My Montrose: Stacy Wright of Mercantile
You have a store in Rice Village too. Why did you choose to expand into Montrose?
That was always the plan, to be in Montrose. We opened Rice Village, and it went really well, so we wanted to go deeper into Houston with a bigger store.
So the Montrose store is larger?
Yes, the Rice Village store is more of a satellite, with wine and beer next door.
What would you say your favorite thing about Montrose is?
Oh, the people, of course. You have so many different people, but the common denominator is that everybody is nice. I mean, even though Rice Village people are nice too, here people go out of their way to be really welcoming. Just doing the soft opening, we were overwhelmed with people coming in, everyone from the neighborhood, wanting to come to support us. People asked if there were things they could buy just to help us be successful.
What would you say sets Mercantile apart from the other coffeeshops in Montrose?
Mercantile is a grab and go speciality store built around an espresso bar, sort of an upscale convenience store. We’ve started doing sandwiches for lunch, and Chilantro tacos for breakfast. We’re going to be adding more food items; we just weren’t expecting the demand because in Rice Village people weren’t interested. We’ve also started doing fresh fruit.
And you’re getting some of our bike racks, too?
Yes, the Montrose M rack! We’re excited about that.
Do you see any challenges for the neighborhood?
[For Mercantile], setting ourselves apart from the other coffeeshops, and striving to bring something new. … But I think people move to Montrose for that unique aspect, like why people move to Brooklyn in New York. People will move into expensive, small places just for the sake of living in Montrose. I think people who move here definitely want the character to stay the same. I just see it getting more Montrose-y.
Can you tell me about Mercantile’s community events?
We have wine tastings, depending on our vendor schedules. Next month we’re starting some art classes. We have a barista here who will be doing acrylic painting. We’d really like to do poetry readings and live music, too, and also work with the Montrose District to put on events.
Art classes are a great idea!
It’s going to be awesome. Our barista is an art teacher, too, and wanted to start teaching classes. We thought it was great. It will probably be something like $30 for the class and materials with free coffee. Like a paint and sip type place, but with coffee instead of wine.
Do you plan to start serving wine as well?
We’re working on it!