New Rutland businesses emerge downtown
By Gordon Dritschilo
Rebecca Buonadonna said opening a second store is a vote of confidence in downtown Rutland.
“I believe in Rutland,” the owner of Fruition Fineries said. “We can do it. We are making a destination of Rutland and the more stores make for a shopping experience. People can come, get lunch, make an afternoon of it. Hopefully, having another store will benefit everyone, not just me.”
Buonadonna is poised to open Raw Honey, a clothing store in the former King furniture space on Center Street, around the block from her spot in the Gryphon Building.
“It’s a little bit more urban, a little bit more fashion-forward — premium denim, which is nice,” she said. “It should be a fun store.”
The store has a beehive-themed decor and will feature outfits, jewelry, accessories and designer jeans from Hudson and Seven
For All Mankind when it opens Nov. 1. Buonadonna described the concept as “reasonably priced quality fashion.”
“It’s all really nice quality things I hand-picked,” she said. “I try to keep it affordable for everyone. There are accessories that are $5.”
Buonadonna is not the only downtown Merchant poised to open a second location. Roots chef/owner Don Billings is taking advantage of the extensive renovations in the former Aubuchon Hardware space on West Street to open a bakery cafe.
Building owner Mark Foley got a $5,000 grant for that project from the Downtown Rutland Partnership’s facade program. Partnership executive director Michael Coppinger said he expected an announcement soon on another tenant in the
Gryphon building as well.
“We’re seeing this clustering of retail along West Street that probably hasn’t been seen in, easily, seven years,” Coppinger said.