Santa Fe Shop returns to Cedarburg

By Alison Henderson - Special to the News Graphic

Oct. 3, 2017

Owners of The Santa Fe Shop, Judy and Gary Lukitsch, pose with their dog, Emma. The business has returned to Cedarburg after a 10-year absence.
Submitted photo

CEDARBURG — Cedarburg’s main street will welcome a bit of Santa Fe, again.

The Santa Fe Shop that first opened on the third floor of the Cedar Creek Settlement has returned, this time to the renovated Texaco gas station formerly occupied by Frill gift shop.

Santa Fe has experienced many changes since its inception in 1997. The store, once known for its salsas, hot sauces and dips, moved from the Settlement to another Washington Avenue storefront on the corner of Columbia Road. In 2004, owners Judy and Gary Lukitsch opened a second location in Door County’s Fish Creek community, running both shops simultaneously – often commuting weekly between locations – until 2007, when they decided to close up shop in Cedarburg. The Lukitschs said they didn’t know if they would reopen after selling the building at the Fish Creek location in 2016, but another opportunity presented itself when the storefront at W63 N680 Washington Ave. became available earlier this year.

The Lukitschs wasted no time moving into the new location and opened on the first day of this year’s Strawberry Festival in June.

Behind the store’s cases of unique silver, gold and amber handmade jewelry hang original wall art, mirrors and decorative glass. They also carry Hobo brand handbags, Lampe Berge Paris lamps (a carryover from Frill), fair-trade items, Houston Llew Spiritiles and colorful lamps that decorate the storefront window. Customers may also find the Norwegian Elkhound, Emma, at the dog-friendly shop which supports the Ozaukee Campus of the Wisconsin Humane Society.

Santa Fe will now turn its focus to a showcase of more than 50 artists from around the world and feature a number of rare or exclusive collections from artists such as Sergio Bustamante – the shop has been the exclusive United States representative for the jewelry artist for the last 15 years.

Though everything from the location to the inventory has evolved, one constant is a connection to Southwest and Navajo culture that formed when Judy Lukitsch was working in a school system on a Navajo reservation in the 1980s. The shop carries a large selection of Navajo jewelry, including pieces by New Mexican artist Calvin Begay. The Lukitschs make trips to the Southwest to meet with many of the artists they carry in the store Wisconsin artist Gail McCoy will be in attendance at the grand opening. McCoy creates contemporary collages featuring cranes and nature. Her unique process of manipulating the ink on magazine pages with a solvent creates unexpected shapes and ethereal lines. She then cuts and reassembles the newly transformed paper to create her collages. Santa Fe offers several of McCoy’s pieces for sale.

Representatives from Lampe Berger Paris will also be at the grand opening to demonstrate and answer any questions. The Lampe Berger concept was created over a century ago in Paris as a way to purify air and eliminate bad odors. Lampe Berger has a large line of lamp styles from simple to highly collectible as well as a diverse selection of fragrances.

The Santa Fe Shop is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Grand opening

The Santa Fe Shop, W63 N680 Washington Ave. in Cedarburg plans a grand-opening celebration from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday. A ribbon- cutting ceremony is planned at 5:30 p.m.