By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian
Fancy Nancy’s Gift Shop wants to help bring people to Mannington for great experiences.
The business, owned by Nancy Suter, began operating at 122 Market St. in October 2013, officially opening its doors on the Saturday of Mannington’s Octoberfest. Nancy’s husband, Ralph Suter, is also involved in the store, which shares a building with a new nTelos business. The employees of nTelos help run Fancy Nancy’s Gift Shop.
Customers can find a lot of primitive decorations, scarves, and Snoozies socks and slippers at the shop. It also offers a variety of beeswax products, which are known to be very healthy, from lipsticks and handcreams to soaps and shampoos.
In addition, the store carries some unique items featuring the business’ name, like Fancy Nancy’s peanuts, from a company out of North Carolina, and Fancy Nancy dolls and books, which Nancy was introduced to by her granddaughters.
Nancy and Ralph have been part of the business community in Mannington for several years. They want to play a part in attracting people to Mannington for dining and shopping, which led to the opening of the gift shop.
“We love Mannington,” Nancy said. “We would love to see Mannington become a destination place.”
The couple owns Hero’s Corner Cafe and Pizzeria, which has been in business for seven years and is located next door to Fancy Nancy’s Gift Shop.
Ralph said they hadn’t actually thought much about going into the restaurant business at the time, but they saw the empty space on Market Street and were offered a deal that they couldn’t pass up. They started the restaurant to bring business back into town and to help employees make a living.
Their son, Ralph Suter Jr., served the country in Iraq and died at home on July 23, 2007, after suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. His parents named their restaurant Hero’s to show support for him and for all veterans.
“We just really believe in the veterans,” Nancy said.
The restaurant, which employs about 10 people, is a place where everyone knows each other, Nancy said.
The menu includes pizza, hamburgers, sandwiches, soups, wings, French fries and more. People can also take advantage of the daily specials and get homemade pastries as well as desserts. In the future, Hero’s will add funnel cake fries and sweet potato fries.
The restaurant does a lot of catering, especially to the mines and for weddings, class reunions and other events.
In addition, Ralph Sr. and Nancy remodeled a building at the end of the block and opened Veterans Corner there three or four years ago. The space is available to rent for banquets, birthdays and receptions. Several groups, like the Vietnam Veterans, Relay for Life, Over the Hill Kruzers, and the couple’s nonprofit organization, Gone But Not Forgotten Heroes, also meet at the facility.
Gone But Not Forgotten Heroes, established five years ago, takes a mobile concession stand to different events in the area and sells T-shirts to raise money. The group, which has officers and a website, gonebutnotforgottenheroes.org, is trying to get funding to provide counselors to veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
Nancy said Ralph’s work, as a gas company inspector, allows them to operate the organization and do activities in the community.
The Suters are also thinking about other business plans for the future. They want to do whatever they can to get businesses in Mannington.
Nancy explained that people all over Marion County knew her dad, the late “Punk” Masters, who was a fair, honest businessman and was very active in the community. Masters, who passed away nearly six years ago, started Pop Warner football in Mannington and the city’s Fourth of July celebration.
Fancy Nancy’s Gift Shop is open 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, noon to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information, find Fancy Nancy’s or Hero’s Corner on Facebook.
Email Jessica Borders at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.