North Country Corner grows business to accommodate increased industrial workforce
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
A clothing store and gift shop in downtown Grayling has expanded to take up the entire building due to the growth in industry in the community.
North Country Corner, located at 100 Ottawa Street, was founded in April 2007. Other businesses shared space in the building.
ATC Group Services LLC, a business that provides environmental consulting and engineering services, recently relocated from the building. The Essence of Beauty, a hair styling salon, closed after owner Gwendolyn “Penny” Solomonson retired.
Pam Barr, the owner of North Country Corner, said the changes prompted her business to expand by 1,000 square feet. The store now has 4,000 square feet to display its products and accommodate customers.
The construction of the $400 million Arauco North American particle board plant, which will have 210 employees, played a big role in the expansion. Other businesses will be located near the plant.
The expanded space, which opened in July, features work wear, boot lines, and new shoe lines
“Pretty much, that is where our expansion is going to be – for the men,” Barr said.
Barr said she is proud to expand the business and to help maintain a retail presence in downtown Grayling.
“We want to be able the service the public better, so we can offer them the supplies that they need,” she said.
The expansion has allowed Barr to bring in her daughter, Monica Borchers, to help manage the business.
Jackie Parker, a former North County Corner employee, got the itch to return to the business once the expansion was completed.
“She worked for us, and retired, and decided she didn’t like retirement,” Barr said.
Barr said more employees may be added in the future.
“If we need to, we certainly will,” she said.
With the added space and products, Barr hopes to draw more customers and visitors into downtown Grayling.
“We’re just listening to the customers and trying to get the products that they are asking for,” Barr said.
North Country Corner is open seven days a week. The hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.