Proprietor: Carrie Carroll, owner, Carrie’s Hallmark
117 E. High St.
Carrie (Tergin) Carroll might be only one of a handful of people who had a store named after her before she even started school. “My parents named it after me when I was 4,” she says. A native of Jefferson City, Carroll is actually the third generation to own a business in the capital city. Her grandfather George Tergin, a Greek immigrant, fell in love with Jefferson City and started his shoe-shining and hat-cleaning shop on Madison Street. Eventually he moved his business, which in the 1960s was known as 1 Hr Dry Cleaning, to High Street. When her grandfather retired in 1976, her dad, Jim Tergin, opened a Hallmark store in the 1880s building.
Over the years, the store has grown considerably, and three years ago they underwent a major remodel. “Essentially we remodeled from floor to ceiling and wall to wall, the entire store,” says Carroll, who says they worked with Jim Wisch, owner of Wavco, on the renovation. They additionally followed suggested Hallmark Corp. guidelines when they installed their new façade with an LED Hallmark sign, new carpet, walls and ceiling tiles and a new backdrop and countertops.
Although the store is in Carroll’s name, she says it’s still very much a family business. “My parents are there all the time,” she says. “They love seeing what’s new, talking with customers and being with people.” Carroll also works hard to make sure the store carries a wide variety of unique and exciting gifts.
“We are the place to go to get a great gift at a reasonable price, right in the heart of downtown, and we’re happy to have been there for 37 years,” she says.
For the past several months, Carroll has been renovating three apartments directly above her father’s Coffee Zone shop on East High Street. “We named it Brandenberger Apartments,” Carroll says.
Shrunken Head Tropic Lounge
Jonny Ver Planck, musician/tour manager,
301 Ash St.
Jonny Ver Planck, owner of the Shrunken Head Tropic Lounge, has always loved tiki bars. “I’ve wanted to open one pretty much my whole life,” says Ver Planck, who originally tried to open a micro-distillery with a tasting room/bar in town but couldn’t find the right place or partner. Originally from California, Ver Planck also spent some time in Belize and says his establishment reflects his time there.
The bar is also reminiscent of lounges in the ’30s ’40s and ’50s and offers hand-poured specialty drinks and no premixes. Ver Planck’s intent is to provide area residents with something different from anything else in the area. “It’s a very laidback tropical-style bar with a mesh of Hawaiian, Caribbean and South Pacific along with a large dose of mid-century American hot rod/tiki culture,” he says.
A tour manager and live sound/recording engineer, Ver Planck, who has worked with such bands as Sublime, Reverend Horton Heat, Hank Williams III, Linkin Park and Hoobastank, also showcases local distilleries at his bar. “There are a wide variety of local craft distilleries in Missouri,” he says. “We’ve got about nine in the state now.”
Although renovations of the 100-year-old building were a bit slow, particularly because it sat vacant for a long time, Ver Planck felt the location and the timing were right, especially with Prison Brews expanding next door. “Even though the lounge is a tiny spot, maybe 35- to 37-person capacity, there’s a lot going on in this block, which is a good thing,” he says. “We’ve got several outdoor parties planned, and we will definitely be working closely with Prison Brews.”
Freed Developments LLC Event, Retail and Lofts
Ashley and Ryan Freeman, Mike and Shelby Reed, Freed Developments LLC
128 Dunklin and 704 Madison
When Ryan and Ashley Freeman, of Freeman Mortuary, partnered with Mike and Shelby Reed, another Jefferson City couple, to create Freed Developments LLC, they knew it was a good fit. “The Reeds currently live in KC, but Mike was born and raised in JC,” Ashley says. “Mike and Ryan have been friends since they were young kids.”
In May, Freed Developments purchased the Milo H. Walz Buildings, one at 128 Dunklin St. and the other at 704 Madison St. in an area called Old Munichburg. “The area has turned around a lot in the past few years and has lots of traffic,” says Ashley, adding that Madison is one of the busiest streets in Jefferson City. But there is also a family connection to the buildings; Milo H. Walz was Ryan’s great-grandfather on his mother’s side.
Built in the 1920s, the Dunklin Street building, which is around 5,000 square feet, was originally a hardware store. The Madison building, with more than 20,000 square feet, was constructed in the 1970s, and a breezeway connects the two buildings.
Plans are already in the works for the Dunklin building. “We have just signed a lease agreement with Wilson’s Fitness to open a yoga studio at 128 Dunklin St.,” says Ashley, who says it was serendipity that she was in the right place at the right time. “When we bought the building, I told Ryan that my dream scenario would be to have a hot yoga studio in the 128 building.” While checking out yoga classes around central Missouri to see what was available, she happened to be in Megan Sappington’s class, an instructor for Wilson’s, on the day Sappington announced that they were seeking a new location in the downtown area.
Capitol City Cinema
Jami Wade, owner, Capitol City Cork and Provisions
124 E. High St.
When Jami Wade opened Capitol City Cork and Provisions in April 2011, it was a bit of a gamble. “In 2008 I got engaged to my husband and moved back to Jefferson City,” she says. “I had been living in Columbia since the mid-1990s and had a wonderful teaching career at Hickman High School.” But Wade, who is originally from Jefferson City, was not looking forward to commuting back and forth to Columbia every day. Knowing it would also be hard to replace the teaching job she loved so much, she decided the time was ripe to begin a new career. She also felt Jefferson City offered her many opportunities.
“I have always loved downtown Jefferson City, and I knew I wanted to be a part of reenergizing our historic downtown,” she says.
Following her success with Capitol City Cork and Provisions, Wade is now taking on a new venture by renovating the former Chez Monet into a one-screen art house/theater. “We will have a 50-seat theater where we will be showing first-run, independent, foreign and documentary films,” Wade says. In addition, they plan to provide tableside dinner and drink service for the moviegoers.
“The process is exciting but also daunting to begin a business that really is not profitable,” Wade says, though she’s encouraged and optimistic. “Overall, the project has garnered an enormous amount of support and excitement from community members.” Having applied for 501(c)3 status, they are in the process of getting the board together to launch a large funding campaign to pay for the new digital projector.
Cameron Schulte, Pharm D
226 E. High St.
Cameron Schulte and Dave Stribling had batted around the idea of Schulte buying Stribling’s store, Tolson’s Drug, several months ago. “It started off as more of a joke,” says Schulte, who has known Stribling as a family friend and a fellow church member for years. “We started talking more seriously about six months ago.” Once Schulte graduated from St. Louis School of Pharmacy in May and passed his boards in July, the transition of ownership became a reality.
“I didn’t see this happening quite so quickly,” says Schulte, who is 24, “but the opportunity was too good to pass up, especially getting to be back in Jefferson City, where I grew up, where my friends and family still are.”
But Schulte was also excited to see so many changes in the downtown area. “Since I’ve been gone in St. Louis, the downtown has really grown, and there’s so much more potential and definitely more life,” he says.
Tolson’s was purchased by Stribling in 1972 and has been a staple of Jefferson City since it began in the late 1800s. “It’s exciting and scary all at the same time,” he says. “You want to do right by all the history, keep it going and keep the store in the community.” He plans to incorporate “Tolson” as part of the business name in the future.
At some point, Schulte also hopes to move into one of the apartments that are above the store so he can be closer to the pharmacy, especially for those after-hours calls. “We are hoping to renovate one apartment in the near future, but the building