Cobble-Ridge Co-op opens today with 10 vendors
By Sue Cook, staff reporter
GAINES – After months of anticipation, Kim Rowe will open the Cobble-Ridge Co-op today on Ridge Road with 10 vendors.
“A lot of people have been buzzing about it,” Rowe said.
Today’s grand opening event will feature Of the Bear, a musical collaboration between Al Capurso and his son. They will entertain shoppers with their bluegrass sound starting at 10:30 a.m. Refreshments will be served as well.
Rowe put an offer in on the USA Merchantile building in June and was able to close in November. She did some clean-up on the space and applied for permits from the town of Gaines and the county. Rowe, owner of U Make Scents shampoos and conditioners, bought the building and accepted applications from interested vendors.
“I needed to figure out what to do with the rest of the space. This made sense,” she said. “It’s like an old time variety store, but not just with one vendor, there are several.”
Stepping inside is like walking into a miniature flea market. Vendors fill the room with their own little display spaces selling an amalgam of items.
Betsy Meisenzahl plans to be a permanent vendor at the co-op. “I saw her sign out front and decided to stop in. I talked to Kim and came back the next day with all the paperwork filled out. I thought it was awesome.”
Meisenzahl commented that this is a great spot for finding craft supplies in small quantities so that you don’t have to buy in bulk the way you might at many big chain stores, and that the cost is reasonable. “Everybody here is fairly priced,” she said.
“I don’t take commissions or cuts from any of the vendors,” Rowe stated.
Rowe feels it helps everyone price their items the way that they want. She hopes that if you walk in looking for one item, you will see something from another vendor and want to purchase from them as well. Rowe sells several craft products, furnishings, and lots of other little odds-and-ends items.
The current vendors include local businesses, such as Big Ash and Hendel Farms. Viola’s Boutique has also set up a display of their own inside the co-op selling accessories such as scarves, bags, and necklaces. Owner Tina Page applied as a vendor at Rowe’s encouragement.
“It’s another opportunity to showcase merchandise, and it’s a good location,” Page said.
Rowe plans to further expand the business by having outdoor flea markets and farmers’ markets when the weather warms up. She also hopes to create a kitchen space in the back of the building.
She welcomes customers to come back frequently and provide feedback. She says she plans to change around merchandise all the time in order to provide what the customer wants and would love to add more vendors.
The grand opening is today at 10:30 a.m. The co-op will be open regularly Wednesday through Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about the Cobble-Ridge Co-op or becoming a vendor, call (585) 283-4009. It is located at 14462 Ridge Rd., Albion, next door to the Olde Dogge Inn.