A 26-year Bensalem business that has been a part of thousands of customers’ beautiful memories has closed its door.
The Country Bride & Gent, which opened in 1986, had its last day in the Showcase Plaza on Street Road on Nov. 30.
“Actually we’re consolidating,” explained co-owner Trish Burkholder in a recent interview. “We’re doing everything out of our West Point/Lansdale location.
“Our thought on this is that we can take our level of customer service up another notch by being in one location and concentrating on that. In addition, we’re looking to expand that location in 18 months. … It also will free up some time to devote to taking a critical look at the business.”
Burkholder earned a degree in marketing and business, with an emphasis in fashion merchandising, from the University of Dayton. She started her retail career as a buyer of better dresses for Strawbridges. After about two years she moved on to a position as a buyer for Federated Department Stores, which owns several chains including Bloomingdales.
She estimated that she and her staff had provided gowns and tuxes to about 7,000 couples from the Bensalem store.
“It was a real long, tough decision to make (to leave),” added the King of Prussia native.
The West Point store, which opened in 1996, is in a “growing population area,” Burkholder said.
“And as far as demographics we really pull from as far as Limerick, Pottstown and Phoenixville.”
The store in the Lansdale area – at 708 Sumneytown Pike in West Point -- is a free-standing building comprising 4,100 square feet on a 2-acre parcel of land that Trish and her husband, Ed, own.
The Bensalem store employed eight people, three of whom were full-timers. Trish Burkholder said she was trying to accommodate anyone who wanted to stay with the company. Colette Kupinewicz, who was the store manager in Bensalem, will take over that new role in West Point.