MOORHEAD—Many years ago, Jacey Henrichs' grandfather operated Tom's Pizza in Moorhead.
Today, Jacey Henrichs says that genetic connection may be one reason he decided to leave the information technology field and start his own business—Jay's Smokin' BBQ—with his wife, Rochelle.
Jay's Smokin' BBQ is the latest store to open in the Moorhead Center Mall, where Rochelle Henrichs and her sister-in-law, Dee Dee Sonstelie, purchased an antiques store—FM Antiques & Repurposed Market—in the mall last summer.
So far, that business is doing well and the families are hopeful the BBQ business will take off, too.
There's every reason to think it will, according to Brendan LaFrance, who set up his Tailor Made Barber Studio and Aesthetics in the Center Mall last October.
"I feel it's under utilized," LaFrance said of the mall, adding that from a business owner's perspective the mall provides him with ample space at an affordable cost.
He said his shop is doing so well he's looking for another barber to help meet demand.
Things have gone smoothly for FM Antiques, too, according to Sonstelie.
"We've been doing really well," she said.
"A lot of people are concerned about online shopping and it's a big thing, but at the same time people want hands on and they like to search.
Like, in here, they like to search for something their grandma had, or something that got broken," Sonstelie said.
Albums are one thing that sells well, she said, adding that it can be surprising who is buying old records these days.
"A gal—she had to be 18 or 20—she bought a Buck Owens album. So it's all ages," Sonstelie said.
Cristina Richardson, general manager of the Center Mall, said many of the mall's shops offer choices the internet can't really match.
"It's things that are unique and you're not going to find anywhere else and you can't buy online," Richardson said.
The mall also offers events that people enjoy, Richardson said.
Upcoming activities include a craft and vendor show that is happening today and Sunday, Feb. 10 and 11, as well as a kids fest scheduled for April 7.
In addition, the Center Mall is planning an indoor "street fair" scheduled for several days during the July street fair in downtown Fargo.
The Center Mall's biggest tennent is Herberber's, a store brand that was in the news recently in connection with a bankruptcy filing by Herberger's parent company, Bon-Ton Stores.
The Moorhead Herberger's was not listed among locations slated for closing in connection with the bankruptcy and Richardson said she doesn't see that happening anytime soon.
"I genuinely don't think it's going to affect ours," she said.