SUBMITTED PHOTO Breann Gibson, The Freckled Homestead owner, with a sprinkled loaf of sourdough bread.SUBMITTED PHOTO  Becky Kersey, HopeBerry Beads owner, sells beaded keychains and accessories.

Last week to visit Spring Southside Mercantile


Sensibly Chic has been hosting their Spring Southside Mercantile since March 14, and they will be closing for the season on May 11. Over a dozen crafters, artists and boutiques have been featured this season.

The mercantile is open Thursdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Becky Kersey, owner of HopeBerry Beads, started making beaded keychains, bracelets, bookmarks and accessories two years ago after a friend encouraged her to start her own small business. 

Making beaded accessories started as a 10-minute leisure craft for Kersey, but she now tries to sell at stores and craft shows every month. Her products are completely customizable and made with silicone beads, as she said this material is easiest to work with and most comfortable to the touch.

“It’s kind of nice if you’re sitting around with a little bit of anxiety, you can play with them,” Kersey said. “A lot of the silicone is a soft material and easy to get a hold of, and maybe a little safer [than wood].”

Kersey said selling at places like Sensibly Chic has helped make her name and business more known. Custom pieces are available by contacting HopeBerry Beads on Facebook.

On Saturday mornings, Breann Gibson, The Freckled Homestead owner, delivers 25 loaves of fresh sourdough bread to sell at the mercantile.

To prepare for the weekend deliveries, Gibson starts preparing the dough on Thursday in her home kitchen in Scranton. The dough then ferments overnight and is ready to shape on Friday morning. When the dough is baked after shaping, it is able to cool enough to be ready for Saturday morning. Overall, the 25 loaves require about six hours of baking time.

Working from her home kitchen has proven to be beneficial, as Gibson said it creates “flexibility and freedom” to bake whenever she is able to, as she also balances a full-time job.

“During COVID, and you couldn’t find bread in the stores, that’s what kind of drove me toward being more self-sufficient, just because you never know when it can be pulled out from under you,” Gibson said.

Gibson’s has been making sourdough for her family for two years, but did not start selling until last October. She said when her kids were continuously asking where fruits and vegetables came from, they started a garden and sold the produce. After the success of selling produce, they added in the bread.

“I was like, ‘I wonder if anyone would be interested [in sourdough]?’ So we posted it once and that has kind of taken over everything,” Gibson said.

The Freckled Homestead’s top flavors are jalepeño cheddar, Italian herbs and cheese and strawberry mimosa. They also take custom orders, and they can be reached at

Fatal error: Class 'AddThis' not found in /home/beeherald/www/www/sites/all/modules/addthis/includes/ on line 13

Contact Us

Jefferson Bee & Herald
Address: 200 N. Wilson St.
Jefferson, IA 50129

Phone:(515) 386-4161