As Galveston quickly approaches its one year anniversary of Hurricane Ike, several retailers see its historic downtown as an opportunity and are opening new businesses. Five new businesses will open in August and September – Sweets on The Strand, On Your Head, Nestle Toll House Caf Thomas Kinkade Gallery on The Strand, and Head to Footsies. These five businesses are leasing newly renovated space from Mitchell Historic Properties.

Sweets on The Strand opened on Aug. 14 at 2226 Strand. This new shop offers stuffed animals, toys, and various novelty candies such as Jelly Belly, Nostalgia Chewing Gum, Crystal Rock Candy, Pop Rocks and other “candy from your childhood.” On Your Head, 2311 Strand, opened Aug. 21 and carries specialty cowboy and baseball hats, sunglasses, necklaces, bracelets and more.

Franchise owners Chuck & Delinda Sanchelli are opening Nestle Toll House Caf at 126 23rd Street. The Sanchellis are tentatively scheduling the opening on Sept. 3. Nestle Toll House Caf is a premier dessert caf and bakery. The caf will offer fresh baked cookies and brownies, made to order ice cream sandwiches, smoothies, Dryer’s Loaded Mix-in Ice Cream specialties, Nescafe coffee drinks, and sandwiches.

“We have been looking forward to this for a long time and are really excited to be part of the downtown Strand community,” says Chuck Sanchelli. “Originally we were to open last fall, but Hurricane Ike changed those plans. Even with all the delays and obstacles to overcome we decided to proceed with this caf. We admire the resiliency of the Galveston residents which encouraged us to be part of this community plus we received so much support from everyone to keep going.”

Thomas Kinkade Gallery on The Strand, 2225 Strand, is scheduled to open in early September and will be one of the largest Thomas Kinkade galleries in the country. As a Signature Gold Gallery it is 100 percent dedicated to the works of Thomas Kinkade with access to all limited edition artwork. Thomas Kinkade is one of America’s most collected living artists.

Coming in mid-September, Joyce Calver will open Head to Footsies at 2211 Strand. This boutique will offer women’s clothing, shoes and accessories. Her boutique motto is “extra small to extra large – equally cherished” showing her commitment to carrying for ladies. Head to Footsies will offer resort, casual and career separates as well as cocktail/evening dresses. This boutique will carry many clothing lines including Eileen Fischer as well as shoe & accessories designs from around the world.

“The variety of these new businesses will really expand the appeal of downtown Galveston to visitors and residents,” says Bill Ross, senior vice president of Mitchell Historic Properties. “These retailers will really complement the existing stores and offer some new options for shoppers.”

Mitchell Historic Properties oversees Galveston properties owned by Cynthia and George Mitchell and the Mitchell family, including its commercial and residential properties located downtown. For leasing information, visit http://www.mitchellhistoricproperties.com/ or call (409) 763-5806.