Tipp City’s Merchant 31 back in business thanks to local retailer

TIPP CITY, Ohio (WDTN) — A popular Tipp City retailer is back in business in the downtown area after fire destroyed it four months ago. It’s all due in large part to the generosity of another local business.

Andrea Hoover, co-owner of Bodega Specialty Market and Coldwater Cafe in Tipp City, says they’re excited for the holiday season.

“The businesses get all decorated for Christmas. The downtown gets the feel of the season,” she said.

She says it’s the company’s first Christmas as a retail establishment.

“It’s been fun, it’s exciting. We can’t wait to see what happens,” Hoover added.

Downtown Tipp City has been without two popular businesses — Browse Awhile Books and Merchant 31 — following a fire that swept through their building in June.

Hoover said something needed to be done. An email was sent from Kyle White, owner of Merchant 31, asking if an upstairs loft in the Bodega Specialty Market was available.

“It can be a little claustrophobic if you’re tall.”

What followed was a whirlwind of four days, according to White, who spent the week setting up a temporary space. Both owners agreed to have the pop-up shop for one weekend.

On Saturday, White says more than 300 customers filled the tiny loft.

The success caught the eye of Hoover, who said their business also picked up due to the partnership.

“And she said, why don’t you just stay? And I said yes! I want to stay,” White said, “It was super exciting. Everyone did the happy dance because we didn’t have to go back through and break down everything we spent the whole week setting up.”

It comes in an all-important time of the year.

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday all can score big profits for retailers.

“We do in one day what we would typically do in a week normally,” White said.

White was born and raised in Tipp City. It’s evident in her store, as pillows, and ornaments adorn the city name. She says it’s where her heart is, too.

“This is why we have this business. We’re part of a small downtown community. We get to know each other’s needs, and we help fill people’s needs.” she added, “It was so fun to work this weekend, and person after person after person saying we missed you, when are you reopening?”

Hoover says lending a helping hand, and their space, was the neighborly thing to do.

“It works for everybody. We have the space, they have the need. There it is,” she said.

White believes they’re hoping to stay for another 3 weeks, and have set a tentative opening date for the December 9th weekend.

She knows when small town businesses get together — Big dreams can be fulfilled.

Bodega Specialty Market is located at 27 E. Main St. in Tipp City.

Merchant 31 Hours: 

Friday, Nov. 18th: 10-6 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 19th: 10-6 p.m.
Sun.-Tues. CLOSED
Wednesday, Nov. 23rd: 10-6 p.m.
Thanksgiving: CLOSED
Black Friday: 10-4 p.m.
Small Business Saturday: 10-6 p.m.

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