Two New Businesses Open in Miranda as the Tiny Town Continues Its Economic Upswing


First dollar

Jessica Willis accepts her first dollar as her new Miranda business, Sweet Cravings, along with another store, Blackbird Boutique, opened for friends and family Friday night. [Photo provided by Jessica Willis]

Two new businesses are set to open Monday in the small town of Miranda. The tiny community nestled near the southern end of the Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt County has been a quiet place for at least a half century. An occasional home game at South Fork High School which is located in the heart of the place provides pretty much the only excitement in what has been a sleepy little hollow tucked in among the redwoods for decades.

The last few years though, the town has seen a renaissance. The high school and the junior high received some much needed attention. South Fork High School‘s new gymnasium which was finished this fall is the latest addition. Three years ago, the Miranda Market moved to a new and much more modern facility just a block up the road from its old location pulling in a number of new customers to its store and perpetually busy gas station. The owners of the Avenue Cafe spiffed up their building attracting regulars and tourists to the restaurant and its patio. Workhorse Welding, a metal fabrication business that advertises on this site, sprang up just a few years ago in a new and surprisingly handsome industrial building. Sips, a tiny little walkup coffee place, offers a charming storefront, baked goods, and organic selections. Towards the south end of town, the Art of the Burl Redwood Gallery has numerous local gifts and an inviting porch surrounded by flowers much of the year.

Looking through the window at the newly refurbished building that houses the Blackbird Boutique.

Looking through the window at shoppers browsing Friday evening at the Blackbird Boutique. [Photo by Kym Kemp]

And, this Friday two new business joined the rising tide in the tiny town. Blackbird Boutique, a clothing/gift store, and Sweet Cravings, a candy/ice cream place, moved in side by side to a totally renovated building just a block south of the high school.

Two women browsing

Two women look at jewelry. [Photo by Kym Kemp]

The stores opened for friends and families only for a couple of hours Friday evening. And they were bustling with people.

On Monday, the new stores will have their grand opening for the public and by Tuesday, when the three day holiday is over, our guess is they will be stuffed with teenagers exploring their options for spending money.

A rack of clothing and purses at the Blackbird Boutique. [Photo by Kym Kemp]

The Blackbird Boutique will be open from 11-5:30 from Monday through Saturday. They offer women’s clothing, jewelry, and gifts for everyone. Emma Valk, who runs the store, said, “We will be getting lots more styles in soon.”

Miriah Willis, daughter of the owner, works behind the counter of the newly opened Sweet Cravings. [Photo by Kym Kemp–Full disclosure: Kym Kemp used to teach Miriah and Jessica was a co-worker.]

Sweet Cravings, operated by Jessica Willis, will feature candy and ice cream. The store will be open Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

One of many children enjoying the selection at Sweet Cravings. [Photo by Kym Kemp]

Possibly one of the most charming aspects of this store is a three dimensional carving of Bigfoot driving a convertible Volkswagen and eating an ice cream.

Sweet Cravings sign and it's sculpture Bruce Willis.

Sweet Cravings sign and it’s sculptor Bruce Willis, family member of the owner. [Photo provided by Jessica Willis]

But there is no doubt that the kids preferred sampling the multiple flavors of ice cream and hunting for their favorite treats among the offerings which included Jelly Belly,

The Jelly Belly selection at Sweet Craving. [Photo by Kym Kemp]

gumballs, assorted sour and sweet candies, and a huge selection of lollipops. Something to suit the taste buds of almost anyone.

We foresee adding these two places as another stop when we take out of town visitors on a tour of the Avenue!

Blue lights from the railing out front reflect in the window of Sweet Cravings as a number of visitors hunt through the selection to find their favorites or devour the treats they bought. [Photo by Kym Kemp–Full disclosure one of the handsome ice cream eaters is my son and the other is a former student]



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