Last month the City Commission approved an ordinance that would allow for artisan businesses to establish in the downtown area. This was previously prohibited in the downtown district as they were considered manufacturers (to over-simplify: taking raw materials and converting them into a finished product for sale). In the course of the last year there were several businesses looking to establish in the district that were unable to for this reason. Nationwide, these types of small businesses have been a key part in reinvigorating communities as retail destinations with the “handmade” or “made locally” appeal. Last night, two business covered under the new ordinance were approved by the planning commission: “Stitch On Central” and “Grove Roots Brewing Company.”
Stitch on Central will be a boutique specializing in personalization of items using embroidery, vinyl and heat press. The owner, Lauren Young, anticipates opening the new shop in September and is currently in discussions for the space at 347 West Central Ave, Suite 2 (a portion of the Central Park Square Building, i.e. the former People’s Furniture building being renovated by Six/Ten LLC). As a part of the artisan ordinance they are required to have a portion of the store for retail and a portion for the making of their wares.
Grove Roots Brewing Company is one step closer to opening after last night’s vote (read the initial announcement here). The Planning Commission voted to allow the company’s entrepreneur, Joe Dunham, to move forward with the manufacturing side of his business. He will still need to come back closer to his opening date to apply for the bar/retail side of his business as that has to be done within so many days of moving forward with operation. He can now confidently move forward with the development of the microbrewery portion of his business. The proposed space for the microbrewery is the building across from Egg Haven on 3rd St known as the “utility trailer” building. (pardon the crude screenshot below from Google maps). Joe anticipates opening in late Spring 2016.