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Boreal Community Media

Meet Roam & Whimsy Co., Grand Marais's first shop on wheels

Jan 25, 2024 07:49AM ● By Content Editor
All photos provided 

By Laura Durenberger-Grunow - Boreal Community Media - December 29, 2023

Forget your preconceived notions of gift shops. Roam & Whimsy Co., isn't your average brick-and-mortar. Imagine a fun, surprising whimsical shop on wheels, filled with delightful items and treasures found internationally or made locally. Gina Joyce, owner of Roam & Whimsy Co., is also the creator behind MinneCafé, (small-batch gourmet cookies) and Marais Made (handcrafted gifts, toys, and home décor, mostly crocheted goods) - both of which she sells in the traveling shop.

Joyce jumped into the role of entrepreneur two years ago, when she left her career in corporate marketing and project management to start her own business and take care of her daughter. "I’ve always aspired to be an entrepreneur, but it can be intimidating to dive into it. It’s been one of the most rewarding choices I’ve made and since then, I’ve enjoyed continuing to create and expand my businesses in new ways," she told Boreal Community Media. 


Roam & Whimsy Co., Joyce's newest endeavor, opened this month at its spot behind Harbor Inn in Grand Marais. as a pop-up. The store, Gina says, thrives on physical presence. "With all the technology and online shopping nowadays, I think pop-ups are more special than ever. To have to physically be present to experience the shop is now a such novel concept, and I think that adds to the experience of Roam & Whimsy Co. That’s also why I don’t plan on selling products online - I want to maintain the special feeling of discovering and visiting the pop-up shop! It’s not every day that you stumble across a whimsical building, let alone get to go inside and shop for treasures."


The building matches the name: whimsical and unique. Joyce worked with an artist, a former teacher and theater set designer from central Minnesota, who specializes in greenhouses and unique shed structures. She was able to collaborate on every step of the design to ensure her shop vision came to life. The items inside match the theme - delightfully changing based on season and availability. 

In true pop-up style, the shop will be open various weekends in the winter at its spot behind Harbor Inn (next to Shook Smoothies and The Bad Seed Food Truck). The next opening is Friday, January 26 , and Saturday, January 27 from 12-5pm. Bonus: Shook Smoothies is also planning to be open for a special winter sip & shop event.

For more information, you can find Gina and Roam & Whimsy Co on Instagram at:
Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here