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When the words “country lane” are uttered, images of fields of corn, old barns and a slower paced way of life come to mind. The Country Lane in Kennedy takes one back to a simpler, more relaxed time raised in those images.
Owners and Kennedy natives Brenda and Mike Bunce started in 1987 when they travelled around the countryside with their four children selling their goods at craft shows. As the couple looked towards the future, they thought that a shop would better suit their needs, and what better place to set up shop than their own backyard.
“We’ve lived here since 1975,” Mike said. “In 1990, we started remodeling the barn on our property to use as our store and workshop. It was finished in 1991. We stopped doing shows in about 2000.”
Brenda refers to Mike as “The Artist,” but he actually got started in woodworking thanks to Brenda by cutting wooden patterns for her crafts. These simple beginnings led to his craftsmanship of dining tables, hutches and benches.
Although the couple will refurbish some older pieces, such as the chest of drawers, wooden crates and a bench made from a repurposed headboard in their shop, Mike usually builds his own creations.
“We mostly just build from scratch,” Mike said. “We refurbish about 20 percent of what we sell in the shop. However, there isn’t anything in here that we haven’t touched, finished or built from the ground up.”
Mike said that he has always “liked old things,” and the antique and nostalgic air about the shop and his pieces are not coincidental.
“We’ve always incorporated that old look,” Mike said. “There’s a warmth and desire that people have for that nostalgic look. People are even changing their interior design to match the pieces we have.”
While he has drawn inspiration from furniture from Colonial Williamsburg and various museum pieces, many of the pieces Mike has built come from ideas given to him by the couple’s customers. He said that they would see a piece that they liked and bring him their notions on what they wanted, and the customers keep coming back.
“We have lots of repeat customers,” Mike said. “People are building collections from our stuff. We have very enthusiastic customers.”
And these repeat customers become friends. The couple says that some customers make an event out of coming over to sit on the porch to talk and relax with them. Mike said that The Country Lane has a whole social aspect that many businesses may lack, and Brenda concurs wholeheartedly.
“It’s always an experience being on the porch,” Brenda said. “We have coffee and homemade cookies. It’s a destination. We have people from as far away as Erie, PA, and Buffalo.”
The Country Lane is located at 380 Ericsson Rd. in Kennedy. They are open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.
For more information, please visit thecountrylane.weebly.com or call (716) 267-2020.