Bellefonte businesses to celebrate growth together

“On the Waterfront” is considered a gem of American cinema. Soon, the phrase may bring to mind the newest jewel of Bellefonte.

Resting at the foot of the town’s lolling slope, the waterfront draws eyes besides its share of visitors. The about $5.5 million project was completed in July and is ripe for development. The area could grow into a hub for retail, housing, offices and restaurants. Already, Wine and Cafe on the Park, an eatery, has opened there.

On Saturday, a grand opening and ribbon cutting is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. in front of the Centre Couty Courthouse in downtown. Of the 14 businesses represented, seven are Penn State Small Business Development Center clients, including Helen Foxx and Co., Black Horse Studio, Courthouse Crepes, ReMarkables, Cool Beans Coffee and Tea, Dam Donuts and Christmas Gallery and Gifts. The businesses will also hold ribbon cuttings at their respective locations.

“It’s been great,” said Jodi Myers, the owner of Black Horse Studio, which features homemade floorcloths besides original artwork. “I get custom orders from people all over the United States for the floorcloths. It’s been a good business.”

Wendy Hockenberry and Joyce Mills, the co-owners of boutique Helen Foxx and Co., loved the town so much that they wanted to honor a piece of its history. Their store, for instance, takes its name from a milliner who lived near the turn of last century.

“It’s always been a dream of both Joyce’s and mine to open a clothing boutique,” Hockenberry said. “We just wanted to try to bring retail back to Bellefonte because I think we’re definitely on the rise. There are some great things happening, and we thought it was a great time to venture out and try to do our part.”

The businesses, the Penn State Small Business Development Center, BelleKey and Bellefonte Intervalley Area Chamber of Commerce collaborated on the event.

State Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, Mike Glazer from U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson’s office and Gary Hoover, of the Bellefonte Intervalley Area Chamber of Commerce, will be on hand for the proceedings.

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