The former C-Plaza shopping center just outside of Kenai on the North Rd. has a new look, a new name, new owners and five new shops. The new name is The Northwood Plaza and the new owners are Tina Hall and her husband. “We got to looking around at the vacant buildings in town and didn’t like to see vacant buildings so we decided to go ahead and buy the plaza and dress it up and see what happens,” Tina told the Dispatch in an interview. And happening it is as the Northwood Plaza has attracted new entrepreneurs and five new businesses to join the popular Mexican restaurant Playa Azul. The last frontier atmosphere now prevails throughout The Rustic Barn, Maggie’s General Store and Mabel’s where you’ll find everything from high fashion boots to unique home furnishings and organically grown local produce and products. “We have Mabel’s which a unique little boutique where men and women love to shop for fashion clothing and designer boots. The Rustic Barn has some home décor, gifts and things that will make you smile or make a perfect gift that hard to shop for relative in the lower 48 and right next door is Maggie’s General Store where you’ll find organic produce as well as sit down with a bowl of delicious homemade soup as you retro shop the way your grandparents did for their groceries and dry goods. And the sweetest of all is Sarah’s Alaska Honey where you can find bee keeping supplies and local honey. It’s been a bumper summer so for our local bee keepers and Sarah’s Alaska Honey is the best on the planet. If you haven’t tried it, you’ve been missing out! Playa Azul Mexican restaurant has earned a reputation as the best Mexican food around and features a free salsa bar and now your favorite beer and wine to accompany your favorite menu selection,” said Hall.
A wall plaque in The Rustic Barn proclaims, “I want to grow my own food! But, I can’t find any bacon seeds.” Another proclaims, “All I need is a little coffee and a whole lot of Jesus! We like to have a little fun with life and our gifts,” added Tina. As you walk by Maggie’s General Store you can smell the freshness, “We have a large selection of organic produce and well as dry goods and vitamin supplements as well as items for the home and we wanted to create a hometown feeling rather than a box store experience where you come in and shop while feeling like they’re right at home, very welcome and inviting. We carry locally grown as long as supplies last but we will be supplying the community with the best organically grown products that we can find all year long,” said Maggie.
While Tina is happy with the response from the community even during the road detours she says more is coming in the future, “We’ll keep renovating and improving the facility and we have a vacant unit at the end of plaza that is being remodeled and will soon be available for a new or old entrepreneur who want to join our family of shops,” said Hall. Three of the five businesses at the Plaza are owned by Tina’s family members and her grandkids are growing up fast. And be sure to say hi to “Piper” the puppy with blue eyes while you browse at Mabel’s which actually is inside The Rustic Barn at The Northwood Plaza.