Spencer City Council Chambers sign

City Council passes second filing of murals amendment despite opposition

Despite hearing from multiple downtown business owners and representatives of stakeholder organizations, the Spencer City Council on Monday passed a second filing of an ordinance that would allow murals. The ordinance amends city code to allow murals to be placed on the side or back outside wall of a commercial building, but not on the front outside wall. A third and final filing must still be approved for the amendment to take effect. However, on Monday, the council heard arguments against murals as allowed in the amendment.. Spencer Main Street Director Nancy Naeve spoke on behalf of downtown area businesses, some of whom she said did not want the ordinance approved as written.

Kristen and Eric Meeter stand outside the new Pressed Studio and Store at 319 North Grand Avenue in Spencer.

Pressed Studio and Store started with a dream

Pressed Jewelry and Apparel’s store on Grand Avenue began as a dream. Now, with the 319 Grand Avenue store’s grand opening tomorrow from 4 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., that dream is coming true. The dream began about two years ago when Kristen and Eric Meeter began taking nightly walks on Grand Avenue in Spencer, looking at every building – for sale, for lease and even already occupied. They wondered: Could a brick and mortar store work for Pressed? “We would walk down Grand, in the nice weather, we would walk down Grand for a nightly walk,” Kristen said.

Midwest Health Foods owner Janice Larson (left) and Cheree Schurz, one of Larson's loyal customers.

How Midwest Health Foods is sustained by loyal, faithful customers

Midwest Health Foods was built on people. The store has been in Spencer for over 50 years, most of those on or near Grand Avenue. After two moves this year, Midwest Health Foods’s customers still find the store, which is now located at 512 Grand Avenue Suite 4. “I have wonderful people,” owner Janice Larson said of her customers. “Faithful, wonderful people who have stayed true to the product.

Shoppers browse children's items for sale at a past Kanga Kids Consignment Expo in Spencer.

Kanga Kids Consignment Expo sets up shop this Friday and Saturday

Parents and others looking to find deals on children’s clothes, toys and more won’t want to miss this weekend’s Kanga Kids Consignment Expo in Spencer. The business’s fourth pop-up event in Spencer is this Friday and Saturday in the former Hallmark building, 414 North Grand Avenue. Hours are 9-6 p.m. Friday and 9-3 p.m. Saturday. Kanga Kids Co-Owner Crystal Brugman said this event brings a variety of children’s items that can only be found at larger retailers outside the area. “This brings the big city consignment sale to your hometown,” she said.

Kristen and Eric Meeter talk with a customer at the Pressed Jewelry booth at the Clay County Fair.

Clay County Fair visitors are excited about Pressed Jewelry’s future Grand Avenue store

Pressed Jewelry has been one of the Spencer business community’s highlights of 2018. The online jewelry and apparel retailer just two months ago announced the opening of a brick and mortar store at 319 Grand Avenue in Spencer. It’s expected to open fall 2018. Founder Kristen Meeter and her husband, Eric, have been documenting the store’s progress on Facebook. The Meeters have been hearing tons of positive comments and have answered many questions about the store while they’ve been selling items at their Clay County Fair booth inside the Varied Industries building.

Grand Avenue in Spencer

Downtown ‘kickstarter’ could fuel new Grand Ave. businesses

Spencer Main Street Executive Director Nancy Naeve wants to give a boost to businesses that would open on Grand Avenue and in the downtown area. Naeve has envisioned and discusses with others a downtown kickstarter program that she says could help attract new businesses and help them succeed. The program would provide funds that would serve as an incentive for businesses to open up shop on Grand Avenue. Naeve is working with the City of Spencer, bankers and Spencer Municipal Utilities to establish the program. “We don’t have a lot of details yet, because we’re still in the process, but we are working on getting some sort of grant system in place as an incentive because we don’t really have one to get a new business into some of those buildings,” Naeve said.

Buxton Director of Sales Robb Miller speaks to the Spencer City Council at its Feb. 19 meeting.

Spencer City Council approves retail recruitment and retention proposal from Texas company

Spencer’s not afraid to spend on retail attraction and growth. On Monday, the Spencer City Council approved a three-year, $50,000 per year proposal from Buxton, a Fort Worth, Texas, data analytics company that specializes in the retail industry, to help the city recruit and retain retailers. “I think this is a great tool that we can use to help us with one of our strategic goals, which was retail and business recruitment for the City of Spencer,” Orrison said. “That’s what we all agreed upon and I think this is a step forward. We’re taking a professional approach.