New business spotlight on The Corner Store

Ruth Steppe’s world was turned upside down after she was shot by a robber at her store in December 2011.

Recovering from the harrowing event – both emotionally and physically – was a battle, and perhaps the last thing on her mind was ever reopening the business.

“I didn’t think I would do it,” she said.

But now, she and her husband, Robert Steppe, are putting the final touches on The Corner Store at 799 Acme Place.

The shop, which sold candy, soda, cigarettes and other items, formerly sat at Third and Campbell streets.

The couple leased the building there.

Robert said he bought the building for the new store, which had been a garage a number of years ago.

In recent weeks he’s been busy getting it ready for an Oct. 1 opening.

Customers will be struck by the fresh coat of purple paint covering the building’s exterior.

The couple said they are excited about reopening their business.

“I look forward to seeing the kids again,” Ruth said.

Students from nearby Pennsylvania College of Technology, many of whom live in apartments in the neighborhood, comprised many of the customers who stopped in at the store at its former site.

Robert, employed full-time at Wire Rope Co., said the store is really a candy store that also sells chips, toothpaste, toilet paper and paper towels, soup, pasta and condiments.

“A little bit of everything,” Ruth said.

Robert noted that the store also will sell lottery tickets.

“Whatever the community wants, we will try and carry it,” he added.

Ruth is particularly excited about selling her home-made cookies, cakes and home-made fudge.

There is nothing quite like her Millionaire Cookies, she said.

The couple expects to see a lot of foot traffic from the neighborhood coming to their store.

“The community was all for reopening it,” Robert said.

Their other business closed in early 2012, about a month after the shooting.

The couple are very much aware that Ruth was lucky to escape with her life.

Ruth can trace the path of the bullet which went entered the front of her neck before exiting in the rear, just missing major arteries and her spine.

Now, she’s looking to the future, tracing the trajectory of where her life and the couple’s new business venture take them.