A soft opening will be held Saturday for two businesses that have teamed up to bring something new and different to local New Bern shoppers.
Local business owner Jenna Gifford expanded Jenna’s Just-In Boutique & More, making the business 6,000 square feet to better serve her customers.
As well as expanding its offerings, the store will now include ‘bites on a board’, a restaurant within the business, providing customers with a one-stop shopping and dining experience. It is the only business in the county not called a Harris Teeter that offers this unique experience for shoppers.
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Starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, the first 50 customers will receive a free gift bag and everyone can enter a raffle to give away $350 from each business. A larger grand opening celebration is planned for October.
“We’re really trying to make this a one-stop shop in upstate New Bern,” Gifford said. “We wanted to do something different for New Bern that would accommodate every single person in the family.”
The boutique opened at 2027 S. Glenburnie Road in February. It was previously located in Jan’s Hallmark store located in the same shopping center. The store specializes in Pandora merchandise such as necklaces, bracelets and charms. They also offer clothing and accessories of famous brands such as Bogg Bags, Teleties, Couture Tee, Oventure, Girlie Girl Originals, Sassyfrass tees, Candy Club, Cloister Honey, Holiball, other fashion jewelry and clothing, gifts, home decor and more.
With the expansion, the store will now have a men’s department with clothing, grooming and gifts, a children’s and baby department, a local section offering gifts branded with local New Bern neighborhoods, a pet section with organic pet treats, pet toys, pet gifts and fun accessories and an apparel/beverage department with a variety of styles.
Cards and gift wrap will also be available. Additionally, they will partner with White Farms in Vanceboro to offer homemade jams and jarred items.
The store is significantly expanding its clothing to include sizes from very small to 3XL and is adding more fashion accessories and jewelry. There will be a wedding section with traditional gifts for the bride and groom, bridal party, bachelorette and bachelorette party gifts, and a candy bar with gourmet chocolates and sweets.
As an added bonus, “bites on a board” will also be nestled in the shop. Owned by Stacy Rhinehart and Colleen Iacch, the restaurant offers extras like charcuterie boards, a variety of gourmet cheeses, meats, seasonal fruits and vegetables, nuts and crackers. They plan to sell beer, prosecco and wine.
They will offer made-to-order menu items such as Mediterranean brunches and boards, as well as other food specials that can be found on their website. Expect daily specials of small bites, salads, street tacos, wine pairings and small sandwiches coming soon.
The establishment will also teach “how to sausage classes” and provide accommodation for groups who would like to hold meetings, adult birthday parties, baby showers and special classes at the venue. Both Jenna’s Just-In & bites on a board will also be able to come together to host private events and shopping excursions. There is an indoor seating area with a capacity of 30 people, as well as an outdoor seating area with 12 seats.
“We’ve been working hard on our build and are very excited to work with Jenna on her expanded boutique,” said Iak. “We’ve had a great response from many of our customers on both sides, from the restaurant and Jenna’s Just-In-Boutique. We are particularly pleased to be the first store-within-a-store in Craven County.”
An idea that is new to New Bern
The owners said the idea for their business was born in response to COVID-19. Both owners moved to New Bern from larger cities and missed the variety of restaurants offered up north.
“We were friends and we talked about what we could do,” Iacch said. “We wanted to bring something new and different to New Bern,” Rinehart added. “We knew this was a difficult time for everyone and we decided we could make the boards and leave them or customers could pick them up and we could still have that social distancing.”
Business is growing through word of mouth and through their social media like Instagram and Facebook. Then in March 2021, they launched their website, bitesonaboard.net.
“Personally, retail therapy is one of my favorite things to do,” Gifford said. “The fact that we can retail therapy and drink a cocktail at the same time is going to be a cool thing in New Bern. We really don’t have many places that can accommodate the whole family in upper New Bern now. Everyone can come in and hang out, listen to music, shop and eat in one place.”
Jenna’s Just-In Boutique will expand its hours to include Sundays. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information about the boutique, call 252-631-2636 or visit them online at jennabu.com.
The restaurant will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information about the restaurant, call 252-631-2195 or visit bitesonaboard.net.