The familiar 'ding' of the bell as you open the front door.
The invitation to a comforting cozy cup of tea.
Those charming cabinet drawers that pique your curiosity.
There's no mystery as to why what you meant as a 10-minute visit transforms into a 30-minute adventure each and every time you shop.
Helen Winnemore's elicits a desire to discover, and quite frankly it's a magical place.
Next year, the gem nestled at the nook of Mohawk and Kossuth turns 80.
The savvy woman that's been at the helm for the past 20 years -- Sarah Kellenberger Harpham -- celebrates her anniversary this month.
Sarah is one of the most unassuming, forward-thinking and collaborative individuals I've ever met. Her selfless drive to improve this community for others is evident almost immediately.
Recently, she dropped off a collection of binders, newspaper clippings, organizational charts and how-to instructions regarding preparation for the annual Village Lights event. The year on the binder was 2005.
Sarah was one of the originators of Village Lights and checks in with me yearly on ways to improve the event experience. You'll see those results in just a couple weeks because she's collaborated with neighbor Old Mohawk for a very festive surprise at Mohawk and Kossuth.
For 12 years, she has been helping create the Dickensian environment we've all come to love on the first Sunday of December.
Sarah volunteered on the Marketing Committee within the German Village Business Community through 2015 as the group redesigned the tourist map. She worked with other business owners to carefully integrate neighborhood history and education so as not to forget that all neighbors are "caretakers of a legacy."
Along with her General Manager Mark Ponchak, both worked through multiple skull sessions with the German Village Society to strengthen digital communications to the neighborhood.
In fact, it was their strategic feedback of our mobile communications platforms, coupled with financial support, that laid the foundation of the mobile-responsive website launch in April 2016.
She encourages her staff to have pride in place by attending meetings, volunteering for Village events and even taking our guided tours to brush up on the community's history.
You'll see her making sure Haus und Garten Tour guests are hydrated with fresh lemonade from her street corner on that last Sunday in June.
She would never boast of these tireless efforts, and I'm sure I'm going to get a call for embarrassing her with these words today. But I wanted to commend her and her staff for always putting community first, and letting those actions steer Helen Winnemore's success.
Sarah became proprietor on Nov. 17, 1997 which means this Friday will be her 20th anniversary of owning the shop.
I encourage you to visit her shop this weekend, reintroduce yourself and see for yourself a neighbor first, then a business owner.
Sarah, congratulations on the success it takes to reach this milestone and thank you so much for being a pillar of leadership and guidance in German Village.
German Village Society Manager of Donor Development & Marketing Mark Weiss submitted the Village Notebook column .