All-in-one store Bleu Frog Mercantile is redefining what it means to be a local mercantile.
By: Stephanie Kusy
Photos by: Paul Marshall
It is a 10,000-square-foot whimsical wonderland. From elegant fine home furnishings to one-of-a-kind budget-friendly gifts, Bleu Frog Mercantile has something for everyone. Wall art, lamps, throw pillows and linens are among the many treasures at this eclectic boutique. Situated in the heart of Old Town Six Points, the renovated building still maintains its historical touch and upholds a story all its own.
Dusty Durrill, a visionary with scores of public improvement projects, has a reputation for reinventing and transforming rundown areas around Corpus Christi. The family company, Durrill Properties, renovated underused areas like Gaslight Square and Concrete Street Amphitheater.
Durrill also renovated the dilapidated Six Points area when he purchased the long-standing 60-year-old Cage’s Hardware store and converted it into the antique and gift store now known as Bleu Frog Mercantile. He hired women in the community with retail experience to turn his dreams into reality. The transformation brought Six Points back to life.
“He really wanted to have an old-fashioned goods store – a place where you can get a little bit of everything,” says Becky Gain, Bleu Frog business manager. “He wanted it to be eclectic. He wanted to carry antiques. It was a real mom-and-pop kind of store.”
The mercantile celebrated 10 years of business earlier this year, and it shows no signs up slowing down. In an effort to keep up with changing trends, Bleu Frog completely transformed the layout of their store in early 2015 by adding a trendy boutique with collections for men, women and children.
They also added fashionable furniture like the Park Hill Collection, featured on HGTV’s show, “The Fixer Upper,” which brings together nostalgic reproductions and old-fashioned country charm. They have always carried local brands like Fredericksburg Farms and Dinah Bowman, but they have recently added top-of-the-line fashions such as Johnny West, Double Zero and Kate Spade.
“We had a tremendous response,” Gain says. “People loved the boutique. They loved the clothes. We have now become more of an on-trend store in addition to being a mercantile.” It has become so popular that the company has contemplated growing the brand.
One component that has not changed though is the desire to carry on the traditions of honesty, integrity and superior customer service. Staff will do whatever they can to keep customers happy. Gain, who has been with the company since the beginning, says she maintains a deep-rooted devotion to seeing Bleu Frog succeed. “It’s a family – a very close-knit family when you work here. I love that. We really care about each other and work as a team. There’s a lot of camaraderie. It’s a whole lot of fun. There’s something about that that you can’t find in most places.”
Ironically, Gain never intended to manage the store. “I had worked in retail before, and I swore I would not work in retail again,” she says. “But a friend begged me to help her out and get the computers up and running. And 10 years later, here I am. Dusty is the most amazing man in the entire world, and working for him has been an honor.”
Mosey on down to Bleu Frog Mercantile for some one-of-a-kind Texas finds. Show off your state pride with decorating accents like unique metal Longhorn coolers, nostalgic wooden signs and the ever-popular Texas Home T-shirt.
Now is the time to find the perfect holiday gifts for friends and loved ones. Bleu Frog is gleefully prepared and already in the holiday spirit. Twelve Christmas trees deck the store with holiday cheer and décor galore. “We’re really like a little mall all in one,” Gain says. “You can find whatever you need all in one spot.”
Bleu Frog Mercantile is located in the Six Points shopping center at 1710 S. Alameda. They are open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can find them online at www.bleufrogmercantile.com or on Facebook.