Our Mission Statement
The Saranac Lake Community Store (SLCS) is a private, for-profit corporation located in Saranac Lake, New York and owned by a diverse group of residents and friends of the region. It is, as far as we know, the first and only such enterprise in the Northeast. The business was founded to fill the gaps when the local Ames department store closed in 2002 (upon the liquidation of its parent company.) While other stores in the area picked up some product lines once found at Ames, local residents – by necessity – were still forced to travel an hour away to purchase basic clothing and other department store-type merchandise.
A group of area resident activists started meeting in early 2006 to determine what could be done to address the situation . Through research , they found a model that was working in other rural communities out West similar to Saranac Lake -a community-owned department store, in particular the Powell (Wyoming) Mercantile. A business plan was written, a volunteer board of directors was created, and a stock offering was launched in July, 2007 with the goal of raising a minimum of $500,000 by selling shares valued at $100 each. That goal was reached in March, 2011 and eventually exceeded with a total of 750 investors, all NYS residents, participating.
The funds raised through the sales of shares was the seed money from which the organizers established the SLCS– not only providing the needed start-up funds, but enough cushion to weather the seasonal fluxes in our regional retail environment, and the inevitable challenges of the early years of a new retail store.
The SLCS opened its doors in October, 2011, and occupies approximately 4,000 square feet of rented space at 97 Main Street in Saranac Lake. It is indeed a mini-department store, carrying men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing, footwear, and accessories, baby items, furnishings for kitchen, bath, and bedroom, seasonal items, locally-produced items, books by local authors, giftware, yarns, craft supplies and more. While its inventory is large and varied, the Community Store is a lean operation; depending on the season, its staff numbers from three to five. The Board of Directors comprises residents and businesspeople from within the SLCS’s primary market area, provides general oversight, as well as some hands-on assistance when needed.
The Saranac Lake Community Store provides a combination of variety, value, convenience, and friendly, helpful service to residents and visitors in this village and the surrounding region. We seek to be an integral part of a strong and growing local retail environment, and to remain flexible enough to meet the needs of our customers, and to be a good business neighbor in our community. We endeavor to reach these goals while realizing a profit to secure future growth, and provide a satisfying work environment for our staff.
More information on the Saranac Lake Community Store is available by calling (518) 354-8173, or stopping by the store – and do some shopping while you’re there – what you find may surprise you!
• A Business Plan is drafted and reviewed by a group of local advisors comprised of area business owners and leaders.
• Attorney, Charles Noth, is hired to prepare and file the Incorporation Documents and Stock Offering for the Saranac Lake Community Store, Inc.
– The Saranac Lake Community Store is incorporated.
– An Interim Board of Directors is appointed.
– The Offering Documents are finalized and filed with the NYS Attorney General’s Office
July 17, 2007
– The Saranac Lake Community Store announces the launch of it initial public offering of shares at a price of $100 each with a minimum goal of $500,000 and a maximum of $600,000.
– Thanks to the generosity of Dan Reilly of HomEnergy, The Community Store establishes an office on the second floor of HomEnergy’s building on Depot Street and begins to offer regular office hours for those interested in purchasing shares.
– The first of several “Share Parties,” is held.
– Shares sold at Sparkle Village brings total raised to date: $205,800.
– Total after event held at Pisgah Lodge: $311,500
– The Store passes the $400,000 mark and announces its “official” name: The Community Store in Saranac Lake.
– Trivia Night at Will Rogers puts The Community Store $3000 closer to its goal.
– The Community Store starts accepting resumes for applicants interested in the key positions of manager and assistant manager.
– The Board announces that it’s looking at the former Corvo’s Restaurant as a possible site for the Store.
-The Community Store settles on the Corvo’s site and holds an Open House so members of the community can tour the site and make product suggestions for the Store.
-Interviews of candidates for the key positions begin.
March 16, 2011
-The Community Store reaches its minimum goal of $500,000 and commences operations.
-The Community Store announces that it has hired Craig Waters as Manager and Stephanie DeJoseph as Assistant Manager.
• The Store signs a lease for 97 Main St.
May 31, 2011
– North Woods Engineering completes the drawings for the renovation of 97 Main St.
– The renovation of 97 Main St. begins in earnest with the help of volunteers and under the watchful eye of general contractor, Matt Kelly.
– The merchandise buying begins.
October 17, 2011
– Myrddin Roddy is hired to fill the position of Assistant Manager, Operations.
October 29, 2011
– With the initial renovation of the space complete, The Community Store opens its doors and has a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by State Assemblywomen Janet Duprey and Teresa Sayward and Mayor Clyde Rabideau.
– The renovation of the back banquet room continues.
November 19, 2011
– The Community Store opens the back room for its Grand Opening.
November 23, 2011
– Congressman Bill Owens visits the Store and presents the board with a US Flag that’s flown over the Capitol Building in Washington, DC.
December 21, 2011
– The Stock Offering closes with the Store having raised $541,700.