After providing culinary entrepreneur Yollande Deacon with tabletop merchandising and decor for her farmers market table display of her Afro Fusion Cuisine brand, we worked with her again to provide ideas for her restaurant storefront, Irie Zulu. The restaurant concept was a combination of Jamaican and African cuisine, so the exterior needed to reflect both cultures. It also needed to lure in passers-by on a busy street full of other shops and restaurants so they could experience the deliciousness!
After working with Keith Killen on some store design projects located in the strip center he owned, he then asked us to redevelop all the storefronts in the center. We developed a color, shape and texture palette to select from when designing each façade. A focal point was needed so we included a clock tower and small plaza to serve as a gathering space.
Having worked with this family owned and operated business for several years on simple upgrades to their chain of 22 stores, we were then charged with redesigning their stores, re-branding Buddy Squirrel and creating a new logo, and helping with merchandising & display. All the stores were located in either major shopping malls or strip centers throughout southeastern Wisconsin. On several occasions, our design services included storefront designs. A few of the concepts included a storefront that combined Buddy Squirrel and Quality Candy brands. Combining design with chocolate and nuts was a pretty sweet deal.
This project for the West Side Business District of downtown Merrill, WI, included analyzing 31 storefronts. Once again, working in conjunction with Redevelopment Resources (Madison, WI), we were asked to provide recommendations for updating the community’s tired storefronts in order to positively affect residents, business owners, and visitors to the community.
We gave each building a rating on a scale of 1 to 3:
#1 = exceptional
#1-1/2 = satisfactory
#2 = acceptable
#2-1/2 = barely acceptable
#3 = not acceptable
The recommendations were presented in Phases – Phase I were cost-effective and easy to implement, which would result in more immediate buy-in from the building owners and/or tenants. Once these short-term improvements were completed, and the results were appreciated via an increase in positive attitudes, traffic, rentals, and business, then discussions could begin around the more extensive renovations presented in Phase II.
Decorative streetscape amenities (waste receptacles, snuffers, benches, planters, bike racks, and fence panels) were selected from a regional manufacturer, Wausau Made. The amenities bring a strong branded and cohesive look to the business district.