f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

Country Spanish Shop

Posted Wednesday, December 14, 2016, at 12:00 AM

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Mrs. Kergious Crites poses for a photo in the Country Spanish Shop in 1976.

Dec. 1, 1976 Southeast Missourian

People: Mrs. Kergious Crites

By Mary L. Spell

A woman used to making things with her hands simply scrubbed a barn with her hands until it shone.

Mrs. Kergious (Mary) Crites, with the help of her husband, began making handmade items in her home several years ago to fill up her spare time. Now, she has to escape to her home to find any time at all.

Her once-in-a-while hobby has turned into a full-time business that keeps four employes busy.

Mrs. Crites has renovated their barn, keeping the pastoral setting intact.

"We don't want our shop ever looking like a shop. We want it to look like just what it is, a country barn," she said.

The Country Spanish Shop located on Highway 61 between Cape Girardeau and Jackson does have the spaciousness and graciousness only a barn with scrubbed beams and real wooden planks can have.

"I scrubbed the beams with Sno-boal, bleach and wire brushes for the smooth, fresh look," Mrs. Crites said. "I wondered sometimes if it was going to be worth it, but now I'm sure it was."

The shop was opened for business the day after Thanksgiving and is full of many of the handmade crafts that Mrs. Crites has long been known for, as well as many items she and her husband shopped for in Mexico.

Some of the employes of the shop contribute to the craft items for sale. The walls of the refurbished barn are lined with the ideas made into gift articles that have come from sales, flea markets and general searching areas, Mrs. Crites said.

"There is no flourescent lighting in the building. I didn't want to spoil the effect of the beautiful stained glass windows in the door," Mrs. Crites said proudly, as the soft glow of the afternoon winter sun filtered through the windows.

"In the near future, we intend to finish the corn crib and hayloft to house some new crafts we have in mind to make," Mrs. Crites said. "I don't like to stop a project until it is completely finished."

The shop smells of warm, soft fragrances put off by the woodburning fireplace. The fireplace is in the center at the back of the shop where a chair is placed for people to sit and enjoy the warmth.

A basket of ruddy apples is set at the door for customers to munch on while browsing or to enjoy on their way out.

The Country Spanish Shop closed in 2002.


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