Charm Sweet Shoppe Pizzeria purchases Charm school

Charm Sweet Shoppe Pizzeria purchases Charm school
Dave Mast

The school and property in Charm went up for auction on Wednesday, May 15. A large crowd of people and several bidders helped East Holmes School District bid adieu to a school that was built in 1938. The grounds were purchased by David and Ada Kuhns, owners of Charm Sweet Shoppe and Pizzeria, for $430,000.


With the Charm schoolhouse on the auction block on Wednesday, May 15, the auction brought a large crowd and even bigger numbers when that final word “sold” was belted out.

The school property ended up being sold for $430,000 to a local business owner, bringing cheers from the hometown crowd.

Dave Kaufman, founder of Kaufman Realty & Auction, has been involved with the sale of several schools in his years as an auctioneer. He said the one constant when it comes to evaluating and selling a school property is all rules go right out the window.

“You just never know what one might go for,” Kaufman said. “It’s hard to even try to put a price on one when selling it. But the one thing about this one is that it is located in a prime location in a thriving community.”

The aging Charm schoolhouse was built in 1938 and is situated on 1.3 acres of property in the heart of a growing Charm community. While the property has three buildings adding up to 6,400 square feet, it was the location that drew bidders.

With apparently several bidders in the action early on, the serious bidders hung around through the $300,000 range and past $400,000. Once the going price reached $430,000, Kaufman took a short break for anyone to make a final phone call or to muster up the courage to bid again.

That bid never came, leaving David and Ada Kuhns, owners of Charm Sweet Shoppe Pizzeria, as the winning bidders.

Charm Sweet Shoppe Pizzeria sells pizza, breakfast sandwiches featuring Doughty Valley Meat and pastries, and it didn’t take long for the business to become a local favorite in Charm and beyond its borders.

Located in a small area under Commercial & Savings Bank just across the road from the school, the couple realized their 7-year-old business needed to expand as their eatery grew.

“It’s a busy, little pizza shop that has 100 percent support from the locals, and that is what it needs,” said David Kuhns, who said they had a limit, but it was not reached. “We did plenty of homework, and we didn’t get quite as much sleep the last while.”

As for the plans, they said they had run over many possibilities and scenarios but didn’t want to get the horse ahead of the cart should they not even land the property.

One thing they did explore was what they would do with the school building should they make the purchase.

“Talking to our architect, we are better off putting a new building here and making it work for my function better than what we have,” Kuhns said. “Plans are in the future, although we’re not exactly sure how far. The game plan is to put a bigger new building here.”

Kuhns went on to talk about the importance of the Charm community and the role it has played in his business’ success. He said one of the things they were really focusing on was allowing enough space to continue to allow Charm Days to continue in that area, and staying local was important to them.

“I want to make sure the parking lot stays big because the Charm Days tent takes a lot of room, and my big intent was to make sure that stays here because that is a big event for Charm. The community has been so supportive, and it is the reason we are here,” Kuhns said.

As part of the East Holmes School District, the funds raised from the Charm school sale went into the district’s general fund.

According to board member Thurman Mullet, one of the stipulations of the sale was no alcohol could ever be sold on the property.

Other than that, it was simply a waiting game to see whether the school property brought $100,000, $400,000 or something in between.

Once the sale was complete, the East Holmes Board of Education had to have a quick meeting to discuss whether the price the sale fetched would be enough to let the school go.

That meeting became almost inconsequential as the price soared much higher than they expected.

That meeting served as the final official act East Holmes School District would perform in the school.

What that price would be was anyone’s guess. Neither the school board members, the cast at Kaufman Auction nor any of the people in attendance had an idea as to what the property might bring, but the $430,000 price tag was more than the school district could have asked.

“We wanted to sell this,” said Jim Gertz, school board president.

The money will go into the East Holmes School District general fund and has not been earmarked for any specific purpose. “We really didn’t have an idea as to what it would go for,” Gertz said.

For the Charm community, seeing one of its local businesses become the owner of the property was the ideal purchase, and knowing a caring owner will build a business that only enhances the village is exactly what they had hoped for.

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