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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Coterie Market ‘happy to announce’ store closure nearly one year after opening

The store’s last day open will be May 26.

Coterie Market pictured on Sunday, May 12, 2024.
Coterie Market pictured on Sunday, May 12, 2024.

Coterie Market announced the closure of its brick-and-mortar store on its Instagram, adding to the list of small businesses Gainesville will lose this month. However, unlike other closures, this is a happy announcement, Coterie said.

Eliminating barriers such as overhead costs and lease commitments, Coterie opened the opportunity for anyone to rent store space to sell their creations. Its clients ranged from beginning local artists to well-established wholesale businesses.

Co-owners 24-year-old Kate Yeung and 25-year-old Braden Ramirez ran everything. In addition to vending creations ranging from stationary to Swedish candy, the couple said they wore all the hats as business owners.

“Every step of the way has been a challenge,” Yeung said. “It’s been a lot. It definitely tested our mental health and our own sleep schedule.” 

As their lease renewal date approached, she and Ramirez said they had outgrown the space. 

The couple managed in-house art workshops, a rental business on the side and sold iced, superfood lattes at pop-up markets. 

The latter of which, she said, was never part of the original business plan but became the muse for a new venture — learning how to properly run a cafe.

“Not a lot of people would be willing to go backward to go forward because it’s quite possibly the scariest leap to make as a business owner,” she said in the store’s Instagram post. “But we deem it necessary to be able to provide the experience we hope to bring to Gainesville in the near future.”

Yeung expressed gratitude for having the financial ability to close and take on this new chapter.

“A lot of other businesses don’t have that ability to, and we don’t want to wait around and find out,” she said.

In the past month, established businesses in the community have either shut down or abruptly announced an unforeseen closure. Joining Volta Coffee, Third House Books and the High Dive, Coterie made its announcement on May 5. 

Cypress & Grove Brewing Company fosters dozens of small businesses during their weekly farmers market. Anna Heineman, one of the owners, lamented the influx of closures. 

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“I think it’s just sad for Grove Street to lose something that brought color and energy to our block,” she said. 

The Grove street area is a hub for smaller, specialized shops such as Serpentine Plants + Provisions, Afternoon Roasting and Samurai Skateshop

“When we have a rich assortment of businesses and choices for where to go, where to buy and what to do, it makes our lives richer, and Gainesville richer as a community to live in,” Heineman said. 

One of the small businesses that gave Coterie its color and energy is 13 Resins Why. Owner Rochelle Mindrum started her business during her senior year at the University of Central Florida. 

“I was just trying to find something that didn’t drive me crazy and would let me be creative and connect with my inner child,” Mindrum said.

Through the Florida Vintage Market, she connected with Yeung and began vending at Coterie in August 2023. Now, she has sold over 1,000 pairs of hand-painted resin earrings across 30 states, she said. 

“That’s nothing I would have ever imagined happening, and it’s because of people like Kate, and the Coterie Market and the customers that keep coming back,” Mindrum said.

While Yeung, Heineman and Mindrum each expressed concerns about a lack of disposable income in the current economy, they all shared a love for the small-business community and its ability to grow.

“[Coterie is] an incredible business that, now, is growing and is beyond what they expected in the beginning,” Mindrum said. “I think that’s what every small business owner wants at some point.” 

The space already has another small business set to take Coterie’s place — Onyx & Iris

Cedar Key-based owner Laia Gore hosts 19 different artists in her art co-op. In addition to paintings, textile art, jewelry, crystals and other metaphysical objects, Gore plans to start offering art workshops with her business partner Mirta Rodriguez, who will teach through her art pop-up, The Bold Brissel.

“I feel like I just have a much more accepting and appropriate community in Gainesville for the kind of art that we sell,” Gore said. “I’m really excited to see how that takes off.”

She met Yeung at a pop-up market and stayed in touch. When the couple decided on the closure, Gore said Yeung put her in contact with the landlord of the property. The goal is to have her doors open at the end of July or early August, she said. 

As for Yeung and Ramirez, they plan to travel to different cities and cafes to learn more about the craft of coffee. 

“We want to bring it back here just because we see Gainesville as a second home,” Yeung said. 

The last day to shop in-store will be May 26. Though their physical store will close, their creative spirits show no signs of slowing down.

“We’re still young,” she said. “I feel like it’s kind of untraditional and unconventional the way that we’re doing things, but we’ve never done anything the normal way.”

Contact Noor Sukkar at Follow her on Twitter @noorsukkarr

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Noor Sukkar

Noor Sukkar is a third-year journalism major with a minor in Arabic. When she’s not writing, she’s most likely talking to her cat or overwatering her plants.

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