After a temporary pause due to COVID-19, the “Member Spotlight” series is back in action! Each month, we will take an in-depth look into one of our Chamber members and the history of their business or organization. Look for a new spotlight in each quarterly newsletter. For the months when a newsletter is not released, you will be able to find the latest “Member Spotlight” right here on our blog and on our Facebook page.
Sleighter’s Furniture & Sleep Shop, located at 5 Lincoln Way West, has been a New Oxford staple since 1947. Sleighter’s held its grand opening on August 21, 1947. The business was originally located in the building that now houses Martin’s New Oxford Hardware.
Sleighter’s was founded by Charles R. Sleighter and C. Robert Sleighter. Charles’ wife Elva and Robert’s wife Sarah were also heavily involved in the evolution of the business. The store is now in its third generation of family ownership. Sleighter’s is currently owned and operated by Charles’ granddaughter Sally and her husband Jerome Smith.
Sleighter’s started when Charles and Robert decided to go into business together. With knowledge of multiple trades, Charles hoped to start a floor covering store. Charles and Robert began their search in their place of residence – York. Because of the economy at the time, store space was difficult to find. Eventually, they made their way to New Oxford, finding a prime location right on the square.
At the time, the building that currently houses Martin’s Hardware was divided into three separate businesses. At the beginning, Sleighter’s rented one of the three spaces for $35 a month before eventually expanding to fill two of the spaces. At the time, Charles’ brother owned a furniture store in Everett, PA and suggested that Sleighter’s sell furniture in addition to floor coverings. After testing the market by putting a sofa up for sale and finding quick success, the family decided to expand their floor covering business to also include furniture and bedding.
As the business continued to grow, the family looked for an alternate location. Sleighter’s found a new home at 5 Lincoln Way West, holding a grand opening on May 7 and 8, 1954. After moving into the new location, the business continued to expand. A back section was added several years after the grand opening, and a second floor was added in the early 1960s. The second floor served as a home for Charles and Elva as well as storage space for the store.
With a degree in accounting, Sally worked for an accounting firm before returning to her family’s business. Before coming to work at Sleighter’s, Jerome worked in real estate. With a desire to be in business for 50 years, Robert continued to have a presence in the business until Sleighter’s 50th anniversary in 1997. At this time, he retired. Following Robert’s retirement, Jerome and Sally bought the business.
Today, Sleighter’s is the oldest family-owned furniture store in the area. The store continues to evolve to fill the needs of local consumers. Sleighter’s owners and staff pride themselves on the personalized touch they provide to customers. At Sleighter’s, customers are able to try out products and find the best fit for their needs with one-on-one assistance from the store’s staff. The store currently has six employees – three sales associates and three warehouse/delivery associates.
Sleighter’s offers a variety of furniture and sleep-related products including living, dining and bedroom furniture as well as an extensive selection of mattresses and adjustable beds with sheets, pillows and mattress pads.
Sleighter’s is proud to call New Oxford home. Sally and Jerome enjoy getting to work in the same community they live in. They also enjoy the opportunities owning your own business can provide, including flexibility, the ability to take risks and make your own decisions and being able to work with customers first-hand while also working in-sync with one another.
To learn more about Sleighter’s Furniture & Sleep Shop, please visit sleighters.com or stop by in person at 5 Lincoln Way West. We encourage you to support local throughout the ongoing pandemic and after the pandemic as well.
Our small businesses are the heart of our community, and they need us now more than ever. Let’s join together to support the businesses that call our community home!
Over the past few decades, the United States has suffered a steep decline in skilled workers. While there is not one singular explanation for this trend, the tendency for high schools to steer their students toward four-year colleges and universities instead of also providing information about trades and skilled labor is undoubtedly a contributing factor. Our local community is on the front lines of combating downward trend. Conewago Valley School District officially opened the Colonial Career and Technology Center in fall of 2019 with the goal of introducing students to the trades. Students in the program will gain valuable entry-level skills, which can translate into jobs after graduation in our large manufacturing community in New Oxford and in surrounding towns.
Businesses in the trade industry, especially small businesses, are vital to our community. We are excited to share the story of one of those businesses today. For February’s Member Spotlight, we are excited to introduce you to Auchey Woodworks LLC, a locally owned and operated woodworking business based right here in New Oxford.
Growing up, Nevin Auchey took a special interest in woodworking. During his time as a student at New Oxford Middle School & High School, Nevin enjoyed honing his skills in woodworking courses. While Nevin was still in school, his family moved to Florida, where there were less opportunities to woodwork. Despite this challenge, Nevin took advantage of any opportunities he could find.
While in Florida, Nevin found a mentor in George Cain. During his career, George owned a custom woodshop outside of Pittsburgh that specialized in high-end projects, including a project at the Houston Astrodome in Texas. Due to his health, George moved to Florida and transitioned into a lower stress position with a home builder. George and Nevin’s paths crossed around the time Nevin entered 12th grade.
Nevin reflected on his time spent with George, saying “George saw potential in me, and I wanted to learn. The knowledge and training he gave me was priceless [and] it didn’t cost me anything but my time. Because of that, I will always share knowledge and techniques to anyone who seriously wants to learn.”
After graduation, Nevin began a career in the construction industry working his way from framing houses to working on commercial properties. Ultimately, he became a supervisor. About ten years ago, Nevin lost his job in the construction industry due to the downturn in the economy.
With a now or never approach, Nevin decided to fulfill his longtime dream of opening his own business. Nevin officially opened Auchey Woodworks LLC in March of 2011. His business has grown over the past decade largely through word of mouth. Early on, Nevin completed a number of kitchen remodels. While he still works on occasional remodels and renovations, he has found his niche in specialty and custom woodworking. Nevin’s favorite projects to take on are ones he sees as “unusual, different and specialized.”
Recently, Nevin has enjoyed making furniture with concealed compartments, including jewelry boxes and coffee tables. These projects allow Nevin to utilize both his creativity and innovation. Other recent projects include a kitchen island made from black walnut and a custom maple bookshelf. (For more examples and more details on Nevin’s work, see the photo gallery at the top of this article).
In 2017, Nevin’s work was featured in an article in the nationally published magazine A Primitive Place. The article focused on the Peter Ickes House located at 14 E. King St. in Abbottstown. The house, currently owned by Tracy Dodge and Steve Lipman, is an 18th century log and stone Swiss-German home built by Revolutionary War Captain Peter Ickes. It is one of the oldest houses in Abbottstown and is also home to 14 E. King St. Antiques & Designs. Nevin spent over six months building everything from kitchen cabinets to countertops to the ceiling in the family room, keeping with the theme of antiques and primitive furniture. His handiwork can be seen throughout the entire house.
Nevin is not the only one in his family with a knack for woodworking. He has shared his love for the profession with his family members, including his younger sister and his daughter. Nevin’s sister, Lorry Ponticello, currently operates a repurposing business near Cocoa Beach, Florida. Her work can be seen on Instagram (@landmrusticcharm). Additionally, Nevin’s daughter Lindsay recently started woodworking, taking a particular interest in lathe work.
Auchey Woodworks is a proud member of the small business community in New Oxford. Nevin cites the small town, laidback feel as one of the main reasons he chooses to call New Oxford both his home and place of business. While big cities provide opportunities for larger projects and more money, New Oxford has a special atmosphere that “feels like home” to Nevin and his family. Nevin also enjoys connecting with other craftsmen in the local community whether it be at Martin’s New Oxford Hardware or at New Oxford Studios, owned by fellow woodworker Ray Amos.
For Nevin, taking the chance and opening his own business has paid off. He gets to spend every day doing what he loves right here in the town of New Oxford.
We are proud that so many small businesses like Auchey Woodworks call New Oxford home. We encourage you to support local businesses the next time you need assistance with a project.
To see more completed projects from Auchey Woodworks, visit their Instagram page (@aucheywoodworks). If you have a specialized woodworking project in mind, you can contact Nevin directly at email@example.com or reach out to the New Oxford Area Chamber of Commerce for additional information. Stay tuned to our blog and Facebook page for our March Member Spotlight!
Hanover Door officially has a new home!
As of January 2, 2020, Hanover Door is back in Hanover, located at 319-A Maple Avenue. The staff of Hanover Door invites you to stop by and say hi.
Rodney and Kela Trish acquired the company from previous owners, Randy and Kathie Hilton on July 1, 2018. Prior to purchasing the company, Rodney was the Operations Manager for Hanover Door. Before the recent move, Hanover Door shared a facility with Susquehanna Door Service in New Oxford.
We are excited to introduce the “Member Spotlight” series to our readers. Each month, we will take an in-depth look into one of our Chamber members and the history of their business or organization. Look for a new spotlight in each quarterly newsletter. For the months when a newsletter is not released, you will be able to find the latest “Member Spotlight” right here on our blog! For our first edition of this new series, our featured member is Martin’s New Oxford Hardware, Inc. a long-time staple of the New Oxford community. Read on below to learn more about this beloved local business.
Steve Martin has always had an interest in hardware. From a young age, Steve enjoyed helping out at his uncle’s hardware store in Hagerstown, MD. Those early experiences at his uncle’s business led to Steve’s dream of one day owning his own hardware store.
After growing up in Pittsburgh and attending Walsh College in Ohio, Steve and his family decided to make that dream a reality. Steve and his father Bill, who had previously owned a machine shop business, looked at hardware stores throughout Pennsylvania before finding a store for sale in New Oxford. With its ideal living accommodations – there is an apartment on the second floor above the store – its proximity to family and its location in the heart of a small town, the store was the perfect fit for the Martin family.
On July 1, 1974, Steve and his father officially purchased the store from its former owners Bob and Nora McEvers and became business partners. At the time, Steve was only 21 years old. The Martin family, including Steve’s mother and Bill’s wife Mary, would go on to grow their beloved family business in New Oxford.
Over the years, Martin’s Hardware has celebrated many milestones and accomplishments. The store celebrated 40 years of business in 2014. In 2015, the Chamber recognized Martin’s as its Business of the Year. Perhaps the biggest accomplishment though is the store’s popularity with the local community.
Because it is a locally-owned small business, the staff at Martin’s is able to provide customers with the care and attention that is rarely found at big box stores. Customers can always expect hands-on help when they visit Martin’s.
Because of this unique experience, many of the store’s visitors are loyal customers who have shopped at Martin’s for years. Martin’s carries a wide variety of hardware items and has added many lines over the years in order to continue fulfilling the needs of its customers. In addition to the products in the store, Martin’s also offers window and screen repairing, paint mixing and color matching , key duplication, glass and screen cutting, equipment rentals and blade sharpening.
Customers are greeted by familiar faces each time they visit Martin’s. Steve is active in the day-to-day operations of the store. Steve is joined in the store by Bill Bechtel, Ron Boring, Mitch and Wendy Diviney and Jason Smith. Originally a part-time staff member, Bill is now full-time and has been with the business for almost 30 years. Ron has worked part-time at Martin’s for almost 10 years while the Mitch and Wendy have been involved for the past couple of years as part-time staff members. Jason joined the staff in mid-2019.
Steve and Bill agree that the best part of working at Martin’s is the customers. Steve believes that customers “become like personal friends.” That feeling of friendship is shared by many of the customers who choose to shop at Martin’s, sometimes even multiple times a day, for all of their hardware needs.
A number of customers even prefer to drive from out of town because of the high level of customer service at Martin’s. In addition to connecting with customers, Bill enjoys meeting new business owners, staying up-to-date on community happenings and forging connections with local businesses and members of the community.
With their expertise and hands-on assistance, it is no wonder that Martin’s and its staff are the top choice for hardware in our community. Want to learn more about Martin’s New Oxford Hardware? Visit their website at martinsnewoxfordhardware.com, follow them on Facebook for fun contests and, of course, stop by in person at 21 Center Square.
On a personal note, the Chamber is lucky to have such great neighbors. Steve and his staff are always willing to lend a helping hand whether it be with decorating the circle for the holidays or helping put a sign up for Market Day. Small businesses like Martin’s and many other businesses around town are an asset to our community, and we are lucky that these businesses call our community their home. We encourage you to support local businesses such as Martin’s and keep an eye out for future spotlights on other members of our wonderful local business community!
The Chamber would like to congratulate United Hook & Ladder Company #33 (UHL) on their 10th anniversary. UHL held a celebration on Saturday, August 17 to commemorate the anniversary.
UHL is the result of the merger of New Oxford Fire Company and the Abbottstown Fire Company. Over the past 10 years, Bonneauville and Hampton Fire Companies have also become part of UHL.
The event included an open house featuring a facility tour as well as the dedication of Engine 331 and a memorial wall for two New Oxford firefighters who died in the line of duty. The dedication was followed by an “old-style convention party” at the New Oxford Social & Athletic Club.
Congratulations to UHL on their 10th anniversary. Thank you for your commitment to keeping our community safe!
Thank you to Chamber board member Michele Sheets for snapping some great photos of this event.
Since it is Thursday, we thought we would post some pictures of our old Market Day posters for a fun throwback blog post.
Market Day, also known as the Annual Antique Market & Craft Show, started in New Oxford in 1956. The pictures below are some examples of promotional posters and advertisements that were distributed throughout the 1960s.
In the 1960s, the event featured apple butter boiling, a quilting party, an art contest and arts and crafts demonstrations in addition to antique vendors. Music, including the New Oxford High School Band, an organ player and roving accordionists, was also a big part of the event in the early days. An antique car display was part of Market Day as well. If the cars were considered antiques then, imagine how valuable they would be today!
The promotional poster art from Market Day in the 1960s is especially interesting. Notice the bright colors and the detailed illustrations on the posters in the gallery above.
Do you have a favorite out of the posters and advertisements? Let us know in the comments!
The 2Q edition of the Chamber's quarterly newsletter "The Circle" is now available!
This issue includes:
Thank you to our Chamber Champion of the Quarter - Treysta Technology Management.
Also look for ads from: Adams Electric Cooperative, UPMC Pinnacle, Furs by Susan, DL3 Systems LLC, HD Entertainment and Primerica Financial Services - Marc Weber.
Pick up a copy at the Chamber office during business hours or look through the latest issue digitally at newoxford.org/newsletter. All Chamber members receive a copy of the newsletter via mail.
Conewago Valley School District exchange students (from L to R) Cimberley, Vera and Hannah with breakfast speaker Superintendent Dr. Russell Greenholt.
The Chamber hosted its biannual New Member breakfast on Tuesday, March 12 at Cross Keys Village - The Brethren Home Community.
The breakfast is open to all members and celebrates the Chamber’s newest members as well as New Oxford High School’s 2018-2019 exchange students.
The Chamber would like to welcome its newest members:
◆ Essis & Sons, Inc.
◆ Len Dick Signs Inc.
◆ New Oxford Social & Athletic Club
◆ Primerica Financial Services - Marc Weber
◆ RLH CPAs & Business Advisors, LLC.
The Chamber also welcomed its newest honorary member, Kerry Prutzman. Kerry is an employee of the New Oxford Borough and has always been willing to assist the Chamber with events and projects.
In addition to honoring the Chamber’s newest members, the Chamber presented Conewago Valley School District’s three foreign exchange students with plaques. The students in attendance were Cimberley Conen (Germany), Hannah Schneider (Germany) and Vera Traas (Netherlands).
After the exchange students were honored, Conewago Valley School District Superintendent Dr. Russell Greenholt talked about the Colonial Manufacturing Program, a new opportunity for students to receive hands-on training for skilled jobs in manufacturing including welding and construction. College is not the only option for students after high school and the new addition to the school district will allow students to explore other avenues for employment after graduation. There is a need for more skilled laborers, especially in our region. South Central Pennsylvania is home to an impressive manufacturing base, which is evident in New Oxford and the surrounding communities.
With the support of local manufacturing businesses, the Conewago Valley School District will be able to provide a unique educational opportunity to its students as well as students from other local school districts. The program is slated to begin in late 2019.
The Chamber is thankful to all who attended the breakfast. Special thanks to our breakfast sponsor PCI Insurance and our host Cross Keys Village - The Brethren Home Community. Additional thanks to Dr. Greenholt for serving as our speaker, Michele Sheets for emceeing and Dot Robinson for organizing the breakfast.
The 63rd Annual Antique Market and Craft Show will be held on Saturday, June 15 on the historic Center Square and surrounding streets in New Oxford.
Interested quality antique, vintage, repurposed, shabby chic and handmade craft vendors may download an application from our events page at www.newoxford.org. Food vendors should contact the New Oxford Chamber of Commerce office at 717-624-2800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register before April 1 to receive the early bird rate.
Vendor costs are as follows: $85 for antique vendors; $60 for handmade craft vendors; $85 for food vendors; $55 for non-profit food vendors. Additionally, there will be LIMITED spaces open to direct sales vendors for the first time in the event's history. Direct sales spaces are $60. Applications submitted after April 1 will be charged an additional $5, and after May 31 will be charged an additional $25.
This popular, public event will take place from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with ample parking available nearby.
This is the longest continuous running antique show in the country and has one of the largest attendances of street shows in Pa. Proceeds from this annual event benefit the New Oxford Area Chamber of Commerce, which exists to advance, promote and attract interest in and around the Borough of New Oxford.
New Oxford is located 9 miles east of Gettysburg on Route 30.
The New Oxford Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the members of the 2019 Board of Directors.
At the General Meeting in October, four members were elected to the board. Mindy Becker (Cross Keys Village - The Brethren Home Community), Mike Deshong (Quality Eicholtz) and Ashley Hershey (RLH CPAs & Business Advisors, LLC) were elected to three year terms. Vicki Heller (PNC Bank) was elected as an alternate (one year term).
At the November board meeting, nominations and elections were held for the chaired board positions. Congratulations to the 2019 Board chairs: President - Rose Lansing (Redbud House), Vice President - Ashley Hershey, Secretary - Mindy Becker and Treasurer Tina Palermo (M&T Bank).
Rounding out the 2019 board are: Dot Robinson (Borough Liason), Brent Toomey (New Hope Ministries), David Laughman (DL3 Systems), Laura Becker (Doceo) and Mariah Robinson (individual member).
Congratulations to the 2019 Board of Directors!
Bookmark this page for the latest updates, upcoming events, and member news! Members who wish to have upcoming events posted on the Chamber’s website should contact Michaela with event details at 717-624-2800 or email: email@example.com.