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Written by Caroline Frank
Published 30 Nov 2023
In July of 2023, The Social Goods Marketplace had its grand opening at our new location, 3189 South Grand Blvd. Previously Urban Matter and Eclectica, this space already aligned with the aesthetic of our store. The exposed piping, floor to ceiling ladder, rattan lamp shade, sage green cabinets, white walls, and wooden workstations merged well with the environment we were aiming to cultivate here: clean, natural, and minimalistic. Everything in here has a function, even if that function is for future use. It was the perfect place to set up shop.
The vibe on South Grand has been incredible so far. Locals (and out-of-towners staying in nearby Airbnbs) stop into the shop along their daily walks. People bring their dogs, their coffee, their partners, and their energy into the store. Families and friends come in to shop after grabbing brunch at Rooster. Other business owners stop in to ask if they can tape up flyers in the window or place their business cards on our checkout counter, and the answer is always yes! Folks bring their giant laundry jugs in to refill them and reduce plastic waste. It’s a vibe, and every day we’re open is a new adventure.
There’s never a quiet moment on this street. Ambulances, police vehicles, school buses, bicyclists, skateboarders, and cars with bass pumping through their subs whizz by. We try to foster a relaxing space for people to walk into, hoping it’s a place of respite for those who want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. We are sandwiched between two residential streets, so a lot of folks who live nearby come into our store. There are also a lot of businesses on this strip, so some of our customers come from further away to dine and shop. We’re within walking distance of a tattoo and piercing studio, vegan eatery, and vintage clothing store (just to name a few). It’s a popular spot, especially because we’re right down the street from Tower Grove Park!
In addition to the area, we also love the clientele who come into our store. The people who bop about South Grand are my kind of people. To give you an example, here is a little story about one of our regulars, Susan. She came in one day, and after checking out, she asked me if I needed anything from the grocery store. This was the second time she and I had met, so we barely knew each other, and she was already offering to get me groceries and bring them back. I wanted to scream, “Yes, please!” just to show my gratitude, but I had just gone grocery shopping and didn’t need anything. I ended up thanking her for her kind offer and politely declining, but the fact that she had even asked stuck with me. The community here is remarkable, and we feel just as lucky to have you all as you say you feel to have us. It’s a win-win.
The culture on South Grand is quite diverse. This area has made a name for itself in the LGBTQ+ community, offering safe spaces for queer people to be themselves. Pride flags are a common sight on South Grand, along with signs that read “Black Lives Matter'' and an international grocery store that brings people of various ethnicities together. Artists, neurodivergent folks, and people of all ages populate the area. It's truly a melting pot on South Grand. There seem to be high numbers of ethically conscious, environmentally friendly people who want to make the world a better place. We love to see it.
There’s never a dull moment in this new little abode. We love our space, our surroundings on South Grand, and the people who enter our doors and our lives. We wouldn’t trade this experience for the world, and we can’t wait for what is to come!
About the author
Caroline Frank is a local writer, people person, and mental health enthusiast. Her creative spirit flows through her art as she aims to capture the human experience. She began writing at the age of seven and hasn’t stopped since. What began as poetry and prose turned into a lifelong passion for the power of words. She has professionally written for blogs, websites, and printed newspapers. She continues to perform her work at various open mic events around St. Louis. Her next adventure is the publication of her first book. Her work is currently available here. You can also follow her on Instagram at sage__aesthetic.