"It's kind of sad around here. This week and last week," said Shunk, who with co-owner Jo Cotarelo recently sold the building to Rivertown's premier fixer-upper, Joe Martinez.
Although the women are unaware of Martinez's plans for one of Antioch's most historic buildings - in the early 1900s it was the area's first movie and vaudeville theater - Shunk feels confident his renovations will have a positive effect on the downtown atmosphere.
"I know he will do a good job with it and I am excited to see what he has in store for it," she said. "He will fix it up really nice."
Shunk purchased the building in 1976 with her partners, Yvonne Snow, Bernice Barger and Cotarelo. The building opened its doors in 1870 as a community center for Antioch and once served as a skating rink before becoming the Casino Theatre in 1910.
Photos by Beth Allen
The Coffee Mill opened in the historic Casino Building 30 years ago.
"It was a big shell," said Shunk of the building when she bought it. "After eight months of renovations we did ourselves, it was an exciting time when all the work
The four women transformed the building into multiple sections where small businesses could set up shop and sell a variety of goods such as jewelry, shoes, coins, dolls, art, wine, embroidery, magic tricks and stained glass.
"It's a shame small businesses have a hard time surviving," said Jim Kyle, owner of Cat n' Bag Gift Shoppe. "This was an opportunity for a lot of small businesses to start. There are so few buildings that divide space up so small like this. It was fun while it lasted."
"I've seen a lot of changes," said Shunk. "I have watched the ups and downs of the downtown. It was bustling with people when we opened 30 years ago and it's growing again. It has been a wonderful experience here and I've enjoyed myself."
Shunk has seen many people come and go over the years, and she will particularly miss her occasional visits from Susie, Veronica and Henry - three mischievous ghosts who call the old theater home. The two women were actresses and Henry was a stagehand, according to psychics who once investigated the building's otherworldly activities.
Shunk fondly remembers her first encounter with one of the ghosts. Alone after hours, she was busy nailing decorations to a wall when a loud knock echoed through the building. After this happened a few times, she became scared and went outside to wait for her husband.
"About the third time, my heart was up in my throat," said Shunk. "I didn't tell anybody about it at all."
Through the years, other shopkeepers have told stories of spilled jelly beans, scattered pairs of shoes and moving silhouettes.
"They were all pulling pranks on us," said Shunk. "We weren't worried, though, because the psychics said the ghosts weren't mean."
Today Shunk will say goodbye to the supernatural beings, dedicated customers and shelves of coffee beans galore. But she greets retirement with high spirits and plans to do volunteer work and get involved with the Antioch Chamber of Commerce, among other activities.