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Timing is Everything for Mifflinburg Business

Nov 19, 2014 01:58PM ● Published by Lisa Leighton

by Lisa Z. Leighton 

When Jeff Yount purchased Cedar Green Center, Mifflinburg, in July 1988, he had a vision – he wanted to be a one-stop shop for home design and decorating needs and offer unparalleled customer service and professional installation.

Energy and Passion

Yount says that a core part of his business has always been in-home custom renovation, but it would take 25 years for his vision to come to full fruition. Today his 25,000-square-foot showroom includes three separate but physically-connected businesses: The Decorating Center; DC Coffee & Tea Co.; and Country Traditions at D.C.

Beyond choosing a business direction, hiring quality employees is always a challenge. Over the years, Yount expanded his staff to include 20 individuals who, he says, care deeply about the business. So important is the hiring process that no one – not even Yount—can hire without the approval of another employee.

“As a business owner, you must bring energy and passion to the business every day,” he says of the transition from one business to three. “Our approach has been to work with each customer to develop their style and meet and exceed their needs.”

Where It All Began

The business started as The Decorating Center, a paint and wallpaper business, and in a short time grew to include flooring and window treatments. Within a year of opening, Yount was approached by Yorktowne Cabinetry to service as its showroom and he seized the opportunity. That’s a recurring theme with Yount. 

The idea for a coffee shop came next, in 2003.  Yount wanted to offer his customers hospitality on-site, but could sense that some people were leery about accepting complimentary food and beverages. Fast-forward 10 years and DC Coffee & Tea Co. now serves a full breakfast and lunch, including a full-scale deli and homemade soups.

The most recent addition to the business, Country Traditions—which specializes in handcrafted and American-made furniture and décor—came to life in October 2013 when American Heritage Crafters in Milton closed its doors. Yount contacted then-manager Christine Rantz about relocating and renaming the business, a staple of which was Irvin’s Country Tinware and Lighting. Country Traditions is one of only a handful of Irvin’s “premier dealers,” and 80 percent of the products it sells are made in America.   

“One of the most rewarding parts of my job is helping a customer discover their own style,” said Christine Rantz, Country Traditions manager. “We encourage customers to bring in a picture of their room…or the bowl they are trying to fill.”

Rural Location a Blessing, Not a Curse

While some would see Mifflinburg’s rural location as a drawback, Yount says that his business has become a destination and draws people from a 50-mile radius, and even as far as Rochester and Buffalo, New York. 

Rantz says that non-traditional forms of advertising such as Facebook have been surprisingly helpful. She cites a recent e-coupon that was redeemed by more than 50 customers in a given month. She also utilizes e-mail as a communication tool, as well as traditional print, radio, billboard and direct-mail advertising.

Events also draw people to the businesses. Three major events each year pull in local vendors and give people a reason to come in and explore for an afternoon.

Lessons Learned

Yount says that timing is everything when making changes to or expanding a business. He also tries to learn from what the big box stores are doing right and apply those lessons to his own business.
 
“It’s all about systemization…getting systems in place for consistency and uniformity,” he stressed.
 

For Yount, that includes everything from hiring knowledgeable and friendly employees and installers, to the warm welcome that every guest receives when they walk in the door.  

It also means “loving the customer and always looking out for their best interests.” Customer testimonials and referrals have helped build Yount’s business and he doesn’t take any of it for granted.




Lisa Z. Leighton is a marketing professional and freelance writer living in Columbia County. She can be reached at lisazleighton@yahoo.com.

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    Homeschool Art Studio Ages 6-13 YS 40, Tuesday, January 30 - March 20 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m....


  • Books Undone

    02/13/2018
    11:00AM — 07:00PM

    Books become the canvas for contemporary artists in this national juried exhibition. Exhibition i...


  • Homeschool Physical Education

    02/13/2018
    01:00PM — 02:00PM

    Students engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity through a variety of enjoyable game...


  • Business Practices for Creatives

    02/13/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Business Practices for Creatives DES 200, Tuesday, January 30 - April 3 6 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., 1 c...


  • HTML5 & Website Design

    02/13/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    HTML5 & Website Design DES 155, Tuesday, January 30 - April 3 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., 1 credit, $475 ...


  • Drawing (Portrait & Figure)

    02/13/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Drawing (Portrait & Figure) CE 91, Tuesday, January 30 - March 20 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., $245 Evan ...


  • Intro to Social Media Marketing

    02/13/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Intro to Social Media Marketing SM 101, Tuesday & Thursday, January 30 - March 1 6 p.m. - 9 p.m...


  • Acrylic Painting and Mixed Media

    02/13/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Acrylic Painting and Mixed Media CE 238, Tuesday, January 30- March 6 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., $215 Ju...


  • "The Blues Show"

    02/14/2018
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    What does "blue" mean to you? Make work that shows it -- the color blue, Blues music, blue in th...


  • Homeschool Hangout

    02/14/2018
    11:00AM — 01:00PM

    Every other Wednesday 11-1p.m. during the school year beginning Jan. 17th-Apr. 25th.Parent/child ...


  • Books Undone

    02/14/2018
    11:00AM — 07:00PM

    Books become the canvas for contemporary artists in this national juried exhibition. Exhibition i...


  • Adobe InDesign

    02/14/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Adobe InDesign DES 154, Monday & Wednesday, January 29 - February 28 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., 1 credit,...


  • From a graffiti artist in the favelas (slums) of Brazil raising awareness about domestic violence...


  • "The Blues Show"

    02/15/2018
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    What does "blue" mean to you? Make work that shows it -- the color blue, Blues music, blue in th...


  • Books Undone

    02/15/2018
    11:00AM — 07:00PM

    Books become the canvas for contemporary artists in this national juried exhibition. Exhibition i...


  • iMAKE

    02/15/2018
    04:30PM — 05:30PM

    This a-la-carte class series offers both art and science projects for children ages 6-12. String ...


  • Intro to Social Media Marketing

    02/15/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Intro to Social Media Marketing SM 101, Tuesday & Thursday, January 30 - March 1 6 p.m. - 9 p.m...


  • Intro to Video Production & Short Film

    02/15/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Intro to Video Production & Short Film DES 178, Thursday, February 1 - April 5 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.,...


  • Design Principles & Typography

    02/15/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Design Principles & Typography DES 150, Thursday, February 1 - April 5 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., 1 credi...


  • The Art of Felting: 2-D Composition

    02/15/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    The Art of Felting: 2-D Composition CE 239, Thursday, February 1 - March 22 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., $...


  • Oil Painting

    02/15/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Oil Painting CE 169, Thursday, February 1 - March 22 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., $245 Michael Allen Ex...


  • "The Blues Show"

    02/16/2018
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    What does "blue" mean to you? Make work that shows it -- the color blue, Blues music, blue in th...


  • Music Together Family Classes

    02/16/2018
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Runs for 8 weeks on Fridays Session A: 10-11am Session B: 11:15-12:15pm Music Together® is a f...


  • Books Undone

    02/16/2018
    11:00AM — 07:00PM

    Books become the canvas for contemporary artists in this national juried exhibition. Exhibition i...


  • Homework Happy Hour Tutoring

    02/16/2018
    03:00PM — 04:15PM

    Fridays 3-4:15 p.m. during the school year beginning Feb.9th.  Bloomsburg University Education...


  • The 5th annual Destination Blues Music Festival comes to 18 venues in Columbia and Montour Count...


  • "The Blues Show"

    02/17/2018
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    What does "blue" mean to you? Make work that shows it -- the color blue, Blues music, blue in th...


  • chttp://engage.pcad.edu/winter2018

    02/17/2018
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Young Artists Academy for Grades 6.7.8.9 YS13, Saturday, January 27 - March 17 10a.m. - 12 p.m....


  • Youth Studio Art I for Grades 1.2.3

    02/17/2018
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Youth Studio Art I for Grades 1.2.3 YS11, Saturday, January 27 - March 17 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., $1...


  • Youth Studio Art II for Grades 4.5

    02/17/2018
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Youth Studio Art II for Grades 4.5 YS12, Saturday, Saturday, Saturday, January 27 - March 17 10...


  • Intergenerational Drawing (8 & up)

    02/17/2018
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Intergenerational Drawing (8 & up) CE 189, Saturday, January 27 - March 3 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., $1...


  • Short Story Writing

    02/17/2018
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Short Story Writing CE 208, Saturday, January 27 - March 3 (no class on February 24) 10 a.m. - ...


  • Sit Next to Me

    02/17/2018
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Wouldn’t it be nice to hear a positive, interesting, heartfelt, sad, weird, and even funny sharin...


  • The 5th annual Destination Blues Music Festival comes to 18 venues in Columbia and Montour Count...


  • Books Undone

    02/18/2018
    11:00AM — 07:00PM

    Books become the canvas for contemporary artists in this national juried exhibition. Exhibition i...


  • The 5th annual Destination Blues Music Festival comes to 18 venues in Columbia and Montour Count...


  • "The Blues Show"

    02/19/2018
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    What does "blue" mean to you? Make work that shows it -- the color blue, Blues music, blue in th...


  • Adobe InDesign

    02/19/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Adobe InDesign DES 154, Monday & Wednesday, January 29 - February 28 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., 1 credit,...


  • Illuminated Letters

    02/19/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Illuminated Letters CE 206, Monday, January 29 - February 26 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., $195 Matt Chapma...


  • $2 Tuesday

    02/20/2018
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Third Tuesday of the month, $2 admission all day! The Exchange willhost hands-on Art Cart projec...


  • "The Blues Show"

    02/20/2018
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    What does "blue" mean to you? Make work that shows it -- the color blue, Blues music, blue in th...


  • Homeschool Art Studio Ages 6-13

    02/20/2018
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    Homeschool Art Studio Ages 6-13 YS 40, Tuesday, January 30 - March 20 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m....


  • Books Undone

    02/20/2018
    11:00AM — 07:00PM

    Books become the canvas for contemporary artists in this national juried exhibition. Exhibition i...


  • Homeschool Physical Education

    02/20/2018
    01:00PM — 02:00PM

    Students engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity through a variety of enjoyable game...


  • Explorer Club

    02/20/2018
    04:30PM — 05:30PM

    What is an Exploring Club? Clubs are for boys and girls between 10 and 14 years old who are inter...


  • Business Practices for Creatives

    02/20/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Business Practices for Creatives DES 200, Tuesday, January 30 - April 3 6 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., 1 c...


  • HTML5 & Website Design

    02/20/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    HTML5 & Website Design DES 155, Tuesday, January 30 - April 3 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., 1 credit, $475 ...


  • Drawing (Portrait & Figure)

    02/20/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Drawing (Portrait & Figure) CE 91, Tuesday, January 30 - March 20 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., $245 Evan ...


  • Intro to Social Media Marketing

    02/20/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Intro to Social Media Marketing SM 101, Tuesday & Thursday, January 30 - March 1 6 p.m. - 9 p.m...


  • Acrylic Painting and Mixed Media

    02/20/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Acrylic Painting and Mixed Media CE 238, Tuesday, January 30- March 6 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., $215 Ju...



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