The Mercantile, in the renovated and restored Ellis-Forde Building in downtown Wenatchee, received the coveted Excellence on Main award at Washington Main Street’s Excellence on Main Awards Ceremony on July 20, 2020. The ceremony was held virtually statewide, with Mercantile owners Heather and Jeff Ostenson and Cory and Rick Wray receiving the award from a socially distanced watch party at the Mercantile in Wenatchee.

The Mercantile and its owners were nominated by the Wenatchee Downtown Association (WDA) for their transformative rehabilitation of a historic building in the heart of downtown and dedication to community and collaboration. The success of the Mercantile’s restoration inspired other building owners downtown, and the Ostensons and Wrays are generous in passing the wisdom of experience on to these other projects. The four partners have created an open and collaborative culture within the Mercantile, which hosts 31 unique businesses and nonprofits and offers conference rooms and event space for the public.

“The vision of the Mercantile – to promote health, happiness, and productivity in your workplace – is something many of us have been missing acutely over the last four months,” says Breanne Durham, Washington State Main Street Program Director. “We say it all the time, but I think we feel it more these days – places matter. And this place – the Merc – helps small businesses thrive, has preserved a crucial historic building, and builds community in downtown Wenatchee.”

The Excellence on Main Awards, organized by the Washington State Main Street Program, recognize communities, organizations, and individuals who are helping to achieve economic vitality and build sustainable communities through downtown revitalization and preservation. Washington’s Main Street Program is housed in the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation and administered, under contract, by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Excellence on Main Award, the highest honor presented to one community, organization, or person each year, recognizes outstanding projects and people that reflect an attitude of perseverance and dedication to community revitalization in Washington.

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For more information, please contact Breanne Durham, Washington Main Street Director, at the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation at bdurham@preservewa.org or 206-624-9449.

Local Contact: Linda Haglund, Wenatchee Downtown Association, at 509-662-0059 or linda@wendowntown.org.

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