In a small, eclectic community like Three Rivers where commercial zoning is limited by topography, retail space is at a premium. Most small businesses, especially those that are new or start-ups, lack the capital to develop their own storefronts so infill is critical.
Because of this, a co-op at a single location can be a win-win for owners and patrons alike.
Opening for business
The co-op (think mutual benefit of its tenants) taking shape in the Sierra Real Estate center is the entrepreneurial vision of Dayna Higgins, the former operator of Main Fork Art Station. Four businesses — 3R Velo (indoor cycling and yoga classes), Gathered (local art, gifts, and souvenirs), Sage Roots (organic produce, bulk items, and some groceries), and Wendy McKellar Art (local artist’s studio and gallery) — will open in the space formerly known as the Red Barn this weekend. Henceforth, the new co-op’s headquarters will be simply known as The Barn.
A gala grand opening celebration is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 15, from 4 to 7 p.m.
“I want to continue to support a sense of community with local business owners by providing collaboration and support as a team,” Dayna said. “I envision this being a center to showcase the outstanding creative talent that Three Rivers has to offer.”
Higgins will also tap established retailers of national park products like Parks Project and Sequoia Parks Conservancy to furnish pop-up shops to extend the reach and enhance the draw of The Barn. Proceeds from both these national park organizations will be donated directly back to benefit national parks.
Unique food and beverage service featuring fare not currently available in Three Rivers is also in the works as are special 1st Saturday events that will showcase an attractive mix of arts and crafts vendors who seek to create and share a festival-like atmosphere.
The old Barn
The cavernous commercial space consists of more than 3,200 square feet, two-thirds of which will be occupied starting September 1 by the co-op tenants. The former Red Barn has been vacant since it was the headquarters of In the Light Urns from 2010 until 2015.
A funerary business, In the Light Urns was founded by Three Rivers residents Susan and Rick Fraser. By 2015, the growing business was bursting at the seams trying to operate in Three Rivers. Most of the 17 employees working there commuted from Visalia and, in addition, shipping turn-around times and power requirements sent In the Light Urns packing to the Visalia commercial district near the UPS hub.
Other businesses in the center include Subway, TRU Salon, Sierra Garden Center, and Sierra Real Estate. It is located across the highway from the Three Rivers Post Office and Village Shopping Center.
For more information about The Barn, call Dayna Higgins (559) 730-6848.