BRISTOL — The going-out-of-business sale is underway at Stone Soup Emporium.
The business with a collection of vendors will close by the end of the month and could be done this weekend, according to Paul Guzman, who worked with Bonnie Barrett to purchase the building, but failed.
Guzman has operated Bonnie & Clyde’s Soda Shop in the business and said his last day will be Tuesday, Feb. 19.
Barrett opened Stone Soup Emporium in November 2010, he said. The former King’s Grocery Store building had antiques and boutique items from a number of vendors.
Guzman opened a soda shop in there on April 27, 2011, after working through proper permitting with the Elkhart County Health Department.
“It was going really well,” he said. The shop thanked its customers on Facebook and said, “It was a great ride.”
He and Barrett were working leasing the former grocery building and were working on getting funding to purchase it. Then Guzman had a heart attack. He survived, but the effort to buy the building didn’t. “We weren’t able to pull together funding to purchase the building,” he said, adding that without doing that, the business wasn’t really viable long-term.
The ice cream shop was one of four Elkhart County spots to be named on a list of the state’s best. Guzman was making lunches and hoping to put in a full kitchen and feed more workers coming to Bristol with Utilimaster’s move, he said. The soda shop and Stone Soup Emporium got traffic because of being part of the Heritage Trail and in the Elkhart County Convention and Visitors Bureau publicity, he said.
But Bristol is a small town. “It’s not St. Joe, Mich. It’s not downtown Shipshewana during peak season,” Guzman said.
He’s removing the soda fountain and hopes to reopen elsewhere. The hours for the last day Tuesday will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Stone Soup Emporium will likely be open through Sunday. The hours for the remaining days will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Sunday when it would open at noon. Guzman said the vendors may move out this weekend.