display for us. As far as the handmade stuff, there’s several people that have donated things. People also donate their time working in shifts. It’s almost like our whole congregation is involved.”

The congregation consists of about 50 members who have used their various talents to help the shop with set-up and operation.

“We have the support of everybody in our church. We couldn’t do it without that,” Baker said. “We may be in charge here, but we’ve had so much help just making pies in the last couple weeks with people just peeling apples or bagging the pies. It takes a lot of hands to make light work.”

The church’s fellowship hall is located at 3622 Knowlesville Rd., behind the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Company. They are open on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and extra hours during church events.