The Store in Waitsfield closed its doors in 2020 after more than 50 years serving the Mad River Valley with kitchen and housewares, antiques, gourmet products and cooking classes. This spring, the space on Route 100 will be occupied again. Addison West, a home goods store in Middlebury, will be opening its second location by Memorial Day.
“We want to honor what’s been there in the past,” owner Monique Bonner said, though, “It’s not exactly the same. There’s a history and heritage to that building and that business. I love the idea of carrying forward some of that tradition.”
Addison West sells furniture, kitchen and lifestyle goods, jewelry, lighting, vintage goods and décor. It also offers interior decorating services. The store started as a pop-up shop and opened its 700-square-foot space in downtown Middlebury in November 2020. Bonner said that 15% of her business is e-commerce, which will now be headquartered in the Waitsfield space.
She said the new space will allow her to offer more furniture, such as coffee tables, sofas and “things that are hard to find these days. There are not a lot of providers in The Valley.” She also intends to expand the selection of products available in the Middlebury store, including kitchen supplies, books and jewelry. “There’s a lot more room to bring in a wider selection,” she said.
In addition to offering home goods, Bonner plans to use the upstairs space for workshops. She already has a wreathmaking workshop planned for the weekend before Thanksgiving. “I want to make sure that space is open and used for workshops and artist focus areas. There are a lot of makers and people who want to learn things, a lot of areas that aren’t served today.”
Prior to opening Addison West, Bonner was the chief marketing officer for a technology company in Massachusetts and decided to change careers during the pandemic. She had worked in retail for approximately 15 years, beginning as a young teen. She opened the Middlebury storefront as “a way to contribute to the community and bring energy to downtown.” She and her family, who live in Cornwall, have owned a condo at Sugarbush for about 10 years.
“It’s like an adopted home,” she said. Bonner was in the process of expanding the store in Middlebury which was “proving to be difficult,” when she and her family came to The Valley to ski and noticed the ‘for sale’ sign at the former The Store location.
“It very much felt like it was just meant to be,” she said. “We love the area. I’m interested in hearing from the community what they think is needed, what would be valuable. We’re here to serve the community. There are great businesses in the area. We want to do things that complement and attract more people to come. I look forward to learning what works and what doesn’t.”
Bonner is in the process of hiring a store manager for the Waitsfield store and will soon be looking for an inventory manager and limited part-time staff to start. “Then we’ll see how many more positions we need,” she said. She did say that “supply chain is a little tricky these days,” but plans to open up shop in Waitsfield in May. “Come say hi!”