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Deep Roots Salon opens at historic 824 Ashmun Street building

Inspired by a 1953 love letter, Shelli Bishop has opened a vintage themed salon at the old Checkered Flag Party Store

Constructed in 1906, the historic 824 Ashmun Street building is now home to the vintage themed Deep Roots Salon, owned by Shelli Bishop with a love story in mind.

Bishop was most inspired by a letter written on Jan. 20, 1953 by friend Olivine Andrews:

“Gordon had the ring when he came home from Detroit. I saw the ring on the 19th of January, but he had to have it cut down. He got it from the jeweler the next morning, which was the 20th, and gave it to me. I hope to be wearing it from January, 20th 1953 until forever and ever.”

70 years later, Mr. and Mrs. Andrews remain happily married.

“I wanted to have that in my salon, so I put their picture out,” Bishop said, showing off the couple’s wedding photo. “From there, things just spiralled. I have collected vintage photos and items to tie in with a love story atmosphere.”

Bishop spent 2022 searching for the perfect business location, but nothing felt right until walking into the old Checkered Flag Party Store. She fell in love at first sight, signing the lease over Christmas.

During this year’s Sault Area Chamber of Commerce event,  Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Director Stephanie Sprecker presented the Economic Development and Preservation Award to Justin and Caryn Knepper of J&C Development for all their work revitalizing the space. 

The Kneppers purchased the vacant structure in December of 2020, having invested nearly $500,000

Sprecker said the building was the O'Neill Hardware Store until 1930 when its upstairs space was converted into apartments. Beginning in 1950, it changed ownership several times. It is most well known as Napoleon's and The Checkered Flag.

The present salon’s name was extracted from a poem written by a good friend, who would like to remain anonymous. Her words, “Roots driven down deep,” imprinted into Bishop’s mind. 

“I kept reading it and reading it,” she said, thinking back to one of her favorite Luke Bryan song, “Buy Dirt.”  

Like the 1950s love note, she felt inspired once again:

“Find the one you can't live without. Get a ring, let your knee hit the ground. Do what you love but call it work. And throw a little money in the plate at church. Send your prayers up and your roots down deep. Add a few limbs to your family tree. And watch their pencil marks. And the grass in the yard all grow up. 'Cause the truth about it is It all goes by real quick. You can't buy happiness. But you can buy dirt.”

Deep roots, old photos, and vintage decor bore the name of Deep Roots Salon.

Bishop has hired stylists and brought in her own “Fairy Godmother” to greet customers – Mary Jo Kuenzer. 

"We wish to take care of everyone and make them feel special," Bishop said. "I want to make them feel beautiful... how I see them. When you walk into my salon, it doesn't matter who you are. I want you to feel welcome." 

Stylists at Deep Roots Salon do pretty much everything: highlights, touch-ups, toning, coloring, facial waxing, hair extensions, perms, relaxers, special occasion styling, balayage, hair cutting, and more. Simply call and ask for an appointment at 906-259-0160. 

Deep Roots Salon is located at 824 Ashmun Street, Sault Ste. Marie, MI.