After more than seven years of operating an alpaca farm and farm store, Serenity Now Alpaca Farm will be even closer to its customers with the opening of its store on Barclay Avenue in Pine River.

Esther and Dave Endicott have been in the alpaca business ever since Esther attended a sheep and wool festival unsupervised - or that's how she says Dave describes it. They and their 11 alpacas have since become an attraction on their farm east of Jenkins during Read-o-Rama events and open houses.

Earlier this year they thought it was time to mix things up.

“It's kind of evolved,” Esther said. “We wanted the community to be involved in our business coming to see alpacas. That's kind of how we started.”

At first Esther was just looking to find a place to process her alpaca fiber, but that plan quickly changed when they found the former Stone Woman Herbal building was for rent in downtown Pine River.

“Originally we were thinking a fiber mill,” Esther said. “Fiber mills are noisy and we didn't want to go downtown. Dave saw this as a good business opportunity to open a store. We were going to bring alpaca stuff here and decided to add yarn to the existing farm store we had with alpaca products. It kind of evolved over the few months. I'm excited to get it started.”

The Serenity Now Yarn and Alpaca Shop will have many wholesale products made from alpaca and sheep wool, B&B Goat Goods soaps and a plethora of other items as well as Esther's handmade goods.

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“I will offer classes like knitting and crocheting,” Esther said. “I will bring one of my looms in here so people have the opportunity to weave a rug. We'll have a sitting area where people can come in. We'll have knitting nights and crafting nights for people to be part of the crafter's community.”

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“Besides all the different alpaca yarn and sheep's wool yarn, we'll also have some local spinners, people that process their own yarn,” Esther said. “There will be angora goat yarn and Cornell sheep yarn and alpaca (fibers) roving in the store. Hats, mittens, scarves and I also weave, so we have homemade rag rugs and bags made with rugs.”

The store will offer places for crafting groups to gather as well. And Esther plans to bring in educational opportunities for those interested.

“I will offer classes like knitting and crocheting,” Esther said. “I will bring one of my looms in here so people have the opportunity to weave a rug. We'll have a sitting area where people can come in. We'll have knitting nights and crafting nights for people to be part of the crafter's community.”

The new store offers convenience that wasn't present at the Endicotts' farm.

“(I'm excited about) the opportunity to have the community come in. It's a little easier for them to come in here than to have them come to the farm for classes or to learn to do some fiber projects,” Esther said.

The store will open with a bang. Saturday, Aug. 31, is the beginning of the three-day grand opening event that will last through Monday, Sept. 2. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday.

The grand opening will feature alpaca cookies, coffee, lemonade, door prizes and demonstrations. Of course, all the store's knitting and crocheting supplies will be available along with hats, mittens, socks, rugs and many other items.

“We have talked about bringing in an alpaca if we can get it OK'd by the city for one of the days at least,” Esther said. “We're excited to be part of the Pine River community and we want to welcome everyone in.”