SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

February 10, 2010

In dead of winter, signs of life in downtown Salem

SALEM — The owners of a Marblehead business walked into A&J King Artisan Bakers in downtown Salem last year and were impressed.

While they liked the bakery, it was really the customers that blew them away.

"All we saw were young couples with kids," Rick Winter said. "We were just both amazed by it."

Last weekend, Winter and his partner, Monica Winter (no relation), opened their third Hip Baby Gear store. Although they moved to Salem for a variety of reasons, seeing all those young families didn't hurt.

Hip Baby Gear shares a Washington Street storefront with Two Girls Shop, which sells everything from home decor to skin care products and is another Marblehead business that has come across the border.

In the dead of winter and in the throes of a struggling economy, there are surprising signs of retail life in downtown Salem.

Mud Puddle Toys of Marblehead — is this a trend? — just signed a lease for the old Naumkeag Trust Co. building on the Essex Street pedestrian mall. It will be Mud Puddle's second store.

Last week, a young chef from Brooklyn and her boyfriend started work on Coven, an artisanal market and dessert bar that will open on the ground floor of the old C.F. Tompkins Furniture building at the other end of Essex Street.

A coffee importer from West Newbury and his wife bought a retail condo on the pedestrian mall for their first store, Cafe Valverde Coffee Roasters. The gourmet coffee shop is expected to open by the end of the month.

City officials, who are trying to rebuild the retail base, are thrilled by the flurry of newcomers.

"We've been very fortunate with this economy, because the news everywhere is grim," said Jennifer Bell, manager of Salem Main Streets, which works with downtown businesses.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Business

AP Video
Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Autistic Entrepreneurs Prove Their Mettle Security Firm: Hackers Steal 1.2B Passwords Phelps Signs With New Suit Company Escaping Email: Inspired Vision or Pipe Dream? US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct US Stocks Plunge, Wiping Out July's Gains Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best AP Review: Amazon Fire Adds Spark to Smartphones
NDN Video
US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Reggie Jackson's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Are Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon Breaking Up? Motorcyclist Sticks Landing This 'Breaking Bad' Reunion is the Most Hilarious Thing You'll See All Day! President Obama talks about who James Foley was Nicki Minaj Unleashes Her 'Anaconda' On the World Watch Helicopter Perform Aerial Ballet Can Buckeyes fill Miller's void? Victoria's Secret Models Prove They're in Fighting Shape How Brian Hoyer Stacks Up With Johnny Manziel Taylor Swift Reveals New Album 1989 is Full-On Pop Crews rescue elderly woman trapped inside flooded minivan Man Poses for New Mugshot Photo Wearing Shirt with Old Mugshot Photo On It Disquieting times for Malaysia's 'fish listeners' Caught On Camera: Johnny Manziel Obscene Gesture Rita Ora Embraces the Ice Bucket Challenge Bird surprises soccer player Ashley Young during game Chapter Two: Never too late to become an artist Ice Bucket Challenge Goes Viral, Raises Over $15M For ALS
Comments Trcker