The heart and core of Robin Fetter is her love. Her love for her family and the community.
Robin is the youngest of six children. Her dad was in the Army stationed throughout the world. She was born at the Valley Forge Army Hospital. When she was 3 months, the entire family moved to Germany for three years.
When they returned to the area, the family moved to 81 Second Ave. in Phoenixville. Robin fondly remembers her childhood and the neighborhood.
After working for the Phoenixville Borough for a short time, she went to work at Phoenix Steel. Over a 10-year period, she went from several secretary positions to Marketing Manager to Production Control Clerk in the pipe mill. On call 24/7 — donning a hard hat when necessary. She worked at the company until it closed in 1996.
It was in the mid-1980s, she met Ken Fetters. What started out as “just friends” — well it led to marriage. Robin, Ken and her two girls (Amber & Meg) and two grandsons make their home in Phoenixville. They are quite invested in the community.
After leaving the corporate steel world — Robin followed a dream and opened “Robin’s Nest” — a children’s bookstore. It was located on Main near Bridge Streets. She recalls her first customer was Mary Foote from the Colonial.
The store opened just as major bookstore were starting to squeeze out independent stores. Robin credits the success of “Harry Potter” was due to the independent stores. By 1998 the series was cut-off from the independents and only available at Barnes & Noble.
This move along with the economic downward thrust caused Robin’s Nest to close along with many other bookstores across the country.
After the store was closed, Robin started to teach at Stepping Stones, Magical Memories and eight years for Chester County Government Services in its Youth Building Program — such as Communities That Care. While at Magical Memories, she earned her Associate Degree in Education.
Throughout her career she has always had a deep interest and drive in books for children. Even before they could read themselves — to have someone read to them. Reading should be fun and open up the world to them.
Robin’s mother was a great cook who learned to cook Hungarian from a Mrs. Varga. Robin favored the little filled cookies called kifli. She could never find any that equaled her mom’s — until on one of the town’s Christmas Tours. At each stop refreshments were available. One stop was Parkside Church (formerly the Hungarian United Church of Christ) — where she found her mom’s kifli.
There she met Judy Gelinas who heads the church’s Kitchen Club (opened to all). Together the members cook, learn, eat and enjoy each other’s company. The club tends to lean toward ethic foods and expands to include all types of food.
That is where I met Robin and Ken. We later became connected on Facebook.
It seems Ken is the cook in the family and Robin the “cleaner-upper.” But Robin is famous for her grilled cheese sandwich. Her secret is to make them one at a time. It is worth the wait.
ROBIN’S INSIDE-OUT GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH
2 Tbsp. butter, divided
2 slices of white bread*
½ cup extra sharp Cooper cheese, divided
In a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat melt 1½ tablespoons of butter. Place bread slices in the skillet on top of the melted butter. Spread ¼ cup cheese on one slice — place the other slice up on top of the cheese. Spread about 2 tablespoons of cheese on top of sandwich. Melt remaining ½ tablespoon butter in skillet next to sandwich. Flip the sandwich onto the melted butter (so that that cheese side is down). Spread remaining cheese on top of sandwich. Cook until cheese on the bottom is crispy & caramelized (3 to 4 minutes). Flip & cook other side another 3 or 4 minutes until crispy & caramelized.
*Use only airy, nutritionally INSIGNIFICANT white bread. Also, make sure you use a nonstick skillet.
Contract Bette at banjack303.verizon.net. Search YouTube – with BetteBanjack. As well as phoenixvillenews.com (search bar Banjack). She can be found on Facebook. Her book “2 Cups of Yesterday” can be found at the Gateway Pharmacy or by contacting her directly.