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Owner Kim Baer works at Gidget’s Garage, a gift shop and musical instrument store, on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, in Columbia, Mo.

Zach Baker/Senior Staff Photographer

Gidget’s Garage is right up your alley

Unique shop has a relaxed atmosphere where you can shop or perform an instrument.

By Maddie Foster | April 28, 2015

Tags: Downtown Columbia Music Shopping

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Nestled in the often-overlooked Alley A is a new and unique store, Gidget’s Garage. Those passing by will see the cigar box guitar in the window display and the chicken coop-shaped “little library” outside the store’s front door. These are only hints at the eclectic treasures that lay inside.

When you walk through the door, it’s not unusual to be greeted by the sound of a man playing a banjo or a couple of college students singing around the piano. Although the store does carry musical instruments, it is by no means just a music store.

“It’s an eclectic mix of things I like,” says Kim Baer, who co-owns the store with her husband Craig.

The store carries a wide variety of items ranging from men’s shaving products to clothing to records to musical instruments. There are some unique pieces like a PieBox and mustache/beard wax, along with more common items like cards and candles.

Kim gets her inspiration from searching the Internet, particularly Etsy. However, her favorite item in the store is a homage to her hometown of Fulton: Backer’s Potato Chips.

“It’s kind of nostalgic and brings a little bit of home into the store,” she says. “It gives the place a general store feel.”

Another aspect of the store is the relaxed atmosphere. People are welcome to stop in and play some music, whether it’s the piano, guitar or even the ukulele. Kim records these impromptu concerts and puts them on the store’s Facebook page for everyone to enjoy.

In addition to owning the shop, the Baers are also urban farmers. The inspiration for the store’s name actually came from one of the couple’s original chickens, Gidget. Although they own a total of four, Gidget hold a special place in Kim’s heart.

“She’s always been very photogenic; she’s even been on some of our Christmas cards,” Kim says laughing.

This chicken theme has carried over to the store’s newest project, the “little library.” Kim got the idea off the Internet and thought making it in the shape of a chicken coop would be a unique take. You can take a book for free and leave one of your own in its place.

“You’re not expected to return the book you took; it can be yours,” Kim says. “There’s not that same obligation as with a real library.”

The free “little library” has only been up and running for a few days; however, due to the positive reaction it received on social media, Kim says she expects it will be a hit with customers.

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