Marcellus growing downtown with eight new, women-owned businesses

NOW: Marcellus growing downtown with eight new, women-owned businesses

MARCELLUS, Mich. -- The village of Marcellus in Cass County is home to just over 1,000 residents and has seen its downtown become empty over the years with vacant storefronts and a lack of foot traffic.

But, some dedicated community members are determined to welcome in a new age.

“We have an art space, a design boutique, a holistic store with massage and reiki, we have three restaurants, there are all these things happening so it’s worth a visit,” said Sarah Ayers, owner of Patch & Remington and President of the Marcellus Downtown Development Authority.

Ayers and the eight other women businesses owners that have opened up beside her share the same mission – make their hometown more than just a place people drive through.

“It was so empty and no sense of being any more, and now we’re seeing more women my age wanting to bring their business which is incredibly encouraging,” said Amanda Conley, owner of Delightful Designs.

Plus – the Marcellus newspaper even made a comeback.

“Things were slowing down and COVID-19 was tough on the newspaper,” said Kay Schten McAdam, editor at The Marcellus News. “I heard it was for sale, so I called the owner and he felt comfortable enough selling it to me to keep his family’s legacy, and I’d like to see the newspaper be a starting off point for a conversation moving forward.”

Now that Marcellus residents are investing in their community, they hope visitors will give it a chance too.

Starting with their inaugural First Fridays on June 4.

“I want to see people start to stop here again, Marcellus used to be this thriving little metropolis and I think it’s on the trajectory of being that again,” said Ayers.

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