A longtime Richmond retailer is marking its 40th year in business with a new, consolidated location in Henrico.
Cocoanut Jewelry reopened this week at 405 N. Ridge Road in Tuckahoe Shopping Center, replacing previous stores at Willow Lawn and Short Pump Town Center that closed in April and September, respectively.
Owner Wendy Garrett said she selected the 990-square-foot space at the center’s southern end, next to Kuba Kuba Dos, for its central location between Willow Lawn and Short Pump, where she said she had been facing increasing rents.
“I was ready for a change – to have one location that is centrally located for my customers in both the near West End and the Far West End, and I really do feel that Tuckahoe is that,” said Garrett, who started the jewelry and crafts store on Harrison Street in the Fan in 1976.
The Richmond native and VCU graduate has since opened and closed additional locations in Chesterfield Town Center and Charlottesville. She said she considered storefronts in Carytown, Libbie and Grove and almost went to Regency Square Mall before deciding on the Tuckahoe spot, which was previously home to a Virginia Commonwealth Bank branch before it moved to a larger space at 900 N. Parham Road.
“I looked for months for a space that I thought would be perfect,” Garrett said. “When I found this space, I felt that it was really right in my heart of hearts.”
The branch space was divided into two retail spaces. The other space, 407 N. Ridge Road, remains available for lease by CBRE Richmond, which handles leasing for the shopping center.
The 407 space totals 1,200 square feet and rents at $20 per square foot per year, or $24,000 per year, according to a flier from CBRE’s Barry Hofheimer. Garrett worked with Hofheimer to secure the space, and Dane Wisnosky and Nathan Shor of S.L. Nusbaum Realty Co. represented Garrett in the lease, which she said is for five years.
“So we’ll be there for at least five. We hope 25,” she said.
The new Cocoanut Jewelry will be just like the old ones, Garrett said, with jewelry selected from across the country and crafts such as mirrors, pottery and one-of-a-kind pieces, at prices ranging from $35 to $1,000 and higher. She said local jeweler Cheryl Byrne will continue to be featured in the store, continuing their 20-year business relationship.
“We try and have something for everybody, and I think that’s why we’ve been successful,” Garrett said. “We try and have all different price ranges. Sometimes we have a beer budget in a champagne case… so you don’t have to spend your whole paycheck on a nice piece of jewelry. You can if you want, but you don’t have to.”
Garrett worked with the shopping center’s contractors to renovate the space, which will be staffed by Garrett and two employees. Garrett’s ex-husband, George Garrett, of Ashland-based George Garrett Furniture Studios, installed the store’s cabinets and displays. They were putting final touches on the space Tuesday morning, when the store officially opened its doors.
Garrett did not specify how much it cost to open the Tuckahoe location, but she said it was more than expected and was paid for with her own funds.
Cocoanut is the latest tenant to drop at Tuckahoe Shopping Center. In addition to Kuba Kuba Dos, the center has also welcomed ShoreDog Coffee and Café, Align Fit and Backyard Grill over the past two years.