Peterson’s in downtown Vicksburg takes milestone – The Vicksburg Post

When Bobbie Marascalco decided to open a store along Washington Street, she had no previous retail experience. But over the years, the Vicksburg native has learned what it takes to thrive and be successful.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the downtown Marascalco, Peterson business.

Marascalso, who owns Peterson with her husband, Dr. Charles Marascalco, and sister, Logan Peay, was a nurse 20 years before the company opened. It just happened, she said, that she got involved in running the business.

“We owned the building and the people who rented it moved out,” Marascalco said. So the question has been asked, what do we do now?

“I didn’t know how to find a tenant. It’s a big building, ”she said. “So since Charles and I retired and Logan didn’t have a permanent job at the time, we were like, ‘Let’s just open a store.’”

Marascalo said at the time that they did not have a retail business plan, knowledge or training.

“It was just something we did,” she said.

Initially, when the store opened at 1400 Washington St., it was called Peterson’s Art and Antiques. Peterson was Marascalo and Peay’s maiden name.

Like the previous tenants, who operated an antique store with vendors renting a stall, the trio decided to do something similar.

Marascalco said it has flipped through national and regional magazines and found sellers interested in moving into their building. Along the way, they also acquired works by local artists including Ann Biedenharn Jones and BJ Crawford.

As it grew, more and more local artisans became interested in the idea of ​​renting a space to display their wares and culinary specialties. However, while vendors rented space, Marascalco said, the store was not set up in booths like tenants had previously done.

“It wasn’t what I wanted. We could have business in an area, but there was no indication that I couldn’t put your thing here or someone else’s on your table, ”she said.

Peterson’s Art and Antiques continued to offer customers a variety of specialty items and now carries the Melissa and Doug line of toys.

Marascalco said she was introduced to educational toys in a market she frequented and, at the request of an aggressive sales representative, decided to put some in her store.

“That’s why we got into toys. I never planned anything. Things just happened, ”said Marascalco.

The store’s toy line grew and even became what she called a ‘niche’ for the store, which led Marascalco to abandon the ‘arts and antiques’ of the name and simply call the store ‘Peterson’s’. .

“We had more toys and food than art and antiques,” Marascalco said.

Marascalco calls herself the “big boss” because she’s the one in the store. “I’m just telling them (her husband and sister) what I did,” she laughs.

Marascalco said she felt good to have reached this milestone with Peterson and thanked her employees, some of whom are almost there from the start.

“I couldn’t do this without all the people who worked here,” she said. “Everyone has been wonderful.”

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Soon after, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter for the Vicksburg Post and editor-in-chief of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which was awarded first place by the Mississippi Press Association. She also received the first place award in the editorial division of the MPA’s Best Newspaper competition for “Best Report.”

Terri is a graduate of Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with a focus on public relations.

Before coming to the Post to work a little over 10 years ago, she was a freelance worker at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay-at-home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a life member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and the Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr Walter Frazier.

“Whether it’s staying informed about local government issues or listening to the stories of its residents, a local newspaper is vital for a community. I have felt privileged to be a part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and I hope that with theirs and local support I can continue to grow and hone my skills in helping to share the stories in Vicksburg. When people ask me what I love most about my job, my answer is always “people”.

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