Former Cool Beans owner opens new Bellefonte business

Wendy Hockenberry and Joyce Mills recently opened Helen Foxx.
Wendy Hockenberry and Joyce Mills recently opened Helen Foxx. Photo provided

Helen Foxx and Co., a new women’s clothing store in Bellefonte, takes its name from a piece of town history.

Helen Fox lived about a century ago, co-owner Wendy Hockenberry said, and worked as milliner. Hockenberry and her business partner, Joyce Mills, sought to honor a prominent woman in Bellefonte’s history, preferably one who worked in the clothing industry. A search of the local archives produced Fox’s name, spelled with one “x,” and the pair decided to appropriate it for their shop. They added another “x,” not because they’re huge Jamie Foxx fans, but because there are two of them.

“We wanted to sort of bring in the history of Bellefonte, and we just loved her name,” Hockenberry said.

Inside the boutique, located at 122 S. Allegheny St., lies an eclectic mix of new and old, she added. Besides a collection of imported and consignment clothing, the store sells jewelry, purses and some home goods. There are hats, of course, too.

“We wanted to make sure that it was things you don’t find in your average department store,” Hockenberry said. “Just things that have a little bit of extra flair, something different.”

The 2,800-square-foot store opened on Aug. 10. Previously, Hockenberry owned the cafe Cool Beans in Bellefonte for eight years. She sold it to Sherry Nelson in April.

The duo describe themselves as “sisters from another mother” and are tailoring their boutique toward women. They said it has a starkly different feel from a mall or large-scale retailer. For instance, there’s also a couch if customers want to relax and have a quick chat.

“We have a female doe that’s hanging on the wall,” Hockenberry said. “No big horns here.”

The store is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

Roger Van Scyoc: 814-231-4698, @rogervanscy