Days after sending out a desperate plea for help, the shop's owners have raised enough money to pay a debt they owed the state. Darcee Alderman told Seven Days last Thursday that she and her husband, Sam, needed $20,000 to keep the 150-year-old store in business. The community responded by spending at the store and donating about $8,200 through a GoFundMe page started by a store employee.
"It was wonderful," Alderman said Monday. "I've already paid the state. Now I need to restock!"
The couple bought the store in 2007. With interest, fees and penalties, the couple owed the state tens of thousands of dollars in taxes and bottle deposits, she said. About $20,000 came due Saturday night, a deadline Alderman said the state extended until Monday.
After paying down that amount, the couple is now on a monthly plan to get rid of the approximately $50,000 in debt that remains. They're also on a week-to-week business license, instead of a yearly one, so the state can keep a close eye on the business. The owners will pay off the debt monthly but must pay the state the sales and use tax they collect each week.
Alderman said she and her husband have no plans to sell and want to keep the store "until we retire." So does she think the business can survive?
"As long as people remember to keep coming in," Alderman said. "Most of the people who have come in have said, 'We've got to remember to change our routine and come this way and keep it going.' Because it's not over."