By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald
---- — FULTON, Ill. — After much anticipation, two Fulton businesses have opened, and re-opened, their doors.
For more than half of the year, residents in Fulton have seen boarded-up windows and construction vehicles littering the corner of 11th Avenue and Fourth Street, but now, both Sweet Woodruff and Krumpets, are ready to leave those days behind.
“We could have taken another week, but we decided just to open and deal with it as it comes,” Krumpets owner Renee Holmes said. “The huge numbers we’ve seen so far has made it all worth it, though.”
Since opening Monday, Krumpets, in just a few short days, has experienced wall-to-wall guests and has gotten everyone in the neighborhood excited, including Sweet Woodruff owner Wendy Ottens.
“We haven’t had a breakfast place in downtown Fulton in so long, over 20 years,” Ottens said. “(Holmes) has really been the answer for that.”
Ottens herself has done some pretty extensive construction over the past year as well, by expanding Sweet Woodruff to the corner lot of Fourth Street and 11th Avenue.
Although she never technically closed her doors, customers have been anxiously awaiting the day she opened the new side of the store.
“We unburied a treasure here,” Ottens said.
The extensive remodel included tearing out an archway that connects Sweet Woodruff’s former space to the adjacent building it now inhabits, as well as refurbishing an antique tin ceiling that was covered prior to the remodel.
Although the color scheme is different, Ottens found a way to marry the two spaces with soft accents of silver and white that highlight the detail and luster of the historic Fulton building.
“To be able to bring these buildings back to what they looked like 122 years ago is something I still can’t get over,” Ottens said.
As for Holmes, she too has revitalized a Fulton treasure, putting her own, Krumpets, spin on things.
Diners can now relax while they enjoy a variety of Holmes’ homemade baked goods and unique lunch options, an experience they may not have gotten at Krumpets’ previous location.
According to Holmes, the acoustics at the old location made it difficult to hear when the room was filled with afternoon eaters, but when she moved to the new spot on the corner, that was the first item she chose to address.
“We fixed the acoustics so now the sound doesn’t bounce around as much,” Holmes said. “No matter where we were going to build, we knew we needed to fix the acoustics, so I’m happy that isn’t an issue anymore.”
Her customers are happy as well; customers she will soon be sharing with Ottens.
“We will be great neighbors,” Ottens said. “We will be able to bounce customers back and fourth so nicely. It’s going to be great.”
Holmes too is excited for the next chapter of life, a chapter that has embraced the community of Fulton and the people who call it home.
“These people have figured out how to work together and are really dedicated to making their little community work,” Holmes said. “It’s magic. There’s something special about these people.”