Bridal barn venue owners expand offerings with lodging, dress shop

By Jodi Schwan

One year after opening a historic barn as an event venue in Canton, the owners are expanding it with some unique accommodations and have purchased longtime shop The French Door Bridal Boutique.

Tim and Kalli Blackstone have watched The Canton Barn take off to the point that weddings are booking into 2020.

The Canton Barn

“It’s going fantastic. It exceeded our expectations,” Kalli Blackstone said.

“People are loving the historic aspect of the barn. It turned 100 years old in July, and what we’ve heard is people think it’s a beautiful venue with the grounds, and everything is landscaped beautifully with mature trees.”

Many event-goers have requested a place to stay on site, prompting the Blackstones and their son, Josh, to design a one-of-a-kind way to accommodate them.

They are taking two grain bins, between 42 and 50 feet each, and turning them into lodging space.

“Josh’s specialty is (working with) metal, so he will knock it out of the park,” Kalli Blackstone said. “I’ll do the decorating, and he will do the finish work and design.”

Each grain bin will have two stories, with an upstairs that includes multiple bunk beds and a main floor with multiple bedrooms plus a kitchen and living area.

Outside, guests can use a bonfire pit and patio. The hope is to have the lodging ready by April.

“We’ve contacted 80 percent of people who have booked with us so far and will contact the rest, and all the people we’ve talked to will book this,” Blackstone said.

In the meantime, she also will be busy blending in her newly acquired business, The French Door Bridal Boutique. Former owner Suzanne DeMore, who bought it in 1988, approached Blackstone to see if she would be interested in taking over the business. The French Door was founded in 1971.

“I literally could not think of a better fit for us,” Blackstone said. “It ties in with what we’re doing so well.”

The French Door will move from 4819 S. Louise Ave. at the Beacon Centre to a remodeled 11,000-square-foot historic building in Canton, about a mile from the barn.

Blackstone plans to offer runway shows and trunk shows on the upper floor and is bringing in new options for mother-of-the-bride and bridesmaid dresses, plus a new bridal line, Hayley Paige.

“It’s a sought-after dress line and a lot of brides are going to Chicago and Minneapolis to buy it, so we’re trying to rein in the market locally.”

The hope is to move The French Door in February, depending on construction.

This weekend also brings a special event to The Canton Barn, as 12 bands will perform from noon to 8 p.m. to benefit victims of the recent hurricanes.

 

Bridal barn venue owners expand offerings with lodging, dress shop

One year after opening a historic barn as an event venue in Canton, the owners are expanding it with some unique accommodations and have purchased longtime shop The French Door Bridal Boutique.

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