The Bee Cottage and Urban Cottage

Two new stores deliver delights, occasionally

Mark your calendar to shop the Bee Cottage in Excelsior and Urban Cottage in Minneapolis. These new stores are generally open only one long weekend per month—“occasionally,” as has become the retail trend—and it’s worth knowing when.

The Bee Cottage recently replaced the Cottage within the historic Maple Inn of Excelsior. If shopping there was charming before, it’s downright delightful now. Each room is filled with fanciful objects old and new, from antique china, furniture, and ornate chandeliers to French-inspired pillows and vintage books. Impeccable merchandising adds to the appeal: You’ll want to take home the romantic layered look as much as the objects. Credit goes to new owner Jennifer Finlay, who also makes Jennifleur soy candles packaged in repurposed wine bottles, and her partner Nancy Koch, who had a hand in Dayton’s Paris Flea Market back in the glory days. The design-minded duo met while working at Guild in St. Louis Park. They’re now providing another outlet for some Guild vendors and discovering new artists and designers.