In the neighborhood of Francisville, it is rare that many small businesses succeed. Once a place where popular stores and nightclubs thrived on Ridge Avenue, Francisville now stands desolate having maybe two or three stores on one single street. But one exception to the amount of stores left is Well Cut Thrift Store, established in the summer of 1991 by native-born Jamaican Asley Johnson.
“The neighborhood was once home to many businesses and even a jazz club where greats like Ella Fitzgerald and Patti Labelle performed,” said Johnson. Located on 15th and Ridge, there are only two other stores, an appliance shop and cleaners, that dominate the commercial block.
But the troubled economical area hasn’t stopped Johnson from keeping his store afloat. “Business isn’t great, but its not bad either,” he said.
Johnson opened the store after receiving word about an open space within the area for a reasonable price by a family friend. “When we started we had a vision for the business and the neighborhood that it would be better.”
Well Cut offers everything from china sets, furniture and even a variety of jackets and purses for a low price. “We have everything you need to furnish your entire house for a good price.”
As for recent efforts by the Francisville Development Association to re-beautify the area, Johnson isn’t worried if it will affect his business negatively. “I think its a good idea to build up the neighborhood. The more businesses and more people, we can all get a piece of the pie.”