After several months of preparation, another new business has opened its doors on Merchant Row.
Cranberry Cottage opened for business on March 1 at 144 Merchant Row, across the hall from the new Full House Bakery. Owner Jan Rosenthal started renting the space on Nov. 1 and although it has taken a while to open, it was a labor of love.
The shop sells “cottage, country, rustic and traditional home furnishings and gifts” and specializes in items made from repurposed barnwood. Co-founder Brooke Ostema, Jan’s daughter, said her husband Paul, a carpenter of 20 years, makes all of the pieces himself.
Rosenthal currently lives in Sleepy Hollow, Ill., and had been travelling to Milton on weekends to prepare the shop for its grand opening. She spent the last 17 years at an administrative office for a school district in Illinois and now that she has retired wants to focus on the shop.
“It’s a hobby for us, we’re not in it to make a million dollars,” Rosenthal said. “We just like finding cool stuff that we think other people would like and pass it along. Our real passion is finding things and restoring them.”
The location opened up at just the right time and Rosenthal said she will follow her son and daughter, both now married, who settled down in Milton. Ostema has lived here for two years and said they all fell in love with the area and the schools.
The pair are aware of the competition they face both in and around the Milton area, but said their inventory is a bit different.
They said some other shops focus more on primitives, but that some of their items are more traditional. It’s a combination of “new and handmade items, with renewed or gently used items.”
Up to this point, the two said their biggest challenge has been establishing pricing for their merchandise. The concept has been in the works over the past couple of years and it has been a learning experience as neither of them have a retail background.
Rosenthal said she has plenty of office experience and manages the finances, while Ostema helps find items for the shop.
So far, Rosenthal said they are just taking their time, but Ostema said eventually they would like to expand their inventory to include larger pieces, such as furniture.
Cranberry Cottage is open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 608-201-8927.