Active Lindenwald business owner to sell multiple properties

HAMILTON — Debbie Doerflein calls Lindenwald home for more than one reason.

It’s where she grew up. It’s where she’s done business for nearly three decades. And it’s been a place that brought her closer to her purpose in life.

“I’ve bonded with people in ways that I never thought was possible,” said Doerflein, owner of Heaven Sent Banquet Hall and Wedding Chapel, as well as Heaven Sent Coffee Shop and bookstore located on Pleasant Avenue along the business district of Lindenwald.

“It brought me closer to my husband, many people and God,” added Doerflein, 69, who plans to retire after she sells the buildings she does business in. “My purpose in doing what I do has never been for anything monetary.

“Serving the people of Lindenwald and the kids has powered me through life. I’m extremely grateful for that.”

Doerflein said being a business owner right now has been tough on her. It’s been tough since the recent passing of her husband, Dave — who was a flooring installer at Buddy’s Carpet and helped with numerous fix-it-up projects for her businesses.

“I think there was a part of me that told me that I had to give it up,” Doerflein said. “Dave was my world. I absolutely love Lindenwald, but some air got knocked out of me and I felt it was time for me to sell the properties.

“The timing is right.”

As the new year is closing in, Doerflein said she plans on scaling down operations, limiting Heaven Sent Coffee Shop’s menu and donating a lot of her bookstore items to Landmark Church in Glendale.

That’s until she sells the five property locations she owns.

“I’m going to sell my buildings and donate the bookstore to the church so it can support the missions (at Landmark),” Doerflein said. “I will eventually work down there on Sundays and cook some for them at their mission called Unbound.

“I’m basically going to get the buildings sold so that I don’t have to worry about all the financial things that go with all of this.”

Doerflein said her connection with Lindenwald at a young age was the primary reason she started her businesses there.

“I grew up here,” she said. “I think about my memories here with my dad. He died when I was 15. He worked as a meatcutter at Morgan’s — but the last thing people remember it as is Jim’s Corner Market.

“I moved away for a little bit to Cincinnati, but later, God told me to go back to Lindenwald and be a light,” added Doerflein, who now resides in Fairfield.

This past May was Doerflein’s 28th year of doing business in Lindenwald.

“I felt like because of my time spent in Lindenwald as a kid, this is where I needed to be — this is where I could make a difference,” Doerflein said.

Doerflein recalled when she started working in the area and said it wasn’t like it is now in terms of promoting businesses and marketing.

“There was no internet or anything like that,” Doerflein said. “You’d have to tie a balloon outside on a sign and hope it worked. So that’s what I did. I sat around and bought stuff for myself the first year I started doing business here in order to grow it.”

What also grew was Doerflein’s relationship with Lindenwald’s youth and the ability to provide what she could for them.

“I was drawn to the kids,” Doerflein said. “I saw that they needed what I felt was a missing love. That’s why we started annual kids and Christmas events.”

Doerflein said it’s bittersweet in a sense that this Saturday will be the last “Joy to the Wald” Christmas event she will be running in Lindenwald. Doerflein has put together the event for over 20 years. Joy to the Wald is in conjunction with another Christmas event in Lindenwald on that same day, Winter in the Wald at Pleasant Treasures.

“We’ve got to do things different this year so we decided not to wrap the presents for the kids because I want them to pick out stuff that they wanted,” Doerflein said. “It’s not expensive items, but I want them to go home with something that they want.”

Doerflein said while this is the last time she will be conducting the Christmas event, a lot of the same fun things will be available for kids of all ages to take part in.

Joy to the Wald will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday at the Heaven Sent’s courtyard located at 2221 Pleasant Avenue. There will be pictures with Santa, a gift for every child, a DJ and Christmas music, a dance off, guitarist, bike raffle, pet parade and cookies and hot chocolate.

“I just want the neighborhood to continue to be loved,” Doerflein said. “I want it to be loved and continue to be appreciated because it should be.

“With the development and things happening at the Shuler Benninghofen building, I’ll feel like I’m not leaving something behind or broken,” Doerflein added. “I’ll feel like I’m leaving something that is being developed and transformed.

“With the time I’ve spent here, I know that this area deserves it.”

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