When glancing around Hebron’s downtown, one of the first things one will notice is a large, white sign with red lettering that reads “Smitty’s Bakery.”
What the busy workers now occupying the former bakery are transforming it into is a far cry from what is was before.
Lynne Wiedel is moving her antique/flower/farmers’ market business from her family farm south of Belvidere to the shop on Lincoln Avenue.
Though there is still much more to do, the shop is worlds away from how it looked when Wiedel first bought it.
The inside was filled wall to wall with everything one would need to run a bakery.
Wiedel and her family spent five weeks organizing and selling most of the contents in the store.
“I knew what I was getting into,” said Wiedel. “There was lots to sell and move but in my mind I had how I was going to set everything up.”
They found many interesting items during their organizing like old rolling pins, cookie cutters and candy cutters.
“We’ve sold everything from napkin holders to [sitting] booths,” said Wiedel. “It’s definitely a family project: a project of love.”
Now the shop is host to a variety of potted and hanging plants. It’s the first thing you see when you walk in.
Wiedel has always had a love for gardening and plants.
With having eight children, her family has always had a big garden.
“It started as a way to put food on the table and now it’s turned into a passion,” said Wiedel.
Wiedel currently has a greenhouse at her farm in Belvidere where she grows flowers and vegetables.
Once everything is set up at the store, overrun and extra plants will remain at the greenhouse at her farm.
Wiedel has been canning foods since she was a little girl.
“I like it more than cooking,” said Wiedel.
While she is able to can for people, she does not have a commercial kitchen.
This means that she is able to can food that people bring to her as a hired service but is not able to can her own food and sell it.
Her favorite things to can are jellys and jams.
Wiedel also plans to have a herbal garden to make herbal breads and homemade noodles.
Wiedel began selling antiques over ten years ago. She started working with her pastor’s wife on buying and selling together.
“She’s always done it,” said Wiedel. “She’s been my mentor as far as how to do it … We’ve had a lot of fun together.”
The Belvidere native sells Americana, shabby chic and primitive antiques.
After a lot of time traveling for farmers markets and buying and selling antiques, Wiedel recently decided it was time to centralize the business.
“We spent a lot of time and money on the road,” said Wiedel. “It’s nice to be just in one place and be part of the town.”
Wiedel is shooting for a May opening date.