On the corner of West Main and North Magnolia streets in Palestine sits a quaint little shop — imagine a department store meets and falls in love with a treasure chest — in which familiar faces of friendly ladies nod, laugh and smile.
The story begins as soon as a customer walks through the glass doors at the Co-Ed Shop downtown, located in the city's historic Main Street district. The location is appropriate, seeing how the store has been in business for 54 years, marked official on the calendar this Wednesday.
The 54-year milestone was welcomed by owner Linda Foster, whose mother started the business in April of 1960. Customers who entered the store on Wednesday were greeted by the usual, “Hello, how are you?” and some unusual anniversary cake, coffee and other treats.
Foster remembers helping her mother in the store as a 16-year-old teenager.
“This got started by my mother Blondie Farris,” she said. “Her real name was Maud, but she had a nickname of Blondie, because she was a blonde.”
Today, the store is in its third location.
“Originally, it was next door to the Texas Theater, and it was in a two-story house,” Foster said.
From there, the shop moved “up the street where the loan company was,” before her mother placed a bid on the current location downtown.
“She got the bid, and redid it, and this is where we've been since '73,” Foster said.
After going away to college for a bit, Farris' daughter returned to her roots and married David Foster of the Foster family, which founded the Bailey and Foster Funeral Home in Palestine.
Foster said she took over the business in 1991. As for what the store carries exactly, she called it “the shop of the unexpected.”
In addition to specializing in ladies' apparel, the store also offers an array of items including select men's apparel, shoes, handbags, baby clothes, gifts and jewelry — just check out the “charm bar” in the center of the store, housing hundreds of bracelet charms to choose from.