Homegrown Port Townsend department store open for business
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Customers Leanne Ryweck, left, and Susie De Rochefort, right, talk with Quimper Mercantile Co. board member and City Council member Michelle Sandoval during the store’s first Saturday of operation. -- Photo by Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — The Quimper Mercantile Co. on Saturday afternoon was full of shoppers who were checking out the new space and what it has for sale.

“They have quality merchandise, and it’s nicely displayed,” said Leanne Ryweck of Port Townsend.

“And they aren’t offering duplicates of things that are available at other stores downtown.”

The store at 1121 Water St. quietly held a soft opening Thursday. A grand opening is planned, but no date has been set yet.

Store hours are from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.

The publicly traded Quimper Mercantile Co. — or QMC — was formed after Swain’s Outdoor, which was in the same Water Street location, closed in early 2011 after operating in Port Townsend since 1996.

A group of local investors sold stock to open a store that offered items that were no longer available in the downtown area.

Merchandise includes sporting goods, toys and clothing for men, women and children.

“It’s been very exciting,” assistant manager Holly Mayshark said of the store’s first Saturday. “We’ve gotten a very positive response.”

Mayshark said there are still some rough edges in the 11,000-square-foot store.

“We have some painting and need to sweep out the sawdust,” she said.

“There is refining and a little tweaking we need to do. It’s a work in progress.”

Mayshark said she will already need to reorder some items, such as curly-toed baby booties that have proven to be popular, and that she’d like to increase the depth of the inventory.

“A lot of people say they like what we offer, but we don’t have their size or the exact style they want,” she said.

“We need to fill in those gaps.”

Nathan Barnett of Port Townsend bought a watch “for good luck,” he said.

QMC began selling stock in January and has so far raised $530,000, exceeding the $425,000 required to open the store but less than the $950,000 funding goal.

Peter Quinn, chief executive officer of QMC, has said he expects stock sales to pick up again after the store opened.

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Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at charlie.bermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: October 13. 2012 5:37PM
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