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What is the history of the Blue Moon shops?

Amanda Lisk
StarNews

Blue Moon Gift Shops owner Mary Ann Masucci (left) stands with Manager Sandra Peruzzi around some of the vendors in the business on March 26, 2013. StarNews photo by Matt Born.

Blue Moon was built as part of the Racine Center for Arts in 1999 by Mike and Cynthia Golonka. They were owners of an advertising agency called The Creative Resource.

They moved to Wilmington from Dallas in 1990. Both were former teachers at the Art Institute of Dallas. Cynthia would showcase her artwork at their advertising agency office and had artists friends requesting to do the same, so they decided to purchase 1.71 acres on Racine Drive and build a $1.75 two story art gallery and studio.

Click here for a StarNews had a story about it written in 1999.

Local retail shop owner, Sandra Peruzzi was the one to suggest having a section of the art gallery be for artisans and crafters to rent space and sell. It was a marketplace concept she had seen in Raleigh. The Golonka’s agreed and is today known as Blue Moon.

In March of 2004 Joe and Mary Ann Masucci purchased the Blue Moon part of the business from the Golonka’s. The Golanka’s remain owners of the Gallery @ Racine.

Sandra Peruzzi is now the Blue Moon manager. Blue Moon has grown to 115 vendors that include Wendell August, table top-ware, made from metal from one of the oldest forge in the U.S. in Pennsylvania; John Bruchetta, a nationally renowned glass blower; and jewelers, Mitzy Jonkheer and Sara Westermark.

Longtime Blue Moon vendor, Carol Crow of Out of Eden Soaps, just opened one of Blue Moon’s largest spaces for a new 1950’s décor shop called The Retro Crow.

Crystal Coast Impressions (CCI) is new to Blue Moon. It’s an organic, Argan oil skincare line and also new is Foxy Roxy, selling designer clothes for dogs.

White Oak Lavender, an organic lavender farm located in Virginia, started selling lavender products at Blue Moon in August 2012.

“Three people have already come to her farm in Virginia because they saw her shop in Blue Moon,” said Blue Moon owner, Mary Ann Masucci.

The Café that was originally also under the Golonka’s ownership has been sold. It recently changed ownership again and is a health food restaurant called Clean Eatz.

RELATED LINKS:

Whatever happened to plans to build the Brooklyn Arts District?

Why do department stores and shopping malls open at 10 a.m.?

 

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