Pucky Huddle Delight, a woman-owned business located at 71 Owego Rd. (Rte. 96B) in Candor, N.Y., celebrated their 20th anniversary in October. Customers travel far and wide to visit the popular purple building, located just north of the Rte. 96 and 96B intersection.
Inside, first-time visitors and sewing enthusiasts alike will be in awe at the racks filled with over 7,000 bolts of quality quilting fabrics in cotton and cotton flannels, pre-cut fat quarters, half-yards and one-yard cuts, and more, and from well-known manufacturers. Inventory changes frequently.
Owner Jen Kopcho welcomes visitors to stop in, wander, and “Pet the fabrics.”
Seasoned quilters, Kopcho noted, will travel long distances for the best quality and selection. Through the years, customers have traveled into Candor from half of the states in the U.S., including Alaska, along with Mexico and several provinces of Canada.
Motorists driving by or stopping to shop at Pucky Huddle Delight cannot miss the building’s distinctive purple color.
Kopcho remarked, “When we were deciding on the color for the outside of the store, we wanted the outside color to reflect the fun, vibrant colors on the fabrics inside,” and added, “Growing up my father always had a purple den, and having a purple store was a way to honor him, too.”
As for the business name, Pucky Huddle Delight, Jen exclaimed, “No one has a name like this.”
Actually, there is an interesting side story behind the Pucky Huddle name. Kopcho previously lived in Sullivan County, and a road in the town of Bethel, N.Y. happens to be named Pucky Huddle. Jen had a long-time desire to use the name of the road as a future business name, and, not surprisingly, had no issue in using the name once it came time to file with Tioga County.
And as for the Delight part of the business name, that evolves back to the passion and delight surrounding the art of quilting.
The Kopcho family moved to Tioga County in 1994, and where they purchased the property in 2001. The business officially opened on Oct. 11, 2002.
The building previously housed a pizza shop and another restaurant, among other businesses.
Prior to opening Pucky Huddle Delight, Jen was a Kindergarten and Special Education teacher for 13 years. Although she found teaching a rewarding career, the goal of opening her own business was sewn into her heart.
Kopcho shared, “Pucky Huddle has truly been a family endeavor. My husband has done most of the store’s remodeling work,” and added, “My daughter worked here for many years, and my son has taken care of the lawn maintenance for 20 years as well as the technical computer work.”
Looking back, Jen chuckled as she remembered the early days of her store when the cutting area was a makeshift table that used saw horses as the base. Fast-forward to today and amazingly the selection of fabrics has grown over two decades, from 400 to 7,000 bolts.
Kopcho appreciates the positive feedback from customers, and where several have specifically commented that they have never been in the shop when Jen wasn’t there.
That, Jen said, speaks volumes to a favorite saying of hers, “When you do what you love, you never work a day in your life!”
Indeed, Kopcho loves what she does, and her long-time employees do, too. She commented, “I have been fortunate to have a number of amazing women who are experienced and talented quilters working here beside me,” and further shared that one of those women started working right after the store opened and is still there today.
Kopcho’s inspiration for sewing and quilting began at an early age. Her great-grandmother was a seamstress, and her mother and Jen were taught the craft on an antique treadle sewing machine that was passed down to her through the generations. In addition, Jen also owns multiple other antique and modern sewing machines.
Jen remarked, “I sewed my own clothes starting when I was eight or nine years old,” and added, “I was proud of my clothes and continued making my own all the way through high school and college.”
For Pucky Huddle’s 20th anniversary, nine weeks of special sales were offered, and it turned to be a successful celebration. Kopcho is thankful for her solid customer base, and welcomes others who haven’t been to the store to stop in.
For the upcoming holiday season, Jen and her team said to “stay tuned for the Twelve Days of Christmas offerings.”
Pucky Huddle Delight is open Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.