found! not lost blog

“Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver

The store of my dreams

I had so much to write about last week, and also a ton of real work to get done, so am just now getting around to this post about a day trip we took last weekend to Stillwater, Minnesota. My parents have a place on the St. Croix river in Hudson, Wisconsin, so just across the way from Stillwater. It’s the best summery city getaway, like a cabin, without the three-hour drive up north in traffic and very modern, nothing rustic about it. We love to spend days and weekends there in the summer because there’s lots of room for the kids to run around with Grandma and Grandpa, cousins, etc. and the kids swim off the beach, go boating, and venture into town for ice cream.

Last weekend the boat wasn’t in for the season yet and the river was so high from all of the rain that there was no beach to speak of, so we couldn’t swim (water was a bit chilly anyway!). So we drove to Stillwater to visit Teddy Bear Park – great place for young ones to climb around, and giant teddy bear statues make for fun photo ops.  Afterwards, we stopped for ice cream at MARA-Mi, and even as I glimpsed the large shop through the windows I knew it was a shop after my own heart. Picture this: open, airy, white, clean, and modern backdrop filled with beautifully merchandised colorful assortments of sugary treats, stationery, Russell + Hazel personal organization systems, and sundry other knick-knacks and gift items. I’ve always told my husband that I’d love to own a shop that sold my favorite things: chocolates and cupcakes, stationery and flowers, and maybe a few lip glosses and small home accessories. Really, wouldn’t a store like that  make you so happy just to visit? Well, MARA-Mi is the closest I’ve ever seen to this concept and it is executed beautifully! You can get a taste below, but please, please, do make the trip out in person, it’s worth it.

The ice cream and bakery counter behind, in foreground high counter table for guests to take a load off and enjoy their sweets (my cutie niece and nephew at left!)

Yummy looking cupcakes at bakery counter – they also had some awesome looking cookies and homemade ice cream sandwiches made with said cookies. (Ice cream from the St. Paul Grand Ole Creamery – super yum!)

Beautiful r+h display area, even though we have the flagship store near us in Minneapolis, MARA-Mi had some stuff that store didn’t carry.

Awesome merchandising, colorful but clean and modern. Here they have a bunch of tall thin candles in a rainbow of hues, as well as Japanese paper tapes, perfect for gift wrapping and scrapbooking (I took home several rolls myself – they inspire creativity!)

A wall of paper assortments, all colors, shapes, sizes. They had another wall that was specifically for wedding stationary needs, gorgeous.

Lots of sweets too, rock candy, giant lollipops, and little treats. This place would be the best for a girls’ night out party!

Do not forget the throw pillows, great note cards, cool Scotch nail polishes, and other trinkets like playing cards and magnets.


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This entry was posted on June 12, 2011 by in shopping and tagged , , , , , , .
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