Discounts, deals lure shoppers to merchants

14 years ago

Houlton Pioneer Times Photo/Elna Seabrooks
BU-BlkFri Santa1-dclr-pt-48HI SANTA — Karen Keber, proprietor of Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe, shows off the 25-pound, 3 foot high chocolate Santa that she will give away in a free raffle.

By Elna Seabrooks
Staff Writer

    HOULTON — Now that financial gurus have assessed Black Friday results as a positive indicator for the Christmas shopping season, some local merchants in the Houlton area may be seeing similar indicators. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is considered as the traditional beginning of the Christmas shopping season.
    A light snowfall didn’t stop determined bargain-hunters over the post-Thanksgiving weekend. On the North Rd. at Goodrich Jewelry, Phyllis Ammons of Houlton said the weather was not a problem for her or her daughter Ashley Wheeler. Wheeler, also of Houlton, said they had been “out shopping and over to the craft fair at the Rec Center running around in the snow for a ‘girls’ day out’.”
    Goodrich Jewelry’s owner, Walter Goodrich, had a 25 percent-off sale on Friday and Saturday. By Monday morning, Goodrich said that his business “had a successful weekend.”
Downtown merchant deals
    Karen Keber seems to have had a good bottom line on Black Friday, too. “We definitely were swamped (Friday morning),” said Keber about sales at her popular Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe. “We sold a lot of gift certificates.”
Houlton Pioneer Times Photo/Elna Seabrooks
BU-BlkFri 4-dclr-pt-48SHOPPER’S DELIGHT — Sharon Anthony bought gift bags at Beals Variety on a snowy Friday after Thanksgiving. Behind the counter are Shelley and Mike Beals. 

     Keber also said other popular items at Uncle Willy’s are jelly beans, chocolates and Christmas treats like ribbon candy, peach blossoms and candy cane malted milk balls. Shoppers can sample any of her jelly bean flavors and Keber said they may want to try some of the new ones: mixed berry smoothie, chili mango, cocktail classics, coconut and green apple.
    Jane Harburger, visiting from the Bangor-Brewer area, spent the holidays with her mother, Marie Drew in New Limerick and stopped into the store to purchase some holiday sweets. “I went to the craft fair  and bought mittens for my granddaughter, some pickles, popcorn and some homemade items before stopping here and going home,” said Harburger.
    Keber even has a special promotion going. “Santa Claus is our giveaway. We thought it would be fun to give away something so nice. He’s 25 pounds and 3 feet high.” The chocolate Santa has a semi-solid base, He sports wire-rimmed spectacles and is decorated with nonpareils that create a red cap, white beard and green mittens. Keber said raffle tickets are free for the Dec. 17 drawing.
Houlton Pioneer Times Photo/Elna Seabrooks
BU-BlkFri 2-dclr-pt-48SWEET SALE — Britney Keber rang up a sale on Black Friday for Jane Harburger who stopped into Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe before returning to her home in the Bangor-Brewer area.

    Across the street at Jean’s Serendipity and Fish and Friends, owner Richard Sloat said he doesn’t usually see a big rush on Black Friday and so far his business traffic has been normal. “Quite a few people have been in and out for some sale items, small presents like jewelryboxes and embroidery. And, we always have the animals and the hamsters. Usually the big malls are busy,” Sloat stated.     
    He and his wife, Jean, have deeply discounted their Christmas merchandise. “We have 70 percent off in the Christmas room.” Sloat said that includes a $139 collectible Boyd’s Bear, other products in that line along with other Christmas inventory which they will discount up until Christmas.
    Next door at Beals Variety, Shelley Beals agreed that snow was no impediment for determined bargain hunters at that store specializing in discounted merchandise. “From 10 a.m., it was crowded.” She said customers were snapping up wreath decorations, bows, ornaments, gift bags and gift wrap.
    For those interested in products made by local artists, board member and SACAP volunteer Ann Elliott said there was a variety of choices. The SACAP store, Visions, she said has a range of items including fine art, jewelry, wood products, stoneware, cards and apparel like scarves and hats.
    Even local hairdresser Tammy Carver in New Limerick is running a special. At her Simplify*d Family Hair, she said clients will get 10 percent off cuts, color, perms and highlights until Dec 14 along with a free drawing for Biolage shampoo and conditioner, if they clip her coupon from the Pioneer Times.
Houlton Pioneer Times Photo/Elna Seabrooks
BU-BlkFri 5-dclr-pt-48BEARY INTERESTING — Richard Sloat shows off a high-ticket Boyd’s Bear that will be discounted by 70 percent along with other Christmas items until Dec. 24.