Made In America Store Welcomes 600th Bus Tour
ELMA, N.Y. -- More than 7,000 products from 486 small businesses make everyday feel like the 4th of the July at the Made in America Store.
"I'm made in America, so I think it's just great," said Rachel Conkle of Newcastle, Pennsylvania resident.
"They should have one in every city, Made in America Store," fellow Newcastle resident Bruce Smith said.
When he opened the store in 2010 Mark Andol didn't plan on Made in America becoming a destination. However, since the doors opened bus tours from all over the country have come to shop.
"It's pretty neat, people enjoy themselves they have a lot of fun seeing what Americans are making," said Andol.
Monday the store welcomed its 600th bus tour. A group from Western Pennsylvania that made a pit stop on its way to Niagara Falls.
"When they told us we're going to stop at this store I had no idea, however now I can see why we did stop here, and ironically we happened to be the 600th bus. Isn't that something?" said Youngstown Ohio resident, Walter Kijowski.
"Everybody that served our country our veterans, you walk in you get that sense you see the flags you see the Made in America signs, so that means everything to me," Ellwood City resident, Melanie Pensy said.
Andol greets his guests with a brief history of the store, and thanks them for not only supporting his business, but small businesses across the country.
"One product is like a spider web effect the glue, the packaging, the ink, the little components, one product can feed a lot of families," said Andol.
The tours do more than just promote American-made products. Director of business development Dorothy Furtney, or "Miss America" as she's known around the store, says the tours bring a boost to the local economy.
"The average day trip provides $4,000 in economic activity to our region, and one overnight bus brings $10,000 to the local economy. So the spin-off impact of these buses is just phenomenal," said Furtney.
She says the store already scheduled 50 bus tours this year and believes they could see 200 buses come through by the end of 2017.