Forget the mall kiosks selling sausage and cheese.
Pop-up shops, those temporary stores that open just for the holidays, are getting bigger and more upscale. It’s a been a trend in bigger cities for a while, often used introduce new products or otherwise test the waters in a new city.
This year, the Fresno area has at least four full-fledged shops that are here for the holidays. They sell an eclectic mix of gourmet popcorn, vintage clothing benefiting a good cause, men’s shirts that are meant to be untucked and upscale loungewear.
It carries 16 flavors of popcorn. That includes its most popular, kettle corn, and its second-most popular flavor, barbecue bacon. Yes, you read that right, barbecue-bacon flavored popcorn.
Locally owned Grandpa’s also has other creative flavors like birthday cake (popcorn tumbled in white chocolate with rainbow sprinkles) and pink and white candy corn popcorn flavored with peppermint oil (that tastes exactly like a candy cane, the owner says).
The popcorn comes in half and full gallon bags and holiday-themed gift boxes wrapped in cellophane.
The temporary shop is at the mall until the end of the year, but there’s a possibility it could stick around, said owner Daniel Campbell.
Part of the reason for opening the pop up was “to gauge Clovis and see if Clovis would be welcoming to our type of business,” he said.
The original Grandpa’s opened last year at 673 E. Nees Ave., near the Save Mart at First Street. In addition to popcorn, that location also sells cupcakes, whoopie pies, and treats dipped in chocolate like Oreos, apples and pretzels.
The Clovis location only carries the popcorn, however.
Vintage for a cause
A temporary vintage clothing store has opened at 1755 Broadway St., in the recently refurbished Peerless Building in downtown Fresno.
It’s pronounced Black Marketplace, but spelled blkmktplc. It’s not that they don’t like vowels, they’re just going for a sort of underground, trendy vibe. The store has been “popping up” on ArtHop nights around downtown for months, with profits going to Neighborhood Industries, an organization that helps Fresnans get back on their feet.
The store is open regularly for the holidays, through Thursday, Dec. 20. It will be open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13 and Saturday, Dec. 14, and the same time next Tuesday, Dec. 18 through Thursday, Dec. 20.
Plans are in the works for a permanent location, likely in early 2019.
At blkmktplc., you’ll find $28 vintage suit jackets, old school sports-themed jackets and a rack of women’s coats ranging from $60 to $300 (some of them faux and real fur). A Burberry jacket sold last week. And used denim coveralls with little holes are selling for $52 (coveralls are apparently high fashion now, designer Hermés had them on its runway at a fashion show a while back).
For the cost conscious, there’s a $5 clothing bin.
The store funds Neighborhood Industries, the same organization that runs Neighborhood Thrift in the Tower District. The two shops and a recycling program help bring stability to people who have unstable housing or are trying to get off public assistance. The businesses provide jobs, but Neighborhood Industries also offers mental health services, tutoring, microloans for vehicles and financial literacy services.
After realizing that customers at Neighborhood Thrift were buying valuable clothing for cheap and reselling it online for more money, they decided to sell some of the more valuable items themselves.
“When you have one item in an ocean of things, it’s hard to see the value,” said Anthony “AP” Armour. “The blkmktplc. is an opportunity to showcase it.”
It’s showcased in a sparsely furnished space with brick walls and an Anthropologie vibe, which makes it a little more likely people will pay what it’s worth. The fashion brains behind the operation is the store’s general manager, Alvaro Romero, who used to run the Misc. Trading Co. downtown.
$98 untucked shirts
Trendy men are wearing their shirts untucked these days – and there’s a whole store created around the style.
UNTUCKit is a New York City based store that sells shirts specifically designed to be worn untucked.
It has a large kiosk in Fashion Fair mall, complete with racks of shirts and a dressing room.
Like women, men want to wear shirts untucked “and not feel like they’re wearing a dress,” said project manager Julia Barron. “There’s still room to tuck it in and wear a tie if necessary.
The button-down shirts are shorter, designed to hit at mid zipper.
There are dress shirts and casual shirts in plaid and lightweight flannel. The shirts sell for $58 to $98 and come in sizes ranging from small slim to triple extra large, including tall sizes.
The store is there until Feb. 1. If sales go well, it may open a permanent store.
The Laundry Room is a clothing retailer founded in Fresno that now mostly sells online and at Nordstrom. We told you about the shop when it opened on Black Friday in Fig Garden Village, between Lululemon and Madewell.
It will be there until the end of February.
Founded by brothers Joey and Jonah Pauline, the store sells comfy loungewear, like sweatsuits, slouchy sweatshirts and turtleneck dresses with hoods. Beyonce has been photographed wearing their clothing.
The front portion of the store will sell the new collection of clothing for prices ranging between $39 and $128. The back portion of the store will be a miniature outlet store, with discounted versions of their clothing.