Group store headed for former home of Christian Supply Center

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A group shop slated for downtown’s Main Street will bring art, photography, furniture, antiques and more under one roof.

Tra Vigne aims to be a showcase of the viticulture, western and agricultural facets of the Walla Walla Valley, according to a sign posted at 115 E. Main St., the longtime former site of Christian Supply Center.

An opening date hasn’t been posted. But a number listed on the building as a contact for Tra Vigne belongs to Craig Keister. You may recall Tra Vigne was the name of the antique shop Keister ran on Main Street for some time. It had initially opened as Mandrakes.

The concept of cooperative-style retail isn’t a new one for Keister. A few years ago he worked on a winery tasting room co-op concept for Main Street that never quite got off the ground. But a year later after approaching the Port of Walla Walla, he was the driving force in the agency’s introduction of an artists’ colony in a small cluster of storage buildings at the Port’s Dell Avenue industrial property. Those buildings are still occupied by tenants in need of space for woodworking, glassblowing and other creative uses.

In his latest project, Keister envisions art, photography, wine barrel furniture, antiques, vintage quilts, local crafts and more for sale at the downtown spot.

He’s been framing out spaces for vendors to display their wares and hopes to open in time for the holiday shopping season.

Well over a dozen people have indicated an interest or committed to opening there. Many, he said, work out of their homes, so opening up a space either pulls them away from the actual work or would require them to hire someone to run the retail side of things. “I think it’s going to give a lot of good exposure to a lot of people for not very much money,” he said.

Tra Vigne is expected to operate seven days a week. For more details, call 520-5077.

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