Bandon Mercantile and its owners, Ed and Beth Wood, are fixtures on Highway 101 just on the edge of Old Town. This spring marks 30 years that they have been supplying Bandon with items that just can’t be found elsewhere in town, and Ed and Beth are inviting everyone to celebrate this exciting milestone.
Ed and Beth moved to Bandon with their 4 year old son in 1985 from Colorado Springs, Colorado where Ed grew up. Beth’s parents had retired in Bandon, and having grown up in a small town, Beth was eager to return to a similar culture. Bandon’s economy was struggling at the time; the logging industry had declined, the fishing industry was not what it had once been, and tourism was only just beginning to pick up. They knew, then, that if they wanted to work, they would have to create their own jobs.
The Woods developed the idea of a mercantile store that would be a place for the local residents to find items not available elsewhere: things like soaps, baskets, and high quality kitchenware. Ed and Beth started in just part of their current building, and over the years, they added space to their store, expanding and eventually buying it. They added merchandise as well, including men’s and women’s clothing, purses, jewelry, cards and gifts, and garden accessories, and as they discovered that tourists loved and frequented their store as well, they stock postcards, and tasteful sweatshirts with “Bandon-by-the-Sea” emblazoned on them.
Wasting no time getting involved in the community they already loved, Beth got on the Chamber of Commerce board and over her 20 years there served as president and several times as vice president. She is now on the board as Vice Chairman of the Coast Community Health Center board and the treasurer of the 55-member Bandon Dunes Golf Club. Ed jumped in as well, serving on the school board. They have always loved Bandon and have no plans to go elsewhere. They feel very fortunate that they can live here and make a living, and it’s important to both of them to stay involved.
Ed and Beth stay active with the store, even after all these years. Ed is partially retired and spends some time there, but Beth works several days a week herself. They employ 4 others, including Inky, the store cat.
The inside of the store is bright and cheerful with attractive displays of their wide selection of items. Outside, the back of the building is a canvas for a beautiful mural done by Bandon High School’s Go Native! program. During the summer of 2014, 21 students under the direction of local muralist Vicki Affatati and program director Darcy Grahek designed and painted the seven panels depicting the iconic Face Rock and several local plants, including red huckleberry, Oregon grape, and thimbleberry.
To celebrate the store’s 30th anniversary, Beth is planning 10 days of fun events . The festivities begin on Friday, June 12 with a ribbon cutting done by the Chamber of Commerce. That weekend, expect to see demos of various products, and all week the store will be doing “humongous giveaways,” including a 14-cup Cuisinart food processor and a casserole dish valued about $300. Nearly everything in the store (excluding coffee beans, sale items, and a few consignment items) will also be 20% off during the celebration.
Come join in the sales, the giveaways, and the fun, and be sure to congratulate Ed and Beth on 30 successful years as part of Bandon’s community!
Open daily 9:30 – 5:30
535 2nd St SE
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Check out the slideshow to see more photos of Bandon Mercantile!