Business

Main Street business is closing: ‘The poor old building is quickly deteriorating’

Henderson’s Eclectic Emporium, formerly Judy’s Market and an old service station, at the corner of East Main Street and South Ashland Avenue in 2017. Marie Henderson has announced that the store is closing.
Henderson’s Eclectic Emporium, formerly Judy’s Market and an old service station, at the corner of East Main Street and South Ashland Avenue in 2017. Marie Henderson has announced that the store is closing. cbertram@herald-leader.com

Henderson’s Eclectic Emporium, which opened in July 2017 on the high-profile corner of Main Street and Ashland Avenue, is closing.

Marie Henderson, the owner of the store, said in a Facebook post early Wednesday that the store’s last day would be January 26.

“This experiment can be counted as a success in every way and you all have contributed,” Henderson said in a Facebook post about the 18 months the store was open.

However, she added that the building “is barely habitable and quickly deteriorating. It can’t be set right with just our elbow grease.”

In a January 2 Facebook post, Henderson said her landlord was raising the rent “on a building that rains inside and has no heat and has squirrels that come in through obvious holes that no attempt has been made to repair.”

The site is listed on the Fayette County property valuation administrator’s website as having a fair cash value of $260,000.

Henderson has a long history with the corner of Main and Ashland. Her father had operated a gas station there when she was a child, and Marie and her brother Ralph used to run around the station site wearing child-sized attendant uniforms. The site later hosted a liquor store and Judy’s Garden Shop.

Henderson stopped by Judy’s one day and found that owner Judy McCreary had retired, and landowner Tyler Prewitt was pinch-hitting running the store. She started forming a plan to open her own store there, including fresh vegetables, plants, cheeses and a variety of craft items.

Henderson often posted on Facebook about her adventures finding sources for area-grown produce and other items.

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Marie Henderson in her store, Henderson’s Eclectic Emporium, formerly Judy’s Market and an old service station, at the corner of East Main St. and South Ashland Ave. in 2017. Charles Bertram cbertram@herald-leader.com

After she opened she quickly developed a following among those who advocate shopping locally and neighborhood supporters.

Henderson said Wednesday morning that she could not have recouped what it would have cost to fix the building with a new lease of only one year.

Henderson said that she could open another store, “but this space has the qualities that make the business what it is.”

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