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Perham shops shuffle up

Marie Nitke/FOCUS The old ReMax building in downtown Perham is being renovated for a new clothing store. ReMax is one of several businesses in town to move recently, or to be moving in the near future.

The changes in a nutshell:

• Make Me Wine moved in with Alluring FX on 141 First Ave. S

• In With the Old moved into Make Me Wine's old spot, at 139 First Ave. S

• The Back Porch is moving in with Sugar & Spice, at 101 W Main St.

• Refreshing Designs is moving into The Back Porch's old site, at 114 First Ave. S

• Thru Him Photography may move into Refreshing Design's old spot (not for sure yet)

• Perham Printing moved to 235 W Main St. The new Perham Office Supply, Copy Center & Gift Shop will be at the old site at 223 W Main St.

• ReMax moved to the Blue Sky Building at 650 Third Ave. SE

• Dot & Minnie's is a new business moving into ReMax's old spot on First Avenue South

Several recent or upcoming store relocations are shaking things up a little in Perham.

The business moves are a sign of success and change, and are at least partially due to "the domino effect," as Perham's economic development director Chuck Johnson describes it - one business relocates and that opens up its original space; another business moves into that space, opening up another, and so on.

"One move leads to another with a lot of these," Johnson said.

In With the Old, for example, recently moved into the former Make Me Wine building after Make Me Wine upsized to its new location on 141 First Ave. S.

Make Me Wine simply outgrew its old space, according to Mary Roberts, who owns the store with her husband, DuWayne.

"We needed to expand because our business just grew so fast," she said. "We were out of room."

The couple shares its new building - which is right next door to its old one - with Alluring FX, a beauty salon that was already housed there but now has set up shop in a smaller area at the back of the store. Mary said it was one of those things where the owner of Alluring FX, "was saying the building was too big for her, and we were saying ours was too small for us... so it was a great compromise."

Make Me Wine opened in its new location Feb. 1. By the next day, In With the Old was open for business next door. Like the building's former occupant, In With the Old quickly outgrew its first location.

The refurbished furniture and antiques store is now located at 139 First Avenue South. Store owner Linda Yager said so far, "It's going really good here."

In With the Old's former location on Main Street is currently for sale. Real Estate Results is handling the listing; a representative said Monday that she didn't know of any serious buyers yet.

In another "domino effect" move, Refreshing Designs will be relocating into the former Back Porch building, since The Back Porch is moving in with Sugar & Spice.

Danielle Glorvigen, who owns Refreshing Designs, had been renting a space on Main Street but was ready to upsize.

"We were just getting so crammed," she said. "Now we'll have a bigger space, with a studio and new retail space."

Glorvigen said the new store will be set up like a house, with a kitchen, living room, etc., "so we can showcase how we decorate, and then have the items for sale, as well."

Refreshing Design's new location will be at 114 First Ave. S. Glorvigen said she'd be starting to move in this week. The business will be "partially open" during the transition, and a grand opening at the new location will be held in April.

"The increase of business, especially local business, has been really good - that's why we've been able to do this," Glorvigen explained. "The community has been really supportive of us."

Thru Him Photography owner Kristin McMartin is looking into the possibility of moving into Refreshing Design's old spot, but nothing has been finalized yet.

Starting at the beginning of April, The Back Porch will be located at 101 W Main St., in the building that Sugar & Spice has been calling home.

The two businesses, owned by mother and daughter Bette Pitzel and Michelle Shaw, were located side-by-side in two separate buildings, but are now consolidating.

The new shared space will be closed through March for remodeling. Pitzel said the store will reopen under the name The Back Porch, with Sugar & Spice referring only to the ice cream and tea room inside.

"We're keeping the best of both stores," said Shaw. "We'll have a little mix of everything... and we'll be expanding into the basement, so there'll be a lower level when we reopen."

Customers can follow the store's move on Facebook.

And while these two businesses merge, another is branching out - it was announced recently that long-time Perham Printing owners, Doug and Sue Eckes, have sold the printing business but will continue to operate a separate office supply store in town.

Perham Printing, under the new ownership of Rick and Joanne Davis, has moved to a new location at 235 W Main St. across the hall from the radio station in the Main Street Mall.

 Perham Office Supply, Copy Center & Gift Shop, which is still owned by the Eckes, remains at the old site, at 223 W Main St. The Eckes intend to use the extra space to expand their copy center, office, computer, art supply and gift inventory.

ReMax has also recently moved, making way for a new business downtown - a women's clothing store called Dot & Minnie's.

ReMax had been located next to the Comet Theater on First Avenue South for 12 years; the company has been open since the beginning of January at its new location in the Blue Sky Building, at 650 Third Ave. SE, just down the road from Subway.

Owner Jennifer Hanson said she decided to move when she found a buyer for her former building. The new location has more useful space for a real estate office, she said, along with faster internet.

"We had an opportunity to upgrade our technology and put in a few more whistles and bells," she said.

Renovation has already begun at ReMax's fomer site, where Dot & Minnie's is going in.

The store is being opened by Andrea Greiff, a Perham native who had been working as an accountant in Nebraska. Greiff said the store will carry misses and plus-sized clothing for women ages 30 and up, plus some accessories and gift items. She hopes to have the store open by April 1.