Mallory Richardson hopes customers of her new Highland Park shop, Des Moines Mercantile, will feel like they’ve taken a step back in time.
The “modern-day general store” will be filled with artisan-made products such as nonperishable foods, brooms and blankets, all with a nod toward the sell-all stores of years gone by.
“Something at the foundation of our vision is stuff inspired by the past,” said Richardson, owner of the store at 3707 Sixth Ave. in Des Moines.
The brooms are handmade at the Ames-based Franklin Broom Works, using traditional antique equipment and old-fashion materials. The wool blankets come from the Amana Woolen Mill. Built in Iowa in 1860, it’s one of the oldest in the country.
And the store’s wall prints and greeting cards come from Des Moines-based The Red Door Press, which uses antique printing presses.
Des Moines Mercantile, 3707 Sixth Ave., will sell handmade items with a nod to the past. (Photo: Special to the Register)
Although not all of the products Richardson will stock are are Iowa-made, she said a majority will be. That inventory includes all of the non-perishable foods, such as Great River Maple Syrup from Garnavillo, Lola’s Fine Hot Sauce from Ankeny, jam from Clear Creek Orchard in Collins and Pammel Park Coffee from Winterset.
Des Moines Mercantile is located in the historic business district of Highland Park. The area is one of four the city has designated for $50 million in targeted investment over the 10 years through its Invest DSM nonprofit. The spending is intended to boost property values and revitalize neighborhoods that have suffered from businesses closures and poorly maintained homes.
Mallory Richardson owns Des Moines Mercantile. (Photo: Ryuji Nakamura/Special to the Register)
Richardson is working with Invest DSM to obtain a facade grant to revamp the front of her store. She would qualify to receive up to 25% of the project’s cost, said Christopher Civitate, outreach and engagement coordinator at Invest DSM.
Richardson and her husband, Jordan, live in the neighborhood and have friends opening a coffee shop nearby.
“We’ve definitely grown in love with this area and see that there’s tons of potential,” she said.
Des Moines Mercantile’s grand opening will be from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday. Its regular hours will be 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sundays.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the store will allow in up to 10 customers at a time and recommends they wear masks.
Richardson is working on creating an online store and hopes to have it up and running by the fall.
Kim Norvell covers growth and development for the Register. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-284-8259. Follow her on Twitter @KimNorvellDMR.
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