By THOMAS SACCENTE – STAFF WRITER
Despite its small size, Danville is home to a wide variety of stores for its residents to patronize.
Though some take the form of fast food restaurants, one only has to take a walk down West Main Street and the surrounding blocks in order to see the economic diversity that the town has to offer.
Among these businesses is the family-owned “Muddy Creek” on West Walnut Street stands alone.
Though it looks quaint on the outside, with its white painted exterior and showcase windows, Muddy Creek is not a typical small town store. It is home to an eclectic, yet admittedly impressive, collection of merchandise the likes of which simultaneously confound and please normal expectations.
The store is run by Leo Sinkhorn and his wife, Kathleen, two Kentucky natives who had dreams of setting up shop in Danville for quite a while.
“We wanted to set up shop in Danville because it has a life of its own that you really can’t find outside of here,” Leo Sinkhorn said. “We chose to take over this particular store because it’s close to Centre and we really want to show the Centre community what we have to offer. It also had all of these primitives and instruments and we felt that all of these things could be sold alongside our main interest, which is pottery.”
Setting foot into the store for the first time is in itself of an intriguing experience, as all of the walls and shelves are lined with hundreds of items that one would not normally think to put together.
However, this is a store that not only pulls it off, but does so with a nice home-baked charm that is sure to win anybody over.
Scented candles, fake plants, tea pots, wooden signs with good old fashioned southern wisdom painted on the front; all of these things and so much more are visible from the moment you walk in.
However, nothing ever feels forced or out of place. Everything seems to fit in perfectly with their surroundings.
The store also takes pride in its massive collection of musical instruments for anybody with an interest in music to partake.
Near the entrance of the store is a small room that is home to a vast collection of instruments that is just as large and exuberant as any other part of the store.
They’ve got everything from the standard stringed instruments like guitars and banjos to more varied instruments such as drums, keyboards, and a wide collection of horns.
The walls of this room are also lined with a large collection of amplifiers and effects pedals so that anybody who is interested can get the most out of their instruments.
Muddy Creek itself has actually been in Danville for about two years, but it has only been since the November of last year that the Sinkhorns have been running things since they purchased the business from the previous owners.
So far, they have had great success here, taking over the shop and adding their own special touch to it.
The most prominent aspect about Muddy Creek is its paint your own pottery service, a feature in which customers are invited to paint any piece of pottery that they so choose.
The paint your own pottery section is the heart and soul of Muddy Creek and gives it a distinct identity quite unlike any other store in Danville.
“My wife and I always found painting pottery to be a really good way to relieve stress. We provide all the ceramics, paints, glazing, firing, and printing for any logo you want, so when exam time comes around, just come by here and paint your problems away,” Sinkhorn said.
It is located in a room in the back of the store where there are both tables and shelves of pure white ceramics just waiting to be painted by eager customers.
They come in all shapes and sizes, all serving different purposes and providing blank slates for people to come in and project whatever they want on them.
Muddy Creek provides all of the necessary firing, glazing, and supplies to make their customers’ respective visions come to life.
All the customer has to do is find a piece that suits them and start painting. In addition, the Sinkhorns also host events for sororities and fraternities and provide lessons in pottery-making.
However, above all things else, the key philosophy behind this initiative is to provide customers with the opportunity to relieve stress with the only limitations being those of the imagination.
Muddy Creek is a store that is unique in both its design and what it has to offer. Should the stress of Centre College get you down, feel free to walk down the street to pick out a cool stuffed crow, play a bit on the banjos, or paint a wide variety of ceramics tableware and statuettes to your heart’s content.
The staff is quite friendly and is willing to accommodate whatever needs you may have.
For more information about the stores and their services, please visit the Muddy Creek website: www.muddycreekprims.com.