Esther & Co. offers sneak peek into store transformation

Newton Daily News
By: Christopher Braunschweig
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture

Original content from Newton Daily News.  

Once the Jasper County Courthouse lighting ceremony and subsequent parade concluded Friday night in downtown Newton, a new retail space temporarily opened its doors to the public, allowing a sneak peek of its services and decor.

Crowds slowly worked their way through the glass doors of Esther & Co. to see what has become of the space previously occupied by the defunct Scoreboard Bar & Grill. Locals marveled at the rehabilitated space, a stark contrast to the previous business. Although there was still about a month’s worth of work to be done to the self-described “modern day mercantile,” visitors looked upon the yet-to-be-completed shop with awe.

In the southeast corner of Esther & Co., near the entrance of the shop, a woman named Grace Tully of Iowa City, sat a spinning wheel and spun an alpaca wool mixture from fluff to yarn. Beside her were other types of spinning wheels, including one reminiscent of the Disney film “Sleeping Beauty,” though she was quick to point out the movie’s inaccuracies of that particular model.

As a yarn maker, Frahm said Esther & Co. will eventually offer fiber classes and educational workshops, as well as other small agriculture-based arts-and-crafts. Seeing residents gather inside her business Friday night confirms her feelings that people are excited to see the shop’s transformation.

Read the rest of this story at Newton Daily News.