North Pines Market merges retail with crafty classes
Stepping off Main Street on a cold and blustery afternoon into North Pines Market is a full sensory experience. The smell of pine needles and fresh wood accompanies the wide assortment of clothes, gifts and furniture.
Veronica Marpoe and husband Jeremy opened the store in June after mulling the idea over for years while they waited for the right space. "It's a great layout, there's lots of retail and the back area where we have this area to build," Veronica said.
Veronica's degree in graphic design and Jeremy's skills as a carpenter matched to make the store come alive. "We've always been into design and creating things."
The storefront leads to a large workshop where Veronica leads hands-on do-it-yourself classes. She says the classes get people off their screens and creating something tangible."In our space, we showcase our love for making and designing and we're helping others to do the same in our workshop."
Heading into the dead of winter the store will be offering more building classes to include items such as headboards, end tables and blanket ladders. Veronica says she's bringing something different and is not out to compete with other small businesses.
"I'm hoping to be a staple in town that brings other people in," she said. "Come do a workshop and see how great our town is and all the little shops."
Her goal moving forward is to include more kid friendly classes from elementary to high school, which she says will offer more of what people are hoping to find.
The storefront has gone through numerous incarnations including a Napa auto parts, car dealership, print shop and second hand store.
Veronica and Jeremy made the space their own by painting and building all their own shelving but were careful not to overdo it. "We kept it a fresh and clean, modern farmhouse feel," Veronica said.
The open floor plan means you won't be tiptoeing in fear of knocking something over. "It'll never be crowded. I love the fact that this summer I would see moms with baby carriages coming in."
The openness also comes from Veronica's care in handpicking the unique and local inventory. "My big thing is if we don't make it and sell it ourselves I find smaller based companies to buy from," Veronica said. "We shop small and buy small."
Veronica finds the suppliers from Instagram, and as the store has gained notoriety, companies now reach out to her. "We'll buy from one company, and they'll also suggest someone else. Everyone has creative friends."
The store's centerpiece is a custom farmhouse table made by Jeremy. "It feels so good to have our pieces in someone's home," Veronica said.
The store offers everything from natural skincare products, clothes, coffee cups, beer glasses, magnets, cards keychains, custom furniture and an array of Minnesota-centric gift items. "There's a little bit of something for everyone, including budget wise," Veronica said, adding that she grew up in a small town in Missouri but fell in love with Perham after meeting Jeremy in college, whose family has a farm in the area. "Perham is a very welcoming town. It has a charm to it that not all small towns do," Veronica said. "We're lucky enough to have the cute little shops that people want to come to."
North Pines Market is located on 120 E. Main St. and is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.