By Clay Schuldt
A new business has opened its doors on Main Street in Caledonia. Wood-N-Treasures began operation in late August and is already receiving a steady stream of costumers. The store was started by Rita Frank with the help of business partner Vicki Olson.
Frank spearheaded this new effort after the success of her other shop Soul Sister Funk, which is next door. According to Frank, her first store was originally intended to be a clothing and crafts consignment shop.
“I wanted to do the crafts, but the clothes kind of took over.” After the old Hardware Hank building went up for sale, Frank was encourage expand her crafts into the new space.
“Half the store is divided up between antiques and the other half crafts,” Frank explained. The types of crafts for sale include jewelry, barn quilts, hand poured candles and wood working crafts made by people in the local community. Many of the crafts are seasonal items with mostly fall and Halloween themed crafts for sale, but Christmas is just starting to be represented with holiday wreaths, ornaments and Santa Claus figures.
Another unique item for sale is the Name Your Price Gift Baskets, allowing customers to customize their gift purchases. Some of the crafts for sale are made to order and will be personalized upon request.
The west side of the building is dedicated to flea market and antiques, ranging from furniture to dishware. A few modern items are for sale in the flea market section.
Not only does Wood-N-Treasures sell antiques they offer antique restoration. Frank said even if she cannot restore an item she has plenty of contacts willing to do the job, saying, “We’ll find someone to do it.”
Since Wood-N-Treasures is a consignment shop, locals are encouraged to bring their crafts in for sale. The store has 2,200 square feet of space to fill. Right now ten vendors are selling crafts, but Frank believes there is room for another ten. Frank and Olson feel Wood-N-Treasures is the perfect place for local artists to display and sell their work.
In addition to the crafts and antiques, the business has a section for customers to sit back and relax.
Tucked in the corner of the shop is a little coffee nook, called the Browser’s Café. A few tables and chairs are set up for customers to have a quick cup of coffee. Frank describes it as “a place to sit and have a slice of pie.”
Olson added that for those with laptop computers, wireless internet access is available.
Some of the antiques have made their way into the café. The candy display is from the 1940s and came from a shop in downtown La Crosse. Every Wednesday a special is offered, buy a slice of pie get a free coffee. The nook offers a wide assortment of prepackaged pies as well as coffees such as Caribou, Starbucks, Green Mountain and Newman’s Organic Special Blend.
If coffee is not your drink of choice cocoa, cider, cappuccino and 17 flavors of DaVinci Cream are offered. In the future Frank and Olson hope to offer ground coffee as well as other specialty foods for home preparation.
According to Frank, business has been good at the shop, but there is always room for improvement. She said businesses in downtown Caledonia have trouble receiving out of town customers. “Customers will say they didn’t know there was anything in Caledonia besides what they see from the highway.”
Frank is currently working to have a sign placed off Hwy. 44 to advertise in-town businesses.
Frank and Olson intend to hold a grand opening with special hours: Saturday, Nov. 17 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.