By Shanin Thomas
Old Town Lansing Times staff writer
OLD TOWN LANSING – Unlike anything else in Old Town, the Old Town General Store provides convenient food products. Unique, yet convenient
Items sold at the general store are primarily Michigan made, organic food, owner Rhea Van Atta said. The fruits, dairy products and alcoholic beverages found in the store are all produced by local farms.
Laura Millikan, employee of the general store, said people in Old Town believe in the concept of a general store. The Old Town General Store also sells unique, Michigan gift items such as pottery, oven mitts, t-shirts and more, Van Atta said. “Michiganders are proud of where they come from,” Van Atta said.
OLD TOWN LANSING — Over the past few years, Old Town Lansing has erupted with new women-owned businesses.
According to the State of Women Owned Businesses Report in 2013, there are more than 8.6 million women-owned businesses in the United States. Between 1997 and 2013 the number began growing at 1.5 times the national average.
Old Town reflects that trend.
Almost half of the businesses in Old Town are owned by women today, according to the Old Town Commercial Association.
Old Town General Store is known for its local products. Owner, Rhea Van Atta, does all the shopping for her store personally. Van Atta says around 70 percent of the total products in the store are from Michigan.
Old Town entrepreneurs beat the odds of small business failure because of community success. According to a recent online post from Forbes, 80 percent of U.S. small businesses fail within the first 18 months of opening. Although, the success of Old Town’s small business community seems exempt from this statistic. There are over 60 small businesses within the borders of Old Town, Lansing. Most of these businesses are members of the Old Town Commercial Association and have been a part of the Old Town community for at least three years and some for over a decade.