Area vendors converge on The Gathering Place for Shop Local Saturday

By Ben Freda - For Abington Journal

CLARKS SUMMIT — The Gathering Place will house local businesses on one of the busiest shopping days of the holiday season – Small Business Saturday (aka Shop Local Saturday). Local artisans and vendors will be at The Gathering Place from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25 to make their items available to holiday shoppers.

Members of Clarks Green United Methodist Church, who are involved in the Appalachia Service Project, will sell homemade candies, including milk chocolate and dark chocolate peanut and raisin clusters. They will also have peppermint bark.

“Many people in the community know and love our peanut and raisin clusters and peppermint bark for Christmas gifts,” said Sue Wittman, who coordinates the service project, in which volunteers repair homes for low-income families in the Appalachia region. Sales from the candies will raise funds for travel expenses for volunteers to go to West Virginia in July 2018.

Keith Loughney, who graduated from Abington Heights High School in 2004, and husband Brad Reid will be there with their many scented candles made from upcycled wine bottle, which are cut in half. Their business is called Kick the Bottle Candles & Decor. They will also have an item called Grow Bottle, which is a hydroponic plant from which people can choose an herb to grow. Keith and Brad started this business in the summer of 2014 when they decided to upcycle their collection of empty wine bottles. Their candles were enjoyed by friends and family members, especially as Christmas gifts. The candles vary from mild to strong aromas, which last hours after burning.

“We look forward to being part of an event that emphasizes and promotes the array of depth of local artisans,” said Loughney. “We are fortunate to have so many local talent and to bring that all together for this event is fantastic. Also, we enjoy when we have the chance to participate at an event in my hometown.”

Another vendor at the event will be Abington Heights High School teacher Eileen Healey, who creates a variety of unique handcrafted jewelry such as pendant necklaces, custom keychains, creative earrings, and diffuser jewelry.

“I’m really looking forward to kicking off the holiday season at The Gathering Place for Shop Local Saturday,” said Healey. “There will be a big variety of talent among the vendors and you will be sure to find unique and affordable gifts for everyone on your shopping list.”

Other vendors include The Gathering Place’s very own Emily Rancier, vice president of the organization’s board of directors. She will vend her handmade hats and other garments. Rancier also teaches classes of felting and spinning.

Also available at The Gathering Place will be gift certificates for community classrooms. Each gift certificate is good for $10 off the price of the class. Patrons will also be able to enjoy soup provided by the Gathering Place.
Area vendors offer items for Shop Local Saturday

By Ben Freda

For Abington Journal

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or by email at

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or by email at