Walk into Mahalo Kid and Baby on Reed Street in Coxsackie, and you will be enamored by the store’s whimsy personality and bright energy. It is impressive for any business owner to open in a global pandemic, but Tara Templeton is no stranger to the owning a retail store.
Reed Street in Coxsackie is quiet but is growing to be a shopping destination place. As of the last five years, it has seen an uptick of vibrant, new businesses and visitors. Che Figata, Reed Street Bottle Shop, Pilothouse Paper, and now Mahalo Kid and Baby are inevitably contributing to the revitalization. Templeton recognizes this shift but says that she “wants everything to be most beneficial to the people who live here.” She asked, “Why should locals have to drive across the river or shop online for something?”
Reed Street should be a one-stop shop for locals. Tara grew up in Greene County but did not realize its potential until she visited the Reed Street Bottle Shop one day. She said there was something magical about it, almost like she was on a movie set. “My hope is that the revitalization is for the community first and then to help welcome people who are coming to visit.”
Templeton did not choose the location because of its recent popularity. Her original intent was to open a clothing store on Main Street Catskill, but it did not pan out. She kept seeing the online listing for the storefront listed by Lia Post from Mansion + Reed General Store. Something about the space said, “baby store”. She sent her proposal to Post on July 12th, was approved on July 20th and officially opened on September 5th.
“I am so proud of this store. I think it’s beautiful - it’s exactly what I envisioned in my head and I’m super proud I was able to bring it to life…it’s a real personal achievement.”
Templeton is no stranger to owning a retail store in Greene County. She is the third owner of Mahalo in Catskill. Mahalo Kid and Baby carries a lot of the same ethics as Mahalo Gift Shop does. The cute and clever items for sale are all either USA products or Certified B Rating Company (which are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment). Whether you have five dollars or fifty dollars, Mahalo Kid and Baby is an experience to shop at.
Despite COVID-19 affecting businesses and changing the way consumers shop, Tara wants to combat big box stores and the online shopping model. Greene County residents need more unique businesses and to keep business local. The best part about Templeton’s job is seeing the look on her customer’s faces when they shop.
“We don’t need the big guys, [we] just need a couple options in one setting. Mahalo Kid and Baby is a brick and mortar store and was not an online business. I am not an Amazon and I don’t want to be an online business... I want to be a shopping destination.”
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