“Everything must go!” “Absolutely free!”
Whenever those expressions are tossed around, it seems there always is a catch. There also is a disclaimer in tiny print which explains things are free and everything doesn’t need to go.
However, a Bradley woman will be hosting a community-type garage sale and she will not accept money for any item, no matter how valuable the item might be.
“Everything is 100 percent free. We will not take any money,” organizer Tammy Earsley said. “Most people assume nothing is free.”
But that’s exactly what the case will be at the June 8 “Garage Sale Giveaway” hosted by Earsley at the parking lot of her Bradley business, Kula Yoga Studio, 224 S. Kennedy Drive.
Translated, kula means “community of the heart.”
The yoga studio was opened in October by Earsley. She and her husband, Brian, own the property and completed extensive renovations.
Brian, a Chicago-based architect and a 1991 graduate of Kankakee High School, and Tammy, 40, a 1996 graduate of Bishop McNamara Catholic High School, held a free garage sale several years ago as they cleaned out things from their home.
It was a success.
They also participated in a yard sale in 2011 in which the customer named the price on items.
The items for the 8 a.m. to noon June 8 garage sale have been collected by Tammy through friends and yoga studio class participants. She said there will be more than enough merchandise to fill the 3,000-square-foot asphalt parking lot directly behind (east) of the yoga studio.
Items available will include men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, books, toys, household items and likely some furniture.
Items are set to arrive at the studio June 3.
She said the goal of the free garage sale is simple: Helping people in need.
But what if someone who is not in need shows up and leaves with an item and attempts to sell it?
“If someone wants an item and resells it, I don’t have a problem. We are here to ‘pay it forward,’” she said. “I see a deep need. There are people here who need help. ... My mission is to give back to the community.”
Tammy had been thinking about the free garage sale for about a year. Brian said the fact his wife was considering an event like this did not surprise him in the least.
In addition to operating the yoga studio, Tammy volunteers at the Bradley Elementary School District through yoga instruction and as a mental wellness instructor.
“My heart comes from a place to help someone. All I’m asking is for people to come here and shop. Take what you need and leave the rest.”
Kankakee County’s two mustard companies continue to do well in the annual world mustard competition as each Manteno-based company — Plochman’s Mustard and Kelley’s Gourmet Mustard — won first-place awards in the 2019 World-Wide Mustard Competition.
Plochman’s won the gold medal in the “Spirit” category, which is the beer-flavored division, and Kelley’s won gold in the “Deli/Brown” category.
Both companies have won numerous medals in past competitions hosted by the National Mustard Museum in Middleton, Wis.
Winning gold never grows old, however.
“We are super excited. This is a huge honor,” said Manteno’s Kevin Kelley, owner of Kelley’s. “We are competing against national brands. This is a huge accomplishment.
“This keeps solidifying what we believe: We have a great product.”
Kelley said his biggest challenge is getting his product into the hands of more consumers.
“Once they taste it, they are hooked,” he said.
The competition featured 17 mustard categories. More than 300 mustards were included in the competition.
Barry Levenson, curator and founder of the museum, said Plochman’s simply dominated the beer-flavored category.
“This is to my way of thinking the most beer-flavored mustard. If you’re a beer lover, this is the mustard for you,” he said.
Mustard from countries such as Japan, Germany, Australia, France and Canada, just to name a few, compete.
Martin Faye, Plochman’s plant manager, noted the company has partnered with BrickStone Brewery & Restaurant in Bourbonnais and is in the final steps of bringing this beer-flavored mustard to consumers.
Faye said the two businesses have been collaborating since June 2018 on this new product. It’s expected to be ready for consumers by as early as late June.
The mustard will be flavored with BrickStone’s award-winning American Pale Ale beer. An image of BrickStone’s APA beer can will be on the Plochman’s mustard squeeze bottle, Faye said.
In addition to the competition and the new Plochman’s mustard, there is more news on the mustard front.
Faye noted the ABC TV travel show “Small Town Big Deal” recently was in Manteno filming a segment on Plochman’s. He said the 30-minute television show is expected to air the Plochman’s episode this fall.
Having watched the national show in the past, which features news from small towns across the country, he sent them some information more than a year ago about Plochman’s and Manteno.
He didn’t think much more about it until a producer recently contacted him about featuring the Manteno company. He said the crew spent some time at the plant about 10 days ago.