New ownership to operate The Hen House

Monday, October 3, 2016
The Hen House owner Sandy Thiesen opened her downtown store in 1981 and has grown with it for more than 35 years. Thiesen recently decided to sell the store to a new owner who will be publicly recognized next week. (Photo by James Tillison)

The owner of The Hen House, Sandy Thiesen, announced that the negotiations for the ownership of the store which she created are under way and will soon conclude. The Hen House, a 35-year-old anchor on Grand Avenue, will remain open under the management of new owners.

"We weren't looking to sell but, the opportunity presented itself," Thiesen said. "We wanted to keep the business for Spencer. I thought it really added to the downtown to have this business here. So, with the opportunity to sell and to think The Hen House could go forward, I think it is a good thing for Spencer."

The store first opened in 1981 operating out of the Thiesen's basement as a hobby between Thiesen and 11 of her friends who enjoyed crafting. Three years later the store relocated onto Grand Avenue. Several years later the store was relocated to its current location, owning half the current property until the rest could be purchased and eventually remodeled to create The Hen House as it stands today.

"There were a lot of gals that made things, and so we consigned things. There were 12 of us that started and when we moved to town there were around 300 of us," Thiesen said.

When the group of friends began selling from the Thiesen's basement they did not anticipate it would evolve into what it is today. The women who work at the store have, for the most part, been a part of the business since the beginning, Theisen said.

"They (the new owners) love The Hen House and the way it is and they want to continue it the way it is and they want to change some things. They are really young so they have a lot of energy," Thiesen said.

Nancy Naeve, Spencer Main Street director, said The Hen House is an asset and anchor to the Main Street community. Naeve said people come from all over to visit the store and she is glad to see it is staying.

"Sandy and her store have affected a lot of people. I think if you look in just about any home in the region, you would find something from Sandy's store. We are sad to see her go but, we are glad to see it, The Hen House stay," Naeve said.

Thiesen believes the new owners will do well with the store and she is happy to see it will be carried on. She said she is thankful for the members of the community who have supported her and the store over the previous years.

"I am going to be sad not to do it anymore because I really do love doing it. But, you know, the opportunity presented itself and it seemed like a good thing for myself, my employees and Spencer. ... We have had an opportunity to get really close to people, I am going to miss that," Thiesen said.

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