Relotto to open gift shop in Red Stable in July
Mary B. Relotto is returning to a community -- and a storefront -- she knows well.
The local pioneer in women's business networking is taking over the iconic Red Stable site in German Village, where she will open Mary B.'s, a shop that will offer an assortment of gifts, art and home decor.
She said she plans to open the first weekend in July.
The store is located at 223 E. Kossuth St. among the major tourist destinations of Schmidt's Sausage Haus und Restaurant and Schmidt's Fudge Haus.
"Our goal is to complement the businesses that are there," she said.
And it's homecoming of sorts for Relotto, a former German Village resident who opened Mars Creations with Marsha Robinson in that very spot nine years ago.
She left the partnership a year before Robinson closed it permanently in 2007.
"I know the market," said Relotto, who now lives in Clintonville. "That's why I'm so excited about going back there."
Most items will be in the $15 to $35 range.
She also will sell food -- gluten-free jellies, barbecue sauces, dolce pizzelles and other regionally made goods -- at the store.
Jeffery Smith and Stevo Roksandic bought the Red Stable and an adjacent house last year, with the intention of opening a quirky souvenir shop and a bed and breakfast on the site.
Those plans have been pushed back, Smith said. He said the bed and breakfast is slated to open in 2014 and the souvenir shop, a year later.
In the meantime, they will be working on exterior landscaping and cosmetic improvements
"We're not giving up on it, we're just pushing it back a couple of years," Smith said.
So, they have decided to lease the Red Stable to Relotto for 21/2 years.
She said that's plenty of time to kick the business into high gear.
"I'm a risk-taker," she said, "but I also know it will do well."
Relotto is the founder of damesbond.com, a source for consumers and female entrepreneurs that was established in 2007.
In September, she opened DamesBond Market Place, a women's consignment shop at 1188 N. High St. in the Garden District, a slowly emerging area between campus and the Short North.