Photo of: Elvyn Jones
The recent opening of a new store coupled with the upcoming opening of another store has filled all the stores available in downtown Baldwin City.
Sandy Chapman and Lora Rimmer opened the doors to their Om Grown Yoga Collective at 707 Eighth St. in June, and Niki Manbeck plans to open The Nook at 703 Eighth St. next month.
Chapman and Manbeck said they spent a year looking for a place before finding a place in the popular downtown area.
Chapman and Rimmer started their yoga business using the space provided by the Baldwin Academy of Dance and Voice and Baldwin Fitness as they continued to look for a downtown home, Chapman said.
“We feel very happy,” she said. “We wanted a place in the city center. We were looking for a place where many people could find us. ”
The partners’ goal is to make yoga affordable and accessible in Baldwin City, Chapman said. Om Grown offers yoga classes and workshops in the studio from Monday to Saturday.
Manbeck said she first reached out to Jeannette Blackmar, director of the Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce, to find a location for a downtown bookstore shortly after moving to Baldwin City 16 months ago. Their search ended in May when Dave Hill and Casey Simoneau bought the two-story house at 703 Eighth St.. Her plans for the business grew during talks with Hill about the commercial space on the first floor of the house that had once been a pharmacy, she said.
“It went from being a small bookstore to a really great project,” she said. “We’ll have new and used books, a small gift shop, coffee lounge, and full service bar. It won’t be a “rowdy bar” but a place where shoppers and tourists can come and relax. We will use the counter fountain counter that was there from the pharmacy for the coffee bar. “
The Nook will have WiFi, which she hopes will attract Baker University students to the coffee lounge, operated by the existing Baldwin City Coffee Shop Jitters, she said.
The ongoing restoration will include the installation of a toilet and ramp to the first floor that complies with the law on Americans with disabilities, Manbeck said. An outdoor terrace is also planned for the lawn of the house.
A tape cut is scheduled for September 13, and she hopes to open the next day, Manbeck said. Renovations could delay the opening, but The Nook will be open by October 1 at the latest, she said.
The Nook will also be home to their Publishing Empire, Manbeck said. The company takes writers a step further from self-publishing their work by providing practical advice and support on things like cover art and directing with marketing efforts, she said. Imperium Publishing has published more than 50 science fiction works, children’s fiction, detective novels, poetry, and other genres, she said.
Manbeck said The Nook will complement and benefit from the existing downtown restaurant and retail business as the community draws more visitors through the activities of the Chamber, the downtown Lumberyard Arts Center and the Midland Railway.
“The more stores you have in an area, the more people you bring with you,” she said. “Maybe you have a couple who eats in the Mexican restaurant that walks past our terrace and decides to have a drink. Tourists want a place to go. More business will increase downtown pedestrian traffic and bring more business for everyone. “