It’s no secret that downtown Monroe is not the same downtown Monroe as it was five years ago. Once a town that was with boring, run-of-the-mill businesses and few activities has turned into a community filled with unique stores and restaurants whose owners are passionate and excited. Posters line the streets with upcoming community events that citizens enjoy taking part in. People from surrounding counties have caught wind and take part in these activities as well.
“We’ve been here about two and a half years and we’ve definitely seen a lot of growth,” said Kelley Channell of Kelley Channell Photography Studio. “We have a lot of clients that travel to us to see the town, and eat in the restaurants and shop.”
When asked what sets Monroe apart from other towns, Bonnie Getchell said, “We have fantastic support from our city leaders and DDA that invest in the town that they love and work closely with business owners to make sure they’re successful.” Bonnie Getchell owns Revolutionaries Market and Coffee Camper Co along with her mother, Beth. Both women share a love of thrifting, crafting, and making their customers feel like family. “I think Monroe is growing because people are investing in it, and in turn, the community and those who live here are investing in it, too! It’s a chain reaction that will only continue to grow over time!”
Heather Swanepoel, who owns Rinse Bath & Body, moved her storefront to downtown in 2013. “We were able to create and demonstrate a new kind of business model …where we produced our product in the back and sold it in the front [of the store]. Rinse has continued to be a unique store allowing our guests to take a peek at our production, to feel our energy and even participate in some DIY projects of their own. We strive to treat every guest as we would a guest in our homes.”
Monroe continues to grow at a rapid rate, with news of new restaurants and storefronts arriving daily. “So much has changed in the last twelve months and so much more is going to happen in the next twelve months,” said Swanepoel. “…Even with its growth, Monroe still maintains its small-town feel and friendliness that drew us to it.”