The Goldfish Barn Event Center

Shippensburg University SBDC Client Success Story
A Vision to Restore a Piece of History

Keith and Suzanne Johnson saw the potential in a property called TheGoldfish Barn. The previous owners of the property were using it as a gift shop for their hatchery, raising goldfish and koi. Suzanne and Keith wanted to preserve the history of the barn restoring it to its original beauty but with a few modern touches. A space where memories and joy would be created.

Keith and Suzanne both working full time, with Keith running his own business and Suzanne an Administrator and live-in parent for a group home, decided to take on another adventure. Suzanne envisioned the property as an event venue, but sharing her vision with the previous owners they declined saying it would be too big of a venture for them at this point in their lives and offered to sell the property to Keith and Suzanne.

Realizing they needed support to obtain their financial adventure, they began discussions with Orrstown Bank. It was Orrstown Bank that referred them to the Shippensburg University SBDC. Consultant Cheryl Young with the SBDC began working with Keith and Suzanne in September of 2017. The business plan they developed helped them look toward the future and assisted them with determining the goals of the business.

The property was purchased in December of 2017, it took 8 months to restore and update the site. The two-story barn features 6,000 square feet of space inside with an additional 2,400 square feet of covered space outside. They opened for the first event in August of 2018. The property is able to accommodate a variety of events, including weddings, proms, birthday parties and other gatherings.

The Goldfish Barn has provided the community with economic revenue. Local contractors and vendors have profited from the events being held at the Barn. Suzanne and Keith offered the space to a family looking to raise money for their son’s medical bills. An event was held and an overwhelming $26,000 was raised that weekend to support this family. They continue to give back to the community by donating to local events and charities.

Their property slogan is, “We are much more than just a barn venue. We are a weekend wedding experience.” The Goldfish Barn Event Center is currently booked for 2020 and 2021 is filling up fast. They have received more than they could have ever dreamed of by creating this space and it has become a fixture within the community.The Goldfish Barn Event Center logo