Apropos gift shop at 136 Main St. in Wadsworth will close Sept. 29 after 30 years in the community.
NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE Enlarge
The display case that was once full of gourmet chocolates is down to just a few truffles, as Apropos gift shop owner Sally Shantz prepares to close her downtown Wadsworth store after 30 years in business.
“Closing has been a pleasure, which I never thought I would say that ever,” Shantz said Monday from a desk in the back of the store at 136 Main St. “People have been so kind and supportive.”
The Bath native said she moved to Wadsworth 30 years ago shortly after opening Apropos, but recently sold the building after deciding it was time to make a change.
“One, it’s 30 years; it was a nice round number,” she said. “Secondly, I have been here long enough to feel other shifts downtown, major shifts; this is one of them.”
Shantz said she believes Wadsworth’s downtown is becoming a more active environment, with some people more likely to patronize the area’s brewery and restaurants than a gift shop.
“There are areas in gift-giving that are going to be viable forever, it doesn’t matter,” she said.
“Then there are other areas that people buy more online and they perhaps don’t know that we exist.”
Shantz said her building’s buyer plans to renovate the space to accommodate apartments on the upper floors and either a restaurant or retail store on the first floor.
Shantz said that making the decision to close the business before it was absolutely a necessity has allowed her and her longtime employees to enjoy saying goodbye to customers and friends.
“To enjoy it and accept it, do you get to do that if you are at the very end?” she said. “I don’t know.”
Ramona Britenriker, a 27-year Apropos employee, said she originally walked into the store looking for some holiday employment and never left.
“I always say that our friendship and Apropos grew over the years,” Britenriker said.
“Sally actually ended up to be the godmother to one of my grandchildren, so it is more than just employee and employer.”
Britenriker said Sally and the store’s employees have been feeling the love since the store’s Sept. 29 closure was announced, but they know that the store and the people who work there have been loved and appreciated.
Wadsworth Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Janie Parish said Shantz is known for customer service and the classic pieces she filled the rooms with at Apropos.
“When you go into Apropos, it feels like you’re with good friends who truly care about you,” Parish said.
Shantz said she plans to take a year off work to think about her next move, perhaps writing the novel that she was never able to get around to while running the store.
“I am hoping to have a quiet mind where one step will lead to another step,” she said.
The shop’s phone number is (330) 334-1616. Hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.