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Sierra Mercantile: It’s A Family Affair

Kathleen Janzen

OAKHURST — When searching for the daily necessities to outfit family or that gift for someone special, and you want to shop locally, look no further than Sierra Mercantile. From sophisticated and classic to contemporary mountain style, customers think Sierra Mercantile is a great place to shop, and the two sisters who run the store agree wholeheartedly.

Paula Henry, 64, and Kathleen Janzen, 65, are the owners of Sierra Mercantile, the shop located across Highway 41 from McDonald’s in the heart of town. They have lived in the area for many years and are excited to bring needed clothing to the mountain area.

Originally born in Michigan, their family moved to Fresno when they were quite young. Around the time Paula was in ninth grade, their parents decided to buy a grape ranch in Selma.

Paula Henry

“It was very hard work but we both learned good work ethics that are still with us today,” says Paula.

Their parents were members of the local four-wheel drive club, which offered the family many great adventures in the Sierra. They discovered Mono Hot Springs as teenagers, where both sisters worked, and ultimately married the Winslow brothers who owned Mono Hot Springs.

“We loved to fish and hike and have passed that love to our sons and grandchildren.”

Paula went on to become the owner of Yosemite Medical Supply for 34 years, while Kathy was a meat wrapper/deli operator for over 30 years. Paula notes that Kathy has won many display competitions and brings her decorative talents into Sierra Mercantile.

With an innate creative passion, the sisters have completed nearly innumerable craft projects over the years, enjoying the making and selling of what they created. Most rewarding has been the evolution of Sierra Sisters Jewelry.  Another has been Glass from the Past – Miners Wind Chimes.

“We have sold hundreds of them,” say the sibs. “They are all unique pieces of history.”

Today Paula and Kathy are redefining themselves once again by combining talents and enthusiasm into an outlet for their creative passion, as well as an opportunity to put their  well-honed business skills to work.

Walking into their spacious 3,000 square foot boutique is reminiscent of a stepping foot in a beloved beach side town or historic district, with all the charming elements you expect to draw you in and delight.

If winter wear is on your list, they have it, along with a wide variety of hats and work gear, including specialized neon work gear designed with safety in mind for coats, gloves and vests. Looking for particular brand or designer, such as a Montana West handbag? Sierra Mercantile has that, and more.

The store offers a wide variety of clothing, including underwear, thermals and socks, jewelry, souvenirs, hats, purses and gifts. The owners are happy to announce Sierra Mercantile has just become a distributor of Wrangler brand clothing.

Sierra Mercantile’s sisters Paula and Kathy give credit for their successful business practices to their wonderful parent, they say.

“They taught us by example. We respect each other in all ways to show thanks to our parents. Thank you Mom and Dad, you made us what we are today!”

Stop by and tell the sisters you saw this article on Sierra News Online and receive ten percent off any regularly-priced items. Watch for in-store sales!

Hours of operation:
Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Sierra Mercantile is located at 40135 Highway 41 in Oakhurst. Questions? Phone (559) 693- 5777 or email

Visit Sierra Mercantile on Facebook.

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Sierra News Online

Sierra News Online