Business Profiles: Last Tagine in Paris now open
Carol (CeeCee) Wilson loves French and Moroccan style. So it should come as no surprise that her new store Last Tagine in Paris reflects that.
Wilson moved to Cassopolis from Hart, Mich. in 1995 with her then husband Harold. She fell in love with the buildings downtown and purchased several of them.
After spending 11 years living in Niles, Wilson came back to Cassopolis. Since moving back, she has become very community oriented and is the co-founder of Cass Can, a group of individuals who are interested in revitalizing Cassopolis and bringing together people from both the village and at Diamond Lake.
Last Tagine in Paris is a specialty store. Besides the French and Moroccan influences, it also will have antiques, repurposed and upcycled furniture, pantry items and kitchenware. There are also bath and beauty products as well as merchandise crafted by artisans, both local and from around the world.
Wilson is currently in a “petite” version of her store next to Broadway Cafe while she renovates a much larger space up the street. She hopes to be in that building sometime in 2014.
She is also working on an e-commerce site she hopes to have up and running before a planned open house the week of Labor Day weekend.
“I knew I wanted to do something with that building in regards to opening a store,” she said. “I have always had a passion for interior design, decor. I love just the whole process of taking things and putting them together so they look pretty. I love bright colors. I love Morocco. I love France. I love food.
“So it became I need to open a store with all the things I love. And if I open a store with all the things I love hopefully other people will love them as well.”
Being active in the community and trying to change the perception of the village, she was willing to “put her money where her mouth was” and open up a business downtown.
She is hoping that by doing it so, it will spark interest from others to invest in Cassopolis.
“Empty isn’t so much about despair, but about opportunity,” Wilson said. “I guess the timing is right to do it and I think more people will come on board as they see the revitalization taking place.
“I hope to be an anchor store to bring other people to the downtown to do business.”
Among the pantry items she already has in stock are a variety of spices that are Gluten free and organic. She also has spice grinders and flavored salts and sugars. There is fresh roasted coffee and flavored nuts.
Wilson hopes having a unique name will keep her store on customers’ minds.
“I was trying to come up with something that would speak to the French and the Moroccan,” she said. “I wanted it to be catchy too. The Tagine is the Moraccan cooking festival and Paris of course is the nod to France.”