I’ve been enthralled with developing brands since I can remember. From a coffee shop to pet store, I began to play with the idea of starting my own business at a young age. While the type of businesses varied considerably, the location was always the same. The building I imagined my businesses in is located on Main Street of my hometown. It was built by my great-great-great grandpa who ran a mercantile inside.
While the building has held a range of different businesses since it first opened its doors, the stories my great grandma told me as a kid have formulated a defined image of what it might have been like. At first, my plans were to change the building completely and bring it into the modern age. But now, I’m inspired by how it once was.
The only evidence I have of how the mercantile once looked are black and white photos and a mahogany cigar display case that once sat in the store and I inherited. However, my imagination runs wild when thinking about every inch of how it once was. With a frontier feel, I imagine the wooden space filled to the brim with canned goods, handyman tools, wide-brimmed hats and suspenders.
A mercantile revival is the basis for yet another idea I’ve had about how to repurpose the space. This time around, with an appreciation for the storied history, I am exploring my interest of craft brews. Imagine stepping back in time to 1900 and sitting down to a cold, local brew.
I gained an appreciation for all things craft from growing up as a farm kid, but I never really learned what it meant until I moved away for college. The occasional trips I took back home to visit family were like revelations. From the acre garden in our backyard where we grow nearly all the produce we need for the year, to little update projects around the house, I learned the value of DIY.
At the heart of MERC Co, the name I’ve given to my historic mercantile taproom concept, is this idea of start-to-finish craftsmanship. My head runs wild with the possibilities for branding, decor, and experiences that could be created in the space. And that’s what keeps me dreaming-the possibilities.