Roslindale Village is bustling with business heading into the holiday season, Jody Burr, the executive director of Roslindale Village Main Streets (RVMS) told the Gazette last week.
“The vacancy rate is about 4 percent, which is great. We are feeling pretty good about that,” Burr told the Gazette in a recent interview.
At least three new businesses have opened in the village this year, according to Burr’s count: Colorwheel Collection, a clothing boutique for infants and toddlers; Jimmies Ice Cream; and Gypsy Boutique, a women’s clothing boutique.
The Gazette was able to contact the owners of two of the three new businesses in the area, and family-friendliness was a common theme for both of them.
Vernee Wilkinson runs the Colorwheel Collection along with her partner Meg Skaar, who produces the Proof Collection of handmade keepsake and photo albums. The two separate businesses operate side-by-side out of the storefront at 4266 Washington St., Wilkinson said.
They started their business because they “love the neighborhood. And we felt that in Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury and Roslindale there were not a lot of resources for young families,” she said.
The store has been open about a month, said Wilkinson, who is herself the parent of a two year-old. “It has been fun being part of people’s lives,” especially at a point when parents are “a little bit more playful and celebratory,” she said.
For Donna Cabral, the proprietor of Jimmies Ice Cream at 48 Corinth St., “Every time a kid says to me they really like the ice cream or a sandwich, it is worth it to me,” she said.
Cabral—who ran the Roslindale photography supply shop Photo Image Plus for 18 years until 2006—said she opened the new business because she saw a need for an “old-fashioned ice-cream parlor.”
The parlor opened up in May of this year, and had a successful summer. “The response was great,” she said.
During the cooler months, Jimmies is serving hot drinks, paninis, soup, chili and foot-long hot dogs in addition to ice cream, she said.
The fare is “ cheap eats and high quality…it’s a really good hot dog—with sauerkraut, cheese and chili, like you get in New York,” she said.
Gazette calls to Margarita Milla, the owner of Gypsy Boutique were not returned by press time.
Burr said Roslindale residents will have a chance to check out all three new businesses, as well as other local retailers, during RVMS’s weekly “Holiday Wanders in Roslindale Village.” Village businesses will extend their hours to 8:30 or 9 p.m., provide refreshments for visitors and host special events on Thursday evenings from Nov. 19 to Dec. 17. For more information, see www.roslindale.net.