Two stores make the jump from the West End Diner starting space to Uptown Marion

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – Dreams have come true for several local business owners in Marion. The 800 square foot commercial spaces have turned into even bigger opportunities for two companies over the past week.

Karlee Peters started The Purple Wagon with her roommate while she was still in college. Eventually her mother came on board to make baby bows. Now they are co-owners of the baby shop which opened its first physical location in West End stores in Marion.

“It was huge for our local community to be able to come and shop in person. We could try new products there,” Peters explained.

The West End Diner owner bought the property in 2019 with the dream of opening a restaurant and creating space for other businesses to flourish. There are now six stores on the property.

“I loved the idea of ​​especially supporting the women in this project, their passion project and helping to make their dreams come true,” said Annette Perry, owner of West End Diner.

And it worked. Staged Dwellings was based in the West End until last Saturday when it was able to open a brick and mortar in Uptown Marion.

“Looking back to start in my basement in my little shop in West End, my business growth has increased and how much I appreciate Annette for giving me the opportunity there,” said Keri Dahl, owner of Staged Lodgings.

She is not alone. The Purple Wagon is keeping its store in West End, but it’s having a grand opening this Saturday for a brick and mortar in Uptown.

“We had a soft opening last night so the outpouring there was huge, it makes me want to cry. Our kids are going to grow up here, they love being here already,” Peters said.

Watching businesses grow alongside his restaurant and take the leap is a dream come true for Perry.

“It’s a bit like when my eldest daughter went to university. You’re so proud of her but you cry for three months, you can’t go to the bedroom. I was so proud of them, I was so happy to be part of this journey,” Perry said.

And a new business has already filled its open space, the Jack opened this week. It is the West End’s first men’s store.

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