RACINE — Downtown Racine has lost one of its longest standing businesses, with the death of Jan Cherkinian, the Jan behind Jan’s Card Shop, 434 Main St.
Cherkinian, 68, died March 31 of natural causes and was buried Saturday.
According to past city directories, her store opened in the early 1970s, or about 45 years ago, as Cherkinian Card & Gift Shop.
Jan’s Card Shop was a “good, stable cornerstone of Downtown,” Downtown Racine Corp. Executive Director Devin Sutherland said Monday.
“(Cherkinian) would sweep her sidewalk every morning,” he said. “She was a conscientious building owner. … It was always a great-looking building.”
Besides offering greeting cards and “eclectic” Racine merchandise, Cherkinian made her own crocheted works there in the shop and sold them, Sutherland said.
In recent months, he said, while Cherkinian was sick and a sole proprietor, her store was not open regularly. Because she was well-liked by many Downtown people, when she stopped coming into her store every day, “It alarmed many people” and they started calling the DRC office in concern, Sutherland said.
DRC has already had a couple of inquiries about the three-story Jan’s Card Shop building, he said.