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New Meadow Vista store creates old-time ‘general store’ ambiance

By: Gloria Young,
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Meadow Vista Mercantile
Where: 985 Meadow Gate Road (off Placer Hills Road), Meadow Vista
Hours:  Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Grand opening and ribbon-cutting at 10 a.m. Saturday
 

Meadow Vista resident Heather Wingo enjoys meeting people and being an active part of the community. She’s also an avid thrifter. Her new business, Meadow Vista Mercantile, gives her the opportunity to combine all that.

“I hope it will grow and change as the need arises — as people tell me what they want,” she said Monday. “That’s why I called it a mercantile store. …This area has so much history. It’s (like) going back to that old idea of a general store. It appealed to me because of the rustic-ness and quaintness of our town.”

The inventory is a mix of antiques, vintage and new items.

“The store has collectibles, home and garden décor,” she said. “There are (new) bath products. The home décor includes lamps, small furniture, pillows, cushions, blankets — the nice handmade chunky type. The only thing I sell in the way of clothing is vintage sweaters — handmade quality sweaters. There’s a decent selection of those. There are also scarves, hats, gloves, purses — accessories — along with jewelry.”

A media area has magazines, books, CDs and DVDs. In addition, Wingo is partnering with local artists and artisans to offer artwork, locally made jewelry and other hand-crafted items.

She also welcomes consignments and, for larger consignment items, has a bulletin board where residents can post them for-sale.

In a salute to Valentine’s Day, she’s put together a table of valentine-related gifts — baskets with heart-shaped candies, handmade Valentine’s Day cards, wrapping and gift items — “just a little bit of everything,” she said.

Meadow Vista resident Connie Fixmer, who shares Wingo’s enthusiasm for thrift stores and garage sales, has visited the store as it has been taking shape and is planning to attend the grand opening

“It’s going to be really cute,” she said.  “I think it has a huge variety. I’m thinking there will be a lot of turnover because she has good ideas and good plans for it.”

Wingo and her husband, Mark, moved to the foothills two years ago after they retired from careers at an electric utility.

“We both worked in electrical design and construction,” she said.

When they were looking for a retirement site, friends in Christian Valley suggested this area.

“We found a house in Meadow Vista and it was the house,” she said. “We learned later what a wonderful town we have. Neighbors came over and brought cookies. After living in Southern California, it was nice to have that comfortable, wave-on-the-street atmosphere. … Meadow Vista found us. We found this house that needed a lot of work. We fixed it up and it turned out to be a wonderful find for us.”

When Wingo decided to wanted to do some type of work, her first thought was to run a thrift store for a nonprofit. When that couldn’t be worked out, she opted to have her own store. The location she chose, near Holiday Market, has 600 square feet of indoor space and 300 square feet of outdoor space.

“The space was excellent,” Wingo said. “It was formerly a wood flooring showroom. Each of the areas of the store has a different type of wood floor and it is really nice. There are wood beams. It almost has a gallery look so it was quite easy to doll it up. I have all the artwork on the walls — a little bit of everything in each area. One area is staged for collectables and glassware. In the summer,  I’ll have baskets and fresh flowers (in the outdoor space) — almost a European flair.”

The grand opening and ribbon-cutting will be Saturday, with music, refreshments, balloons for children and a raffle. A trunk show will be part of the opening festivities, which will allow local sellers to offer their treasures for sale, she said in a press release.

The store opens at 10 a.m. and the raffle is at 2 p.m. Saturday.

“You don’t need to be there for the raffle,” she said. “Be at the opening or come in for the raffle. Come in and see the store and offer ideas and suggestions.”