Port shop owner knows a thing or two about comfort

Nicole Dannenberg uses her background as a hospice care social worker to choose the comforting products she sells at Cozy Corner
By 
CONNOR CARYNSKI
Ozaukee Press staff

Port Washington’s newest family operated store, Port’s Cozy Corner, is a home goods store with a curated selection of candles, soaps, blankets and home decorations that owner Nicole Dannenberg said were selected to help customers find comfort and ease.

A hospice social worker for Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice in Sheboygan Falls, Dannenburg said she was inspired by the items her patients find comfort in when planning what she would carry in the shop.

Dannenburg said patients going through difficult times are often comforted by essential oils or comfortable blankets, like those stocked at Cozy Corner.

“Hospice work specifically has shown me life is beautiful and amazing, but it is also hectic and hard,” she said. “We really tried to make a place that brings people comfort and sparks joy to balance out the hectic side of life.”

A long-time Port resident, Dannenburg opened the shop with her husband Jason on May 20 after two soft openings in the former Biever Travel office at 131 E. Main St.

The Dannenbergs’ daughters Allison, Natalie and Brooke, help out with the shop, either manning the register or helping organize merchandise.

Dannenburg said opening the family’s first business has required a lot of work over the weekends and evenings, but that spending time with her family throughout the process has been rewarding.

“As much as there is some sacrifice, we’ve actually probably spent more time as a family together because now we’re working together,” she said.

While the former office space was well maintained when Dannenburg took over, she said the space needed a good deal of updating to convert it into a storefront.

New carpeting, paint, shelving and curtains were just a few updates the space received.

Jason said an aspect of the business he thinks benefits not only Cozy Corner but the entire downtown area is that it is open every day.

He said he has frequently heard from customers that they are often unsure of what days downtown businesses are open after the pandemic caused many to reduce their hours and days of operation.

Jason said being open seven days a week takes the guess work out of shopping in downtown Port and drives the downtown economy.

“We really want to contribute to the downtown being open seven days a week,” he said. “It’s about having the customer trust you’ll be open.”

Having only been open full-time for a couple of weeks, Jason said, sales and customer visits have exceeded his expectations.

  Nicole said the store has been well-received by customers, who have offered valuable recommendations.

One such recommendation was that Cozy Corner stock travel mugs with “Real Housewives of Port Washington” printed on them as well as other areas like Grafton or Ozaukee County.

Dannenburg said her intention for the shop was always that it not only be a home goods store, but a place people can find comfort in their lives. Having watched customers laugh at quirky inspirational signs and gadgets in the shop, she said she believes her goal has been realized.

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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