Pease city clerk opens mercantile in historic downtown building

Photo by Austin Gerth, Union-Times Pease city clerk Jeff Hansen behind the counter at his newly opened store, the Pease Mercantile.

PEASE – Pease City Clerk Jeff Hansen is bringing his decades of passion and experience to a new antique business in downtown Pease.
Hansen’s store, the Pease Mercantile, is now selling a smattering of antiques and refurbished and repurposed goods, as well as some candy.
“It’s kind of a variety, a mixture of old and new together,” he said.

Photo by Austin Gerth, Union-Times
Candy available at the Pease Mercantile.

Hansen has dealt antiques as a sideline off and on for over 20 years. He used to run a shop out of his yard where he sold antiques and vintage lighting. He made antique dealer friends over the years, and he used to hit off-base antique stores while he was in the service. Some of the initial stock for the Pease Mercantile comes from items Hansen has had in storage.
“My whole life I’ve been interested in old,” Hansen said. “I just loved history.”
In part, Hansen has opened the Pease Mercantile as something to occupy himself during his nearing retirement years.

Photo by Austin Gerth, Union-Times
The old-fashioned front window of the new Pease Mercantile.

“It hasn’t been a full-time thing,” he said. “But now I think it’s going to be a little bit more full-time.”
Hansen opened up for business on April 1, and he will be holding a grand opening event for the store on Saturday, May 19. Ashworth Appliances & Electronics, located across the street, is also holding a grand reopening that day. Ashworth’s festivities will include a barbecue, and Hansen’s will include drawings and dessert bars.
The Pease Mercantile occupies a 110-year-old building that once housed the original mercantile and grocery store in the town. Hansen purchased the Brickton brick building in September 2016 and began a cleaning and renovation process that is ongoing. Even some of the inventory is steeped in local history: One of the items Hansen has for sale is a rack of the original Pease post office boxes.
“Got a few Dutch names on back yet,” Hansen said.
Presently there is a two-bedroom apartment space in the back of the building that Hansen chose not to renovate right away. If the shop takes off well during its first year, he plans to expand it to take up the whole of the space available in the building.
Hansen hopes the store will help to increase traffic to downtown Pease.
A couple of local businesspeople have also rented corners of the store to sell their products. Megan Kok and Christina Moscho are renting a front corner to sell goods they make from repurposed items. Princeton-based K & K Collectibles also rents space in the store.
The Pease Mercantile is located at 35 Central Ave. in Pease. For more information on the store, call 320-630-3671 or visit its Facebook page.

  • ChrisDee Caregiver

    It’s good to hear that the old Pease store is being repurposed, helping to revitalize a community where I spent a lot of my childhood and for which I have wonderful memories. I look forward to visiting your store the next time I’m in the area.