WHEATLAND – The third annual Sip, Savor and Shop was held last Thursday night in historic downtown Wheatland where the first snowfall of the season made the scene resemble something from a Currier and Ives print.
“This is the third year, and we missed one due to COVID,” Simply Creative Flowers Boutique and Gifts owner Genia Vineyard said. “I think this is fabulous. I think that anytime you can get people wandering around downtown, you get to see all that’s happening. If nothing else, it’s a ‘preview shop’ so that when they are ready to do their Christmas shopping, they will be like, ‘oh yeah… I saw that in that downtown store.’”
Sip, Savor and Shop is kind of like a prequal to Black Friday.
“On Black Friday we open at 8 a.m.,” Vineyard said. “First 10 people in their pajamas get a $10 gift card and we serve breakfast. And we have smokin’ deals first thing in the morning.”
Simply Creative was serving homemade chicken soup and lattes on Sip, Savor and Shop night and the place was three-deep at the registers.
Down at 307 Roots, owner Holly Eisenbarth was decking the boutique’s trees and preparing hors d’ overs for those out and about in the beautiful snowfall.
“I think this is so great,” Eisenbarth said. “It’s just nice that all the businesses are getting together and doing this and just bringing people downtown for the pre-holidays.”
Eisenbarth has two boutiques, one in Wheatland and one in Cheyenne and she says that business has been good even through COVID. The Wheatland store which at one time featured a full spa no longer has that, but maintains a facial room, three tanning booths, a trendy boutique and of course Eisenbarth who is a licensed cosmetologist and has been styling hair for 33 years.
“My mom started the very first tanning salon here in ’85,” Eisenbarth said. “It was called Tropitan. Back in those days we were tanning 70 people a day. I helped her when I was in high school and after I graduated from cosmetology school her and I opened the hair and tanning business together.”
Crossing the street to drubeHOME the atmosphere was festive with both commercial and homemade specialty gifts and one booth was serving an apple cider concoction while Thane Ashenhurst one of the owners was mixing up lattes in his espresso maker for customers shopping in the store.
“I think this is a good thing,” Ashenhurst said. “My wife Keri made up the event a few years ago. She designed it. We find that it brought a lot of people downtown. The weather tonight is beautiful.”
It was also a night for new beginnings as Jeremy and Tara Westerman who have purchased the Wandering Hermit from Dan Brecht had an open house with meats and cheeses and snacks for their part of the Sip, Savor and Shop.
The Westermans who have now been official owners of the bookstore and toystore have added boutique items and personal touches along with changing the name to The Wanderer on Gilchrist.
“It is so cool to see all the people who have come out to meet us and welcome us,” Tara Westerman said. “I am so excited about the store and to be a part of this incredible downtown business group.”
Linda Fabian who heads up the “Welcome to the Hood” Welcome Wagon that welcomes new businesses to the historic downtown business community had her group there and in addition to the food and fellowship and in-and-out shopping, people came to hear the Geile Family who were on hand to do a bookstore concert for shoppers and fans.