The Village Mercantile: Why local businesses love local power (and so can you)

Ethan Smith


Pictured: Melinda Little

When Melinda Little was asked why she felt Northern Power & Light as a better option for renewable energy than others, her response was plain:

“I trust it. I trust you guys because you’re here. It’s not as much of a leap of faith.”

Melinda is president of the The Village Mercantile, a retail store in Saranac Lake with a particularly inspiring origin story. Back when the Ames Department Store went out business in 2002, the town lost a standby retailer for some of its most basic needs. Rather than see a big-box store move in, residents took matters into their own hands and crowd-sourced their vision for a small department store built by locals, for locals.

The store, located at 97 Main St, sells clothing items for every member of the family, as well as linens, tabletop accessories, home décor, and items made by local artists and artisans.

Whiteface Mountain
The Village Mercantile at 97 Main St, Saranac Lake

Most recently, the Village Mercantile expanded beyond its brick-and-mortar walls with an online store and has even begun developing exclusive products with local makers.

Be sure to stop in at the Main St. location or visit the online store