Downtown Springfield store to close next year

A downtown Springfield retail store and gift shop that has offered customers a variety of fair trade gifts for several years is scheduled to close early next year.

Fair Trade Winds, 36 N. Fountain Ave., said in a recent Facebook post the Springfield location will close in 2018. The store’s owners did not return calls seeking comment early this week. The family-run business also has locations in Bar Harbor, Maine; Fairfax, VA.; Boulder, Co. and Seattle, Wa.

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“I am sad to say that the Springfield Fair Trade Winds store will be having its last holiday season this year,” the business said in a Facebook post late last week. “We will be closing early 2018. Please come out and support fair trade in Springfield one last time. We have loved being here! Hours throughout the holiday season will be 10-8 Monday-Saturday and 12-5 on Sundays!”

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The store offered a variety of gifts, including clothing, jewelry, kitchen utensils, photo frames and candles, according to information on the store’s website. The business said it specialized in working with artists from around the world to supply its products, often using recycled materials.

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“Whether it’s a cup of coffee, a pair of socks, or a birthday card for a new friend, there are fair trade products for every day and every occasion,” the store said on its website. “We believe fair trade products can be practical. They’re also beautiful, useful and unique.”

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Information on the Clark County Auditor’s website shows the property is owned by Belmont Development Associates, LLC.

According to the company’s website, the chain started several years ago selling items at fairs and churches, but eventually invested in retail space.

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“Today, our extended family operates six stores which are an integral part of a cooperative effort to benefit farmers, artisans and the environment,” the website says.

North Fountain Avenue, where the business is located, has been the focus of recent efforts by the city and other organizations to bring more retail and foot traffic to downtown Springfield. The city opened a block of North Fountain Avenue to two-way traffic between Columbia and Main Streets several years ago as part of a $1.2 million project that also included new sidewalks and other improvements.

The Springfield News-Sun will continue to provide unmatched coverage of small businesses in Clark and Champaign Counties.

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