Is there anything better than ice cream on a hot summer day? Or anything better than a towering sundae in the dead of winter? I don’t know about you, but we are die hard ice cream fans in my family. And there’s one frozen yogurt shop downtown Centralia that makes having a frozen treat pretty much the best idea for any day that ends with “y.” Step inside Holley’s Place.
Holley and Jamie Kaiser opened Holley’s Place in November 2011, and they credit Scott White for bringing their attention to the retail space on the corner from the Centralia Fox Theatre. Holley shares, “Scott White approached us about six years ago and asked if we would be interested in putting a business in the corner spot.” And for the past five years they have been serving up cool treats and smiles to hungry customers.
Holley says, “I was a stay at home mom. I didn’t know anything about soft serve machines. I didn’t have a lick of savings to start a new business.” For Holley, whose background is in hair styling, embarking on this business was a whole new adventure for her.
But that didn’t hold Holley back from opening her business. Holley shares that the summer before opening the doors to Holley’s place she knew that it was going to cost money and soft serve machines were not cheap. Holley had to get creative to raise the funds because she did not want to owe money on the machines if the business didn’t end up working out. She says, “I needed something I could do to make money, so I had 14 garage sales and saved my money to buy the yogurt machines.”
While renovating the space in preparation for opening their doors, Holley and Jamie wanted to keep the design of the space in sync with the historical era of the Centralia Fox Theatre. “My favorite color is red – that’s why we did all the red. And we wanted to stay with the 1930’s theme because that is when this building was built,” Holley explains.
Holley and Jamie are no strangers to remodeling. Holley shares in 2006 they won an award for best remodel in Lewis County and for Holley’s Place, Jamie took her idea and brought it to life. “Together we make a great team. I rely on Jamie to build. He has such an amazing designing eye,” Holly shares. With a smile and a laugh, she adds, “My husband gets all the credit for how it looks. We work together – I tell him my ideas and he designs them.”
Holley and Jamie had to be very mindful while designing their retail space as it only boasts about 235 square feet of area. Holley credits the creative talents of her husband for making the most out of the space while keeping a stunning interior design. She also says, “We have to keep things very neat and organized.”
Holley’s Place is open seven days a week serving frozen yogurt along with all the toppings of your heart’s desire. The frozen yogurt shop is also open for concessions during shows at the Centralia Fox Theatre. Holley says, “I call that the salty side. The frozen yogurt is the sweet side.” Both Holley and Jamie are devoted to the restoration of the Fox Theatre.
Holley credits the success of her small business to a supportive community. She says, “Our first year we had people coming in all the time because they wanted to see us make it. And that’s amazing to feel wanted like that because you wonder if your idea is going to make it. We knew this area needed some place family oriented and hands on.”
And anybody who has been to Holley’s Place knows kids are the life of the party and welcomed with open arms. Holley shares, “The kids are the best part of this. Watching them come in and make a treat for themselves is awesome. They’re so delighted to be hands on.”
Holley explains that through her five years of serving fro-yo she has made many friendships. And one of the best parts is when she gets hugs from her tiniest fans. “I just love when the kids come in and give me a hug,” she shares.
Holley’s Place is a genuine mom and pop frozen yogurt shop. And now that her kids are getting older she has been able to employ them at Holley’s Place as well. “Our kids work here when they need hours,” she explains, “and we have amazing employees. I just took a vacation and I didn’t worry because I have them and I can trust them with my baby.”
Holley’s Place is open seven days a week, year round, serving up Lewis County’s best soft serve with a smile. “It’s starting to feel like we are a permanent fixture in downtown Centralia. We’re small and yet mighty with love for people.”
119 S Tower Ave, Centralia
Monday through Saturday 12:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.
Sunday 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.