Story and photos by Keiko Kimoto
MSUM mass communications major
O’Day Cache is across Broadway from the Fargo Theatre. ‘Cache’ means hidden treasures in French.
O’Day Cache is a place to find treasures from around the world. Once you enter the store, you discover an atmosphere that’s a mixture of different times and cultures.
O’Day Cache, 317 Broadway in Fargo, has been open since 2004. The shop carries a range of imported products and jewelry, mainly from China but also from other Asian and European countries. All the products are selected by owner Cindy O’Day.
Wherever O’Day goes, she tries to find something to bring back. For O’Day, everything at the store is her trove of hidden treasures from her travels. Her products are things that shoppers won’t find in other downtown stores.
|Cindy O’Day, owner of O’Day Cache. Two of her daughters live in other countries, South Korea and Turkey, and she imports products from those countries, among many others.|
O’Day has a strong connection with China and its people, that being the main reason she decided to open the store and supply Asian products.
“We met wonderful Chinese people and they drove me to go back,” O’Day said. “I wanted to go back and see them again. A lot of it had to do with Asian culture and (the) Asian people (who) brought me to Asia.”
Through her travelling she has met new people, felt their kindness and built friendships with them. She puts a strong importance on relationships with people, making her very loyal to those who she works with.
|Asian antiques form the backbone of O’Day Cache.|
O’Day has been to China 28 times to purchase products for the store. She takes at least one month each year for the buying task, using a Chinese interpreter to bridge the language gap. Her days start early in the morning to go to wholesale markets. She describes stocking Asian, particularly Chinese, products as more of a challenge compared with products from other places because there are fewer people who speak English at the markets where she shops.
Initially, she worried about something other than the language difference: What people in Fargo-Moorhead area want from China.
“That was a real difficult thing for me when I first decided to go into furnishings and bigger pieces,” O’Day said. “I worried a lot about what people would want.”
O’Day has spent whole days looking at products but not buying a single thing. She doesn’t buy anything that doesn’t truly catch her eye.
“I can scan areas very fast," O’Day said. "Whatever catches my eye I take a second look at and I buy. I worried when I came back if that would work, but it has worked.”
|A display of umbrellas covers part of a ceiling.|
Touch, feel and experience ‘one of a kind’ downtown
Although there were very few stores downtown when O’Day opened her store, she believed downtown to be a place where her shop would work well.
“People thought I was crazy coming downtown but I wanted that downtown old feeling with windows and outside, not a mall,” O’Day said. “The environment had to be correct and the unique space had to be correct, or there wouldn’t be a store and I wouldn’t have done that. I felt people would come and I wasn’t worried that there were blank spots up and down the street. It wasn’t a concern of mine.”
|Colorful lanterns and antique furniture.|
As O’Day hoped, many people came to the store, especially on Saturdays.
“It is so much fun to look around the store,” said shopper Emi Maezawa, a student at Minnesota State University Moorhead. “There are many kinds of products that are very unique and I never get bored with them.”
O’Day Cache means more to customers than just a store; they come not only for shopping.
“People in here are repeat customers that become friends and they may want to stop in just to say ‘hi,’ ” O’Day said. “The store makes people happy. Sometimes people stop in because they would have a bad day and they want to come in and lift their spirits.”
The store welcomes people of all ages. O’Day tries to make the store kid friendly so parents aren’t afraid to bring in kids. She wants kids to be able to touch, feel and experience.
|O’Day takes care to stock toys and products for kids at O’Day Cache.|
“I love everything in here,” O’Day said. “Everything in here is special and makes me happy when a customer buys it and loves it. My customers are very loyal and they’re very good to me. I’m very appreciative.”
Visit these websites for more information: O’Day Cache and O’Day Cache on Facebook