A Unique Shopping Experience
One-room school house in Maple Grove is home to the Black Forest Boutique.
Pat Aldritt, the owner of the Black Forest Boutique, originally planned to hold her annual sales in her husband’s six-car garage. Instead, she has rented the historic Hennessy Hill School House in Maple Grove for the past 18 years.
The Hennessy Hill School House was built in 1916 and overlooks St. Patrick’s Cemetery. The fact that the boutique is located in a cemetery hasn't kept anyone away, vendors and customers alike.
“When people come here, they’re overwhelmed by the things we have and the quality,” said Aldritt.
Over 80 local vendors from Minnesota sell their merchandise at the Black Forest Boutique, which is open every day from Sept. 5 through Nov. 11. Adritt said shopping at the Black Forest Boutique provides an opportunity for people to support their neighbors.
A wide variety of items are available, including hand-made items, recycled/repurposed items and antiques. The Black Forest Boutique has a room full of unique finds named “Some Women’s Junk,” which refers to the fact that one woman’s junk is another woman’s treasure.
“In the ‘Some Women’s Junk’ room, we have an assortment of dishes, furniture, nicknacks and old letters used in printing,” said Aldritt. “And the prices are really, really good with some items priced as low at forty cents.”
Aldritt said some customers notice the old outhouse near the Hennessy Hill School House and ask if that’s their only option for a restroom. Aldritt said she assures her customers that the Hennessy Hill School House has indoor plumbing.
Students attended the Hennessy Hill School House until 1963. Now the building is used for primarily for events and meetings. Aldritt said some customers who went there bring their children and grandchildren to see the one-room school house.
“I started a book where people who went to school here can write about it,” said Aldritt.
In October, the Black Forest Boutique is hosting seminars from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. from Monday through Thursday. Many of the seminars are free and some have a fee for supplies. Class sizes are limited to 6 people and pre-registration is required.
“We make everything simple, so everyone can do it,” said Aldritt.
Store hours are Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
For more information, visit the Black Forest Boutique page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Forest-Boutique-18th-Annual-in-Maple-Grove-MN/146110528738689 or call 763-416-1962.