The City Exchange Shops celebrate a successful first year

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A local business celebrated its first year in downtown Fort Wayne Saturday. The City Exchange Shops is on Wayne and Harrison streets.

NewsChannel15 looked into how business has been for the new location and what’s in store for the future.

Mr. Polymath is the most recent store to come into the City Exchange shops. They’ve only been open since October 1 but they’re doing well. Actually, the City Exchange Shops as a whole has had a strong start.

After a year of learning and experimenting – you see 10 stores. That’s where the City Exchange Shops is today. And for the most part, it was a successful year.

“Business is great. People are really excited that we’re here. They’re surprised that we’re here and then they come back and that’s the key is repeat customers,” Megan Elizabeth Sutton said. Sutton is a co-owner of The Narwhal and the Manatee.

“It’s been good so far. We’ve enjoyed it. Everybody here is really nice. It’s nice to see people kind of starting to come in and fill up the shops a little bit more,” Kris Church said. Church owns Mr. Polymath.

Each shop is different and the goal is to have that communal type of feel- like a mall but more unique. Renters can get a space for a decent price and all utilities are included.

“For the low price, you can do whatever you want in a small space without having the fear of, you know, failure,” Jack Ellsworth said. Ellsworth is the general manager but also owns Valontine.

From popcorn, to beads and even handmade soaps and lotions, they’ve definitely achieved that goal to be one of a kind. But people are still becoming familiar with it all.

“People are kind of excited about this because they still don’t really know what it is. So it’s one of those things where we like it kind of for that experience destination feel not just shopping,” Ellsworth said.

Those who have been there said they love it. It’s moving momentum downtown forward and offering what people want- local and different.

“It’s nice that we can actually have places that we can walk to eat and shop all in one,” Amber said.

“I think it’s a great place for people to come out and check it out. It’s a nice place, nice area and I think it’ll do great for the city,” Mirnes said.

So after a strong year, they’re looking forward to continued success.