LINCOLN -- Appletown Store in Lincoln is a new business in town that mixes the old with the new.
Owners Tim O'Brien and his wife, Deanna Morris-O'Brien, bought the building on U.S. 62 with the intent to provide a place for local and area vendors but at the same time save the building so that its history can be remembered by the community.
Deanna said they made repairs to the building, fixed leaks in the ceiling and holes in the walls, repainted and did some remodeling.
However, they repurposed whatever they could from the original building.
"Any memories we could find, we put in the building," Deanna said, noting they reused wood, found an old apple-picking ladder, have old photos on the walls and kept equipment used for making apple cider.
A customer going into Appletown Store will see that the layout is very similar to how it looked in the past. It has an open area in the middle of the building, with vendor booths throughout the rest of the building.
Deanna said she wanted to open a new business because residents in Lincoln need another place to shop without having to travel west into the Fayetteville area. She also wanted Appletown Store to have vendors with handmade items and boutique apparel and gifts that were different than what was already in the Lincoln area.
"We have flea markets but not a place to buy new items," Deanna said. "We wanted it to be a gift store."
She said she had to turn away some vendor applicants because their items did not meet her goal for the business.
The store held its grand opening Nov. 10, along with a ribbon-cutting ceremony sponsored by Lincoln Chamber of Commerce. The store opened with 30 vendors in place.
Along with handmade items, the store has booths with Lincoln Wolves apparel, boutique clothes, a vendor with baked goods including apple dumplings, Christmas decorations and gifts, wreaths, wood items, jewelry, leather items and glassware.
"Every vendor is local," Deanna said. "We have one from Prairie Grove, and the rest are in the Lincoln area."
Most vendors sold out of their homes or at craft fairs. Appletown Store will provide a place for them to grow their business locally, as well as make sales through an online presence, she added.
Tim said he hopes the new business will encourage others to try to make a go of it. Those who sold from their homes now have a place to expand their merchandise, he said.
One vendor, Stephanie Beeks who has the Sweet Peonies Boutique booth, said the store gives her the opportunity to branch out and now have a storefront. Beeks sells boutique clothing and hopes to expand her line of clothing.
Tim and Deanna purchased two acres, including the Appletown building, from Bob Daughtery and Gary Stearman. Lincoln City Council then approved their request to rezone the property from agriculture/residential to a business zoning designation.
Deanna said they want Appletown to continue to be a tribute to families who owned the building in the past, including the Rogers, Reed and Watson families.
Lincoln was known for its apple orchards, and Deanna said she wants to keep that history alive for people. For decades, customers could stop by Appletown and pick up handpicked apples and homemade apple cider to enjoy.