JuneBug Store, coffee shop planned for Ottertail Creamery
The JuneBug Store is scheduled to open this spring in the first floor of the renovated Ottertail Creamery building. This 'occasional shop' will be the first retail space rented out since the building was purchased by the Ottertail-based Firestarters Ministry.
JuneBug Store owner Roberta Whipple was present at the April 2 Ottertail City Council meeting to share some of her retail ideas with the city. Whipple started by outlining the concept of an 'occasional shop'-- which is a new trend in retailing where entrepreneurs who may already have another full-time job open a shop on a more limited basis than a typical store's schedule of hours.
Whipple said she plans to switch the inventory in her small shop frequently. With a constant flow of new retail items, she hopes shoppers will be inclined to frequent the store on a regular basis to see what has changed.
She will also be implementing some store contests to get customers involved in the shop operations.
In addition to purses, the JuneBug Store will carry jewelry, pre-packaged food, t-shirts and sweatshirts, sandals, scarves, greeting cards, sunglasses, kitchen accessories, and a variety of gift items.
Whipple and her husband currently live in the metro area, but spend their summers at a lake cabin on Middle Leaf. They're familiar with the area, having lived in Fergus Falls for 20 years. Roberta Whipple grew up near Detroit Lakes.
After explaining some of her business plans to the city council, Whipple shared the slogan she chose for the JuneBug Store: "Purses and More. Where Groovy Gals Shop!"
"Do you allow men in the place then?" questioned Ottertail Mayor Raymond "Ole" Mounts, eliciting a chuckle from Whipple, followed by an "of course."
Coffee shop will open
On behalf of Firestarters Ministry, Pete Thiel was present at the April 2 council meeting requesting a zoning permit for some additional remodeling at the historic Ottertail Creamery building.
The council approved his request for some remodeling to take place on the first floor of the building. According to Thiel, this will include items such as replacing windows, sandblasting, and preparing for the retail space to be occupied by the JuneBug Store.
He was also granted a permit to pour a 25 x 40 foot cement slab on the lot between the creamery building and the Ottertail Post Office. Starting this spring, Thiel said the plan is to sell ice cream and coffee out of a mobile coffee shop unit.
"It will be a place to sit and get your coffee," Thiel said of the area adjacent to the creamery. "We will sell espresso drinks, hot and cold."