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Community Store opens in Saranac Lake

Jennifer Tissot of Saranac Lake (in orange) was the first person to buy merchandise at the Community Store, a community-owned department store that opened its doors in Saranac Lake Saturday, Oct. 29, nine years after Ames went out of business. This village has been without a department store since that time.

Jennifer Tissot of Saranac Lake (in orange) was the first person to buy merchandise at the Community Store, a community-owned department store that opened its doors in Saranac Lake Saturday, Oct. 29, nine years after Ames went out of business. This village has been without a department store since that time. Photo by Andy Flynn.

— At 10 a.m. the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the 3,000-square-foot store, which will celebrate a grand opening in November.

The Community Store in Saranac Lake was based on another community-owned department store, The Merc in Powell, Wyo. Saranac Lake’s operation is the first community-owned department store in New York state, a distinction that warranted the attention of a New York Times photographer, who covered the Oct. 29 opening.

“Locally owned by citizens in contrast to the distant, corporate shareholders of large national retailers, community stores are designed by residents to meet specific local shopping needs at fair prices and to keep local dollars circulating locally, creating a benefit for the store, the shopper and the local economy,” states the Community Store website.

The Community Store reached its fundraising goal, a minimum of $500,000, on March 12, 2011, having sold 5,032 shares of stock. The offering will end on Dec. 12, 2011 or until the store has sold 6,000 shares, whichever comes first.

The Community Store is open daily. For more information, call (518) 637-5445 or visit online at www.community-store.org.

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