BEST OF DAYTON: Heart Mercantile gift shop brings humor, compassion to Oregon District

Credit: Heart Mercantile

Credit: Heart Mercantile

This year, Heart Mercantile has earned a first-place finish in Best Place for Unique Gifts and second place in Best Place to Buy Dayton Gifts sections in Best of Dayton. In years past, Heart Mercantile has dominated the shopping sections of the Best of Dayton contest, proving that their popularity extends throughout the Miami Valley.

Credit: Heart Mercantile

Credit: Heart Mercantile

“We were all freaking out because so much was unknown, but we just had to figure it out,” Gilcher and Short said in a combined statement. “We photographed 80% of the store, put it online and let people message us through social media if they saw something we posted. We turned the store into more of a pick-up spot.

“Once we opened back up at minimum capacity, we were lucky that we had customers that would wait outside in a line six feet apart if they wanted to come in and get something. Our customers were all really awesome and were really patient with us and really helped us get through it.”

Credit: Submitted

Credit: Submitted

ExploreWright State grad appears in HBO Max series ‘Sex Lives of College Girls’

“Especially during the pandemic, a meme is all that would get us through packaging a bunch of t-shirts,” Gilcher and Short said. “We enjoy bringing a little bit of laughter and light-heartedness to hard situations.”

Though they have admitted to being “snarky,” the owners of Heart Mercantile have also made it their mission to give back to their community, donating thousands of dollars to organizations like the YWCA, The House of Bread, the Dayton Foundation and the Dayton Oregon District Tragedy Fund.

ExploreDayton’s new craft soda brand debuts

“It’s also really important to us to give to organizations and post about things that we really care about because we have a platform to do so and it’s important to use it,” Gilcher and Short said.

Heart Mercantile

First Place: Best Place for Unique Gifts

Second Place: Best Place to Buy Dayton gifts

438 E. 5th St., Dayton


About the Author