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Monday, Apr 22, 2024

Addison West and Sparrow Arts Supplies relocate to downtown Middlebury

“We are excited to welcome even more people. Plus, we will have much more visibility now being on street level, which was a difficulty before,” said Beth Bluestein, the owner and gallery director of Sparrow Arts supply.
“We are excited to welcome even more people. Plus, we will have much more visibility now being on street level, which was a difficulty before,” said Beth Bluestein, the owner and gallery director of Sparrow Arts supply.

Addison West, a local home decoration business, relocated to the Stone Mill Public Market on Mill Street in January after nearly three years at its Main Street location. Sparrow Art Supplies, an art supplies stores and gallery, will take its place on Main Street after two years at their underground location next to the bridge over Otter Creek.

Monique Bonner ’92 started selling home decor as well as vintage and antique goods at 44 Main Street in November 2020, when she first opened Addison West as a pop-up shop. She opened a second, more spacious location in Waitsfield, Vt. in the spring of 2022, which has made it challenging to handle everything at once. 

“I loved the Main Street location, but it is very hard to staff people on the weekends,” Bonner said in an interview with The Campus. 

The Stone Mill Public Market — which offers a space for local businesses and community members to come together and buy and sell a variety of retail items — is staffed as a collective, rather than by individual businesses. Bonner will no longer need to staff Addison West at all times, and can instead focus primarily on restocking. 

Claire Shapiro ’24.5, a former employee at Addison West, will miss the Main Street location, but believes that the business will continue to grow despite the change.

“Addison West is poised to be able to do this transition really seamlessly,” Shapiro wrote in an email to The Campus. “It has become a fixture in the community and has a strong, consistent brand identity that'll help the physical move to not feel like too much of a change. Having opened a whole second location recently, the team has good practice with turning a blank slate into something special.”

Bonner said she is excited for Sparrow Arts Supplies to take over the space.

“Beth owns such a great business, and I am glad it will be at such a good spot,” she said.

Beth Bluestein is the owner and gallery director of Sparrow Arts Supplies, which has been located in the basement of 52 Main Street since its opening in March 2022. 

“This will be a really nice refresh for the store and gallery, almost like a blank canvas,” Bluestein said. “We plan to get new products and more gallery shows, and we love it when students from Middlebury are part of that.”

The move will make Sparrow Arts Supplies more accessible than it is in its current location, which requires patrons use a staircase to enter. The street level storefront will also grant both the store, as well as the local artists on display in Sparrow Arts Supplies’ gallery, more exposure.

The store will use its final week in the current location to host a store-wide 20% off sale through March 2. Bluestein has not finalized a move-in date to the new 44 Main Street, but estimates a transition the week of March 18. 

Sparrow Arts Supplies will also host a grand reopening party free and open to the public on April 5. Bluestein said there will be drinks, treats, a raffle and a new art show opening that night as well.

“The college and local community really benefit from having us here.” Bluestein said. “There is not another nearby art store, and Vermont is such a creative place, how can there be no art store? Sure, you can buy art supplies online, but you can’t feel the paper, or ask for advice like you can in person, and we are so glad to make this place more accessible to the artists in our community.”

Moving begins a new chapter for each of the businesses. 

“The relocating is like starting a new art piece.” Bluestein said. “You can do all this planning and testing things out, but you really just have to be in it and see the flow of the store and how people navigate the store to really see how your product will all pan out.”

Editor’s note: Claire Shapiro ’24.5 is the senior opinions editor for The Campus.

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Mandy Berghela

Mandy Berghela '26 (she/her) is a Local Editor. 

She previously served as the SGA Correspondent and contributing writer for the Campus. She plans to major in Political Science, with a minor in Arabic. Along with the paper, Mandy serves on the Judicial Board, social media manager for the Southeast Asian Society (SEAS), and is also involved in many campus theatre productions. On her free time, she enjoys long walks, cycling, and reading fantasy novels.