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Square storefronts full
Variety of new businesses set up shop with Main Street Monroe, add to synergy of downtown
main street monroe new logo

MONROE — It’s been a busy month downtown. Visitors that stroll the square and side streets and will notice that there are virtually no empty storefronts to be found. The few that had been available are now filled with new businesses. 

First Midwest Soapery and Artisan Market, featuring a variety of artisan vendors, opened at 1504 11th Street. Monroe Art Market, which opened last year, opened a gallery space, while The Floral Design Shack opened at 820 17th Avenue. Then an antique store opened near Minhas.

The Floral Design Shack features low to high budget home goods and décor, including custom silk floral arrangements, furniture, seasonal and new and gently used items. Owner, Judy Pink, capitalized on the former Tim Young American Family Insurance office becoming available. Not only does it lend itself to her business model, where rooms are set up like rooms in a house, but it’s located one block north of Bliss Salon and Merle Norman, which is owned by her daughter, Leah Wyss. 

Main Street Monroe’s executive director, Jordan Nordby, emphasized the downtown community as a family, with this being a literal example. “There’s an amazing synergy between new and existing businesses. We’re grateful to have them all.”

A couple blocks south at the former Fireside Books property is Vintique Junque, a family inspired antique shops that includes vintage upcycle (DIY projects) and thrifty picks from church finds and barn items to project pieces. Alison Obert is the owner and excited to be a part of Main Street’s extended shopping nights and upcoming Maxwell Street Days.

Midwest Soapery and Artisan Market was started by Val Reichling. Reichling previously owned Enchanted Sisters which was one of Main Street’s first pop up shops. Her new business offers unique and handmade items from jewelry to soap, with “something for everyone.” 

Additionally, Monroe Art Market, which opened last year, has opened a gallery space next to Handsome Devil Hair at 907 16th Avenue. It is a visual art space curated by owner Lauren Burkey and has rotating artists whose mediums include glass and mosaic, jewelry, pottery, and more. 

Main Street Monroe has assisted all businesses with a variety of startup items, like getting signage approved in the historic district, grant opportunities, and participating in a variety of Main Street’s event programming like the farmers market, wine walk, and summer kickoff. 

“They’re filling gaps we didn’t necessarily even know existed,” Nordby said.

All businesses, including additional details like store hours, can be found on Facebook, on Main Street Monroe’s website ( or by contacting Main Street Monroe directly at 608.328.4023.