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Home, Kitchen & Bath offers more

February is a slow month for retail stores in the area, so John and Patti Bender planned to make use of the down time. The couple closed their store, the Futon and Home Shoppe, at 412 Second St. for the month.

When they reopened this month, they created quite a stir with their customers with a new name, a new look floor to ceiling, and a big expansion in offerings.

Home, Kitchen & Bath's new look makes you want to see everything in the store, and there is a lot to take in.

"We just listened to our customers," said Patti. "The new name tells people exactly what is in the store."

At 2,500 square feet, the store is one of the largest retail shops downtown. The new look offers four different environments. From front to the back, the rooms and the products they display are enhanced by a change of décor, from wood to tile, from hand-painted wallpaper to rich earth tones.

New gourmet foods range from exotic olive oils and teas to favorites from Country Living and The Perfect Pear, a line of organic food items. The area dedicated to food and food preparation includes unique gadgets, quality cookware and cutlery.

The couple sought out skin care items including handmade soaps and bubble baths and distinctive towels for the bath area.

Of course, home décor, the largest area, offers shoppers a vast array of items from wine glasses to furniture.

"We try to bring in unique pieces," said John. "We have a complete line of items made from recycled wine barrels including end tables, stools, coolers and a pot rack."

The shop still offers futons and a wide assortment of fabric for custom valances, boat cushions and window treatments.

"We have a price point for everyone," said John. "We like to focus on our local customers and we like to see our neighbors."

Along with all of the other changes, the couple has changed roles. John, who retired from Marathon Oil, is taking over the store, while Patti, who went back to school to be an esthetician, pursues that career.

You will still be able to find both of them at the store.

"We want people to have a good shopping experience," said Patti.

The couple moved to Hudson from Cottage Grove in 1995. In 1999 they opened the Futon and Home Shoppe in the building at 412 Second St., after a delay due to fire. The new name represents the names of their three grandchildren, Hanna, Kiley and Blake.

Home, Kitchen & Bath will be celebrating a grand reopening April 1-6.

Normal store hours are Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; and closed Monday. A bridal registry will be added in the future. For more information, call (715) 381-5640.