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Owners retire, close Cabin Fever

Business
By: Gloria Young Journal Staff Writer
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After eight years in Downtown Auburn, Cabin Fever Quilt Shoppe is scheduled to close Sunday. Owners Don and Patti Henderson have decided to retire. “After more than 40 years of working for each of us, we’re just ready to take some time for ourselves,” Patti Henderson said Tuesday. The shop is known for its variety of colorful fabrics, intricate quilts, sewing classes and fun window displays. “It’s been great,” she said. Although she’s stepping down from the shop, Henderson isn’t going to stop working completely. “I’m still going to do pattern design and have a new Web site,” she said. She plans to have the Web site up and running by early summer and will sell her designs online. She also likely will teach classes at other quilt shops. The store had seven employees, most of them part-time. One has already moved on to another job and several others are going to focus on volunteer work, Henderson said. The couple announced the closure plans last October and had hoped to sell the business. But a sale didn’t materialize, she said. The building is owned by Ralph Roper, retired owner of Roper’s Jewelers in Downtown. “They’ll be missed,” said Harvey Roper, Ralph Roper’s son, who now runs the business. “I was thrilled to have them as my neighbors. … I wish them well in their retirement. I’m excited for them.” At this point, there’s no new tenant for the space, which faces Lincoln Way. “We haven’t advertised it because we didn’t want to interfere with (the Hendersons’) plan of operation,” Roper said. “We’re just now thinking about advertising that it is available. We were hoping someone would come in and follow their business plan. They’re just fabulous business people.” As he begins the search, Roper has been getting some input from other business owners. “I’ve been asking (them) what do you think we need? What should we look for? What would be the best business mix in Downtown?” he said. “We’re holding out for retail as that’s the most complementary to the other retail businesses.” The quilt shop generated its share of foot traffic for the street. “She had a lot of out-of-own visitors as well as local regulars — dedicated customers,” Roper said. Gloria Young can be reached at gloriay@goldcountry media.com