"We're grateful for PNC's involvement in the revitalization of our community. It feels like a small neighborhood bank but brings us the resources of a large financial institution."
Revitalizing Downtown Business
West Pomfret Street is a beautiful, bustling retail area in downtown Carlisle that has become the destination of shoppers, diners and music and art enthusiasts throughout South Central Pennsylvania. Specialty retail shops abound, restaurants and a tea room offer opportunities to relax and refuel, and free weekend concerts fill the courtyard with the exuberant sounds of summer.
West Pomfret's vibrant, welcoming atmosphere didn't just happen. It took the hard work of every one of the 15 merchants who conduct business there. The merchants' association they formed six years ago, The Pomfret Group, promotes their businesses, plans events and supports ongoing revitalization efforts. Their current promotional campaign is "Shop the Block: West Pomfret & South Hanover Streets."
"The idea for the association started when we asked Piatto restaurant owner Ross Morris if he would be open to taking down the snow fence that divided his patio from ours," says Pat Craig, owner of Pat Craig Studios. "Ross was delighted to open the space, which created a beautiful courtyard for customers. That was the start of our working together to improve our retail neighborhood and our lives."
Leaving the Ordinary to Others
Pat and her husband, Dino Craig, bought their West Pomfret building in 2004, after a 14-year stint operating a framing business from their home four miles away. An artist, Pat produces and sells her own artwork, frames other artists' works, designs and sells jewelry, and sells unique gift items at Pat Craig Studios. Her daughter Catlin Craig Harral runs a bookstore, So-Hi Books, on the second floor, and Pat and Dino live on the third floor so they can be part of West Pomfret 24/7.
"In addition to the studio, we've purchased two downtown buildings that we rent to others; one houses a malt shop and the other an artisans' gift shop. Upstairs, we've rented three of five apartments and have a waiting list for the other two, which we're renovating," says Pat. "The diversity of our businesses has helped us weather the recession."
PNC has played a role in Pat's -- and The Pomfret Group's -- financial well-being, too. "We have a fantastic relationship with PNC," says Pat. "The bank not only provides banking, merchant services and property financing for my businesses but also supports The Pomfret Group concert series, which brings new foot traffic into downtown every weekend from June to September. We're grateful for PNC's involvement in the revitalization of our community. It feels like a small neighborhood bank but brings us the resources of a large financial institution."
Pat looks for West Pomfret Street's momentum to continue. "We're hard-working business owners dedicated to offering our community extraordinary experiences. I like to say, 'We leave the ordinary to others.' If something new and exciting is going to happen in Carlisle, you can count on The Pomfret Group to be part of it."