AROUND TOWN: Fair-trade clothes and home goods coming downtown
A shop focusing on organic clothes, home goods and fair trade items will open in the former Hey Ocean space in downtown Grand Forks. Ashley Decker signed a lease this week to open her store Whole Life at 615 First Ave. N., which is in the first f...
A shop focusing on organic clothes, home goods and fair trade items will open in the former Hey Ocean space in downtown Grand Forks.
Ashley Decker signed a lease this week to open her store Whole Life at 615 First Ave. N., which is in the first floor of a mixed-use apartment building. The store will offer men's and women's casual and yoga wear, "featuring organic cottons, fair trade pieces," and pieces manufactured with sustainable energy, Decker wrote in an email.
Whole Life will also sell organic cotton and natural wool mattresses, sateen sheets and pillows, along with home goods and accessories like picture frames, tableware, water filters, organic soaps and jewelry.
Decker said it was important to her to focus on fair trade items, even if not all her vendors are offering exclusively fair trade products. She defines fair trade as a partnership that seeks "greater equity in international trade."
"The clothing industry is rocked with horrible labor conditions around the world, including a lot of child labor," Decker said. She added that she saw an opportunity in the Grand Forks area to sell men's clothing.
Decker hopes to open the store by the end of June.
She said the store opening follows a change in her and her husband's work lives. Ashley is the former general manager of Amazing Grains Food Co-op and her husband Chris is a manager at the soon-to-be-closed Al's Grill and Catering in Grand Forks.
Hey Ocean, a women's clothing store, announced it would close by the end of April after a little more than a year in Grand Forks. Its owner said it would keep its Bismarck store open.
Chinese restaurant opens in EGF
A new Chinese and sushi restaurant opened in East Grand Forks this week.
Tao Garden, located in the former Little Bangkok space at the corner of DeMers Avenue and Third Street Northwest, was slated to open Wednesday, according to building owner JoAnn Sayler.
Tao Garden manager Sheng Mengguang said they're also offering delivery.
Sound Decision opens new location
An old gas station off of DeMers Avenue in Grand Forks was revived by Sound Decision this week.
The remote starter and car audio business moved from its old location behind the Italian Moon to the more visible space at 1923 DeMers Ave. It opened at the new location Monday.
A significant remodel of the old gas station included adding a second floor and upgrading the interior for more retail and shop space.
Nora Hubbard, who manages the business and whose husband Jay is owner, said people are having an easier time finding them at their new space, and some longtime customers have stopped by to wish them well.
"So far I'd say we've seen increased traffic," she said.