Arts & Treasures expands to make the city a destination.

When Tom Hart is asked about woodworking, he responds like a man who has always known his calling. “It brings a peace and a tranquility to me, to take a piece of wood and look at it, imagine the possibilities,” he says. “My dad bought me my first woodworking tools for Christmas when I was 8 years old. I guess he saw something in me that I didn’t know existed, but that got me going.”

Tom and his wife Donna own Grafton’s Arts & Treasures, which has been a feature of Main Street for more than six years now. At the time it opened, Tom was managing a farm coop across the border in Maryland. Within six months, he quit to focus on Arts & Treasures full time.

It is hard to tell at first glance just how spacious the store is. Large rooms open into a corridor, which leads to smaller rooms. Each area is filled with carefully arranged crafts, soaps, candles, and woodwork. The country aesthetic is warm and comforting. Tom credits the inviting ambiance to Donna. “She’s got a great knack for the interior design aspect,” he says, looking over at her.

Donna is ringing up customers at the counter of Espresso Yourself, Grafton’s only independently owned coffee shop. Its display case features a rotating selection of cinnamon rolls, homemade bagels, and all manner of breakfast pastries. Arts & Treasures and Espresso Yourself are connected by an inner doorway, and because customers can move freely between them, the Harts hope the businesses will support each other.

photographed by Carla Witt Ford

In a way, this is what they hope to accomplish for the city of Grafton. “Everything we’re doing here between these two businesses is to make the community more of a destination point,” Tom says. “We realize that we have a limited market with the demographics here in Taylor County, so we’re always trying to reach out to a 30-, 50-, 100-mile radius to draw people in.”

40 West Main Street, 304.265.5485, @artsandtreasures on Facebook

J. Kendall Perkinson
Written by J. Kendall Perkinson
J. Kendall Perkinson is a multimedia journalist working in Morgantown. He produces video for 100 Days in Appalachia and writes for WV Living and Morgantown Magazine, but is best known for his true crime podcast Mared & Karen: The WVU Coed Murders. His second Appalachian true crime podcast is currently in production.