The landscape of East Davis Street is changing once again.
Latchkey Mercantile is closing its storefront downtown and as of Feb. 20 officially moved its products to The Country Shoppes.
In its place, Chickpea Graphics will be taking over the location at 163 East Davis Street and is planning to open by April 15.
Brigitte Morrow, owner of Latchkey Mercantile, said it was a personal decision to move out of the store she’s occupied for the past five years.
“My dad will be 87 at the end of the month, and he’s getting to be a full time job,” Morrow said. “I don’t have to be there every day, I don’t need to worry about the tax stuff or sales, they take care of all of it.”
As soon as she knew she was going to move, she let Raygan Ketterer, owner of Chickpea Graphics know.
“Raygan’s mother is my best friend, so I’ve known her since she’s gotten out of college,” Morrow said. “I told her because she wanted to expand retail a little bit.”
It was a tough decision for Morrow, who has fallen in love with her customer base. Previously to opening Latchkey, she worked in the floral industry for more than 40 years - so having those personal connections is something she cherishes.
“I’m going to miss the customers terribly,” Morrow said. “It’s never a dull moment and you get customers from everywhere. The way to know your customers is to hear their stories, it’s fun getting know people.”
She’s moved her shop into a 10x12 spot at Country Shoppes and reassures her loyal customers that they’ll still be able to purchase most of what she has to offer.
“I’m going to put a notebook in the booth so if they are looking for something they’ve seen in here, they can leave their name and number and we can find it,” Morrow said.
She said she’s heard from a lot of her regulars about how they’ll miss seeing her in her own shop.
“Most of them are pretty upset,” Morrow said. “Most of them are regulars out at the Country Shoppes but they like coming onto Davis Street.”
She stressed she’ll still do her top seller - the iconic latitude and longitude signs. She started doing those within six months of opening on East Davis and they have become extremely popular. She’ll also sell candles, just on a smaller scale.
Ketterer said she’s in the process of moving in and hopes to open by April 15.
“We’re going to make a lot of big changes,” Ketterer said. “We’re going to take the ceiling down, we’re going to redo the floor. We’re going to go from primitive to contemporary.”
Previously located in Water’s Place with Roque Castro for the last five years, Chickpea sells most of their items online and now will offer those same products inside the shop. She personally designs almost all of her own products - from T-shirts, to mugs, to bags and customized song lyrics.
“Everything in here will be designed by me,” Ketterer said.
She said that there has been a lot of requests for her to open her own store over the years.
“We’ve had a lot of people come in and people who are local come in and pick up their order,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of people asking why we don’t have a retail space. We’ve done a couple pop ups down there, but it’s really hard to get foot traffic off Davis Street.”
The spot was sought after so Ketterer is happy to be able to set up shop there.
“I know a lot of people wanted this space,” Ketterer said. “It’s small, but for somebody like me that it’s just me - it’s manageable. Hopefully we can be here, incubate and then move into a larger space if we can.”
The 800-square foot space will be split half for display and half for production.
“Pretty much anything we can put our designs on, we’ll try at least once,” Ketterer said.
She expects the hours to be Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with Monday being an off day for production purposes. She admits that being a small business owner is a 24/7 gig.
“It’s exhausting,” Ketterer said. “A traditional retail owner they are ordering their stuff from someone else, I’m designing, producing and then selling my own things.”