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Old 09-26-2012, 08:25 AM
 
43,011 posts, read 108,071,598 times
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I'm interested in hearing from those of you who live in the rural/small town areas of Western Pennsylvania.

What small businesses do you wish were in your area?
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:19 PM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
14,186 posts, read 22,756,315 times
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Strip clubs!
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:52 AM
 
Location: Butler County
115 posts, read 186,311 times
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What he said ^^^^
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Old 09-28-2012, 06:28 AM
 
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I'll go with gas station with convenience store. Until recently, it was several miles to the closest gas station in my area.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
18,773 posts, read 18,150,486 times
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I'm from eastern PA. But I did grow up in a small town. You have to look at the competition in any given town. For many years we did not have a competitive gas station – were were at the mercy of two small stations that I always felt fixed their prices. The community that I grew up in still has only one grocery store – it is ten or more miles to do competitive shopping.

If the town has lakes or streams; a tackle shop could work. Guns and sporting goodscould work for other locations. Maybe a kennel or veterinarian?

I don't think clothing stores do good in a small town. People do not need to buy clothing everyday – they can make a trip to the larger malls when they are ready to buy.

Regardless; the business needs to be structured to the specific needs of that particular town. Four pizza shops on the only crossroads corner is a choice for financial doom.
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:30 AM
 
9,846 posts, read 22,682,121 times
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Chick-Fil-A.
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
32,941 posts, read 36,378,548 times
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Fisheye's post really made me think. Well, nod to RyanR about the gas/convenience store.

I'd like to have a pizzeria. I don't buy pizza every day, but when I want pizza, I want it now. It would be a plus if they had a full menu.

Some sort of deli. I used to live a couple of miles from a small, independent deli. They made all of the usual sandwiches/hoagies, had cold drinks and packaged snack foods. They also had coffee, breakfast sandwiches, bagels, doughnuts in the morning. The thing that set them apart was the hot food selections. Every day the guy offered two mains and two sides: stuffed cabbage, beef stew, mac & cheese or some other pasta. Every time that I went there, there was a police car, a construction worker and(or) a public utility employee chowing down in their vehicle. A place like Sheetz could cover that.

A decent bar, pub which serves food. I like to go out for a drink once in a while. I'll most likely want some wings or something to go along with that drink. If there's a pool table or a dart board, all the better.

I'm still talking about food? I think that every town needs some sort of diner or family restaurant.

I'd need a grocery store. I still remember the time that my son put my name on the list to donate treats to the class party. I was supposed to deliver two dozen cupcakes. He told me this at bed time the night before the party.

I'd want to have some sort of haircut place. It seems that whenever you look at yourself in the mirror and think that you need a haircut, there will be a wedding, funeral or job interview looming.

I'd also like to see a hardware store. I don't want to have to drive ten or fifteen miles for a few small items. The closest place to me is a True Value and I go there often.

I once had an emergency which required a locksmith. The company had someone at my house in ten minutes.

I think that a pharmacy within a reasonable distance is invaluable, especially if you have children or a person who is chronically ill in the house.
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:28 AM
 
7,975 posts, read 7,354,876 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
Chick-Fil-A.

I second that!!!!!
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Old 09-28-2012, 03:14 PM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
45,421 posts, read 60,608,674 times
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Just some insight into market share.

Where I am now has been trying to attract business for decades. The last market study about 12 years ago indicated a desire for a bakery/coffee shop (not available here or in the right next door Town). Well, somebody took that study and opened a bakery/coffee shop (a bit overpriced but that's another, psychological, story related to the rural pioneers who have moved here). Someone else saw how busy the new shop was and another one opened. Now both are struggling with the first one for sale or closing if there's no sale and the second one trying to not close. They cannabalized each other.
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Old 09-28-2012, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
18,773 posts, read 18,150,486 times
Reputation: 14783
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerania View Post
Fisheye's post really made me think. Well, nod to RyanR about the gas/convenience store.

I'd like to have a pizzeria. I don't buy pizza every day, but when I want pizza, I want it now. It would be a plus if they had a full menu.

Some sort of deli. I used to live a couple of miles from a small, independent deli. They made all of the usual sandwiches/hoagies, had cold drinks and packaged snack foods. They also had coffee, breakfast sandwiches, bagels, doughnuts in the morning. The thing that set them apart was the hot food selections. Every day the guy offered two mains and two sides: stuffed cabbage, beef stew, mac & cheese or some other pasta. Every time that I went there, there was a police car, a construction worker and(or) a public utility employee chowing down in their vehicle. A place like Sheetz could cover that.

A decent bar, pub which serves food. I like to go out for a drink once in a while. I'll most likely want some wings or something to go along with that drink. If there's a pool table or a dart board, all the better.

I'm still talking about food? I think that every town needs some sort of diner or family restaurant.

I'd need a grocery store. I still remember the time that my son put my name on the list to donate treats to the class party. I was supposed to deliver two dozen cupcakes. He told me this at bed time the night before the party.

I'd want to have some sort of haircut place. It seems that whenever you look at yourself in the mirror and think that you need a haircut, there will be a wedding, funeral or job interview looming.

I'd also like to see a hardware store. I don't want to have to drive ten or fifteen miles for a few small items. The closest place to me is a True Value and I go there often.

I once had an emergency which required a locksmith. The company had someone at my house in ten minutes.

I think that a pharmacy within a reasonable distance is invaluable, especially if you have children or a person who is chronically ill in the house.
When it comes to food; you have to look at the size of the town and the competition. A very small town or good competition can leave you out of business.

I had a small pizza place open about a mile from my house. I hardly ever see any customers. It is only a matter of time until the bills catch up. One of their biggest problems was that they had no specialty. You get about the average pizza and no specials. In my area there are already Pizza Huts and Caesars as well as other fairly good local restaurants.

Many packed local delis have something that distinguishes them from their competition. It could be the quantity of food you get for the money? It could also be the taste and originality. In south central PA some delis served “grinders” A grinder is usually a hoagie style sandwich which the meat and the cheese is heated, in usually the pizza oven, until the cheese melts and the bread is slightly toasted. Then it is topped with the cold condiments. Actually; many large chains (like Subway) have picked up on this. But what any of these working man delis, diners or restaurants need is something special to keep the customers returning. You have to have either just the right taste, fresh ingredients, and serve the right quantity for your clientele.

By the way; I attended college just outside of Philadelphia at the time that the Philly Cheese Steak was first coming on the scene. That was a food that gained national popularity. The little hot wings caught on a decade later. Today we have many shows on TV featuring great foods and sandwiches. It is almost just the question of matching the right combination up with the right location.
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