North Country Homestead celebrates 10th anniversary

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The morning that the world was reveling in a noteworthy Groundhog Day — Feb. 2, 2002, or 02.02.02 — Jodi North and her husband, Scott, were pulling up carpet, and, as she said, “We were not sure what we would find underneath.”

What they found were hardwood floors and the foundation of what today is the North Country Homestead, which celebrated its 10th anniversary Friday.

The shop, located at 405 Alliance Dr., specializes in gifts and items that Jodi calls “country primitive,” with items ranging from home décor, wall-hangings, paintings and valances to gifts such as jewelry, clothing, baby items and more. The store also specializes in gourmet dip mixes and other food varieties.

It also offers Thompson Candles and the largest selection of Willow Tree Angels in the area.

The shop is the house in which Scott grew up, built by his grandfather after another house was destroyed by a fire.

Prior to Jodi opening the store, the Norths had discussed what to do with the house, before realizing that Jodi's talents could establish the house's proper future.

“She had already worked in this kind of venue, and she had an obvious knack and talent for it,” Scott said. “There was an opportunity to create a situation here, and we took advantage of it.”

Jodi said her goal for her store was to offer a variety of items, those not found at other shops in the area, yet items that do not contradict her country primitive theme. She has also sought to offer items that don't copy those found elsewhere.

“They all seem to compliment each other,” she said.

The North Country Homestead — which sees its most brisk business during autumn and around Christmas — has established its own unique niche in a busy commercial area just outside Punxsy, which has been advantageous in attracting not only local customers, but those who are simply entering or leaving town. Thus, Jodi has welcomed numerous guests — some of whom travel to Punxsy just to visit her store — from near and far.

The actual opening of the North Country Homestead was July 6, 2002, but in celebration of its 10th anniversary, the store is hosting an open house that runs from Tuesday through next Saturday, when customers can take an opportunity to win a gift basket containing several unique, primitive items, and those holding customer appreciation cards can enjoy double-stamps, in which every $10 purchase nets two stamps as opposed to one.