Monday, August 26, 2013

Interview: Ann Cantrell from Annie's Blue Ribbon General Store

We thought we would take a moment to welcome one of Fifth Avenue's newest stores, Annie's Blue Ribbon General Store. Sure, we miss Scaredy Kat, but they left on their own terms, seeking a new retail adventure in North Carolina. Not only that, as you will see below, they recruited an amazing store (and store owner) to take their place on Fifth Avenue:

1. Welcome to Fifth Avenue! We are excited to have you! Since you just opened, tell us a little about your store.

We are super excited to be here! We are a Modern General Store- selling fun and functional goodies to give and get. We love the idea of "old timey" general stores, we just made ours work for the modern city lifestyle. The “Blue Ribbon” symbolizes the cream of the crop, so we like to think that we’ve searched high and low to bring you the best that life has to offer, all under one roof!

2. How has it been going, so far?

GREAT!! Everyone has been super nice and welcoming! It’s been so fun to meet lots of new customers, and see some of our Boerum Hill shoppers too! We have had a slow opening since our awning and signage went up a few days after we opened and we are still unpacking boxes and putting up artwork, but we are thrilled with the welcome so far.

3. What attracted you to open on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope?

We were very lucky to be approached by Nora and Damond from Scaredy Kat over a year ago to take over their awesome spot on this amazing block. Our lease was up in Boerum Hill and we were really outgrowing our space there, and I loved the area so it was a no brainer for us! I’ve lived in Brooklyn for almost a decade now, but I grew up spending a lot of time in this area back in the 70’s and 80’s when my aunt and uncle lived nearby, there’s been lots of changes since then so it’s been fun to re- learn the neighborhood.

4. Do you have any interesting events or regular happenings at your store that you would like to promote?

Why yes- we do! As a matter of fact we have a Family Friendly Back to School Event August 29th from 3-5pm (NOTE: SEE GRAPHIC, ABOVE). We partnered with a great local company, State Bags, for the party. With every purchase of one of their backpacks they donate one to a Child in need, but during the event we will donate TWO bags for each one purchased. Plus the bags are very fun & functional, so you can’t go wrong! Mark your calendars for an evening event October 3rd too. We will be celebrating our 6th anniversary then along with toasting to all our local artists and vendors we work with at the shop.

5. We know you are new to the neighborhood, but do you have any favorite places to eat, drink or shop on Fifth?

We just made a sign that says “We are eating our way through Park Slope, let us know if you have any suggestions” so would LOVE to hear everyone’s favorites but so far we’ve of course been to Dizzy’s (our next door neighbor!), Pork Slope (for some team building/bonding/beer/bbq), Bierkraft, Blueprint, Duke of Montrose (we drink more than we eat I think…). For lunch we’ve had Zito’s Sandwiches, Le Pain Quotidien, LOTS of pizza- and can’t wait to try every place up and down the avenue!

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