Autumn is a time for change and that is true not only for the weather but for the retail scene on Main Avenue, where several shops and restaurants are relocating and some new ones have opened.
Here’s a look at some of the changes coming to downtown Durango:
Animas Trading Co.Cathy Wakeman, owner of Animas Trading Co., 742 Main Ave., said she had been looking to relocate for months before finding a workable spot.
“Rent had gotten so high with built-in rent increases. The new place is a bigger, better space with cheaper rent; that’s what prompted the move,” she said.
The new store has 3,650 square feet compared with 2,500 square feet at the old location, which was in the 1000 block of Main.
The clothing store has been in its new space for just shy of a month. Wakeman said her apparel and product lines haven’t changed with the move.
While it’s hard to notice in October, a shoulder season, Wakeman said the south end of Main Avenue generally gets more foot traffic.
The internet has changed the retail environment, and Wakeman said she was looking to get the maximum efficiency out of her space. But she said there’s still a good niche for traditional clothing shops.
“I’m not sure why internet purchases are so popular. When I buy clothing, I want to see how it fits. It’s different from brand to brand,” she said.
Animas Trading Co. currently has one full-time employee and three part-time employees.
Durango Roasters/Hermosa CoffeeKatie Hulbert, general manager of Durango Roasters, at 730 Main Ave., said the coffeehouse plans to move to the space adjacent to the shop at the earliest around Snowdown, which runs from Jan. 30 to Feb.3, and at the latest, in March.
Hulbert said the move allows the coffeehouse to be located in a building owned by the shop’s proprietor, Theresa Peters. When the coffeehouse moves, it will change its name to Hermosa Coffee.
The new space will feature a fireplace and a patio in the back, and the business will adopt a new logo, but pretty much everything else will stay the same at the shop, which also has a full liquor license.
The new space will feature a bar near the front to better signal to pedestrians that they can enjoy an alcoholic beverage at the coffeehouse, which keeps eight beers on tap.
MJM JewelersChad and Melissa Ambrose moved MJM Jewelers, 1063 Main Ave., to Durango from Farmington in late summer.
“Most of our customers were from Durango, and we decided to move the store here,” Melissa Ambrose said.
She touts MJM Jewelers as the only full-service jewelry shop in Durango. MJM handles repairs as well as creating custom designs.
Melissa Ambrose said her parents, Dennis and Jane Bacon, still help, and with them, the shop boosts 28 years of experience repairing and designing jewelry.
The store has a small space in the back for a workshop and 1,250 square feet of retail space.
Pine Needle Dry GoodsJeremy Dakan and Ashley Gonnella, owners of Pine Needle Mountaineering, will open a sister shop, Pine Needle Dry Goods, at 858 Main Ave. beginning Nov. 12.
“We want to focus on brands that don’t just make a product. We want to focus on brands that help build community and protect the environment,” Dakan said. “We want to feature brands that are planting trees, cleaning watersheds or giving jobs to single mothers in Turkey.”
About 80 percent of the items carried at Pine Needle Dry Goods will be Patagonia products.
The 2,000 square feet in the new shop, which will be across the street from Pine Needle Mountaineering, 835 Main Ave., will give the old store, which has 7,500 square feet of space, more room to add new up-and-coming lines and to provide more space for existing brands, he said.
A current Pine Needle employee will take over as general manager of Pine Needle Dry Goods and a few more people will be hired to staff the new store, Dakan said.
Sticks & Stones HandmadeSticks & Stones Handmade, a gift shop featuring handcrafted work from local artists, has moved to 922 Main Ave. Owner Micki Hassemer moved because her old neighbor, Durango Roasters, was moving into her old space.
“We spent five months looking for the right space,” she said. “This used to be the old Southwest Sound, which we’re sad to see go. But we’re fortunate we found a space that works, otherwise, we’d of had to close our doors.”
Sticks & Stones carries products from 25 Durango-area artists and craftspeople.
“We keep a wide range of locally made gifts and a wide range of prices,” she said
Hassemer’s husband, Tim, is a woodworker who makes cutting boards, cooking utensils, wood earrings and children’s toys.
Micki Hassemer makes gemstone jewelry.
The shop also features pottery, seasoning salts, soaps, lotions, knitwear, screen-printed T-shirts and hats
“I’m lucky. I can fill a room full of things I like,” Micki Hassemer said.
The store has about 1,000 square feet of retail space and a small workplace and storage in the back.
“My husband and I looked at this space, and we said, ‘How are going to fill it?’ But Durango has such a rich pool of artists, it wasn’t hard,” she said.
The shop opened 5½ years ago inside Four Leaves Winery.
Hassemer said like many Main Avenue retailers, she had a lackluster summer season, but she said October traffic was great, and she expects strong Christmas sales.
“I think locals will hit the Main Avenue shops hard to support the little guys,” she said.
Sweet AdditionSweet Addition owner Francilia Pena Ehrig opened a pastry and coffee shop in the Main Mall, 835 Main Ave., at the end of September.
“I do pretty much everything. I’m a baker. I learned from my aunt,” said Pena Ehrig, who grew up in Brazil and moved to Europe when she was 18.
Pasteis de Natas – Portuguese custard – is Pena Ehrig’s specialty. She also offers paninis and plans to add soups.
She also bakes specialty cakes and offers frozen dishes that can be taken home and baked and fit into paleo and keto diets.
Store hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Pena Ehrig said she plans to expand hours as traffic picks up.