The Little Store celebrates 50 years
What started out as a group of ladies with a table at a building in Medford has turned into a year round craft store to showcase local artists.
The Little Store began October 15, 1972 by a woman named Sandra Gurney, who worked hard to get the store up and running.
In 1976, the store was moved to 218 S. Main St. At the time, they rented from Ed Paulin. Finally in May 2000, the store moved next door to 222 S. Main St., where the store still resides today. In the past the building was the home of the Kolman Bakery and later becoming the Christensen Jewelry Company. A major plus for this location is that there are no longer steps to access the building, making it much easier for wheelchair-bound guests.
For a long time, the store had been under the supervision of Volunteer Services, but in January 1982, the role switched to Commission on Aging.
Today, the store is no longer affiliated with Commission on Aging, and is now self-run with books and business affairs being taken care of in house.
The store is run by the hard work of volunteers who dedicate their time to running the store. The store relies on volunteers, sales of products, and donations to keep their doors open. They are always looking for more volunteers to help in whatever they can in the store.
They currently have 40 vendors who pay an annual vendor fee, who are committed to keep the shelves full.
October-December marks the busiest time for the store, with fall and Christmas items lining the shelves.
Manager, Betty Dorava said “We get a lot of tourists who come into the store throughout the year.”
Of course the most popular items are anything related to the Badgers, Packers, Brewers or the Medford Raiders.
Several of the volunteers make their own crafts to sell in the store. For instance, Sandra Rizzi makes baby quilts and dresses, or anything a baby needs. Illaine Blasel creates quilts and crocheted hand towels. Betty Widmer creates doll clothes. While Evelyn Heser puts her talents to good use by creating and decorating the window displays.
Throughout the years, there have been many change of hands when it comes to managers. The ones who have acted the longest were Karen Olson, who acted as secretary and managed the store for years, Sue Meagher, who managed the office, and Pat Schultz who also was a manager. A cookbook was made and sold in memory of Sue Meagher, with everyone adding a recipe of their own to it.
The store gets promoted in small ways with some advertising being done throughout the year. This fall, they plan to have a booth set up at the Health Fair on October 21 at Medford Area Senior High. They also plan to participate in a craft sale on November 5 at the United Church of Christ.
If you would like to stop in and see what this store has to offer, they are open Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. or Saturday 10 a.m.-1p.m.
This is a store that hopes to be around for many years to come.