As of Tuesday, November 17, 2015
GRANGEVILLE Maryann Gulotta knows what it’s like to be a business owner. And she likes it.
She and her husband, Michael, owned a Christian book store in New York for 17 years prior to moving to Idaho. For the past several years Michael has served as pastor of the Christian Reformed Church.
“In the back of our minds, we always considered owning another business someday,” she said.
That time has come and the family opened The Village Shoppe Nov. 10. Located at 158 East Main Street in the mini mall (where imprint, Images, Fairchild Accounting and Camas Prairie Eye Clinic are located), the store offers a variety of goods.
However, food items are not all the store offers. There is a large array of Christmas items right now, including gift wrap and bags, ornaments, music and books, as well as a Christian gift section including decorative items, boxed and single cards, music, Bibles and coloring books. T-shirts and books are “buy one, get one free.”
“I have enjoyed living in Grangeville and frequenting our shops here in town,” Gulotta explained. “I know how important it is to support local businesses. I have built relationships here and I rarely go to Lewiston to shop.”
The Village Shoppe offers a large variety of gluten-free, Paleo diet and diabetic food items including muffin and bread mixes, pastas, ice cream, cookies, snack items and meat sticks.
“Our family has dealt with food allergies and irritations as well as diabetes, so we have tried most of these products,” Gulotta said.
She bakes items to allow people to try in the store (sugar-free blueberry muffins and gluten-free frosted pumpkin muffins last week) and will also continually give organic popcorn and hot tea to her customers.
“I know sometimes people have dietary issues but they are not sure how sugar-free or gluten-free items taste,” she said. “I want to be able to offer that to them so they know, as well as my experiences with baking and cooking with those items.” The Gulottas will also offer a monthly newsletter available free at the store that will include recipes and other news and advice.
“I wanted to have reasonably priced items that people from the area could afford,” Gulotta said. “I also wanted a good selection.”
That selection also includes toys, games, candy, kitchen towels, trinkets, glass and kitchenware and some locally handcrafted items such as soap and quilted coasters. In addition, a section of the store offers Christian and family-oriented DVDs for rent: two days for $1.
The Gulottas have six children, three of whom are newly married. Michaela, Rachel and Elijah live at home and are home-schooled. A loft in the store with bean bags and study area offers a place for Gulotta to continue schooling while keeping the family together. Husband, Michael, works part time at the Grangeville Post Office.
“This store, how a business is run, is a whole other part of their education – hands-on,” Gulotta explained.
“I really look forward to blessing the people of Grangeville and the surrounding areas,” she said. “I am excited for this great opportunity.”
Stop by 158 East Main Street Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The store is closed Sundays and Mondays. Call 507-2688.