Some stores were able to reopen to foot traffic on Monday as Gov. Tim Walz relaxed his stay-at-home order, allowing retail shops to operate at 50% capacity. For some places, like Rusty Anchor Trading Company in Ottertail, this is the first day they’ll be open as the shutdown put plans for grand openings on hold. Rusty Anchor had originally been slated to open on April 1 but now, more than a month later, owner Stephanie Dykhoff is excited to finally have her first day of operation.
“We have multiple vendors that have a candle and bath and body line, we have repurposed, we have vintage, we have a husband and wife team who sell signs, we have lots of new home decor, we have a local jewelry maker. Lots of variety,” says Dykhoff, who also owns Periwinkle Marketplace in Ottertail.
Periwinkle was destroyed by a fire in February 2018 and, while they rebuilt and reopened in April last year, not everything made it into the new place. “When we rebuilt Periwinkle we didn’t put the vendors in our store, and then we had seen that this property was available and so we decided to purchase George’s Auto Body and renovate it,” she says. They purchased the property in December 2018.
The space also has a covered outdoor area with electricity where Dykhoff was hoping to host a summer farmer’s market, but that may not work out this year. “We don’t know for sure if the farmers market, if we’re going to move forward with that this summer, because we kind of got a late start for marketing’s sake, because of the virus,” she said.
Although both Periwinkle and Rusty Anchor are owned by Dykhoff, they have different offerings. Periwinkle has, “apparel, a huge section for women, and then we carry kitchen and candy and kid’s stuff and a small men’s section, just kind of a big tourist store,” she says. Rusty Anchor, on the other hand, is smaller scale and offers less apparel.
This week is Rusty Anchor’s soft opening to make sure everything is running smoothly. The store, located at 227 W. Main Street, will be open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.