Baker Street Bustles in Summer
It may be the dog days, but this little strip of Maplewood is hot, hot, hot.
Late summer is a notoriously tough time for local businesses, but you wouldn't know it from the buzz of activity on Baker Street.
On a Thursday afternoon, Peggy Excell-Stone of Lotus Petals put together a sample bunch of some of the store's most popular summer flowers, including yellow roses, gerbera daisies and sunflowers. Excell-Stone said that the shop is heading into prime wedding season. "The season has moved from June to late summer and early fall," she said. She revealed that for one upcoming nuptials the shop is doing all roses, from the bridal party to the table decor.
Across the street, David Heffernan of Revolution antique shop was standing in front of his store offering parched passers-by samples of his homemade iced teas. The peach was especially delicious and refreshing; he also had a Bangkok blend of green and black teas with a hint of lemongrass, ginger and coconut.
"We've been getting a great reaction from people stopping by," said Heffernan, who revealed that he and partner Lorraine Labonne-Storch are in the very preliminary stages of plans to transform the store into Revolution Cafe, a cafe-cum-antique shop. The new spot will serve teas, coffee from a small-batch Australian producer, and light meals. Look for more details in upcoming months -- and stop by for a taste of Iced Black Currant today.
Next door, Louis Toledo of Maplewood Karate was presiding over a class of eager kickers -- one of whom just happened to be former Maplewood Patch editor Lauren Bright Pacheco, who was there with her two children.
Other Baker Street businesses: Alchemy Hour, which will soon be expanding to include mens' clothing; Baker Street Yoga, where judging from the steady stream of customers, it is never too hot for hot yoga; Truly Yours, Bee & Thistle, and Shed. And it's not too late to register for summer camp at Geralyn's Art Studio.
In the upcoming weeks, Maplewood Patch will take a look at how other business corridors in town -- including Springfield Avenue, Ridgewood Road, and Maplewood Avenue -- are faring.