Evolution of a Small Town
It is the nature of things to change. Times change. Trends change. Economies change. None of this is new. Hence the famous verse in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” The Montrose Shopping Park, though in many ways the same, has experienced continual change over the years. There are times when storefronts are empty and leases are readily available and times when storefronts are full. There are times when national chains are part of the mix and times when they aren’t.
Imagine if things never changed. You could walk down Honolulu Avenue and still see stores like The Typewriter Shop, Montrose Button Hole Company and Peet’s Stationers. “Then and Now,” a feature of this very paper, includes pictures of the Montrose Shopping Park way back when and how that same spot looks today. I think back to 2000 when we first opened our store. The shopping park produced an infomercial and asked Mountain Rose Gifts to be a part of it. I pulled out our VHS copy, already out of date, and watched it. So many stores that were here just 12 years ago are gone, yet many things remain the same. As we were moving in, the beloved Candle Tree was closing. People still remember and miss them today.
As we approach the New Year, we will continue to see the evolution of our small town. This year we said goodbye to the Montrose News Stand, Ocean View Books, Wacky Wok, Pasta Preziosa and Oven Fresh Bakery. We watched as Revolution Dance Studio, Copy Network, Aladdin Rugs and Blue Fish expanded. We welcomed Guiseppe’s and the recently opened Baked. Then there are the businesses that seem timeless such as Faye’s, Holiday Hats and Gowns, Montrose Bowl and the Montrose Barber Shop.
One thing that never seems to change is the entrepreneurial spirit. As long as there are people there will be new ideas. No matter how many big box stores crop up there will always be those who have a craft, a talent or a recipe that they are born to share.
May the Montrose Shopping Park remain a place where they can flourish, a place that draws entrepreneurs from far and near to open their first store like our friends from Denmark did with Paradis Ice Cream.
Thank you for reading and supporting the local merchants of Montrose.
Happy New Year!