Community Shopping in Saranac Lake


Nestled in the heart of New York's Adirondack State Park, Saranac Lake is a fleece and flannel kind of town. Population 55-hundred - give or take a few hikers and paddlers -  it has charm, character, majestic scenery, a sense of community.

What it didn't have - until recently - was a place to buy bedsheets, a table cloth, affordable socks or even the yarn to darn them. In short - there was no department store.

In 2002, the thriving local Ames Department Store - 40-thousand square feet of retail space - was shut down when its parent company went belly up. Residents of Saranac Lake had to travel more than an hour - each way  - to shop for basic goods.

But in 2006, the prospect of a mega store caused a mega debate in town, and planted the seeds for a radical retail alternative.  That alternative is called The Community Store. Its clientele are also its shareholders. The members of the board of directors all live down the road - and the President drops by almost every day.

Susan Mckenzie went to Saranac Lake. Her documentary is called I Thank Walmart.

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