HETTINGER, N.D. – Skeptics will tell you not to open a business in a small town, especially not something as specific as a coffee shop.
They’ll tell you it will never make it and that there isn’t a big enough customer base to support a coffee shop.
The folks in Hettinger sure are glad Pam Burch didn’t listen to those people.
Four years ago, she opened the Peacock Mercantile, an upscale coffee shop, bakery, deli and gift shop.
And her story has been nothing but good news since.
The Peacock Mercantile is not only surviving in the small town, it’s thriving.
It’s boutique day at the Peacock Mercantile. Every six weeks or so, Rhonda McLellan packs up some of her cutest clothing and jewelry, and makes the trip from Spearfish, South Dakota to her friend Pam’s coffee shop in Hettinger, North Dakota.
“I don’t know miles, but I know it’s a two-and-a-half-hour drive,” said McLellan, who owns V-Rae’s Boutique in Spearfish.
Shoppers like Leah Tanska are grateful for this pop-up boutique.
“It is the highlight of my month,” said Tanska, who lives in Hettinger.
It’s just one of the many ideas floating around in Pam Burch’s mind.
“The sky is the limit!” Burch said with a smile.
Her original idea when she opened the Peacock Mercantile in May of 2018 was to create a gathering space.
“It’s really become that, and it’s become that because of the community,” said Burch.
“This is a this is just the jewel in the rough,” added Tanska.
The Peacock Mercantile has become a destination for people from a 90-mile radius. It’s a place to get coffee or lunch and even do some shopping. Burch sells locally made products, including jewelry, jelly and even art.
Nancy Kenny and her husband moved to Hettinger last spring. For the first time in her 30 years of taking photos, Kenny finally has a space to sell her work.
“I love the fact that Pam lets local artists hang art on the walls and sell from here,” said Kenny, who grew up in a big city in southern Florida.
You could say, that’s a perk of living in a small town like Hettinger.
“I don’t think small town means it’s not worth taking a chance on,” said Burch.
In fact, the Peacock Mercantile might just be proof that small towns are the perfect place to take a chance on big ideas.
You can learn more about the Peacock Mercantile, including their hours and specials, on their Facebook page.
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