Custom Creation

Old Shophouse Repurposed

Osborn begins renovations at former grocery store

A Crawfordsville man looking to renovate the old F.H. Groceries general store discovered an original sign dating back to the building’s original construction, advertising “Vitamelk” and sliced bread. The new owner, Jeff Osborn, plans to open his own woodworking business in the dilapidated building this fall following a complete overhaul.
A Crawfordsville man looking to renovate the old F.H. Groceries general store discovered an original sign dating back to the building’s original construction, advertising “Vitamelk” and sliced bread. The new owner, Jeff Osborn, plans to open his own woodworking business in the dilapidated building this fall following a complete overhaul.
Nick Wilson/Journal Review
Posted

A familiar but aging business front across the way from Dari-Licious is set for total overhaul.

The building at 1101 E. Main St. was recently purchased by Jeff Osborn. He is in the beginning phases of a renovation process which promises to provide him a dwelling, and a shop through which he plans to sell custom creations in woodworking — Jeff Osborn Custom Woodworking.

Another goal of Osborn’s is to revitalize an area of town which has needed attention, calling his building an “eyesore” he hopes to turn into something with class, he said.

“It’s kind of a mess in there right there,” Osborn said Monday. “I’ve got a ton of work to do with this place.”

The dilapidated building, built sometime in the early 20th Century, took the form of a grocery, a bicycle repair shop and even an electrician’s business over the decades. Osborn, who works in construction, discovered some artwork containing an advertisement for “Vitamelk” feed product and sliced bread for 10 cents a loaf on the east side of the building during the renovation process.

Osborn suspects there may be more to uncover as he replaces crumbling siding on the building’s exterior this week.

“I put it on Facebook to see if anyone remembered that sign out there,” he said. “Just did it yesterday. No responses yet. But you can see the paint from more signs sticking out from under the siding.”

Osborn said he even makes his own business cards out of wood, which he hopes to be distributing this fall when his plans for the building are complete.

But it will take a lot of work in his spare time over the hot summer months ahead.

“It was about this deep when I first come in here with all sorts of stuff,” Osborn said, holding his hand at chest level when opening the front door. “I rented a 40-foot dumpster and it was overflowing by the time I was done with it. I’m going to put me an apartment in the back. I’ll have my workshop and then I’m going to see from the store up front.”

Osborn creates toys, model trains and cars, jewelry boxes, curio cabinets, signage, furniture and more for his customers.

To learn more about Jeff Osborn Custom Woodworking and to follow along with his progress this summer, check him out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/osborncustomwoodworking.

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