Welcome to the Dutchtown Business Showcase! In this video series, we’ll be introducing you to some of the businesses throughout Dutchtown. Our first episode takes us to Logan’s Kids Resale at 3141 Meramec Street. Owner Cassandra Logan is well known throughout the Dutchtown neighborhood. Among other community activities, Cassandra sits on the DT2 • Downtown Dutchtown Board of Directors, helps to organize Marquette Community Day, and is a part of the current Adopt a Family program in Dutchtown.
Cassandra opened Logan’s Kids Resale six years ago. In addition to clothes for kids of all ages and sizes, she also carries car seats, cribs, bassinets, and other household essentials for new parents. Logan’s Kids Resale also carries adult clothing for men and women and a constantly rotating stock of other special finds both used and new.
While she strives to keep prices affordable for everyone in the community, Cassandra and Logan’s Kids Resale also offer a rewards program for additional savings, as well as revolving sales and a monthly basket sale—fill a laundry basket and stock up at a flat, friendly price. And if you watch our Dutchtown Business Showcase video, there’s a special deal in there for you too.
For those concerned about shopping in person during a pandemic, you can call Logan’s Kids Resale at (314) 495-8828 to schedule a Virtual Shopping session. Tell Cassandra what you need and she’ll show you what she currently has for sale. Pick your items, pay via CashApp, and come to the Meramec Street storefront where she’ll deliver your merchandise to you curbside.
A Mission To Serve
Cassandra views her business as not just a store, but also as a mission. Beyond offering essentials to families at very reasonable prices, Cassandra is always willing to offer a helping hand to those in need. She works with a number of organizations in Dutchtown and throughout St. Louis to help less fortunate neighbors get clothing, food, housing, and jobs. She’s even opened her Gravois Park home to provide housing for unhoused individuals and families.
Support Dutchtown Businesses
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit small businesses hard, and Logan’s Kids Resale is no exception. Now more than ever, Dutchtown businesses need your support to hang on through this unprecedented situation. Our neighborhood businesses are an invaluable part of our community, and we as neighbors must do our best to preserve the fabric of our neighborhood.
As we enter the holiday season, please consider shopping at not only Logan’s Kids Resale, but all of the shops in Dutchtown. Many shops are offering virtual or online shopping. Several of our restaurants also offer curbside pickup or delivery. Please patronize Dutchtown businesses whenever you can.
DT2 and DutchtownSTL.org are developing resources to help support our neighborhood businesses. If you’re a new or established business owner, visit dutchtownstl.org/business to see what we have to offer. And if you’d like to have your business featured in the Dutchtown Business Showcase, get in touch with us.
The City of St. Louis has established another Small Business Grant Fund to help local businesses impacted by COVID-19. $1.25 million in funding from the CARES act will be distributed as grants of $5,000.
Starting on Monday, November 16th, businesses can apply for grants. Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. The grants will be issued until the funds have run out. St. Louis Development Corporation will administer the grants. You can file your grant application starting on Monday at 10am.
Half of the funds are set aside for businesses within Opportunity Zones, Promise Zones, or Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Areas. Much of the Greater Dutchtown neighborhood lies within these designated zones—the entirety of Dutchtown proper, Gravois Park, and Mount Pleasant are all included in the Southeast NRSA.
Additionally, 200 of the grants are allocated for hospitality businesses—restaurants, bars, cafes, caterers, wedding planners, and photographers, and others. Food truck operators can also apply if they have a commissary or other physical space located in the City.
To be eligible for a grant, businesses must meet all of the following criteria:
25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees
Closed or otherwise significantly impacted due to COVID-19
Valid City of St. Louis Business License
Current on all payments to the City of St. Louis Collector of Revenue (property taxes, earnings taxes, water bill, etc.)
Will not use the funds to cover expenses already paid by funds from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), or other federal relief benefits
Have no conflicts of interest, i.e. no City of St. Louis employees, elected or appointed officials, or their immediate family
Does not discriminate per City of St. Louis ordinances
The following types of businesses are ineligible to apply for the grants:
Nonprofit organizations, churches, or religious organizations
Banks and other financial institutions
Accounting or CPA firms
Law firms or attorneys
Physicians, dentists, surgeons, optometrists, chiropractors, or veterinarians
Insurance brokers or agents
Real estate brokers or agents
Property management services
Architects, engineers, or land surveyors
Nursing homes or daycare facilities
Hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, or short-term rentals
Preparing to Apply
You will be required to have your business license number when applying for your grant. The license must be valid for the period June 1, 2020 through May 31, 2021. Previous years’ license numbers will not be accepted. Call (314) 622-4528 or visit the License Collector’s website to verify the status of your business license.
It’s recommended that you contact the Collector of Revenue to verify that your earnings taxes, personal property, and business property taxes are currently paid in full. Call (314) 622-3291 to check the status of your earnings taxes, and call (314) 622-4111 to verify your property taxes are paid. You can find additional information at the Collector of Revenue website. If your application is rejected due to any delinquencies with the Collector, you will have to reapply after making the necessary filings and payments.
To document the number of people your business employs, you can provide the following:
2019 Federal IRS W-3 Form—Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements
Form 941 for 2020—Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return (quarter ending 6/30/2020 or 9/30/2020)
St. Louis Collector of Revenue Form W-10—Quarterly Earnings Tax Return (quarter ending 3/31/2020, 6/20/2020, or 9/30/2020)
Ready To Apply?
Once you’ve verified your eligibility and gathered your documentation, you can file your application starting at 10am on Monday, November 16th.
Urban Eats will partner with St. Anthony Food Pantry and other local organizations to create the Urban Eats Healthy Kitchen, where volunteers will prepare and provide fresh meal kits to people in need. The project addresses multiple needs pertaining to food insecurity in the Dutchtown neighborhood:
Providing Access to Quality Foods
The program will bring healthy, ready-to-cook food to people who otherwise can’t get fresh produce and other ingredients due to expense or inaccessibility. Most of Dutchtown qualifies as a food desert—low income residents have limited access to reliable sources of healthy food. With few nearby supermarkets, many of our neighbors can’t get the basic necessities to put together a balanced meal.
Additionally, the Urban Eats Healthy Kitchen will help bring attention to St. Anthony Food Pantry, an invaluable neighborhood resource, but one that not everyone is aware of. The program will help the food pantry to expand its outreach mission which serves residents of the 63111, 63116, and 63118 zip codes.
Reducing Food Waste
Production of the meal kits will use surplus produce and other items from St. Anthony Food Pantry, Find Your Farmer (operating from Urban Eats Kitchen Incubator), and other providers, reducing food waste. Urban Eats can then leverage their expansive commercial kitchen space and network of local culinary professionals to turn these resources into healthy meals for neighbors who don’t have the time, tools, or ability to prepare fresh meals for themselves.
Teaching Healthy Meal Prep
Volunteer chefs from the Original Crusoe’s, Juanita’s Creole Soul Café (located in the Urban Eats Neighborhood FoodHall), and others will also coach neighbors on how to prepare healthy meals on their own. Even when given access to better foods, a lot of people simply don’t have the experience or know-how to turn those foods into a meal. Volunteers will help impart that knowledge, leading to healthier and more affordable options for neighbors in need. As the folks at St. Anthony put it, they will “teach a man to fish.”
We’re very excited for this endeavor to come to the Dutchtown neighborhood! Partnering long-standing Dutchtown businesses, new neighborhood enterprises, and a crucial neighborhood resource to serve our neighbors in need is the kind of synergy we love to see. The project has strong community support from the Dutchtown Community Improvement District, DT2 • Downtown Dutchtown, and 25th Ward Alderman Shane Cohn. We’re proud to see Dutchtown businesses and organizations committing to missions of community service within the neighborhood exemplified by the Urban Eats Healthy Kitchen.
Beginning in November, neighbors will be working together under a new committee format for community-led improvement in Dutchtown. These committees will be meeting once a month, with each committee focusing on one of five areas:
All committees meet at 6pm at Dutchtown’s Neighborhood Innovation Center, located at 3207 Meramec. If you prefer to connect virtually, contact us and we can provide a video link. The committee meeting schedule is below.
Design Committee: First Thursday of the month
Economic Vitality Committee: Second Tuesday of the month
Promotion Committee: Second Thursday of the Month
Organization Committee: Third Tuesday of the month
Safe Clean & Green Committee: Third Thursday of the month
Brian Adler of Missouri-Metro.com wrote this piece for his new blog focusing on development through the lens of its economic, social, and political impact. We thank Brian for letting us publish his article here at DutchtownSTL.org as well.
Chip and Tasha Smith are here to stay. “I can see the future,” said Chip, as he gazed in wonder at his extravagantly remodeled storefront in the heart of Downtown Dutchtown on Meramec Street. Living just steps from their store, Chip and Tasha could not be more bullish on their neighborhood. Chip, a photographer and artist by trade, has South City in his bones. Tasha even serves on the DT2 (Downtown Dutchtown) Board, influencing decisions that support local businesses, community events, and infrastructure.
Editor’s Note: The photos taken for this piece are sure to pale in comparison to what Chip is capable of.
For nearly a decade, Chip has been building his photography and videography business. It was only 10 years ago that he bought his first camera, and here Chip sat in a chic, modern studio of his own making. Brand new flooring, popping colors, wood accented walls, and a classic old South St. Louis ceiling grace a location that those just wandering in might expect in a New York City boutique. Much of the work came from the Smith Family’s own sweat, with Chip, Tasha, and their children putting in dozens of hours of physical and creative energy. Chip even put in many of the floorboards himself, save where sloped flooring posed a challenge more suitable for a general contractor than a photographer.
“Cross Grand represents where I am from.”
According to Chip, there has never been a better time to be starting a business in Dutchtown. With the Community Improvement District (CID), Downtown Dutchtown, and Neighborhood Innovation Center nearby, there is a large group of community-oriented individuals collaborating to support the neighborhood. Coupled with the incredible amount of development nearby and beginning to spill into Dutchtown itself, the “South Sider” Chip witnessed all these architecturally gorgeous buildings and storefronts and saw nothing but potential. Then he met the people and the community in Dutchtown, one of St. Louis’ most dense communities in terms of population, and saw the value of a strong and supportive community, both in terms of the residents nearby and the support infrastructure described above.
Every step of the way, Cross Grand found encouragement and support from the Dutchtown community. John Chen, founder of the Neighborhood Improvement Center just a block further East on Meramec, has advised on certain elements of the project and provided as much support as he can as the owner of the building.
The potential of Dutchtown is readily apparent as soon as you enter the neighborhood. There is an expansive infrastructure already in place comprised of incredible, historical housing stock, a walkable street grid, businesses that have been around for nearly a century, and critical retail corridors on Grand and Meramec. The Meramec corridor in particular evokes a similar feeling to Manchester in parts of The Grove, or even parts of Maplewood. A dense cluster of restaurants, boutiques, and age-old retailers sit in 100+ year old, brick-clad buildings with mansard roofs with ample room for outdoor dining.
That’s not to say that they didn’t need to put in the work to make their storefront shine. To see the incredible transformation of the space, look no further than these photos Chip provided of the space before they saw its true potential. Drop ceiling hid the gorgeous ceiling pattern visible today, and the floor was in need a complete refresh. Perhaps someone could have envisioned an office or small store, but to imagine and create the Instagram-worthy color scheme and modern aesthetics is a true feat.
With Cross Grand, Chip and Tasha are combining their interests into a full service experience for creators like themselves in Dutchtown. Chip now does most of the video and photography work in the community, with many of his photos available on DutchtownSTL.org (see here and here for examples of Chip’s work in Dutchtown). Tasha, with lots of events in the small event world, and Chip with photography and videography, found that they could create a space that catered to both needs. They plan to bring other neighborhood creators into the studio in addition to the members of the community they hope will view their work, take photos, or hold small events there.
Chip hopes that the curated space will be a destination for nearby residents to get creative and see themselves in a new light. Far from only shooting weddings, Cross Grand will offer photo sessions, photo books, and event space. Chip is also looking for ways to capitalize off of the unique style that’s new to the Dutchtown neighborhood. Whether it is featuring the work of local artists or perhaps catering to a podcast and vlogger community, Cross Grand has a special space and a set of services that Dutchtown previously lacked.
Grateful for their community support from the CID, DT2, Thomas Dunn Learning Center, and the Neighborhood Innovation Center, CrossGrand owners Chip and Tasha are plainly excited to finally bring their dream to the community. To have a space to bring clients besides Starbucks, meet their neighbors who just walk in the door, and to show their kids the product of hard work are things that make Chip extremely proud and eager about this space.
The Grand Opening
Cross Grand is set to open to the public this Wednesday, October 21st with a Grand Opening and After Hours Happy Hour co-hosted by Downtown Dutchtown. The event will feature Chip’s first photo book, a Dutchtown/CrossGrand hoodie collaboration on display, a drummer playing live music, and possibly discounted packages in addition to the hoodies and photos being on sale. Members of the Dutchtown community and beyond are encouraged to stop by and witness all that Cross Grand has to offer. The event will take place from 5:30pm to 7:00pm and visitors are encouraged to meet neighbors and stick around for a drink.
“Cross Grand is here to stay. We are going to add value to this neighborhood.”
Small business entries speak volumes about a neighborhood’s trajectory, and their value is even higher in the middle of an elongated pandemic. Cross Grand is a project that rose from the community itself. It does not pad the pockets of national developer groups bringing in luxury units with no affordable housing, raze historical architecture, or displace other residents or businesses. That may sound like a low bar, but often developments in St. Louis do all those things, and while they can still offer plenty of intrinsic benefits, real neighborhood improvement and community stabilization comes from within and supports its residents.
Small businesses are the heart of truly equitable economic development that lifts communities up. The infrastructure provided in Dutchtown by community organizations is beginning to show what it is capable of. Combined with the incredible built environment, the nearby ecosystem is poised to keep pushing Dutchtown in the right direction with a focus on a community driven approach. While not as flashy as a 300-unit tower or several phase development, small businesses driven and supported by their communities have an incredible impact and make urban areas shine.
Thank you to Missouri Metro for visiting Dutchtown and allowing us to publish the first edition of their Small Business Series. You can find more of Missouri Metro at Missouri-Metro.com and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
This month we’ll be showing 42, the story of Jackie Robinson as portrayed by Chadwick Boseman. This is an outdoor event, and we’ll project the movie on the side of the building next door. Bring a chair and set yourself up in the parking lot. The movie will start at dark.
The next DT2 After Hours is at Diana’s Boutique on Wednesday, September 16th beginning at 5:30pm. DT2 hosts a monthly (pandemic-permitting) happy hour that focuses on Dutchtown businesses.
Diana’s Boutique just recently relocated to 3316 Meramec Street from a location a little further east on Meramec. Come by to check out the new, larger space and enjoy beer, wine, and soft drinks on the house! Diana’s will also be offering 25% off purchases during After Hours.
Diana Quezada, the owner of Diana’s Boutique, sits on the UrbanMain Steering Committee that is working to plan the future of Downtown Dutchtown. Diana and her family came to America from Mexico City 15 years ago.
“I wanted to open my retail store because it’s been my dream since I was little to be involved with fashion,” says Diana. She opened her shop four years ago and is excited about her new, bigger location. Diana prides herself on carrying a diverse selection of clothing in all colors, sizes, and styles, with unique items you won’t find anywhere else.
“I love the area and people around here. I dream and I would love to grow my business and inspire other people and offer jobs in the future.” Away from the shop, Diana likes to spend time with her family and travel, visiting beaches, hiking, and getting to know new places.
The Main Street representatives will be at the Neighborhood Innovation Center, just a block down the street from Diana’s, and they’re looking for feedback from the neighbors. Stop by and tell them what you’d like to see for the future of Downtown Dutchtown. If you can’t attend Wednesday evening, there are three other input sessions during the week.
Social Distancing: Spread Out on Meramec
While we hope to see a lot of you on Wednesday, we also want to make sure we’re taking precautions to protect your health during the pandemic. We’re asking that you take some time to stroll down Meramec to help maintain social distancing and to see what else is going on in Downtown Dutchtown.
Neighborhood Innovation Center
Along with our guests from Missouri Main Street, the NIC will also have representatives from DT2 and other neighborhood organizations to share community resources (and more drinks). After you share your input on the UrbanMain program, come see what else your Dutchtown neighborhood organizations have been up to.
Join us in Marquette Park on Saturday, August 22nd for the final Dutchtown Movie Night of the summer! This time around we’ll be showing Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse on the 22-foot inflatable big screen! We’ll open up at 7:30pm, and the movie will start at dark.
If you haven’t seen Into the Spiderverse already, check out the trailer below:
We’ll be out on the hill in front of the Marquette Park Field House. Bring your chairs and blankets. You’re welcome to bring snacks of your own, but we’ll also have food trucks on hand on the lower lot next to the Field House.
On Friday, August 7th, residents and business owners from the 4300 and 4400 blocks of Virginia Avenue will meet at Starz Salon, 4445 Virginia in the backyard. These neighbors want to begin forming an organized and cohesive block club. You’re welcome to join from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. Meet the neighbors, along with residents from other nearby and recently organized blocks, plus representatives from DT2 • Downtown Dutchtown and the Dutchtown Community Improvement District.
How Block Organizing Starts
A growing group of neighbors on Virginia began talking about issues on their blocks — trash on the street and in the alleys, crime, and other nuisance activities nearby. What started with an informal plan for a neighborhood cleanup evolved into a desire to create an organized and permanent coalition for neighbors to strengthen and improve their corner of Dutchtown.
They’re not the first blocks in Dutchtown to organize. It usually starts organically. A few neighbors on each others’ porches discussing experiences and some loose ideas will turn into a few more neighbors cleaning up the alley. Then they’ll plan a block party that gets everyone onto the street, meeting and mingling, often for their neighbors for the first time. They exchange phone numbers and emails. They talk more and look out for each other. The momentum grows.
What Happens Next
This is how things started on the 4200 block of Louisiana, the 3500 block of Kingsland Court, and certainly others over the years throughout Greater Dutchtown. What started as a few neighbors casually interacting became a tight network of residents who communicate, plan, and protect each other.
Planning the Future of Block Organizing
DT2 • Downtown Dutchtown and DutchtownSTL.org seek to strengthen these nascent block organizations, facilitate communication, and build a template for other blocks to follow. With the experience of neighbors already involved, we hope to create a straightforward model that helps interested blocks quickly get organized.
Does your block already have an organization that fits the bill? Would you like it to? Get in touch with us and help to plan for the future of block organizing in Dutchtown.
You can also meet us tonight at Starz Salon for refreshments and discussion about how your block can get involved. Make sure to be safe and bring your mask along with your ideas and questions!