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New store brings ‘batteries and Band Aids’ to Berlin

(Jan 8, 2015) Downtown Berlin has a lot going for it, but one thing it does not have is a general store.
Associate Broker Jenny Sheppard, of Berlin mainstay Sheppard Realty, is about to change all that when she opens the doors of Runaway Tide in February.
“I wanted to do something because I have a background in retail,” Sheppard said. “After talking to Lisa [Kolarik] next door, who has been in that spot for 26 years, we really beat some ideas around and came up with the general store concept together.”
Kolarik, former owner of the Hair Shop on 17 North Main Street in Berlin, continued to provide guidance and moral support as Sheppard developed a business plan.
Goal number one is to get open. Sheppard said the next step is carrying light food items like hotdogs and pretzels. Pet and baby care products are also in the works.
“I do want to have some groceries and some things that you can’t get anywhere else in town, but I am also going to have some boutique items as well,” Sheppard said. “That’s the best thing about a general store – it can encompass anything and everything. I want to have a place where you can come in and get batteries and Band Aids.
Along with nearly a decade at Sheppard Realty, Sheppard has a lifetime of experience in Berlin.
“I was born and raised here,” she said. “I’ve been in real estate for 20 years, but I’ve had my own business here for eight.”
Watching the “foot traffic” from her window on Main Street pick up exponentially during the last year, Sheppard was spurred into action.
Rather than compete with existing shops, Sheppard hopes to use her inventory to fill in the blanks, including sourcing as many local goods as possible.
“I want to incorporate some of the things that you can’t find,” she said. “I really don’t want to be majorly competing with any of my fellow storeowners.
“I’m going to be putting an ad in the paper so we can carry as many local products as possible,” Sheppard continued. “The other day this man from Whaleyville was selling honey and I said, ‘I would love to sell your products in my store.’”
As for the cheeky name, Sheppard said she could not resist.
“The amount of people who still come into town because of that name is amazing,” she said. “To play into that somewhere was important for us.”
Expect Runaway Tide to open during the first week of February on 17 North Main Street in downtown Berlin.