Orchard Park will lose three independent stores this spring as the Lemon Tree, Francella’s Boutique and B Is for Books all close their doors.
The Lemon Tree, 6576 E. Quaker St., has been serving customers since 1969. Sisters Kim Bathrick and Alisa Seeley took over the business from their mother, founder Alice Seeley, 25 years ago. The sisters say that the store was doing well, but that it’s time to retire. Bathrick said that her passion is her line of handmade jewelry called Wicket and that she wants to devote more time to making and selling that.
“At my age, you’ve got to decide what you want to be when you grow up,” said Bathrick, 62. The Lemon Tree started out catering to brides and their china patterns, but the sisters helped the store evolve with the times. They eventually expanded its offering of children’s items and moved away from the more traditional style of the store by bringing in more funky, whimsical wares. The sisters are selling the building and also are considering selling the business. If they don’t find a buyer, they will liquidate their inventory beginning in May.
Francella’s Boutique, 4218 N. Buffalo Road, closed its doors Wednesday. Owner Francella Schmid is also retiring, with plans to spend more time with her grandchild.
The business started as a salon, Nail Orchard, 19 years ago. Schmid, who has done nails for 28 years, moved her salon to a bigger location from one half a block away. She kept Nail Orchard going and used the extra space to add Francella’s Boutique. Both businesses closed together.
Schmid, already semiretired, cut back her hours in the last few years and decided to call it quits after a rent increase. “It wasn’t worth the small amount of money it generated,” she said.
B Is for Books, an independent children’s bookstore at 6562 E. Quaker St., announced its closure earlier this year. Owner Jane Bell said she made the choice to spend more time with her four children. It will close April 18.