Two of four businesses that are to occupy the Shoppes by Westwood, 4055 Main St., at the northwest corner of Main and Norwich streets, are to open Sept. 24.
The Urban Market and Birch Tree Home are to open. A third retail store, MAK Home Furnishings, is to open Oct. 6, and the fourth, Old Hilliard Mercantile, is expected to open by the end of October.
Collectively, the four independent retail stores are to occupy the 8,000-square-foot Shoppes by Westwood.
The building most recently housed a lawnmower service shop and decades ago, it was an IGA grocery store before Westwood Collective purchased the property and the building.
Westwood Collective, co-founded by Andy Warnock and Jeremy Whitham, owns and operates several Hilliard businesses, including the Westwood Field House, 3932 Brown Park Drive, and the Junction by Westwood, 5460 Franklin St.
Westwood Collective also owns several properties in the Old Hilliard district that are to be marketed as bed-and-breakfast sites, Warnock said previously.
The Shoppes by Westwood are designed to create “walkable retail” in the Old Hilliard district that “will fill a void” and “compliment the restaurants in the area,” Whitham, curator of goods and services for the Old Hilliard Mercantile and Old Hilliard Artisans & Events, said Sept. 23.
Whitham is owner and operator of Old Hilliard Mercantile, described by Whitham as a “modern-day general store” with pre-packaged health foods, pet supplies, kids’ toys, apparel and home décor.
“Like the town general stores of old, we will offer items to locals within walking distance that people normally need to drive or order to procure,” Whitham said.
The Urban Market, owned and operated by Lauren McKinniss, is a men’s and women’s clothing boutique.
It is the third Urban Market in Ohio.
McKinniss, while a student at Bowling Green State University, worked at the first Urban Market in Findlay and thought it would be “fun to own,” she said.
The opportunity to purchase the storefront came about in 2020.
“I told my mom and dad I wanted to buy it,” and McKinniss did just that, navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and later opening a “pop-up” location in Fostoria, as well as establishing online sales.
A native of Columbus and already familiar with Hilliard, McKinniss said she did not look long or far when considering a third site, acting quickly when a realtor suggested a site in Old Hilliard.
McKinniss’ brother, Grant McKinniss, is her businesses partner, focusing on the men’s side of the wardrobe line.
McKinniss is a teacher at a school in Fostoria.
The store is to sell new clothing, shoes and accessories, such as hats and purses, as well as perfume, colognes and hair- and beard-care products.
The Urban Market is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.
Birch Tree Home is owned and operated by Gretchen Miceli, of Westerville.
“The store is named in memory of my grandfather,” who made thank you notes and other kinds of stationery from the bark of birch trees, Miceli said.
Miceli has worked as a real estate agent selling new homes, but this is her first endeavor at owning her own business.
“It has been a dream of mine (to have a home furnishing store) and I finally get to make it happen, it will be fun,” said Miceli, a former Hilliard resident who recently moved back to central Ohio from Arizona.
Birch Tree Home is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.
Karla Larson, of south Columbus, has decades of business experience as owner and operator of Bella Capelli Salone & Day Spa, 4098 Main St., parlaying it with her business partner, Mary LeMaster, of Grove City, to open MAK Home Furnishings.
LeMaster met Larson as a customer more than 20 years ago and today, the women are partners in a new business that bears the women’s first initials, M and K, and showcases Ohio-made furniture.
The idea for a furniture store evolved from customers who liked the furniture in the salon and day spa, Larson said.
“Customers asked to buy some of the things I had in my salon,” Larson said.
MAK Home Furnishings is to utilize many manufactures, including Whatman Hardwoods, in Bellville, and is to feature only Ohio-made manufactured or reconditioned furniture.
Sofas, dining-room tables, light fixtures and furnishings for any room in the house will be showcased, LeMaster said.
With few exceptions of reconditioned or repurposed pieces, the items at MAK Home Furnishings are newly manufactured.
When open, the Old Hilliard Mercantile space is to also include the Old Hilliard Artisans & Events.
It is to be a “space where you can make, teach or host events,” Whitham said.
“We will have flower-arrangement events, home-design workshops, toy-making classes for children and pop-up shop events. It can also be utilized for baby showers, birthday parties or casual get-togethers.”