The bottom floor of the old Methodist church in Pocahontas is no ordinary basement.
Mary Fitzgerald, Mary Beth Tracy, Deanne Ballance-Stanley and Sherri White think it’s quite elegant, in fact.
“It smells nice, it looks nice, and it is beautiful,” said White, who, along with the other three ladies celebrated the grand opening of their below-ground business, The Refined Cellar, located at 202 Moreland St., on Sept. 8.
“It’s kind of a ‘basementy’ name. But it’s ‘refined,’ ” White said.
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Jennifer and Don Rick, recently purchased the church and are renovating the former parish into their home. However, the Ricks, who also run Pocahontas Antiques and are also remodeling the old Strand Theater in Pokey, found that they had no use for the large basement and decided to open the space for commercial enterprise.
“And that’s how it all began,” Fitzgerald said.
Jennifer Rick, approached Fitzgerald, asking if she knew anyone who would want to lease the space. Fitzgerald said she knew the perfect group of entrepreneurial women. Within a few months, the shop was complete and had the perfect name.
As customers walk into the shop, they are greeted with the aroma of a warm autumn candle, wafting the smells of pumpkin, cinnamon and vanilla about the eclectic shop. On the right-hand side of the store is the boutique section of the cellar, arranged and managed by Ballance-Stanley. The boutique currently sports fall clothing and jewelry, with some seasonal ponchos and leggings.
Looking to the left brings the shopper into the “true re-purposer” section of the store, which is a combination of White and her husband’s artful home decor. From custom lighting to specialty “robots” made out of various odds and ends, these vendors’ wares will bring a unique, rustic flare to any home.
Following the left side of the room around will bring patrons to Tracy’s addition, refurbished furniture and upholstery. Chests, chairs, custom-decorated signs, fall pillows and even a vintage wedding dress decorate the middle of the room highlighting Tracy’s experience as an expert in vendor markets and consignment sales.
“Then there’s me,” Fitzgerald said. “I anchor the back wall.”
Fitzgerald is a professional purveyor, as she sells and deals in particular goods. Fitzgerald’s splashes a bit of variety into the business’s blend, with gourmet food mixes, featured 1803 candles and seasonal decorations. Fitzgerald said she will soon be adding Country Paint, a line of chalk paints, which she believes will be a big draw for customers.
Besides providing their wide range of products, the women said they also want to empower the women in their community. Fitzgerald said that she buys from as many women vendors as she can, and the store is all about “women supporting women” and reminding their neighbors to shop local.
The store is open to the public Friday through Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Fitzgerald said the shop will restock and receive new products every week. For new item announcements and the upcoming unveiling of their Christmas open house, Fitzgerald said customers can follow the business’s Facebook page.
At a glance
- Name: The Refined Cellar
- Location: 202 Moreland St., Pocahontas
- Hours: Friday through Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- Phone: 618-669-2050
- Proprietors: Mary Fitzgerald, Mary Beth Tracy, Deanne Ballance-Stanley and Sherri White
- Social Media: Facebook