VERGAS, Minn. – The owner of Natalie's Serendipity in Vergas is all about community.

She took pains to make her home décor and gift shop welcoming to people who live year-round in the area, and she is counting on the unique shops and restaurants of the Vergas area to help bring people into her boutique (formerly the Quiet Cricket) in downtown Vergas.

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Natalie's Serendipity LLC is owned by Natalie and Keith Fischer. She was a project manager for Marvin Windows in Warroad for 29 years, and he still works there as a quality engineer.

The couple owned property in the Vergas area for several years before deciding to settle down there.

The spacious store is much longer than it is wide, and offers room after room of gifts and home décor options.

"I could get a lot more stuff in here, and I am," Natalie Fischer said with a laugh, looking around at the artfully displayed prints, artwork and home décor items.

"We bought a lot of inventory (from the Quiet Cricket) but only so much, because I wanted to do my own thing," she said. She bought a lot of items at the "Minneapolis market," where art and gift vendors sell to retailers, and transported the items herself, because "the shipping will kill you."

The shop now features urban and upscale lodge home décor.

The store stocks items for a variety of ages and price ranges, hoping to appeal to both year-round residents and the summer "lake people," she said.

"I want to offer a little something for everybody, so everybody can come in and pick up a gift or decor for their house," she said.

People are welcome to stop in for a free cup of coffee and shopping or conversation. "We will do basic black coffee brews."

One topic of conversation could well be the custom-made fishing rods created by Keith Fischer. The rods, which go for $200 to $300, are works of art that feature handles made of cherry and other hardwoods, and beautiful cross-wrap and weave designs.

Natalie's Serendipity held its "soft opening" this month and its grand opening is set for Saturday, April 9.

The shop "is needed in Vergas," Natalie Fischer said. It complements The Attic Shoppe gift store and the Forest Edge Art Gallery, and helps make Vergas a destination shopping town.

"The town's just packed in the summer," she said. "It's the perfect little town to go shopping at, and there are good places to eat."

The store is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.