OWNING AND OPERATING a small business ain’t easy.
Latest evidence comes from Bella Beads, the little shop on West Washington Street. Owner Leila Martin says she’s closing up shop by the end of January, after a 10 year run doing something she loves.
Two problems: She’s just undergone two back surgeries which makes it difficult to operate the store 5-6 days a week, sometimes as many as 16 hours a day. And business simply isn’t lucrative enough to allow her to hire full-time help for the store.
She calls Bella Beads “her baby” and her decision to close it “emotional” and “overwhelming.” Anybody who’s ever started a business knows the feeling.
Martin will continue doing online bead sales on her Etsy Shop and will continue selling her work in galleries and doing occasional shows, but the daily grind of operating a small store was just too much.
It’s a small shop, but it’ll be a big loss for downtown Marquette. The charm of downtown, in large part, is due to the small, independently owned stores.
THE RAPIDLY SHRINKING Marquette Mall will be getting even smaller by springtime of next year.
Jim’s Music will be moving, in all likelihood to another location in Marquette Township or in the city.
It’s definitely not leaving town, according to a manager, because it’s profitable, due in large part to its music lessons. 150 lessons a week, in fact.
A major section of the Marquette Mall is slated for demolition next year.
Suggestion for Jim’s Music? Check out the Westwood Mall which would love to fill in some of its vacancies.
THE STORY ABOUT former Local 3 anchor Gabe Caggiano keeps getting sadder and uglier.
He was recently charged with stalking and threatening his former boss at a TV station in Corpus Christi.
Now comes word from WOAI radio in San Antonio that federal agents tracked him down in Los Angeles and sent him to a rehab facility. But then he was kicked out of the facility for allegedly fondling himself in front of a two year old.
Just allegations at this point. But still, it appears that Caggiano has jumped from the proverbial frying pan into the fire.
He’s now had his bond revoked by a federal judge who sent him to a detention center, where he’ll await trial on the stalking charges. WOAI says he could face 5 years in prison if he’s convicted.
THE LONG DELAYED opening of the new Aspen Dental clinic occurs on Thursday.
It took a while. The building appeared ready for occupancy back in the spring.
Aspen arrives with a somewhat checkered reputation. It’s a chain of clinics in more than 20 states owned by a private equity firm, and the company has occasionally run afoul of authorities for its billing and contract practices.
Here’s hoping that’s a part of the past.
A SIGN OF the times.
The congregation at Grace United Methodist Church on Fair Street, near NMU, was recently given the word by church officials: In all likelihood, it will have to close down by January 10th.
The primary reason? Money. There’s not enough of it.
As with many mainline churches, enrollment and attendance have been declining in the last couple of decades, which makes it difficult to maintain economic support for the church.
The congregation knew there were problems but still, as one member put it, they were “blindsided” by the sudden announcement that they’d likely have to shut their doors within two months.
They recently held a vigil at the church to protest the closing. Whether it’ll do any good, we don’t know.
Technically, the congregation will decide in a meeting on December 10th whether to close or somehow stay open but the word is, there’s heavy pressure to shut down for financial reasons.
Grace Methodist, by the way, does more than tend to its congregation’s needs. It also provides a “free store” full of clothes and toiletries for the needy, it offers a free weekly meal for the hungry, and it takes part in Room at the Inn, providing shelter for the homeless.
Religious beliefs aside, churches are an essential part of the fabric of the community. When they start to unravel, the whole community suffers.
ANOTHER (LESS SPIRITUAL) sign of the times.
Burger King and Qdoba share a building just off of I-75 in Gaylord.
A recent stop there at 12:20 in the afternoon, midweek, found 12 diners at Burger King and 28 in Qdoba. Quiet at BK, busy at Qdoba.
Maybe it was just an anomaly but you get the sense increasingly that diners, even those in a hurry, are making a deliberate choice for more nutritious food. Qdoba features fresh meats and vegetables while Burger King offers…fast food. Tasty, but a bit greasy, loaded with calories and carbs, and not all that fresh.
Traditional fast food restaurants are trying to change with the times–more salads and calorie counts for each item!–but their bread-and-butter remains fast, cheap meals that may please your taste buds and wallet but will likely expand your waistline.
A CHRISTMAS TRADITION returns to Marquette this weekend…with one striking (frightening?) addition.
The Nutcracker plays at Kaufman Auditorium Saturday at 1 pm, and again at 7 pm.
Community theater at its best. 75 performers, most of them children, ushering in the holiday season in a way that many of us prefer it: warmly and gently, and free of the bargain-hungry mobs at the malls.
The one striking addition to this year’s performance? That would be the bespectacled, goateed, wand-waving Mother Ginger.
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