Some new faces are visible in downtown Plattsburgh.

Carolyn Tetreault opened A Beautiful Mess gift shop at 74 Margaret St. on Nov. 30. There is a second entrance at 43 Durkee St. and up one flight of stairs, which provides easy access from the Durkee Street parking lot.

Tetreault said she used to own The Station Cafe and Gifts in Chazy until it closed in September 2011.

”I really missed the whole atmosphere of the business so I knew someday I would open another gift shop,” she said.

Former Merkel’s store

Tetreault, a certified public accountant for more than 20 years, continues that practice in Chazy and hopes to add new clients in the Plattsburgh area. The new space has its own office space, so she can concentrate on that when business is slow at the gift shop, as well as meet with clients before or after store hours by appointment.

The new store was once home to Merkel’s department store. The interior still features brick walls and a tin ceiling, features that attracted her to the property.

A Beautiful Mess specializes in unique gifts, including re-purposed furniture she finds at flea markets and yard sales. The sales counter is a antique buffet she found at a yard sale and converted.

The shop offers Maison Blanche Paint Co. paints for restoration of older furniture pieces. Tetreault plans to offer workshops to show people how to restore their own pieces of vintage furniture. 

She carries the Homestead Maple products line, produced by Angela and David Swan in Chazy. Also available are skin-care products from the Farmhouse Fresh line, which features natural vegan, gluten-free, paraffin-free products.

Harney and Sons teas, from downstate New York, are available. Tetreault also carries Lollia by Margot Elena fragrances, jewelry by Charlene Poirier and the Trapp line of candles.

“I try to get things nobody else has,” Tetreault said. “I want to offer something different.”

She said her daughters, Nicolette Terry, Chantal DuBrey and Kristin McAuliffe, her husband, Randy Tetreault, and their friends, Marcia and Bob Dumensil, helped renovate the interior. Terry was also responsible for the storefront window displays, Tetreault said, and will update those seasonally.

A Beautiful Mess is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. It has its own Facebook page, and a website is under development. 

For more information, call 802-7684.

Unique to downtown

Emily LaPlant opened Sugar and Spice Intimates at 23 Clinton St. on Nov. 19. She said business has been slow initially, but hopes the return of college students and Valentines Day will help in the coming month.

”I’m hoping the fact you can’t get my products just anywhere will help bring people in here,” she said.

LaPlant said that while there are lingerie shops in Burlington on Church Street and in the malls, she didn’t see much available in Plattsburgh.

”I think it is really important for women to be comfortable with themselves,” LaPlant said. “Sexuality is a vital component of being human.”

The lingerie line is by Elegant Moments.

”They are very affordable and I like them because they carry up to size 3X,” she said. “It is very important for me to make sure no one is left out.”

The store also has natural bath soaks and massage lotions. There are several books available on natural healing methods.

There are also a variety of bachelorette party supplies and adult novelty toys.

LaPlant also carries vintage jewelry that she gets from people who acquire pieces at estate sales. She likes to be able to offer one-of-a-kind pieces to her customers.

Looked for location

A Vermont resident, LaPlant said she has been trying to relocate to Plattsburgh for some time. While she now has a store there, she is looking to move to the area with her three children in the near future.

”I love downtown Plattsburgh,” she said.

The space required little renovation, mainly the store fixtures and display areas.

LaPlant said she worked at and managed an adult-themed store in Vermont for five years before undertaking this new venture. She knew the business, but didn’t have experience with business plans and how that is required to find funding.

Angela Smith at the North Country Small Business Development Center provided assistance with that as she prepared to open the store. LaPlant credits the assistance she received for helping her find the private investor that allowed her to finance the business.

”They’ve been a big help to me,” she said.

Customers must be 18 years and older, LaPlant said. That policy will help provide the relaxed atmosphere needed to make her customers comfortable.

Sugar and Spice Intimates is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Payment is by cash or major credit card.

More information is available at the Sugar and Spic Intimates page on Facebook or at

Sub shop opened

Dax Lorry opened Del’s Subs at 87 Margaret St., the former Cheechako Taco location, on Dec. 11.

”It’s been going well,” he said, adding the lunch-time crowd from downtown offices has been increasing since he opened. 

He expects business to pickup once students return to school from the Christmas break. Del’s Subs is presently open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, but Lorry said he plans to stay open possibly as late as 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday as the weather improves toward spring.

Lorry said he saw an opportunity when the space opened up to bring a new sandwich shop to downtown Plattsburgh.

”I thought I would give it a try,” he said.

The menu features create-your-own subs on white or multi-grain par-bake rolls, plain or gluten-free wraps and sandwiches on white, wheat or rye bread. Customers have their choice of three cheeses, eight meats and 10 vegetables.

Specialty choices include a chicken Caesar wrap and Del’s Delight, which features turkey, roast beef, bacon, provolone, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, jalapeno, green pepper and mayo.

”Our biggest seller is the Classic Italian,” Lorry said.

That features capicola, prosciutto, salami, pepperoni, provolone, lettuce, tomato and onion with Del’s Italian dressing on a sub roll.

Sides available

Sides include chips, french fries, poutine, macaroni salad and cole slaw. Chili, salads and a soup of the day are also available.

The shop features a bright, clean interior. Lorry said it took about 1 1/2 months to renovate.

”We tried to brighten it up a little bit,” he said.

There are presently four employees, including Lorry. He said that could increase once hours are extended.

People can call ahead for an order at 324-6100. Lorry said he will deliver to downtown addresses.

TibetAsian gift shop, located at 82 Margaret St., was slated to close Dec. 31. Owner Tenzin Dorjee said Thursday that the shop will stay open for at least a few more months, but is still slated to close, as business has been very slow and didn’t keep up with expenses. 

He hasn’t thought about other possible uses for the space.

Dorjee also owns the neighboring Himalaya restaurant, which opened in 2011. He said the restaurant will remain open for the foreseeable future. 

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