Seven new shops will have grand openings Saturday in a building at 127 W. Wayne St. as part of an effort by an organization called The City Exchange to bring new and different businesses to the downtown area.
The building, just west of J.K. O’Donnell’s, will have spaces ranging from 150 to 550 square feet for 12 shops. Seven of those spaces will be opening Saturday.
They are: Poptique, a local maker of gourmet popcorn; Belyst, which will have upscale and independent label clothing; Juice Jar, a local group of nutrition-focused juice artisans; Fiddlewinks, with whimsical pottery, furniture and jewelry; David Talbott Collection, with high-end men’s clothing at affordable prices; Around the Corner, with locally and regionally designed items; and Valontine, an apparel and home décor boutique with vintage style and modern trends.
The City Exchange will give new startup businesses a place to operate at affordable prices as they start out, said Jack Ellsworth, general manager.
"It’s not supposed to be a place to stay. It’s a place to grow," Ellsworth said – a spot where a business might operate a year or two.
He said the hope is that as businesses there grow and move to larger spaces, they will be replaced by fresh startups.
The City Exchange still has five spots open for businesses. There will be an additional space for what is called a pop-up, a business that will be open for only one to three months, and a kiosk.
The City Exchange is searching for service-related businesses to fill the remaining spaces. Ellsworth said the spaces are also good for small businesses looking to add a second location.
The shops will be open from noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The organization’s website is www.the-city-exchange.com.