Our Environment, Animal Tips & the Great Outdoors

Rural Center Refillery Sparks Conversation About Sustainability and Wellness

By Published On: April 12th, 2024

Since opening the Rural Center Refillery in Pine Plains, NY, in early 2023, owners Nicole and Corey Clanahan have focused on having conversations with community members and refining their products to match what people want to see on the shelves. 

“We’ve really worked hard to cultivate the products that people want to see and use,” Nicole said. “Some of those things are the local coffee that we carry from Winchell Mountain Coffee and Monkey Joe’s, as well as our selection of laundry detergents, dryer balls, and other products. We’ve whittled down some of the extras and refined what people like.”  

Creating conversations

For Nicole, the biggest challenge she’s encountered is encouraging people to break up their routine and make the extra stop into the Refillery.

“We’re not a grocery store. You can’t get everything here, so you’re making an extra trip and that’s the biggest thing,” Nicole said. “We’re battling convenience with things like big box stores and curbside pickup, so it’s important to talk about why it’s worth it to make the extra trip.”

In addition to helping the environment by creating less plastic waste and consuming less, the products that they carry at the Refillery are also cleaner and better for personal health as well. 

“The essence of the products are so much cleaner. There aren’t any toxins, synthetics, or plastics within them. We try to do organic whenever we can. It’s not just about being healthy for the environment, it’s about your body, too.” 

Additionally, many of the specialty items that the Refillery carries fall into a niche category and can often be hard to find elsewhere. Nicole stresses that while the convenience of online businesses are great, it’s also important to have access to a local store that carries the items that you use and need on a regular basis so that you can ensure that products are available to you when you need them. 

Community connections 

Since opening, the Refillery’s loyal group of regular shoppers have helped to make the business sustainable. “We couldn’t do this without our regulars coming in every week,” she said. “It’s also great for us because they’re trying new products and giving us consistent feedback about what they like, what they don’t, and what else they’d like to see in the store.” 

For example, the Refillery recently stocked up on automatic dish powder for dishwashers, but after a few of their regulars tried them out, they quickly discovered that people with certain types of water were having issues with it, while others absolutely loved it. To bridge the gap and accommodate everyone, they researched and found a tablet alternative that worked for other types of water. 

“Because it’s just run by Corey and me, we’re paying attention to what people are saying and actively trying to address any concerns that people have,” Nicole said. “We’ve had people request products and we’ve been able to stock them. We want to accommodate people as much as possible and stock what makes them feel like they can shop here comfortably and regularly.” 

Additionally, Nicole tests all of the products out before they hit the shelves in the store, so she is more than capable of providing a one-on-one consultation with customers if they have questions about different products and their benefits. 

“I know these products like the back of my hand. I’ve tried them all,” she laughed. “If a more personalized experience is what you’re looking for, I can absolutely provide that.” 

The Refillery also has great relationships with the local artisans that they stock goods from. Nearly all of their soap, coffee, body wash, beeswax wraps, honey, maple syrup, and lotions, among many other products, come from an artisan with the local community. 

On the shelves you can find products from Hudson Valley Skin Care, Hudson Valley Hops and Grains, Tierra Farms, and Remsburger’s Honey, among lots of other local farms and artisans. 


The Rural Center Refillery also partners with a variety of other local businesses and vendors to host events multiple times per month. “We’re so collaborative and we love working with other people to host events that are mutually beneficial and appeal to our community. We have some really fun ones coming up this month!”

On Friday, April 19, the Refillery is hosting seven private, 30-minute tarot reading sessions with Lisa Zayas. “Get insights, clarity, and guidance on your life’s journey through the mystical art of tarot.” A 30-minute session is $40. 

Then on Thursday, April 25, the Refillery is hosting a spring foraging and ecology walk at Stissing Lake in conjunction with Tend & Gather, a forestry and ecological service. The event starts at 5:30 at the Stissing Lake parking lot and forester Annabel Roberts-McMichael will guide attendees on a foraging and ecology expedition. Later, attendees will regroup at the Refillery for some foraged tea and shopping (with a discount!). Kids are free and adults are $17/per person. 

Finally, on Friday, May 10, the Refillery is hosting their first tipsy tie-dye event. Bring your own beverage and shirts and supplies will be provided. The event runs from 4-6 pm and is $12/per person. 

What makes it worth it?

Nicole believes that the mindfulness of the shopping process at the Refillery is one of the things that makes it so worth it to make the extra stop. 

“If you want to talk, I’m here. If you don’t, that’s cool too. It’s a mindful process of choosing the products and knowing that they’re good for your body as well as for the environment,” she said. 

The Refillery also carries a variety of products that are locally sourced and difficult to find online. “If you’re someone who likes to shop locally, we’re supporting local businesses by stocking them, and you’re doing a huge service for your community by purchasing these products,” Nicole said. 

“We’re in a small town and we really value that community so much, but we need to have an open line of communication with everyone,” she said. “This is a labor of love for us. We’ve never taken a draw from this business, it just covers its overhead. We do it because we love it.” 

Visit the Rural Center Refillery at 2881 Church Street in Pine Plains, NY, or visit their website or Instagram