David Madison wants his customers to learn about sustainability.
The co-owner of Stone’s Education Superstore, a Raleigh school supply shop that has been around since 1971, has moved to a bigger, brighter, more energy-efficient location.
The company’s new building was designed and constructed with a focus on teaching about and using energy efficiencies, something Madison thinks will help Stone’s become a better educational resource.
“We work with educators,” said Madison, who has owned the store with his wife Carol since 2005. “So why not create a facility that is educational all by itself?”
The 16,500-square-foot brick building, which resembles an old train depot, has double-pane, insulated windows and high ceilings with an 18-foot paddle fan that is expected to reduce the store’s need for heating and air conditioning by 25 percent, Madison said.
The place has solar roof panels, which are connected to an in-store, big-screen television that broadcasts to customers how much energy is being generated, how much is being used and what percentage is coming from the solar panels.
LED lights are used throughout the store, and solar-powered ones are in the parking lot.
Stone’s also has an electric-vehicle charging station, which was partially paid for with an about $8,000 grant by N.C. State’s Solar Center and the N.C. Department of Transportation, Madison said. Paying customers can use the station free.
“It’s the sort of thing you’d see in a science museum,” Madison said of the new building.
In addition to lessons in renewable energy and sustainability, Stone’s offers school supplies, workbooks, Common Core materials, classroom decorations, grade books, office and arts and craft supplies and furniture, including desks and lockers.
Stone’s also boasts a 3,000-square-foot specialty toy shop with everything from wooden puzzles, trucks and plasma cars to dolls, science kits and games.
The shop hopes to add more educational features, including book readings by local authors, book clubs for kids, story time and workshops, Madison said.
Stone’s is hosting a customer appreciation event from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday with giveaways on items such as notebooks, stickers, books and puzzles. The store will also pay the sales tax of all purchases.
Stone’s is at 210 Hampton Woods Lane in West Raleigh, near the corner of Chapel Hill and Trinity roads. The Tryon Road store closed in November.
Owner and operator Jeff Clarke said he hopes to have the place up and running by New Year’s Eve, but the opening could be in January.
The bar will offer beer, wine and cocktails, and will operate as a private club since it won’t serve food. Memberships will cost about $5.
Person Street will have eight rotating tap beers, which Clarke and co-owner Walker Bradham hope will include brews from around the state such as Raleigh’s Big Boss, Winston-Salem’s Foothills and Green Man Brewing in Asheville. The bar will also carry bottled imports and domestics that include Pabst Blue Ribbon.
“We love the local beer around here,” Clarke said. “We are beer people. … We are lucky to have such good ones around here. We are definitely going to take advantage of that.”
Draft beer will be $4.50, and bottles will range from $2 to about $5.
Clarke and Bradham will work with their staff to create seasonal cocktails made with fresh ingredients that will change four to five times a year. They also plan to use herbs such as mint, basil and thyme from nearby Raleigh City Farm.
The owners want to partner with small family vineyards for some of their wines, and hope to use soon-to-be-neighbor Craig Heffley’s Wine Authorities as a resource, too.
Clarke, who plays guitar and sings for the Americana band Cousins, wants to use his music connections to bring bands to the bar. The place will also have a jukebox, TVs and a giant projector screen to show N.C. State games, political events and movies on slow nights.
The roughly 1,800-square-foot space will have an indoor-outdoor front with a roll-up door. Clarke and Bradham hope to add an outdoor patio next summer.
The bar will seat 99 and have tables and chairs, bench seating and a six-to-10-seat alcove.
“If you want to be a neighborhood bar, you want it to be comfortable and not precious enough that it keeps people from having a good time,” Clarke said.
Person Street Neighborhood Bar is at 805 N. Person St., next to Yellow Dog Bread Co.
The mail and parcel facility offers packing, shipping, computer services, gift wrapping, passport photos, private mailboxes and copy, print, scan and fax services.
Santa Claus will be collecting letters at the store from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 14.
Women’s clothing and accessories store Madison has opened at the Lassiter District at North Hills Mall in Raleigh.