By Gloria Lloyd – Reporter, St. Louis Business Journal
Carter Commons, the $6.5 million second phase of the $55 million Pagedale Town Center development, is celebrating its grand opening this weekend with seven new businesses.
To celebrate the new commercial development, nonprofit developer Beyond Housing is hosting a grand opening from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 31, for local residents, business owners, municipal leaders and other supporters. Free food and drink samples will be offered from the restaurants, along with children’s activities such as face painting and tours of the businesses and community kitchen. Beyond Housing has invested more than $75 million in the area.
“We’re thrilled to welcome seven new tenants to Carter Commons and the Pagedale business community because fostering small business success is a key part of Beyond Housing’s comprehensive model for creating transformational change,” said Beyond Housing President and CEO Chris Krehmeyer in a news release. “Getting to this point has been a multi-year journey, and the Covid pandemic didn’t make things any easier — so we’re extremely grateful to our partners for their commitment to this project.”
Six of the seven incoming business tenants are established companies with successful track records, officials said. All six are minority-owned businesses that viewed the move to Carter Commons as an opportunity to expand and energize their existing operations, Beyond Housing said in a news release. The seventh, Propel Kitchens, is a newly founded nonprofit commercial kitchen that will provide workforce development by teaching participants skills and knowledge that will lead to well-paying culinary careers — while also serving as a production partner for some of the small businesses.
The first phase of Pagedale Town Center included a cinema, restaurant, bank, health-care facility and grocery store. The 20,000-square-foot building at Page and Ferguson avenues is named for longtime Pagedale Mayor Mary Louise Carter, who died in 2020 and whose legacy is her strong support of Beyond Housing’s initiatives to strengthen families and individuals, transform the physical environment and create change at the systems level, the organization said in the release.
Here is a look at the six small businesses in Carter Commons:
- Burn 365 Fitness is owned by kinesiologist and former Pagedale police officer Shameka Smith. This membership-based gym — the company’s second location — offers group training and personal coaching for those looking to improve their fitness and learn healthier lifestyle habits.
- Goss’Up Pasta is a caterer and restaurant owned and operated by Qiuana “Queen” Chapple for more than 25 years. The experienced cook and entrepreneur, who grew up near the new Pagedale location, looks forward to hosting meals and building relationships in both the Carter Commons food court and “A Meeting Place,” the second-floor event space.
- Three Vegan Brothers produces artisan plant-based cheeses, gluten-free/grain-free crackers, and vegan sweet treats and desserts. The company is owned by brothers Marlon Austin, Mark Austin and Brian Austin. Their mother, Mary Austin, is the chef and creator of the plant-based products, which are available at shops throughout St. Louis.
- The clothing boutique Girlfriend’s Closet stocks unique, small-quantity styles. This shop is a second location for owner Brittany Wayne, following the first location at 3236 Parker Road in Florissant.
- Healthy Habits Smoothies is dedicated to providing customers with foods and drinks that support healthier lifestyle choices. It was established in 2015 by Brittany Wayne, who also owns Girlfriend’s Closet, and has built an enthusiastic, loyal following at its original location in Florissant. The Pagedale shop will offer a similar menu of smoothies, protein shakes, smoothie bowls, salads and breakfasts.
- Propel Kitchens is a new nonprofit training, education, and social enterprise developer focused on creating health and wealth with food. Its multidimensional focus includes attacking food access and chronic disease disparities, training and equipping Black and Brown people with culinary and business skills, and supporting the growth and sustainability of Black and Brown entrepreneurs, producers, and growers. Carter Commons is the home of its community kitchen. Learn more at http://propelkitchens.org.
- Missouri Home Health and Therapy was founded by Dionneshae “Dionne” Forland in 2005 to provide physical, speech and occupational therapy and skilled nursing services. It also offers state-funded in-home care and consumer-directed services. The company’s office is on the second floor of Carter Commons.