Pam Gabriel, owner of Tyler, TX-based Sweet Gourmet never thought she would end up in the independent housewares market. But, fate had other plans for her and she purchased the retail store from her friend and mentor, Michael Furlinger, 12 years ago.
“I remember the first morning when I opened the store and it was mine. A lady came in and she bought half a pound of coffee. I remember nervously putting it into the cash register and I thought, ‘Wow, this is mine’,” she recalled.
Like the store itself, her recipe for success ebbs and flows to tailor to the strengths and weaknesses of both her and her staff, allowing each one to shine at what they do best. And, in some cases, she keeps it old school and in others, she embraces what’s new — mixing unconventional marketing and merchandising tactics with a traditional bookkeeping method.