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DUNDEE   ADVERTISEMENT

Crocodile Mercantile gets ready to open

DUNDEE—This small village is a center for music and the center is about to expand.  Crocodile Mercantile on Water Street is poised to open by July 1, bringing even more music to Dundee.
Mike Brooks said he always loved guitar.  Not only guitars, but other stringed instruments will be available in the village. The store will also be home to Everything Dundee, an enterprise that will offer residents of the Dundee school district an outlet for things they create.
The store as well as the Everything Dundee project, was spurred into reality in part through the local health improvement project.  Everything Dundee, a store that sold items made by residents of the local school district, was one of the ideas that came out of the project. Early plans were of a cooperative that would be operated by participating vendors.
As plans progressed, another local resident, Alan Giles, and Brooks became partners in Crocodile Mercantile, which will be a vendor just like the other vendors in Everything Dundee. A crocodile? Brooks said he wanted to have a mascot of sorts; a friendly crocodile. His wife Ivy had done some graphic design work for a dentist and the croc came out of that project. The name is also a nod to the 1986 movie that featured an Australian character with the Nickname Crocodile Dundee.
Brooks saw the need for a music store in the area, especially when he realized the nearest music store is one hour away. He said, “Opening a store kind of snuck up on me.” Brooks said, “When your avocation and vocation come together, it’s the best.” The old time music scene where they lived in Maine was strong, but Brooks found, “The old time music scene here is even better than up there.”
He is associated with the Crooked Lake Fiddler’s group. Group member Tom Close, who builds fiddles, will do repairs for the store.
In addition to retail sales from the Water Street site, Brooks plans to use the internet. He said, “Many people are challenged by the Internet. I plan to compete, at least with instruments. One advantage is our operational costs. They can be reduced and passed on to compete with Internet prices.”
The path to Dundee was a rather unique one. Brooks and his wife had a bed and breakfast operation in Maine a few years ago, but they wanted to be closer to their grandchildren who live in Westchester, Pa. The couple drew a four to five hour travel circle around Westchester and started to look within the circle. Brooks also likes to scuba dive and had passed through the area in the early 1990s.
He was also looking for somewhere there was clear diving which included the Thousand Islands and all over Florida. Closer to the place they now call home, the couple looked at Naples and Hammondsport, but found the property they fell in love with in Dundee.
Brooks said, “We didn’t realize how nice people would be.”
 





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