By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — New downtown shop Marshfield Mercantile will serve as the trial run host for those interested in stepping into business without the commitment of opening a storefront.
“The point of the store is to provide a venue for anybody in town that has a skill or a craft or a product that they make that they want to sell,” Kelly Stonham stated. “We want to give them a place to do that. We will be holding an open day where we take two or three people that have a skill or craft, and they can come in for free, and they can set up, and they can try to sell their merchandise and see how well it takes off.”
Stonham is the silent partner of business owner Sean Stonham and a longtime senior business analyst who left her desk job to use her business sense to help others get started.
As of the July 15 soft opening of the Marshfield Mercantile, located on the corner of Fourth Street and Central Avenue, the Stonhams had two dozen business partners for whom they will provide a storefront on either a temporary or permanent basis.
“We have invited the Homesteader’s Pantry here, so we will have organic meats, eggs, milk, yogurt. We are going to have soft serve ice cream two days a week. We are going to have (Redwood Roasters products). We are going to have deli stuff,” explained Kelly.
“We are going to have workshops here. We are going to have demonstrations,” she said. “I’ve got a candle maker that is going to set up a cute little spot, and he’ll do demos, maybe during a Saturday. … We have a Greek chef that can do a cooking class for us. So we will have all of these things that you can come and do, floral arrangements or whatever.”
The Stonhams’ business model could be defined as a cross between a gathering place and an antique mall that is open to a wide variety of vendors and crafters.
“We don’t want to take business away from anybody, but we wanted to provide that venue where somebody new can see how well their product sells,” Kelly added. “We just want to be something different in town that you don’t normally see.”