When Fair Trade for All moved into the former B'Tween Friends spot on Capitol Drive about four months ago, they didn't do much advertising beyond posting up a sign with their name. But the customers started coming right away, curious about the new addition to the street.
While Fair Trade for All owner Gail Bennett said she and her husband Allen Christian plan to close their Port Washington location where they did not break even, they plan to keep their Shorewood store open at least through May.
"If you can open your business without advertising and have the community rally around it immediately, that is a tell-tale sign," Bennett said.
Though they are still tallying the books, Bennett said sales at the Shorewood store about doubled the sales they were doing in Port Washington every day.
"I think we exceeded what we were anticipating in Shorewood," Bennett said. "That community definitely rallies around its local business, and quickly."
Jim Plaisted, director of the Business Improvement District, said he thinks the store has been successful in Shorewood because of its fair trade mission and ideal location.
"The walkable nature of Shorewood always helps, and it's in a very busy section of Shorewood with the schools and huge traffic generators," Plaisted said. "When people discover the store, it's like finding something they didn't expect when they might have been meeting someone at City Market or going to the Garden Room."
Fair Trade for All, which also has store in Wauwatosa, purchases products from fair trade vendors around the world and also supports local non-profits. This holiday season, they donated a portion of their profits on to Milwaukee BASICS to fight human trafficking in Milwaukee.