By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal
The Pineapple Shop
• Bret Hopper was working for a furniture manufacturer 10 years ago when he started seeing signs that his job was in jeopardy. He took it as his cue to find a new line of work.
“I always wanted to go into some kind of business,” he said. “Working for myself, it’s fun. It’s enjoyable.”
He opened a gift shop on his family’s property, which at that time customers accessed via a gravel road.
“Building up here was going out on a limb,” Hopper said.
And right as Hopper was about to open the store, the country experienced the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
But Hopper went ahead with his grand opening the next weekend and said he had a good turnout.
Since then, he’s seen plenty of ups and downs in the economy but he’s weathered them all.
“In the South, people just love to give gifts,” he said.
It’s important to his business, he said, to have gifts in all price ranges. Also important is for him to be at the store and be available when customers need him.
“When people come from out of town, they’ll come up here because there’s nothing else to do,” he said. “To me, every customer is important.”
– Carlie Kollathn Owner: Bret Hopper
• Location: 130 E. Main St., Blue Mountain
• Hours: Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.;
Saturday from 8:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
• In business since: 2001
• Employees: four
• Primary business: Sales of gift items, collegiate items, yard art, pottery, local art, Christmas decor and bridal registry items.
• Contact: (662) 685-4006