Happy Shoppers Return To Area Business

Crunchy Cookies are made with oatmeal, crispy rice cereal and coconut. Chicken, Broccoli and Stuffing Casserole can be made with a rotisserie chicken and four other ingredients. Photo by Beverly Kehe-Rowland

When Nancy Hawley lost her job at the Chautauqua County Airport, where she had worked for many years, she re-opened The Gift Exchange, the business she had run for three years while working seven days per week at the airport. After being shuttered for a year and a half, she brought the shop out of mothballs and made it even better than it had originally been.

“I just love this place,” says Dianne Brooks, who with her friend, Donna Stern, drove from Dunkirk. “I’m so glad she reopened. Everything is different here than any other shop. I come as often as I can. I can’t say enough good about this place.”

“She always makes people happy,” she added when she was given a small give-away gift as she checked out.

The business venture began out of a longtime desire to open a gift shop. She followed her dream since there was a vacant storefront on the bottom level of the building her husband, David Hawley, used for his business, The Coffee Exchange.

When visiting the shop, I found it was not a business strictly dedicated to the sale of novelties as the name implies, although there is some of that too. Three rooms hold something for almost every taste. Vintage furniture, new and repurposed items, farmhouse and salvaged goods are spread throughout the shop.

Nancy Hawley tries to envision the life of the couple, the original owners, from who she purchased the 1950s era dinette set. Past customers rejoiced when she reopened The Gift Exchange after the job she had worked at for many years came to an end. Photo by Beverly Kehe-Rowland

“I always loved antiques and repurposing and loved to make anything into a decoration,” says the business owner. “Now I’m living my interests and hobbies.”

“I have a love of repurposing vintage items. That’s a chicken coop sitting there,” she says as she points to a display under a window.

Mr. Hawley, repurposes, refinishes and builds much of what is displayed in the quaint shop. When his wife needs a shelf or display stand, he is quick to build it, such as the rack that stands just inside the front door. When she requested another “wall” with hanging capabilities, he used wooden pallets to construct a three-sided wall topped with an old set of twin bed springs.

“I like to think of the history of items, like that little set there,” she says as she gestures toward a yellow 1950s dinette set. “It came from a cute, little couple. It’s a one-owner.”

A beautiful 4-piece oak bedroom suite, made at least 80 years ago, is displayed throughout two of the rooms and can be purchased as a set or as individual pieces. A wooden cow stanchion stands in the middle room near a stack of vintage suitcases and two grape carts, which were purchased in Canandaigua.

This interesting piece of furniture is part of a 4-piece oak bedroom suite. Photo by Beverly Kehe-Rowland

“I try to find pieces in the area when possible and try to learn as much history of the items that I purchase, so I can pass it on to the customers.”

She also passes on information about the artists whose works she sells.

“I like to be able to offer everything from nice vintage furniture down to tabletop dÈcor. I look for deals because I like to pass on good deals. I hand-select and hand-pick and don’t buy bulk.”

She likes to bring in some reproductions for those who cannot afford antiques.

“One thing I pride myself on is everything in the store, except the counter, the cash register and the barn door, is for sale,” she says. “It’s a store, not a museum. I put pieces in so other people can enjoy them.”

“You’ve got to go around twice, because you can’t see everything (the first time),” says regular customer Kierstin Salazar. “I don’t think we’ve ever left empty-handed.”

“She runs good sales. You can’t just run in and out,” adds Kierstin’s mother, Christine Barnhart. “Her open house is always fun.”

Mother and daughter each left with a different style shaggy rabbit. The mother also bought a wooden egg.

The Jamestown business now carries salvaged doors and windows, coil bed springs and new and old hardware for DIY shoppers. Various shapes and sizes of metal hooks are, also, offered for hanging all sorts of things in all kinds of places.

“I love this place,” said Linda Joslyn, another regular shopper, as she came through the door, “I had to see what she got new.” Thirty minutes later, she walked out the front door with two lighted canvas prints and some floral stems.

The shop owner provides batteries for lighted canvas pictures and the shop’s best-selling battery-operated candles. Complimentary gift bag wrapping is offered year-round.

Mrs. Hawley tells about leaner days when she was raising her daughters and how she recycled grocery bags, turning them inside-out for wrapping paper and trimmed the packages with yard sale finds of ribbons and bows and how she always saved twine for the same purpose.

“Our gifts were always beautiful,” says Amber Peterson, Mrs. Hawley’s middle daughter.

The entrepreneur has a third daughter, Kelli Hartzell and one granddaughter and a grandson.

Having Mr. Hawley in the same building where he has worked since beginning with The Coffee Exchange 34 years ago and which he took over three and a half years ago, makes it convenient. He manages the business and services and rebuilds the coffee makers and water coolers. The couple’s middle daughter, Shannon McCue, handles accounting, sales and office work and their son-in-law, John Peterson, is the product destination coordinator.

To make life easier and in an effort to downsize, the couple sold their home and have moved into the building that was a boarding house in the late 1800s, in a unique two-level apartment with a loft and fully-functioning, two-story greenhouse.

Mrs. Hawley has an extensive background in the travel industry, having worked in reservations for Delta Airlines in Florida, as a travel agent for five years in North Carolina and for US Airways Express for 12 years and for TSA for another 12 years in Jamestown and in Erie, Pa.

“We traveled extensively throughout my career and now I’m content to sit and play with my grandchildren.”

Mrs. Hawley has submitted several of her favorite recipes, with the first being Delicious Cookies, a treat she remembers her friend’s mother making for them when they were children. After missing the cookie in her teen years, she asked the friend for the recipe. Crunchy Cookies, which are pictured, was a recipe she found after making traditional chocolate chip cookies.

“I was trying to come up with a cookie that was a little bit healthy.”

Chicken, Broccoli and Stuffing Casserole was her mother-in-law’s recipe and Hot Dog and Mixed Sweet Beans was a recipe she created when looking for quick meals she could make when her children were home.

A Spring Open House will be held Saturday, March 2 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. when there will be discounts, giveaways, door prizes and refreshments and a 50 percent off table will be located in The Coffee Exchange warehouse.

The Gift Exchange is located in The Coffee Exchange Building at 701 West Eighth Street, Jamestown. They are open Wednesday through Friday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-2 p.m.. They can be reached at 664-0335.

Delicious Cookies

1 c margarine

1/2 c heavy cream

2 c flour

Combine well in a mixing bowl, margarine, cream and flour. Roll dough on well-floured board. Cut with round cutter or glass. Sprinkle sugar over cut cookies and then prick with a fork. Bake at 400 degrees for 7-9 minutes. Frost.


1/4 c butter

3/4 c powdered sugar

1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla

Mix with beater.

Chicken, Broccoli and Stuffing Casserole

1 chicken, cooked with meat pulled from bone

1 box stuffing mix, prepared

20 oz broccoli

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

Fold all ingredients together. Sprinkle with bread crumbs or crumbled, French-fried onions. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Hot Dog and Mixed Sweet Beans

2 large cans pork and beans

1 can black beans, drained

1 can white beans, drained

1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained

1 lb ground sausage

2 pkgs hot dogs, sliced

1 small sweet onion, chopped

1 c brown sugar

1/2 c barbecue sauce

Brown ground meats with onion. Drain. Set aside. Combine remaining ingredients. Stir in prepared meat. Heat thoroughly on stovetop or baked at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Crunchy Cookies

1 c butter, room temperature

1 c brown sugar

1 c sugar

2 eggs, well beaten

1 tsp vanilla

2 c flour

1 tsp soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

¢ tsp salt

2 c quick-cooking oats

2 c crispy rice cereal

1 c shredded coconut

Cream butter and sugars in a large bowl. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Stir in flour, soda, baking powder and salt, combining well. Stir in oats, cereal and coconut. Roll in walnut-size balls and place on greased cookie sheet. Flatten each ball with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-7 minutes.

French Apple Pie

1 9-inch pie shell

6 large apples, peeled and sliced

1/2 c sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 c butter, room temperature

1/2 c brown sugar

Stir together apples, cinnamon and sugar. Pour into shell. Cream together butter and brown sugar. Cut flour into butter mixture, until it is crumbly. Sprinkle over apples. Bake 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 30 minutes longer.

Broccoli-Cauliflower-Corn Chowder

2-14.5 oz cans clear chicken broth

10 oz frozen broccoli

10 oz frozen cauliflower

4-6 slices bacon, 1-inch pieces

1 small sweet onion, chopped

4-6 T butter

1/4 – 1/2 c flour

Salt and pepper to taste

About 2 c milk

1 can cream-style corn

Place broth and frozen vegetables in very large kettle. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer approximately 10-12 minutes. In large skillet over medium heat, fry bacon until almost crisp. Add onion and saute until soft. Stir in butter and after it is melted, gradually stir in flour, salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes. Add milk and cook until thickened.