By Susan Whistler
After three months of extensive renovations, a little blood, lots of sweat and probably a few tears, Mud, Sweat n’ Gears is about to reopen for business in their newly remodeled location at 18 Monroe St.
Kim Reading and Miguel Azcarate have transformed the lower floors of the old Market Square building at 18 Monroe St. into a retail showplace and new home for MSG. The ski and snowboard shop that has been a fixture in Ellicottville for the past 20 years is due to reopen on this Friday, August 11, with over 4,600 square feet featuring a new, state-of-the-art, high-performance tuning, repair and rental shop and 40 percent more retail space.
Beginning this Friday, Mud, Sweat n’ Gears will be open year round with their signature stock of high-performance skis and snowboards, as well as an expanded soft goods inventory. They have added more lifestyle clothing with some new lines including Streetwear, Horny Toad, prAna, Desigual and Ibex. A larger store with increased hours requires a larger staff, so they have added two new shop employees in addition to a social media coordinator to oversee and maintain their Internet sales and marketing program.
This has been quite a journey for Reading and Azcarate … literally. Mud, Sweat n’ Gears began in 1992 as a bike shop. It originally occupied part of its new and present location at 18 Monroe St. in the 1,500-square-foot space that was most recently the home of Gado-Gado. The couple purchased MSG in the spring of 2000 and moved the business to 21 Washington St. that fall where it remained for almost 12 years. In 2006, they purchased the old Market Square Building and began plans to completely gut and remodel the lower two floors for the new store a year ago last May …. and the rest is history.
The new location has two entrances. The main entrance is on Monroe Street. Custom hardwood double doors open into a wonderfully light and open retail space. The décor can best be described as rustic chic with just a little touch of whimsy a la Reading. It is the perfect background to set off a high-performance ski and snowboard shop.
The tear out/reconstruction was choreographed by Phil Vogt, who also acted as a consultant to Reading who designed the interior. Reading said that she got her inspiration from her many ski trips to Park City, Utah, over the years. The lighting fixtures and main counter are fashioned from reclaimed, corrugated metal roofing from an old local barn. The floors are wide plank, rough sawn hardwood from Fitzpatrick and Weller. Reading added a little surprise over the main counter in the form of faux antler chandeliers painted a bright turquoise.
The rental and tuning shop sits behind the retail space and runs the width of the building with its own entrance off Washington Street. The main counter is paneled with reclaimed, red barn siding that Reading rescued from the old barn on the corner of Hencoop Hollow and Route 242. That property was once owned by her family, and the old farmhouse next to the barn served as her childhood ski chalet. The rental/repair/tuning shop can be closed off from the main part of the store and will have extended hours that will be independent of the retail store during the ski season.
Change is never easy, and Reading and Azcarate know that without the cooperation of their dedicated employees it would have been a lot harder. They want to thank their entire staff for all the support and hard work they have invested to make their dream a reality. Reading, Azcarate and the entire MSG family can’t wait to welcome you to their beautiful new home this Friday, just in time for the Taste of Ellicottville. Plans are currently in the works for a grand opening on Thanksgiving weekend.