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MERC MONDAY....Goosebumps

MERC MONDAY....Goosebumps

When we talk about #smalltownlove these days we are almost always sharing an experience we've just had. It almost always is the kind of story that leaves us with goosebumps.

Well... for those of you in need of a little feel-good-love, this one's for you.

A few weeks ago we had the honor of hosting Kani & Richalde. These two (now newlyweds) are an amazing couple who weathered the heartbreak of losing their original wedding plans for a destination wedding in Key West, to the wrath of Hurricaine Irma last year. They took that opportunity to create a new plan for their dream day, and they chose Mercantile Hall. With a new script, new decor, and friends and family in tow, they hit Burlington to celebrate. The #smalltownlove came in to play as the groomsmen enjoyed themselves outside waiting for the ceremony to begin. They wandered across the street to a Burlington business that is near and dear to our hearts - Itzin's Shoes - where they were introduced to Tiffany Cramer & Dave Schmafeldt. They took a seat on Itzin's brand new community bench out in front of their shoe store, and Dave quickly came out to shine their shoes. The guys all lined up, feeling the love from Tiffany & Dave right on the spot. Watching this unfold you couldn't help but observe the fabulous service that was taking place while the air was filled with laughter. And that, my friends, is Exhibit A for this week of small town, downtown love. Small random acts of kindness for those visiting Burlington for the first time. If we only had a was authentic, spontaneous, and beautiful.

Fast forward to Sunday, July 1st. Our first (of hopefully many) community give-back events where we hosted a super fun Food Truck Festival. Graciously, Chase Bank allowed us the use of their parking lot behind Mercantile Hall, so we packed it full of scrumptious food options. 10 to be exact, all different cuisines, and so much yumminess to try. When we saw the first trucks (Yuppie Hill & Wilson Meats) arrive, we got excited. But when that 10th truck rolled in, we knew we had ourselves a big, awesome festival. Right from the start of the event at 3pm, we watched the people stream in, all smiles (which to us translated to 'who cares about a little rain?') to hang out & celebrate community. We opened up Mercantile Hall, provided a kickin' live band (they were awesome - AARPers Bizarre was their name), and served up a full bar & some tasty craft beers from Third Space, Central Waters, Bells, New Glarus, and Lakefront Brewery. We filled the seats, watched some dance, and most importantly, met a lot of new friends. THAT is what small town, downtown love is all about and gosh we're feeling lucky to live here. (...goosebumps...)

Thank you to those who helped Mercantile Hall bring the Trucks & Taps Food Truck Festival to Burlington:

Cupcake-A-Rhee, Matty's, Gypsy Soul, Blue Cow Creperie, Double B's BBQ, Yuppie Hill Farm, Wilson Meats, Sushi Go, Hardwood Cafe, Tropical Chill, Chase Bank, Mike, Laura, Abby & Kayla from Drink Inc., Elite Rentals, & AARPers Bizarre. And of course to Ashlee Herriges, Stephanie Heft, Abbey Robers, Chris Carlock, and our ever patient hubbies & kiddos - may we always be blessed with sharing moments like these.


Four Years Later - An Anniversary to Celebrate!

Four Years Later - An Anniversary to Celebrate!

From the purest of places, it's hard to imagine a few years back to the feelings of anguish of people losing their business, jobs lost, and the gripping feelings of shock induced by the 5 alarm fire that tore through 2 buildings downtown Burlington. For those who were impacted by the devastating loss of the beloved Schuette Daniels Furniture Store, a fixture of the community, it was a major tragedy and one that saddened the town for a long time with many wondering what might come of the historic, vacant charred remains at 425 N. Pine Street.

Today, 4 years later, after months of loving restoration & salvaging its precious original hardwood floors and fabulous brick exterior walls, we open our doors proudly, inviting guests to create memories, celebrate with their loved ones, and honor the rich history the building shares with the town every day. For all of us on the Merc Hall Team, it's about building a business we love, a business that we are enormously proud of, and one that both serves our community as well as far beyond the town's geographic boundaries.

So, from tragedy comes this celebration.  425 N. Pine Street, we salute you. We are approaching our one year anniversary of being open and serving the community, just four years after the fire.

Happy Anniversary to Mercantile Hall and to my awesome Merc Hall Team. This journey is one that I cherish, and I love you all.

- Wendy



Bridal Shower 101

Bridal Shower 101

Shower Her with Love:

You are the chosen one! Whether you are the handpicked Maid (or Matron) of Honor, Mom, Sister, or Auntie - you have decided to Shower the Bride with love, which is an honor in and of itself.  Our team at Merc Hall has put together a little Shower-how-to that you can use as a reference guide, complete with some basic etiquette rules thrown in for good measure. 

Why a Shower?

First and foremost it's important to remember the point of the gathering. The bridal shower is a way to honor the bride-to-be by “showering” her with gifts for the couple’s new life together. Typically you will find that showers follow a simple recipe of great food, awesome vibe, fun activities for the group, and gift opening.

When should the Shower take place?

Showers are typically thrown 2-6 months in advance of the wedding to kick off the road to their nuptials as well as not time it too close to the big day, thereby avoiding having back to back wedding events. Always start with the Bride to seek a convenient time, and then work through the guest list, checking schedules as you go. 


Showers can be thrown right here at Mercantile Hall - such a fun backdrop for a fun event! They usually last about 3 to 4 hours, and can be thrown at any time of day or evening (there is no traditional rule here). Guests should arrive in advance of the bride, welcoming her as the Guest of Honor. The timeline usually starts off with greetings between the bride and her guests followed by the Host(s) ensuring everyone has a beverage in hand. If light appetizers are served (fine for a shorter Shower), then the Host invites guests to partake in refreshments while they socialize. Otherwise once ready, the Host calls guests ovto the designated area to enjoy a meal as a group.

Once finished eating, everyone moves to an area where they can be by the Bride's side while she unwraps gifts, with the Host or designated guest recording gifts + names as she unwraps (for photos later). One cute idea that one of our brides did was take a quick photo of the bride unwrapping each of her gifts that the Bride was then able to enclose in her thank you card. Sweet touch.

After the gift opening, coffee and desserts are traditionally served and the party guests begin to depart, taking a party favor along with them. Party favors can range from pretty good-smelling soaps to photo frames, to candles. Nothing extravagant, but a beautiful finish to an awesome day.


If the Maid of Honor is hosting, the bridal shower is usually planned and paid for by the maid of honor and the bridesmaids, close friends, or family members. It is not unusual for the bride’s parents to help with some of the costs and alleviate the financial burden for the bridal party. Please note that the host should not ask for any monetary contributions from guests, since they will be bringing gifts to the shower.

Guest List:

It's important to consult the Bride, but most often the party guests include the bridal party, close girlfriends and relatives. The size of the Guest List depends on the wishes of the Bride and her host. It's important that you do not invite anyone whom won’t be invited to the actual wedding. The only exception to this rule extends to teenage girls who are close to the Bride. They are welcome guests at a Bridal Shower if requested by the Bride even when children are not invited to the wedding.

Invitations & RSVPs:

Invitations for the bridal shower need to be sent out 4-6 weeks prior to the shower date. The invitations should include the following information:

  • Bride's name
  • Date, time and location
  • Host(s) name(s)
  • RSVP contact name along with their phone number and email 
  • Gift registry information

Invitations should be addressed to Gusts only and it is the responsibility of the host and bridesmaids to circulate to the Guests whether or not children are welcome to attend.