Running a Mom and Pop Shop - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Running a Mom and Pop Shop

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One of the busiest shopping seasons is fast approaching as the holidays are around the corner. And along with the holidays are holiday shopping days.

You have Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But sandwiched in between is Small Business Saturday, an idea conceived by American Express in 2010.

While it is still fairly new to shoppers, it encourages people to shop at Mom and Pop shops near home, where the money they spend goes right back into their community. Yellowstone Olive Company is one local business that's trying to make it big in the Magic City.

"It is a little bit more expensive but all of it is the very best that we can find," says James Pennington, Owner of Yellowstone Olive Company.

The specialty food store imports oils and vinegars and infuses them locally in Montana, but what makes this Mom and Pop shop unique, is the customer service.

"Our strategy is to educate the consumer. The customer needs to come in, they need to have an experience. And so, you won't find a box store anywhere in Billings or Montana for that matter where everything we sell, we sample it, everyday. We don't want you to leave until you've had a personal experience with the food already," says Pennington. That's customer service that has created many loyal customers.

According to, small businesses generate over 65% of the net new jobs since 1995. And when you shop local, that money stays local.

"Every dollar that comes in to a local store goes back to pay for the taxes, the schools, the roads. Everything that's here in Billings comes right back into Billings," says Pennington.

Running a small business isn't easy. Business owners say it's tough to compete with the big box stores. Pennington says their customer service and quality products are how they're able to keep customers coming back.

"Our growth has been phenomenal. We just have a huge loyal following of people who come back over and over again, but more than that, they talk about it. And they're telling their friends," says Pennington.

Small business Saturday is November 30th, the day following Black Friday. Stay tuned to KULR-8 News, we'll feature another local business leading up to Small Business Saturday.