Just across from Dayton’s historic Fort Yamhill blockhouse, the windows of one small-town shop offer a little bit of everything—from clothes and cards to jewelry and journals. Recently celebrating its first year in business, Dayton Mercantile caters to locals as well as visitors and was designed with community in mind.
Opening in November 2016, the idea for the market started with two sisters. Teresa Shelburne and her sister Debbie Smith had talked about opening a shop together for two decades when they met Debbie Kearns through the Dayton Education Foundation and realized she also had the dream of opening a store. The women combined their backgrounds in interior design and retail with the Dayton Main Street Revitalization Project and Dayton Mercantile was born.
After sixteen years of teaching at Dayton High, Kearns, who had previously owned a consignment shop, saw the store as a place to channel her energies. “Although I have made and sold products for years, I wanted to have a consistent outlet and be on the ground floor with the project,” she said.
Shelburne viewed the shop’s role in the revitalization project as a service industry as well as retail. “We want to make shopping closer and convenient for all of us,” she said. “This opportunity allowed us to lease our wonderful space and be part of the revitalization of Downtown Dayton, and we jumped.”
The store’s shelves stock a selection of Oregon gifts and wine accessories as well as locally made products and an assortment of fun accessories that covers a range of prices. “It’s important to provide price points for everyone,” said Shelburne, “We love that you can duck in and get a card for under $3.00. We even have a comfy chair for a non-shopper to relax in.”
Developed by the Dayton Community Development Association (DCDA), the Dayton Main Street Revitalization Project aims to enhance the downtown area by establishing a variety of businesses including wineries, restaurants and shops. Tucked in between two parks, Seufert Winery’s tasting room, and an old church now known as The Block House Café, Dayton Mercantile hopes to fill the town’s shopping gap with gifts and décor and give back to their community.
All three women live in Dayton. As they watched the city grow through the years, they saw a retail need and wanted the store to boost growth while still maintaining a family feel to match their tight-knit hometown.
“We enjoy seeing people laughing in the back of the store at our cards and are happy when they have found the right gift for the right person or a product they’ve never tried before—or people just hopping in to say hi,” said Shelburne, “Our shop is all about the people and the relationships.”
For hours and more information visit http://www.daytonmercantile.net