eMailMax 1/7/12 : Page 1

ECRWSS Local Postal Customer Pa per. ws Ne Your Good January 7, 2012 www.MailMaxOnline.com Thanksgiving was the best sales day in the history of the store. Gloves, coats and head wraps were hot sellers there, along with their trademark denim products. La Dee Da Children’s Boutique said that sales were down a little bit, but very close to last year’s performance. They reported that the number of sales made was up this year, but the average amount spent was down. Personalized chil-dren’s jewelry and sports logo books were the top sellers at La Dee Da. At Harbor Town Interiors the season, “Was pretty much what we anticipated,” according to Mary Kay. They did enjoy one spectacular binge in which a gentleman com-pletely furnished an entire condo for his wife as a Christmas surprise. She tells me that lots of people made a strong effort to shop local this year, and gift items were the hot sellers at Harbor Town. A couple of doors down Moxie’s owner Monica Bolin was beaming from ear to ear when she described the Christmas season as both “Fabulous and exhausting!” She said they absolutely blew out the numbers this year. In fact, she says that other than two flat months when it never seemed to stop raining earlier in the year, it was an outstandingly strong year, all year long. Accessories were the hot ticket at Moxie’s this holiday season. Right next door to Moxie’s, where V&A Bootery and Landis Clothing share space it was a tale of two cities. Shoe and boot buyers provided a strong season. For Doug Landis it was simply, “Slow.” While the season ended up okay, “People were just hanging onto their POSTMASTER: Please deliver on January 7, 2012 Volume 13, Ver. 01 Moody on The Market MOODY Continued from page 1 A s we all get back to a more normal lifestyle fol-lowing the glitz and glam-our of the holiday season, there is great news all throughout downtown St. Joseph. The first bit of that news is truly outstanding for the heritage and character of the central busi-ness district. Careful readers might have noticed in various real estate listings that the building housing G&M Variety Store , affec-tionately known to most of us as simply “The Dime Store,” had been for sale for some time. Rather than run the risk of ending up with an owner that wanted to use the space for some-thing else, store owners Gary & Mary Nicola from Rockville, Indiana elected to buy the building themselves. They did not want to have to lose the dime store or relocate it, so they purchased the building and closed the deal a couple of days after Christmas. As Store Manager Gloria Mance said, “It was the best Christmas present, ever! ” Fans of the popular store will be delighted to know that G&M Variety will be a part of downtown for many, many years to come. I learned about the consummation of that business deal as I was checking in with a num-ber of the downtown merchants to see how they had fared during the holiday season. With only a few exceptions, the results were a resounding, “Wow!” The Toy Company was actually looking a bit depleted, and they reported that’s a good thing as they get ready to go to the annual marketplace for the best new ideas. The shop was very busy, with a constant stream of buyers. The hottest sellers there were the amazing Air Swimmer remote controlled flyers and the round card game, Spot It. There was only one Air Swimmer left in the shop and Spot It was actually sold out fairly early in the season. Across the street at DK Clothiers they scored an “Amazing year!” They told me they didn’t think they could pos-sibly top last year’s outstanding performance, but they did, and they are extremely grateful that so many people made a point of shopping locally this year. The popular Pandora jew-elry system was by far the hottest seller there. Third Coast Surf Shop, celebrating their first Christmas in downtown St. Joe told me they didn’t really know what to expect, but were very, very impressed. Chris told me that they were “Super Happy,” with the steady sales pattern which continued even after Christmas where bikini’s are now 50% off. Name brand clothing, skate boards and GoPro specialty cameras were big sellers at the shop. Jeny Ludwig, who manages Lana’s Boutique, admitted that the Christmas trade wasn’t as robust as the summer season was, but having said that she says that the day after Continued on page 8 M oody Pat money,” according to Landis. Summer and residents who worked hard to shop locally this September were strong for him, but the final year. Madge at Edgewater Gifts told me quarter of the year faded. Sweaters and vests they also saw a slow start due to the weather, were the top seller of the season. Everybody but the final two weeks really boosted traffic loves treats for the holiday season and that and sales dramatically. Her shop enjoyed proved to be the case for Kilwin’s Chocolates, strong sterling silver jewelry sales this holi-Ice Cream & Fudge, where Store Manager day. Patti told me they enjoyed 27 straight days of At White Pine Winery, Dave told me the non-stop action making gift baskets and the season was actually better than they had ever-popular caramel apples which they had to expected and they were busy virtually every make at least twice a day. They were still very day and enjoyed a continuation of that in the busy after Christmas, and the apples and fudge week after Christmas as well. Dry Riesling were tops for them. and Reserve Riesling were his hottest sellers For FuzzyButz Pet Bakery this was the, along with a good mix of merchandise in the “Busiest year ever! ” In fact, Christmas Eve store. His neighbors at Sweet Seasons did day turned out to be the absolute busiest day very well, especially with baked goods. They in the history of the shop. While things started said things were very busy and compared to out a little slow in the beginning, things went last year they were slightly above performance crazy as time marched on, with Christmas levels. The “wonderful weather” was integral cookies and Santa bones flying off the shelves. to the success of Forever Books where they The Candlestick Maker debuted this past enjoyed one of their best years ever. Bob summer in downtown and they haven’t looked Myer’s local book Greetings from Benton backwards since. The season was outstanding Harbor was an excellent top seller along with and the 23 rd of December was the most suc-books about Steve Jobs and by Bill O’Reilly. The Chocolate Martini’s offered by Eve cessful in the history of the company. Candles and metal wall art were the hottest sellers Boutique on Luminary Night were the perfect along with jar candles made right here in launch to a strong season for the women’s Michigan’s Great Southwest. Up the block clothier where they enjoyed good steady sales at Jewelfire Diamond Center, Shawn Palma all the way through the season. Jewelry and tells me that they debuted a Ladies Night fea-accessories were the top sellers this year. turing gifts from a number of other merchants Even Jimmy John’s Sandwich Shop enjoyed in the area and they enjoyed a solid season a robust season. Deb was highly complimen-with pendants, necklaces and engagement tary of the work done by the City of St. Joseph of getting the entire downtown into rings among the most popular gifts. Tom Ives at Cellular Choices has a the mood. She said many merchants had told Christmas wish. He wants to be the next her of strong sales this year. Even she sold a Perennial Accents! He told me that if he had lot of gift cards redeemable for her popular a dollar for every green bag that walked past sandwiches later in the year, along with lots of his store next door he could retire for life. New Year’s Eve party platters. Finally comes the story of The Natural Christmas for his cellular phone store was good, but came quite late in the season with Gem, where owners Charles and Nancy * Comparison based on mailed check from the IRS, which normally arrives 18-25 days after IRS acceptance of your return. Normal time to receive a Refund Anticipation Check (RAC) is 7-14 days after IRS th celebrating their smart phones being top Block sellers. was abso-for Brinkman acceptance. Standard tax preparation fees apply. Free RAC offer applies to a RAC loaded onto an H&R Emerald He Prepaid MasterCard® Federal-only returns. are Fees apply if state return is filed or if 10 RAC is provided as a paper check or direct deposit into another bank account. H&R Block Emerald Prepaid MasterCard is issued by, and RAC is provided by, H&R Block Bank, a Federal Savings Bank, lutely correct about the at Perennial Anniversary in business. spent member FDIC. You must meet legal requirements for opening a bank account. A RAC is a bank deposit, not a crew loan, and is limited to the size of your refund less applicable fees. You can They electronically file nine your return and receive your refund without a RAC, a loan or extra fees. MasterCard is a registered trademark of MasterCard Block Maine License of Number: FRA2. Available and Accents. There were so many people International in the Incorporated. years in H&R the 400 block State Street, at participating offices. Free RAC offer expires 2/04/12. ©2011 HRB Tax Group, Inc. store four days after Christmas that I couldn’t moved a year ago to their new spot a couple of possible talk with them. They did tell me a blocks north. Charles started out as a whole-couple of days before Christmas, however, saler at first, but when he got into retail things that it had been an absolutely stellar year for really took off. As an avid rock collector, he the store and they were delighted at the local used many pieces to accent his showcases in the store. They were supposed to be just props, but so many people insisted on buying We’re open and ready to talk taxes! them that he became popular for selling rocks, minerals and fossils as well. Amazingly he signed his first 3-year lease downtown one WATERVLIET BENTON HARBOR ST JOSEPH day before America came under attack on 9/11 of 2001. He and Nancy Hwy hunkered down 7489 Red Arrow 1613 Mall Drive 1332 Hilltop Rd and survived and now his business has jumped Phone: 269-926-8838 Phone: 269-429-8435 by a Phone: good 30% 269-463-4334 since he moved closer to the heart of downtown in his corner location. In We’ve moved! fact, he used to be able to handle the business Continued on page 9 Get MONEY FAST for FREE* Refund Anticipation Check FREE on an H&R Block Emerald Prepaid MasterCard®. Hurry offer expires February 4, 2012. Inserts & Promotions MailMax is a publication of Far Ahead Advertising, Inc. 2202 Plaza Drive Benton Harbor, MI 49022 Phone: 269.934.7522 FAX: 269.934.3297 email: publisher@farahead.com www.MailMaxOnline.com •www.facebook.com/eMailMax • Harding’s Friendly Markets • Roger’s Foodland • MOODY Martin’s Super Markets Continued from page 8 • Jets Pizza • Culvers Inserts may vary by Zip Code

Moody On The Market

Pat Moody

As we all get back to a more normal lifestyle following the glitz and glamour of the holiday season, there is great news all throughout downtown St. Joseph. The first bit of that news is truly outstanding for the heritage and character of the central business district. Careful readers might have noticed in various real estate listings that the building housing G&M Variety Store, affectionately known to most of us as simply “The Dime Store,” had been for sale for some time. Rather than run the risk of ending up with an owner that wanted to use the space for something else, store owners Gary & Mary Nicola from Rockville, Indiana elected to buy the building themselves. They did not want to have to lose the dime store or relocate it, so they purchased the building and closed the deal a couple of days after Christmas. As Store Manager Gloria Mance said, “It was the best Christmas present, ever!” Fans of the popular store will be delighted to know that G&M Variety will be a part of downtown for many, many years to come.<br /> <br /> I learned about the consummation of that business deal as I was checking in with a number of the downtown merchants to see how they had fared during the holiday season. With only a few exceptions, the results were a resounding, “Wow!” The Toy Company was actually looking a bit depleted, and they reported that’s a good thing as they get ready to go to the annual marketplace for the best new ideas. The shop was very busy, with a constant stream of buyers. The hottest sellers there were the amazing Air Swimmer remote controlled flyers and the round card game, Spot It. There was only one Air Swimmer left in the shop and Spot It was actually sold out fairly early in the season. Across the street at DK Clothiers they scored an “Amazing year!” They told me they didn’t think they could possibly top last year’s outstanding performance, but they did, and they are extremely grateful that so many people made a point of shopping locally this year. The popular Pandora jewelry system was by far the hottest seller there.<br /> <br /> Third Coast Surf Shop, celebrating their first Christmas in downtown St. Joe told me they didn’t really know what to expect, but were very, very impressed. Chris told me that they were “Super Happy,” with the steady sales pattern which continued even after Christmas where bikini’s are now 50% off. Name brand clothing, skate boards and GoPro specialty cameras were big sellers at the shop. Jeny Ludwig, who manages Lana’s Boutique, admitted that the Christmas trade wasn’t as robust as the summer season was, but having said that she says that the day after Thanksgiving was the best sales day in the history of the store. Gloves, coats and head wraps were hot sellers there, along with their trademark denim products. La Dee Da Children’s Boutique said that sales were down a little bit, but very close to last year’s performance. They reported that the number of sales made was up this year, but the average amount spent was down. Personalized children’s jewelry and sports logo books were the top sellers at La Dee Da.<br /> <br /> At Harbor Town Interiors the season, “Was pretty much what we anticipated,” according to Mary Kay. They did enjoy one spectacular binge in which a gentleman completely furnished an entire condo for his wife as a Christmas surprise. She tells me that lots of people made a strong effort to shop local this year, and gift items were the hot sellers at Harbor Town. A couple of doors down Moxie’s owner Monica Bolin was beaming from ear to ear when she described the Christmas season as both “Fabulous and exhausting!” She said they absolutely blew out the numbers this year. In fact, she says that other than two flat months when it never seemed to stop raining earlier in the year, it was an outstandingly strong year, all year long. Accessories were the hot ticket at Moxie’s this holiday season.<br /> <br /> Right next door to Moxie’s, where V&A Bootery and Landis Clothing share space it was a tale of two cities. Shoe and boot buyers provided a strong season. For Doug Landis it was simply, “Slow.” While the season ended up okay, “People were just hanging onto their money,” according to Landis. Summer and September were strong for him, but the final quarter of the year faded. Sweaters and vests were the top seller of the season. Everybody loves treats for the holiday season and that proved to be the case for Kilwin’s Chocolates, Ice Cream & Fudge, where Store Manager Patti told me they enjoyed 27 straight days of non-stop action making gift baskets and the ever-popular caramel apples which they had to make at least twice a day. They were still very busy after Christmas, and the apples and fudge were tops for them.<br /> <br /> For FuzzyButz Pet Bakery this was the, “Busiest year ever!” In fact, Christmas Eve day turned out to be the absolute busiest day in the history of the shop. While things started out a little slow in the beginning, things went crazy as time marched on, with Christmas cookies and Santa bones flying off the shelves. The Candlestick Maker debuted this past summer in downtown and they haven’t looked backwards since. The season was outstanding and the 23rd of December was the most successful in the history of the company. Candles and metal wall art were the hottest sellers along with jar candles made right here in Michigan’s Great Southwest. Up the block at Jewel fire Diamond Center, Shawn Palma tells me that they debuted a Ladies Night featuring gifts from a number of other merchants in the area and they enjoyed a solid season with pendants, necklaces and engagement rings among the most popular gifts.<br /> <br /> Tom Ives at Cellular Choices has a Christmas wish. He wants to be the next Perennial Accents! He told me that if he had a dollar for every green bag that walked past his store next door he could retire for life. Christmas for his cellular phone store was good, but came quite late in the season with smart phones being top sellers. He was absolutely correct about the crew at Perennial Accents. There were so many people in the store four days after Christmas that I couldn’t possible talk with them. They did tell me a couple of days before Christmas, however, that it had been an absolutely stellar year for the store and they were delighted at the local residents who worked hard to shop locally this year. Madge at Edgewater Gifts told me they also saw a slow start due to the weather, but the final two weeks really boosted traffic and sales dramatically. Her shop enjoyed strong sterling silver jewelry sales this holiday.<br /> <br /> At White Pine Winery, Dave told me the season was actually better than they had expected and they were busy virtually every day and enjoyed a continuation of that in the week after Christmas as well. Dry Riesling and Reserve Riesling were his hottest sellers along with a good mix of merchandise in the store. His neighbors at Sweet Seasons did very well, especially with baked goods. They said things were very busy and compared to last year they were slightly above performance levels. The “wonderful weather” was integral to the success of Forever Books where they enjoyed one of their best years ever. Bob Myer’s local book Greetings from Benton Harbor was an excellent top seller along with books about Steve Jobs and by Bill O’Reilly.<br /> <br /> The Chocolate Martini’s offered by Eve Boutique on Luminary Night were the perfect launch to a strong season for the women’s clothier where they enjoyed good steady sales all the way through the season. Jewelry and accessories were the top sellers this year. Even Jimmy John’s Sandwich Shop enjoyed a robust season. Deb was highly complimentary of the work done by the City of St. Joseph of getting the entire downtown into the mood. She said many merchants had told her of strong sales this year. Even she sold a lot of gift cards redeemable for her popular sandwiches later in the year, along with lots of New Year’s Eve party platters.<br /> <br /> Finally comes the story of The Natural Gem, where owners Charles and Nancy Brink man are celebrating their 10th Anniversary in business. They spent nine years in the 400 block of State Street, and moved a year ago to their new spot a couple of blocks north. Charles started out as a wholesaler at first, but when he got into retail things really took off. As an avid rock collector, he used many pieces to accent his showcases in the store. They were supposed to be just props, but so many people insisted on buying them that he became popular for selling rocks, minerals and fossils as well. Amazingly he signed his first 3-year lease downtown one day before America came under attack on 9/11 of 2001. He and Nancy hunkered down and survived and now his business has jumped by a good 30% since he moved closer to the heart of downtown in his corner location. In fact, he used to be able to handle the business alone, but now he has had to hire help to handle the front counter since his repair and custom work has grown to the point of 400 to 500 operations a month. He is bringing his daughter under his wing, too, teaching her gold smithing. With clients from Detroit to Chicago and as far away as Texas and Florida, Mr. Brinkman’s reputation as a stone-cutter of renown is crystal clear. The Brinkmans are also very proud that they are a dog-friendly shop where you are always welcome to bring your best friend. Congratulations on your 10-year milestone, and best of luck in the future!<br /> <br /> Kirby’s Thrift Store has just marked their second anniversary in business on the front lot of the Benton Harbor Wal Mart store. They also recently opened up a new Kirby’s Thrift Store at 1432 S. 11th Street in Niles, just past Martins Supermarket. Thanks to the support of the community, Chris Kirby tells me that they are able to continue to offer super low prices. In fact all of their clothing, coats and shoes are priced at just 99-cents each. Furniture and other miscellaneous items are always marked exceptionally low as well. For example most couches are $29.99 or less, chairs are $4.99 and up, books are just 79-cents and more. Better yet, if you donate items to the collection, you will be given 30% off your entire purchase. Incidentally, the Kirby’s are the ones who recently opened up the Donation Center on Niles Avenue in South town St. Joseph. You can drop off donations there at any time or call 757-7462 for assistance.<br /> <br /> Next Saturday there’s a great event on tap as the Water Street Glass works, Gelato Works and The Livery team up for a special Hot Glass Cold Beer Event in the Benton Harbor Arts District. It’s an afternoon affair, Saturday, January 14th from 2 until 7pm at both venues. You’ll find the “works” at 138-140 Water Street and the Livery at 190 5th Street. Check it out for yourself. Great fun on a cold winter’s day with a hot show just for you!<br /> <br /> That’s it for this week, kids. Have a great weekend…and keep spending your dollars on the local scene. As you have seen all throughout today’s column, you are definitely having an impact…and it is well-noted and sincerely appreciated! See you next Saturday right here in MailMax!<br /> <br /> Pat Moody<br /> <br /> Executive Vice President of Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce pmoody@cstonealliance.org 269-925-6100 ext. 216

In Michigan's Great Southwest

 

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