The Middleburgh business community welcomed its newest addition on Tuesday morning, with the grand opening of Lerny's Gift Shop at 110 Railroad Avenue.
Located just off of Main Street in the village, the gift shop features Middleburgh themed apparel ranging from coffee mugs to hats and t-shirts.
Owned and operated by Larry Kossman-Nelson and his husband Ernie, the couple lost everything in the devastation of Hurricane Irene. However, they had been inspired by the community spirit that Middleburgh displayed while rebuilding.
Commenting that he was "thinking one day as how Middleburgh has come so far and I feel it's on the verge of something big," Mr. Kossman-Nelson wondered why there "wasn't a gift shop focusing on Middleburgh itself."
And after months of homework and research, as well as teasing the community on facebook about the shop to come, Larry and Ernie took the plunge on Tuesday morning.
On scene with members of the village board, Mayor Matthew Avitabile said that the village is "very proud of the work that Larry and Ernie did to make this project happen and of the volunteers that helped in rebuilding the store space."
A resident of Middleburgh since 1971, Larry told The Schoharie News that he couldn't imagine being anywhere else. Stating that there is a lot of unspoken pride in Middleburgh, he would later add that he thought "it was a time for me to give that pride a voice."