MEDINA – The Downtown Browsery celebrated its grand opening in Medina today. The cooperative has 30 vendors who opened on Sept. 3 at 413 Main St., which was the long-time site of the former Journal-Register newspaper.
The Downtown Browsery started 15 years ago in Albion with a few vendors at 14 East Bank St. Now the Browsery has 40 vendors and has expanded to three storefronts on North Main Street in Albion.
The Medina site includes 10 of the vendors from Albion, plus about 20 new ones. The Medina site has benefitted from the busy foot traffic in downtown Medina, said Liz Groat, Browsery president.
“Medina is way cool,” she said this morning, as people crowded into the store.
Since the Browsery opened last month in Medina, the Albion site has experienced more customers with people from Medina wanting to check out the Albion store as well, Groat said.
That was part of the goal in expanding to Medina, to promote both Browsery locations.
“So far it’s been great,” she said about the Medina site. “We have no complaints.”
Some of the Browsery vendors were joined at the grand-opening celebration today by Medina Mayor Michael Sidari and Medina Business Association President Cindy Robinson.
Robinson said the downtown storefronts are nearly all full with nearly 100 businesses. The MBA welcomes the Browsery which offers another retail opportunity in the downtown.
Robinson said some professionals are starting to go in the second floor of the buildings because the first floor is at near capacity.
Wes Hansen and Dale Laubacher of Medina are among the new vendors in the Browsery. They sell knick knacks, pastel artwork by Hansen and other finds they pick up at garage sales. They are pleased with the response from customers.
They appreciate the low risk as a vendor. They contribute 10 hours a month in helping to run the store, while paying a small fee for space in the building.
Liz Groat said the Browsery has an eclectic mix of items. She said today was the first time pies were available from the Church of the Abundant Harvest in Knowlesville/Millville.