What’s your biggest challenge right now?

Other than the coronavirus? It has slowed business down a little for us. We haven’t really hit our spring rush yet, so I guess I would say it hasn’t slowed us down (a lot). It’s a slow time of year for us anyway. I guess the biggest challenge is people not buying local. People have the perception that the box stores are the best deal, and they’re not necessarily the best deal. It’s too bad they don’t explore us small, local unique places a little bit more. We’re definitely not crowded here.

We do not (have toilet paper). I have tried to order it. My supplier is out. I buy from Emery Jensen Distribution, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ace (Hardware), so their warehouse is wiped out of toilet paper.

 

Who influenced you most in business?

That’s a tough one. I’ve done this my whole life. My grandfather and father started a business in 1976, which is right next door to me. My brother actually owns the Shop ‘n Save on the corner. So, we kind of had the same roots. We kind of grew up in a store that was here before we were born. My biggest influence has been my father Rick, because I am doing what he did.

 

Did you have any misconceptions about being in business?

My father retired at the end of 2012, so my first official year in business was 2013. We’re carrying on what he did. I grew up doing it, so it’s kind of a unique situation.

I don’t know about training. What we did was on a wing and prayer, and we still kind of do it that way. I kind of knew what I was getting into when I did it. I’m not really surprised by anything. There’s definitely difficulties in being self-employed. I think it’s sad that some people think it’s bad if you find success, especially in a small community. You hear, “Jeez, they’re rich, they don’t need any more money,” something kind of like that. That’s kind of a challenge.

The hardest thing is that people think you’re out to get them when you’re just trying to make a living just like they are. That’s one of the challenges. I am not necessarily surprised by that. I was prepared to work long hours, I was prepared to deal with things as they come. I don’t really have anything that was surprising to me.

 

How do you overcome obstacles?

Procrastination usually pays off for me. I don’t know. Like with the toilet paper? There’s no hope. I keep checking my supplier and they keep not having any.

Perseverance, that’s how I overcome obstacles. You just have to explore all options and try and do the best you can. That’s all any of us can do.

 

Where will the business be in five years?

Hopefully bigger. We’re always trying to grow, we’re always trying to meet people’s needs. The town is growing around us. The addition to the Shop ‘n Save on the corner, that’s brought people to the area that weren’t necessarily coming in this direction. I hope that makes things grow a little bit more for us.

I am not expecting things to dramatically change. I just hope things keep going in the direction we’re going. Since I took over, my sales have increased. I have grown the business. Last year was a little bit of a struggle because we didn’t get a spring so that kind of hurt. I like slow increases because they’re more sustainable.


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