Natural Foods Merchandiser

Little store, big profits

Little stores, big profits

High gas prices and a sluggish economy have many stores hurting. But one little natural products shop in southwestern Colorado is doing just fine. Actually, better than fine, according to co-owner KimAnna Cellura-Shields. "It's been a great summer; and usually by [fall] business starts to flatline, but we're still doing really great sales," she says.

Situated in the town of Del Norte (population 1,700), the Organic Peddler is on the main highway heading to several Colorado tourist destinations like the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings or Great Sand Dunes National Park, so about half its clients are out-of-towners. This year, Cellura-Shields noticed a predominance of European visitors, "probably because of the weak dollar," she says. And she speculates that locals are buying more because they don't always want to make the 30-mile trip to the nearest Walmart. "They don't want to spend the gas money."

Regardless of the reasons, Cellura-Shields is enjoying the benefits of a noisy till.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVI/number 8/p. 8

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