New Niles business opening pushed due to pandemic

NILES — The original plan for Crest Sales was to have its doors open to the public by now.

However, with COVID-19 mandates coming down from the state in late March, Crest Sales owners Angie and Bobby Tinkham have had to delay its grand opening.

“We were supposed to open two or three weeks ago, a week after spring break,” said co-owner Angie Tinkham. “It’s very disappointing.”

Crest Sales, located at 2634 Detroit Road, aims to furnish patios and outdoor living spaces with Amish-made furniture. Stocking Hoosier Poly Products, American Steel Carports and décor from Uniquely Crafted Sign Co. and Reese Walter Creations, the Tinkhams wanted to bring local and regional businesses into the shop they created.

The Tinkhams traveled to Indiana Amish country to find patio furniture and Adirondack chairs for their store.

“We spent several days, hours and weeks out in the Shipshewana/Ligonier area,” Angie said.

The couple found Hoosier Poly, met the owner and knew it was the right fit for them.

“He’s great, the quality is great,” she said as Bobby agreed.

American Steel Carports is also a regional company, originating in Mount Summit, Indiana.

With an appreciation for the summers and lake living in Michigan, outdoor furniture just made sense to the Tinkhams. They feel their location is great for those on the way to the lakes.

“We decided on poly furniture because we’re surrounded by all of these lakes,” Angie said. “We only get a few months out of the year to enjoy this stuff. We’re on a main highway that kind of intersects with the big Lake Michigan and all of the surrounding lakes.”

The Tinkhams, navigating a pandemic as they work to open their business’ doors, have changed their focus. Crest Sales will likely host a soft-opening when retail businesses have fewer restrictions.

As mandates change from week to week, the Tinkhams are still waiting to have American Steel Carports install its samples. The couple has stock of Hoosier Poly Products, and artwork already in shop.

“The inventory is there. It’s ready to go,” Angie said.

She said that Hoosier Poly Products, because they are locally made in Ligonier, are also customizable. Those looking to purchase different styles will have many options of colors and finishes, and chairs that can rock, swivel or slide. Custom orders will likely take two to three weeks to complete.

“We’ve had several people inquire,” Angie said.

To start meeting demand, Angie said the business may take clients by appointment-only when it is able.

“It’s just a crazy time to be trying to have a grand opening for first-time business owners,” she said.

The Tinkhams are eager to open their business in time for residents to enjoy the warmer weather.

“We are hopeful that we can get the doors open soon,” Angie said.

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