Sidewalk Merchants Gear Up for Shopping Blitz

Cooper Sanderstroms of Cooper’s Coops and Chicken Accessories power-washes legally obtained shopping carts prior to converting them into chicken coops in this Beacon file photo. Sanderstroms and other Bass Lake Sidewalk Merchants hope to improve upon recent dismal shopping seasons. (Beacon file photo.)



By Clara Glendale-Frolic-Glendale|Beacon Hyphen Reporter

It’s beginning to look a lot like a post-Halloween-pre-Thanksgiving soon-to-be-post-Thanksgiving-pre-Christmas shop-fest is in the offing for the Bass Lake Sidewalk Merchants along Trout Lane in downtown Bass Lake, where the phrase “shop-til-you-drop” is on the lips of several people year-round. Especially this year.

Recent shopping seasons have not lived up to expectations, according to Cooper Sanderstroms, owner-operator of Cooper’s Coops and Chicken Accessories in the heart of Trout Lane.

“It’s been a bust the last couple of years,” Sanderstroms said. “Right in the crapper. Can I say that in print?”

Sanderstroms, along with Jen Sparkle of Jen’s Ribbon Cutting and Larry Karen, owner of Karen’s Ribbon & Scissors Warehouse, has led the charge to revitalize the downtown by keeping their stores open despite the massive financial sacrifice needed to do so.

“We’ve had two, no, one ribbon cutting in the past two years,” Sparkle moaned. “I’ve had to sell my private collection of commemorative ribbons. And at a loss.”

In order to entice shoppers to come “early and often” Sparkle, Karen, and Sanderstroms are extending their hours and offering free donuts and coffee, courtesy of Jolly’s Morgue and Donut.

“As of pre-opening hours on the day after Thanksgiving, we’re not closing until everyone in town has taken a chicken home to roost,” Sanderstroms said. “Or roast. What people do with their birds once they leave the store is really not my concern.”

Sanderstroms has even decked-out one of his floor coops with a bed, a television, and a waste disposal system.

“I’m not going anywhere,” he said. “Not until my last screw-top chick trough is out the door.”

The shopping blitz at all three stores will begin as soon as would-be customers show up.


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