This summer downtown New Baltimore will taste and smell sweeter thanks to a new retro candy and candle shop named Celtic Sisters.
Sisters Colleen Klemmer of Sterling Heights and Maureen Logsdon of Chesterfield Township are planning to launch their new business in a vacant storefront, formerly occupied by Shabby Boutique, on Washington St. next to the .
Doors are expected to open as early as June, according to Logsdon who says the name reflects their Irish culture.
Celtic Sisters' opening comes at a good time for New Baltimore, as multiple storefronts have been left vacant by the relocation and closings of businesses. City Planning and Economic Director Judy Sproat, who along with other city officials is pushing for a revitalization of the downtown, met with the sisters a couple weeks ago to help welcome them to the area. Sproat said new tenants are a positive step for the historic downtown.
Logsdon, who learned of the store vacancy from Moonriver Soap Co. owner Liz Aprea, said, “I’d like to see a lot of other businesses also come into our area and make it again what it was years ago."
Visitors to Celtic Sisters will discover a large variety of vintage brand candies as well as a collection of Lakeshore Candle Company candles, featuring aromas like Michigan Cherry. The store will also offer artwork created by local artists, including Klemmer. Logsdon said that she is already working with local basket and jewelry artists to create stock for the store.
The price of store stock is planned to be affordable, with few items other than artwork exceeding $15 apiece. Logsdon said that she believes the local focus of the store is what will make it succeed while offering customers eye-catching art and craft selection.
“We’d like to keep it as local as possible,” said Logsdon. “If anyone has anything they would be interested in selling, all art will be sold on consignment.”
Klemmer and Logsdon mused about opening a shared business for years and said that so far everything has been falling perfectly into place. Maureen said that the main goals for the business are to be able to cover financial expenses while having fun. If business proves healthy through the first few years, Maureen said that then she would work with her sister to set higher goals. Summer store hours are planned to be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
New Baltimore Historical Society President Rich Gonyeau says the sisters are leasing the store from the society, which owns the space attached to the museum. Excited about the new businesses, the society even offered financial incentives like the first month rent-free.
“The draw of the historical building is cool,” Logsdon said. “It’s an inviting street to just walk along. Kids on the beach will enjoy stopping in for candy. That’s what we used to do as kids and now we want to create that downtown.”
Editor Christy Arboscello contributed to this report.