Reminder Publications | Herbarium and Bayberry Quilts offer unique finds in Chicopee

Reminder Publications | Herbarium and Bayberry Quilts supply distinctive finds in Chicopee

| Carolyn Noel


Jonathan Evans of Chicopee’s Herbarium.
Reminder Publishing picture by G. Michael Dobbs

CHICOPEE – The yr of 2020 was the yr of supporting small and native companies, thanks partially to COVID-19. With many shops pressured to shut for months or rethink the way in which they operated, communities took it upon themselves to buy, spend and purchase as a lot as they might to assist neighborhood staples keep away from their demise. The Herbarium and Bayberry Quilt and Reward Shoppe are two small companies that survived by COVID-19, although not with out their very own struggles. The companies are each domestically owned and supply distinctive items and providers to Chicopee residents and past.

The Herbarium has been round since 1978. Opened initially in Thornes Market by Kathy Duffy, the shop then moved to Chicopee in 1981. It’s now run and operated by Duffy’s husband, Jonathan Evans, and their daughter.

“We thought this may be an ideal spot to relocate, so we did, and we’ve been right here ever since,” mentioned Evans.

The Herbarium provides the biggest choice of bulk herbs and spices for medicinal and culinary functions anyplace in Western New England. In addition they supply dietary dietary supplements similar to nutritional vitamins, minerals, natural cures and customized blended tea to assist with illnesses like arthritis, complications, nervousness, abdomen issues and extra. Through the years, The Herbarium has additionally expanded to promote metaphysical objects similar to crystals, stones, incense and smudging merchandise. In addition they promote books, important oils, objects for aromatherapy and CBD merchandise.

“We’re mislabeled as a dispensary. We’re not a dispensary, [we] don’t take care of that in any respect, however we do have CBD gummies, we’ve lotions, CBD oil, which has been fairly attention-grabbing to see a few of the outcomes inside that,” mentioned Evans.

In line with Evans, his spouse was a nurse for greater than  50 years and in addition a medical herbalist. Across the yr 2000, she obtained concerned in medical aromatherapy, which is using important oils in a medical setting. She has since develop into a senior teacher for R.J. Buckle Associates the place she teaches nurses and medical doctors everywhere in the nation the best way to safely use important oils of their follow. Evans himself had no prior medical background. He had a protracted profession in radio and broadcast, and cites his spouse as giving him his preliminary information on this subject.

“My expertise has purely been what I’ve soaked up over time being together with her and going to the lessons that she’s taught. I did take a program again round 2008 and have become licensed as an Natural Data Specialist, so simply mainly proved what we’ve realized over time and that I do know what I’m speaking about. Individuals wish to see some kind of certification, so I obtained it,” he mentioned.

Being a small-age well being supplier, The Herbarium was not pressured to shut at first of the pandemic. As a substitute, they really noticed a leap in gross sales.

“We have been open all through and at first of the pandemic, for sure folks have been locked down and such, however our mail order enterprise simply skyrocketed,” he mentioned.

The Herbarium provides a wide range of important oils particular to antivirals and in addition immune boosting nutritional vitamins and dietary supplements. Given that folks have been all of the sudden taking care of their immune system rather more with COVID-19, The Herbarium was a spot many turned to.

“We’ve been capable of keep on the forefront of that kind of factor and supply as a lot safety as folks can get in a pure kind,” mentioned Evans.

With extra folks caught at dwelling, The Herbarium additionally noticed an enormous enhance in folks shopping for bulk herbs to make their very own teas and start their very own research and follow.

“We noticed an enormous leap when it got here to our bulk herb orders and it was slightly attention-grabbing to observe,” he mentioned. “When you’ve got an tackle we’ll get it to you. We’ve shipped everywhere in the world.”

The Herbarium is open to prospects frequently and following all COVID-19 tips. They permit not more than 4 folks within the retailer at a time, have an air filtration system and all the time have important oils going of their diffusers.

“That is in all probability one of many most secure locations you’re ever going to buy groceries,” mentioned Evans.

He additionally famous that their success all through COVID-19 and past is closely as a result of the truth that they’ve constructed up belief and notability all through the years.

“We’ve over 42 years of expertise and in depth medical historical past. We constructed up a belief and folks do belief us and that’s the factor – when doubtful, they’ll come to us,” he mentioned.

The Bayberry Quilt and Reward Shoppe is one other distinctive enterprise in Chicopee that has been round for many years. In contrast to The Herbarium, nonetheless, Bayberry Quilt and Items struggled throughout COVID-19.

The Bayberry Quilt and Reward Shoppe was opened in 1999 by proprietor Laura Knapt. Knapt owned a preschool on the identical property for over 20 years, however determined to shut it when her quilting pastime changed into extra.

“The quilting was my pastime. I used to do craft festivals, I used to promote quiltings and plenty of crafts. That finish of the enterprise sort of simply took off and I made a decision to make the swap,” she mentioned.

The Bayberry Quilt and Reward Shoppe has a full line of quilting cloth that they promote together with quilting kits and completed quilts. They provide quilt meeting and beforehand supplied quilting lessons earlier than COVID-19.

When the pandemic hit in March, Knapt was pressured to shut her doorways. She was not capable of reopen her enterprise till August.

“It affected my livelihood large time. I misplaced about 5 months of regular enterprise. My lessons got here to an finish and the doorways have been closed,” mentioned Knapt.

In line with Knapt, as soon as she did reopen her doorways, enterprise picked up shortly. A lot of Knapt’s regulars had been quilting at dwelling throughout quarantine and have been then capable of deliver their works into the store to be assembled. She was additionally capable of supply some small quilting lessons upon reopening.

“As soon as we opened, it was full steam forward with all the quilts being dropped off for us to assemble. In order that’s actually how I’ve been capable of maintain all of it going. I promote the material, I educate the lessons, I assemble the quilts… so it’s sort of a one cease all the things is completed right here,” she mentioned.

All through the pandemic, The Bayberry Quilt and Reward Shoppe didn’t obtain any COVID-19 grants or funding.

“I had no help in any respect. You simply pull again and also you wait it out and, fortuitously for me, we’ve very loyal prospects right here. They’re those which are supporting this enterprise. They couldn’t anticipate us to open again up, they have been in contact with us your entire time that we have been closed and we tried to choose up the place we left off,” mentioned Knapt.

With the 25 p.c capability restrictions now in place from Gov. Charlie Baker, Knapt needed to cease her quilting lessons once more. Earlier than the pandemic, the store supplied a number of two hour lessons with 12 folks per class. Prospects might are available and purchase cloth on the store after which learn to sew and work on their tasks as soon as every week.

“We’re hoping that when COVID is over we will return to the capability of 12, however proper now you may’t,” mentioned Knapt.

The Bayberry Quilt and Reward Shoppe is now open and following all COVID-19 laws. Knapt mentioned she is aware of that the loyalty of her prospects is what stored her going all through the pandemic.

“I used to be lucky as a result of my enterprise was established for 20 years so I had that loyalty on the market, in order that’s what stored me going. If I used to be a model new enterprise, it wouldn’t have labored,” she mentioned.

Each The Herbarium and Bayberry Quilt and Reward Shoppe presently have up to date COVID-19 hours. The Herbarium is open Monday by Friday from 9:30 a.m. to five p.m and on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Bayberry Quilt and Reward Shoppe is open Tuesday from 10 a.m. to three p.m., Wednesday and Thursday from 1 p.m. to five p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. When quilting lessons can resume they are going to be open common evenings once more, mentioned Knapt.

The distinctive Chicopee companies at the moment are waiting for 2021 with hope and pleasure. Evans mentioned he’s engaged on revamping and redoing The Herbarium’s web site to make it simpler to navigate, together with working with the Chicopee Downtown Partnership to assist market and promote downtown Chicopee. Knapt is hoping that COVID-19 can quickly come to an finish and that her enterprise can return to normalcy.

“I hope we will return to our full lessons and simply attempt to decide up the place we left off with COVID. We’re trying to go ahead, I’m not trying to shut that’s for certain. We’re not going anyplace,” she mentioned.

These all in favour of studying extra about The Herbarium are inspired to go to their web site at These all in favour of studying extra about Bayberry Quilt and Reward Shoppe can go to their web site at

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