A new store is coming to Landfall Center in Wilmington next month, and a longtime tenant has renewed its lease.
Owner Kim Sarka Lake plans to open Mug and Pia, which stands for Most Unique Gifts and Paper Items Anywhere, in early September. She is relocating the store from Huntington, West Virginia, to a 1,450-square-foot space she leased at Landfall Center, the 130,000-square-foot shopping center at Eastwood and Military Cutoff roads.
Lake's husband, Edwin Lake, moved to Wilmington a year ago for a job in news operations at local TV station WECT. She said the couple considered the Port City when they were looking for places where they might want to retire one day and their son had been in Wilmington about nine years ago.
"We loved the area. We thought it was really neat, so when he [Edwin] was offered a job down here, I said, 'Yes, you're going,'" Kim Sarka Lake said with a laugh. "A lot of people, the beach, tourists...you guys have it all."
Her father was a jeweler and at one point, she had told him she was swearing off a career in retail.
"He laughed and said, 'It's in your blood; you'll do it.' I just love small business. I love what small business can bring to a community," Kim Sarka Lake said. "I think it's very important -- you get to touch and feel your product and have that customer contact with the owner."
She said Mug and Pia, which started in West Virginia in April 2008, can do custom work with invitations and stationery and also works with a lot of leading stationery companies.
"Paper is not dead. I think it's coming back because it's a tangible thing you get in the mail or someone hands you...we're finding even businesses getting away from email and things and sending their employees out again to talk to people and have that one-on-one relationship with them," she said.
Commercial real estate firm Cape Fear Commercial announced on Thursday the Mug and Pia lease, along with the renewal by Wild Wing Cafe of its 6,730-square-foot location at Landfall Center. The Wild Wing Cafe renewal involved a 10-year commitment to the center, where the eatery has leased space for more than a decade. The chain was founded in Hilton Head, South Carolina, in 1990, according to the company's website.
Mike Brown and Howard Coupland of Cape Fear Commercial represented the Landfall Center landlord, Landfall Ventures LLC, in the recent transactions, according to a news release. Hansen Matthews with Maus, Warwick, Matthews & Co. represented Mug and Pia while J.P. Scurry of Colliers International Inc. represented Wild Wing Cafe.
“We are pleased to have a successful, long-standing tenant like Wild Wing Cafe renew their lease, and we look forward to working with Mug and Pia,” said Brown in the release. “These transactions speak to the strength of Landfall Center’s location and desirability within the submarket.”