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New store dedicated to horse and equestrian apparel opens in Butler County

The Pudgy Pony Equine Thrift Store, 1372 Central Ave., Middletown, buys and sells gently used tack and equestrian apparel and show clothing. It was opened in late October by Emily Nelson and her father, Sam Nelson, both of Middletown. CONTRIBUTED
The Pudgy Pony Equine Thrift Store, 1372 Central Ave., Middletown, buys and sells gently used tack and equestrian apparel and show clothing. It was opened in late October by Emily Nelson and her father, Sam Nelson, both of Middletown. CONTRIBUTED

A store that buys and sells gently used tack and equestrian apparel and show clothing recently opened in Middletown.

The Pudgy Pony Equine Thrift Store, at 1372 Central Ave. in Middletown, is owned by Emily Nelson and her father, Sam Nelson, both of Middletown.

“I sold second-hand as a hobby, actually, having a store in my garage,” she said. “I’ve been teaching riding lessons to kids for over 10 years now and so I was constantly looking for clothing for my students being that they were first time showing, and horses can be very expensive, I really tried to help out their parents as much as possible.

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“From there it grew and grew and people started contacting me to buy all their stuff whether they were getting out of horses or their kids have outgrown all of their show clothing.”

As the venture that started as a part-time hobby became increasingly successful, Nelson decided to take the plunge into small business ownership.

“I chose downtown Middletown not only because I live in Middletown — it’s very convenient for me — but this area is really starting to grow and I like the vibe and eclectic scene that Central Avenue is building,” she said.

Nelson said she is the only employee at the store, but another employee or two could eventually be hired.

“Being that this is a new business, who knows what could happen,” she said. “I’ve been getting a lot of great response from my fellow equestrian community and people in the area so I’m very hopeful for the success the store will bring.”

The Pudgy Pony Equine Thrift Store’s hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

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Chicken Salad Chick

The newest franchise of the nation’s only Southern-inspired, fast-casual chicken salad restaurant recently opened at 6209 Snider Road in Mason.

Chicken Salad Chick’s menu features more than a dozen kinds of chicken salads along with pimento cheese or egg salad, served by the scoop, in bread, with toast or with a croissant. There’s also a selection of side dishes, soups and desserts.

Chicken Salad Chick started in Alabama in 2008.

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Eagle Merchant Partners purchased a majority stake in Chicken Salad Chick in 2015. The company has 130 restaurants in 13 states.

Opening the Mason location are first-time Chicken Salad Chick franchisees Beth and Mike Heydt of Ready to Serve LLC.

The local debut follows the brand’s June debut in Ohio in Westerville, near Columbus. Those two restaurants kick off a string of Chicken Salad Chick development in the state. Other locations are planned in Oakley and Anderson Twp.