Wholesale warehouse in Caro opens to supply small businesses

A new store has opened and joined the Caro community. Warehouse 81 hopes to fill the needs of small, local business owners. 

Warehouse 81, which opened in July, is a wholesale warehouse that sells products from all over the country to businesses, allowing them to put items into their stores. The storefront has a variety of items including homemade wooden décor, tins, holiday decorations, clothes, and kitchen ware. 

“We’re trying to cater to different business and have had good success so far,” store Owner Amanda Langmaid said. “We’ve even had people come all the way from Clarkston and we’re drawing from all of Michigan.”

This is the only warehouse in the state of Michigan, and it helps eliminate the long travel, shipping, and other needs for people to run their businesses. Langmaid, who is a business owner herself — she owns the Cutest Button Boutique in Sebewaing — travels to Illinois and Ohio to get about 90% of her home goods and other seasonal items.

“Every state has about two or three warehouses, so business owners can go pick up their merchandise and go home,” Langmaid said. “But Michigan didn’t have one and that’s why I decided to start this one. With the way gas prices are, it’s not worth driving out to somewhere because you have to raise the prices of all your merchandise to accommodate the time and gas. Now it’s wonderful, I can just come to the store and get things from here.”

The store has lots to offer, with different vendors selling their merchandise at the front. From Christmas and Halloween décor to kitchen rugs and jewelry, the warehouse has much to offer to businesses. Vendors come in and will set up a booth with their merchandise and will switch up things every couple months. Langmaid is hoping to get more vendors into her warehouse to fill space and make it an enjoyable and exciting experience for all. 

“I would love to expand,” Langmaid said. “If I could hit 50 vendors, I think I could have something for everybody, and I’d have a lot more variety. When I’m looking for vendors, I like to have something different than we already have in here. I want to have a good variety in stuff.”

Buyers will be allowed to buy items in bulk, but also singular items too. Smaller stores that don’t have space to buy and store items in a big number can shop for one or two items of something instead. 

Although the store sells home goods items that can be put in homes, the warehouse is not open to the general public. Langmaid says that there are still ways to buy the merchandise that is sold at the store.

“It is for business owners only, but if they see something they want, all they have to do is contact the business page and we can tell them the closest place to buy the item,” Langmaid said. “We have a good variety of names, so if there’s someone in the Thumb, we’ll tell them the closest store they can buy it at.”

“I enjoy the people and listening to everybody’s stories,” Langmaid said. “Everyone’s business is different and as a business owner myself, its nice to be able to hear what people are struggling with or doing well with. I think this will hopefully solve a lot of little gaps that businesses are having.” 

Warehouse 81, located in Caro, is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The storefront is still looking for more vendors as well to fill space. 

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