By Derrick Knutson—
Walk through the front door at Country Charm Mercantile in Harris and one’s eyes instantly fall on an assortment of neatly organized antiques and gently worn clothing.
Round the corner inside the building and shelves are stacked high with fresh, organic produce.
The business, which is right next door to Kaffe Stuga restaurant, is looking to make a name for itself in the city.
It opened Feb. 3, and last week was store’s first full week in operation.
Before becoming Country Charm Mercantile, the building housed a car repair business and watch shop. Before that, tractor parts were sold out of the shop.
Cathy Gervais and her husband Craig own County Charm Mercantile.
The couple’s daughter-in-law, Kora Gervais, is also involved in running the business.
The store’s motto is “something for everyone,” and that adage holds true by just checking out the inventory.
Part of the business is a consignment shop, which means people who have an interest in vending some small goods can put them up for sale in the shop for a fee.
When the goods are sold, Country Charm Mercantile sends payment to the former owners of the items.
In the back of the business, pants, shirts, shoes, other clothing and a slew of household items can be found.
Kora said in the limited amount of time the store has been open; the “Second Time Around” thrift store is doing very well, and people have donated to the business in a “very generous” fashion.
Both Cathy and Kora noted business has been steadily increasing since the opening.
“Everyday it’s getting better,” Cathy said.
‘My heart is with Harris’
Cathy, who is employed at the Post Office in Lindstrom, said working and running a new business has been a bit of a balancing act so far, but she’s passionate about being a part of the business community.
Cathy has lived just outside of Harris for the past 19 years.
“My heart is with Harris,” she said. “I decided that after I helped out with the 125-year celebration about three years ago.”
She added, “I met the people, the pioneer families, and all of a sudden my heart just fell into Harris.”
Hours of operation
Country Charm Mercantile is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.