A family affair: Siblings open new business - Titusville Herald: News

A family affair: Siblings open new business

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Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2019 5:00 am

When Susan Drake stepped down from her position on the Titusville Chamber of Commerce in December, she never thought she would end up going into business with her brother, Bill Wieder.

However, the two siblings have partnered to open Titusville Market Square, a new business at the corner of Franklin Street and Central Avenue. According to Wieder, the timing was perfect to go into business with his sister.

“It really seemed like all the stars aligned at once,” he said. “We had sort of already been operating in parallel lives, so joining together just made sense. We’re like peanut butter and jelly.”

Drake said her brother approached her in January about the possibility of starting a new business in what was formerly Big and Tall Guys. They traveled to Meadville and were inspired by the Meadville Market House, a storefront that offers space for local vendors to sell their products in a downtown location. Drake and Wieder hope to offer the same service to area businesses and tap into what they see as an undervalued resource in the community.

“We have great people in this town,” Drake said. “My brother and I have made so many connections over the years that we felt this business was something we could make work together. This way, businesses can set up shop and reach consumers without all the overhead work.”

Drake said Titusville Market Square will be housed in the oldest storefront in Titusville, having originally opened its doors in 1853 as a lumber store called Brewer, Watson & Company. According to their records, the building was used by Colonel Edwin Drake during the oil boom and was a community marketplace during the 1950s and 60s.

Devin Litwiler is the owner of the building, and said he is considering selling the property to Drake and Wieder rather than leasing it out. His mother and stepfather operated Big and Tall Guys since the early 1990s before the store turned into more of a warehouse space as they focused their efforts on the online market.

Litwiler said he is excited about the prospect of a new business opening up in the storefront that has been closely tied to his family for nearly 30 years.

“This is a really great idea, and I think Bill and Susan will do great things with this space,” he said. “They really compliment each other with their understanding of commerce and real estate. I’m excited to see the finished product when they first open their doors.”

Drake said they are hoping to have their grand opening during the first week of August. She and Wieder are accepting vendor applications at the store, and said initial interest has been very encouraging.

“We want people to be able to sell their products in our store and build rapport with the community,” Drake said. “We’ll have a central cash register for people to go to instead of having individual ones at each stand. Bill and I wanted to make this as easy as possible for businesses and local artisans to reach consumers with their product.”

Wieder also operates Comic Books 101 from the same location, having moved from a smaller storefront on Spring Street two years ago. He said Comic Books 101 will remain in the space and operate as an anchor store to what he expects will be an evolving list of vendors as business enters it’s early stages.

“We don’t have an expected number of vendors yet, but I imagine it will be sort of a fluid situation,” he said. “We want to be flexible and cater to vendors who have varying needs. I talked to one woman who just wants to hang up a handful of quilts that she’s made. Other vendors will probably take up multiple stands, and that’s fine.”

Drake said the learning curve was steep early on into their endeavor, but that she was happy to have her brother involved in the process. They have established Titusville Market Square as an LLC, and plan on eventually purchasing the building from Litwiler in the near future.

“Before we started this together, [Wieder] and I never really thought we were that much alike,” she said. “But once we started working, it became so clear how similar we are. I’m excited for this new challenge, and to be taking it on with my brother.”

Titusville Market Square is open for business prior to their grand opening in August. The store is located at 101 N. Franklin St., and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Zook can be reached, by email, at news@titusvilleherald.com.

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Welcome to the discussion.

3 comments:

  • Noahs Bark posted at 6:47 pm on Sun, Jul 28, 2019.

    Noahs Bark Posts: 118

    I wasn’t aware that the Linnon’s owned a comic book store or an incubator. Sure they had a business for 50 years, but let’s reread the article. It’s about a brother and sister from town who are doing something for the community... right now. That’s the point. To celebrate them and what they are doing. If you want nostalgia, try reading one of Mr. Sterling’s articles or Mr. Boyle’s. They are experts in that type of writing. Don’t throw shade on these two. They deserve to be celebrated.


     
  • Lynn73 posted at 7:11 pm on Tue, Jul 23, 2019.

    Lynn73 Posts: 1

    It is a shame that the Linnon family owned the business for nearly 50 years and there is no mention of their heritage.


     
  • Maryjane16354 posted at 12:47 pm on Tue, Jul 23, 2019.

    Maryjane16354 Posts: 39

    I like this idea. Plenty of local business in one convenient location. This can only help the police patrol the city more efficiently.


     

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