Last month we posted about all the new and exciting changes on High Street (see New on High). Now, let’s turn the corner and talk about the news from Commerce Street.
Meet Maggie Tucker and May Sorum – the new owners of the building complex that Ulrich Sielaff so beautifully restored. For months, they have been getting ready to open Mayday Press, May’s letterpress studio and retail space for her hand-printed greeting cards and limited edition prints. May has four printing presses, as well as a collection of antique, wood, and metal type. With time, they plan to add a line of fancy pencils, pens and specialty products related to books and graphic design. The retail space will be open this Saturday evening for Gallery Night. To celebrate their grand opening, customers are invited to press their own post cards. Head down to Mayday Press this Saturday and welcome Maggie and May to town!
This happy, sunny gallery opened last October. Step inside and meet Jane, whose personality is as vibrant as her art. For more about Jane, read this post – We Just Got A Little More British. In addition to Jane’s whimsical original work, she has prints of her art, and has added a wide range of fun and colorful pieces by other artists. Jane Wilcoxsin Studios is open Wednesday through Sunday.
215 Commerce Street – Carl Tunestam’s Antique Store
Carl is expanding his hours of operation, but it’s a little complicated. He will no longer be using an open sign to let you know when he’s open. Instead, it works like this. Try the door and see if it’s unlocked. If the door opens that means Carl or Parrish Johnston are in the back working on their eBay sales, so you can come in. At that point they’ll probably hear you and emerge from the back. If not, just shout out “hello” and one of them will appear. The front of the store is arranged to display the items for sale. This new way of operating will mean that the store is open more often – mostly during the week.
Roland is a busy guy. He’s a mason, an actor, a cyclist (bi and uni), a guest house creator, and a builder of most of the town’s Little Free Libraries. In fact, he’s pictured with one that he would like to sell you.
When Roland first came to town in the 1970’s he was the resident potter at Shake Rag Alley. Since leaving that post in the 1980’s, Roland hasn’t been throwing too many pots — until recently. Now, on occasion, Roland can be found at his studio at the potters wheel. If he’s out on a masonry job, or riding his bicycle, he often leaves his door open and sets out some pots for sale. There are notes in the studio explaining the process, but it’s pretty much the honor system.
Apparently, this isn’t completely new, but it’s new to me. Built into the masonry along the wall near 220 Commerce you will find two little mice at a table enjoying a bottle of wine. Bruce Howdle and Roland Sardeson conspired to make this little cafe, which is definitely the smallest storefront in town – if not the world!
Stop in and meet Kate Bausch, who joined the Longbranch Gallery staff last month. While you’re there, check out her spectacular paintings of trees. Kate joins Sandy Scott and Judy Sutcliffe, who will be in the shop most weekends. And, on Mondays Tom Kelly will emerge from his lair to run the gallery. The gallery will be closed on Tuesdays. For Gallery Night this Saturday, they will be featuring wood creations by Paul Elgin and a great selection of dynamic nature paintings and prints by Dan Wiemer.
121 Commerce Street – The Mineral Point Hotel
Realtor Mike Wagner knows a good investment when he sees one. So, in January Mike and his wife Lisa (shown with their sweet daughter) became the proud new owners of the 5-room Mineral Point Hotel. They are very hands-on caretakers and have been sprucing up the rooms, improving the website, and offering all sorts amenities from covered bike storage to pet boarding and grooming. Recent five star reviews on TripAdvisor reflect the positive experience hotel guests have had since the Wagners have taken control.
320 Commerce Street – Hooks Cheese
It used to be that the world-famous Hooks Cheese was only open on Fridays (see Thank God It’s Curd Day). In the past year, Hooks enlarged their retail space and added a handicap accessible ramp. They also enlarged their hours, and are now open Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-2 p.m. and Fridays 4 a.m.-2 p.m.
Yesterday, when I visited Tony Hook he was all smiles, still riding the wave of publicity from the 20-year cheddar. In fact, he had just finished an interview with the New York Times. Stay tuned for that.
All of this new activity on Commerce Street is exciting, but there could be even more to come.
There are still a few excellent buildings on Commerce and High Streets in need of just the right business, like a bakery, a spa, a bike/snowmobile/ATV renter, a soap-maker, a tea room, a sporting good store, a make and take art place, a cheese and wine shop, a frozen yogurt place, a bead store, a donut shop, or a general store — to name a few on my list.
If you, or anyone you know, have an interest in starting a business in Mineral Point, Wisconsin call Joy Gieseke at the Chamber Office – 608-987-3201, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop into High Street Sweets and we can talk about the benefits of owning a downtown business in Mineral Point.
-Contributed by Lisa Hay, Owner of High Street Sweets