History continues to shape Main Street of Ellendale
It was a bank, print shop and a barber shop over the years. Now it is Two Doves Boutique.
Small town main streets thrive with the addition of new businesses. That's what is happening in Ellendale. A new business has opened and takes its part in the history of this southeastern Minnesota community.
Ed and Gwen Reiss (pronounced Rice) are the owners of Two Doves Boutique that will officially open Friday and Saturday, March 20 and 21. A soft opening was held from 1-6 p.m. Friday, March 13.
Two Doves Boutique will follow these regular hours during the week, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Anyone who remembers what this corner building looked like inside will be astonished to see what changes have been made to convert this historic building into a downtown business.
It was Gwen's husband Ed who encouraged her to open a boutique. He also came up with the name Two Doves, explaining that he and Gwen are the two doves.
Gwen, a native of St. Ansgar, Iowa, is the former owner of the Turtle Dove Tea House & Garden in Albert Lea. It was located on West Main Street. The building was a former brothel dating back to 1880.
Gwen was the cook for the tea house business she owned for 15 years. Her husband Ed said Gwen should do something after she sold the tea house.
That's when she and Ed thought about acquiring the old barber shop building. A quick negotiation with the owner of the barber shop building resulted in Ed and Gwen acquiring the building in three days.
Ed and Gwen have resided in Ellendale the past 36 years. Their residence is only 3 1/2 blocks from the location of their new business.
Enter Two Doves boutique and see a quaint old building turned into a welcoming atmosphere that features clothing, home decor and jewelry.
A side table buffet and an old mirror give the business a nice touch. Ed built a front desk checkout from an old hay bunk for cattle. An old hutch and table and chairs create the theme of family.
Tom Lang of Clarks Grove provided some of the old furnishings for the business. Chandler Anderson painted the Two Doves sign outside the front of the building.
Head back toward the old bank vault and be impressed by the gold painting done by Gwen to bring out the lettering of Security State Bank. At the entrance to the vault, find a large array of pennies placed as a welcome mat on the floor by Gwen.
Inside the vault, find jewelry, hats, paintings and other items for sale.
The Two Doves buildings have high ceilings with the beams reportedly over 100 years old. "We have a green theme in the store and are eco friendly," said Gwen. Gwen carries 4 Ocean bracelets with funds from the bracelet sale going to remove trash from the ocean.
Gwen said she and her husband formerly raised and bred Quarter Horses.
"I'm excited and nervous" about this new venture, admits Gwen, a former Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).
"We're able to look out the front window and see all the activity taking place downtown," Gwen remarked.
Gwen salutes her husband Ed for helping rebuild the interior of the old barber shop. He is the owner of Reiss Plumbing & Heating & Pump Service.
The Reiss' have two children and three grandchildren.