JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — John “JT” Hoffman and Zach Reese thought about opening an interior decorating business while remodeling their own home last summer.
The couple applied for an employer identification number for a business and on June 16 opened The Weathered Farmhouse at 2458 Bedford St.
“It’s always been something we’ve had a passion for,” Reese said. “We started discussing the possibility of making a living out of it.”
They’ve been helping friends and family decorate, and they hope to do the same for customers.
“When people walk in, we want to give them joy and products that will make a house feel like a home,” Reese said. “The theme of our products is the countryside, the farm-primitive.”
Hoffman, 31, and Reese, 34, also kept their regular jobs. Reese is a realtor and Hoffman manages Family Dollar stores in the area.
“This store is our main focus, but if that fails, we pursue other things,” Hoffman said. “Eventually, I want to take the e-commerce store.”
The brick and mortar store is located by Young American Furniture at the newly constructed roundabout in Geistown.
“We are very excited to be part of something new in Johnstown,” said Reese. “Correlating our location to something new in Johnstown is beneficial.”
“People might not like the roundabout, but they sure know where it is,” Hoffman said.
The state ordered the roundabout to be built to replace the old Cloverleaf interchange on Scalp Avenue, Geistown City Council Vice President Bill Schrader said.
The circle opened last year and is expected to wrap up this fall.
“It helps move traffic around the borough faster,” he said. “And you can see most of the borough, as the bridge blocked that view. I think that has a positive effect on business.
A defense contractor, the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining opened last year at the former Family Video. The Rusted Rose Bridal Shop has moved into a former bank building across from The Weathered Farmhouse.
Jojo’s pizza opened in 2019.
“I think it’s a matter of space availability, commercial space is hard to buy in general,” Schrader said. “The roundabout is a plus. The roundabout is definitely an upgrade for the borough.
Schrader was cautiously encouraged by the development.
“It’s like any business, time will tell,” he said. “We are happy to have the new business and hope things stay strong in the borough.”
Hoffman said companies need to be proactive in their first year to survive.
A grand opening is scheduled for July 15 with food vendors and gift cards.
Various vendors stock the store’s inventory. The furniture, for example, is handcrafted by Amish artisans in Lancaster County.
“We travel to collect the unique finds ourselves,” Hoffman said. “Our products are constantly changing, things will be replaced by something new. Next week will be different – the harvest.