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Historic building in Bunkie being transformed into space for local vendors

Building contructed in 1904 first housed a department store, then an antique store
Published: Jul. 27, 2020 at 4:24 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2020 at 4:43 PM CDT
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BUNKIE, La. (KALB) - Those who know Bunkie will recognize a building that’s been on Main Street for the last 116 years, first as a department store and then operating as Griffin’s Antiques. “I just keep listening to these stories and soaking it in and realizing how much this means to everyone, not just us. They really love this building,” says owner Claire Pilgreen.

Owner Claire Pilgreen says she wanted other moms like her to be able to have a space besides social media to sell their products.
Owner Claire Pilgreen says she wanted other moms like her to be able to have a space besides social media to sell their products.(KALB)

This fall the building will be resurrected under the name of Griffin’s Antiques and Main Street Market, a place for local artists and makers to rent space to sell their creations. “We want all things old and new,” adds Pilgreen.

Pilgreen, a mother of three who makes her own natural spa products, got the idea for the project after selling her owns products through social media. “We know how important a creative outlet is and we want people to be able to use their talents and come and rent a booth. People who can’t afford or have a whole gift shop get to have six feet of a gift shop or eight feet of a gift shop.”

Local artist Donna Laborde will be helping manage the space while it’s open Tuesday through Saturday. “Small businesses, entrepreneurs, men, women, children. I think it’s going to be fabulous; it really is. It’s a dream come true for our little town,” says Laborde.

Artist Donna Laborde already has her booth set up. Vendors decorate their own booths, but the store sells their items for them.
Artist Donna Laborde already has her booth set up. Vendors decorate their own booths, but the store sells their items for them.(KALB)

Laborde will also be offering art classes upstairs and putting on events to spotlight local artists. “I really think there’s so little opportunity for artists in this parish,” says Laborde.

Pilgreen and Laborde both say they’re excited to be part of the ongoing revitalization efforts of Main Street Bunkie. “I think there’s such a strong group of core people who really want to bring that back,” says Pilgreen.

Griffin’s Antiques and Main Street Market is accepting reservations for booth rentals. Prices start around $40 per month.

Copyright 2020 KALB. All rights reserved.

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