94 cents…The Beginning to Something Great

The Cupboard celebrates its 40th Anniversary!

In preparation for this momentous event, we have pulled out the scrapbooks, dusted off old memorabilia and taken time to reflect back on what being in business for 40 years has meant.

The above picture is a photo of  the original receipt of Carey Hewitt’s very first sale at The Cupboard on November 22, 1972.  Carey shared with us a few of his thoughts about owning a small business for 40 years.

What do I see when I look back over 40 years of retailing housewares and decorative accessories at The Cupboard in Downtown Fort Collins?

The Cupboard opened in The Northern Hotel, in downtown Fort Collins, on November 22, 1972 It moved to it’s current location in 1978.

In short, I see people! A businessman once told me that he found it was more fun to do business than to study business.  Studying business means learning how to make it profitable and that is important, but the excitement comes from working with people.  Customers buying the products we offer keep this business going and challenge us to continually improve our selection and presentation.  I still remember my first sale of three wooden spoons for less than a dollar.

The staff that I work with daily inspires me with their hard work, their enthusiasm, and their dedication.   Over half of our current staff has been at The Cupboard for more than ten years which hopefully reflects an environment of empowerment, teamwork, and respect.

I soon learned that the sales people who call on us are in partnership with us because they help us choose appropriate merchandise for the store.  Many of these sales representatives I have worked with for over 30 years, but I wonder what the future holds for them as we become more and more reliant on technology for purchasing.

Of course, having a store in downtown Fort Collins means working with so many people to improve and be a part of this neighborhood that I feel is the heart of Fort Collins.  It has been exciting to see the downtown go from somewhat vacant in the 1970’s to quite vibrant today because of so many individual efforts.  It has come a long way, but I’m excited about future possibilities as well.

I’m grateful have been be able to do what I enjoy for 40 years.  I’m thankful for everyone’s support, especially that of my wife and family, and I am excited that my son Jim has joined me at The Cupboard.  His arrival five years ago has brought positive change and I’m optimistic for the future.