Meet Your Truckee Merchant: Glenshire General Store stays afloat with local support
Special to the Sun
She wears a white dress, they say, and runs through the aisles, especially at night. When someone is baking alone she likes to mess with the radio.
Tina Zander Stull, owner of the Glenshire General Store, isn’t sure where the ghost came from, but she’s sure that she has seen something float through the dark store after hours. Erika Valdez, Tina’s employee and right-hand woman, recalls a morning when the radio station stayed on the same song, repeating a Michael Jackson tune a few times over.
“There’s been three different stories that have happened to me,” Valdez said. “I think it’s a little girl.”
The feetless footsteps and faint images of a white dress floating through the darkness can’t be explained. Whether they are being haunted or just looked after, Tina doesn’t know — but the young businesswoman has more real world haunts to deal with.
“I have to watch every cent,” Tina said, of running a grocery business, which she says is in the 1 percent profit margin. Glenshire’s decrease in construction has led to fewer people — fewer builders and fewer landscapers in the area, and fewer business for the General Store.
Before the economic downturn of 2008, Tina had three times the employees and a lot more business.
Tina has endured the change in economy as well as two burglaries since buying the business in 2000. The culprits were caught, but her surveillance system was destroyed and her safe robbed.
“It’s hard to make a buck,” Tina said in lieu of all the stresses of running the store, but with her extensive experience in wine and fine dining, she knows what to stock in her store.
“I try to have a little bit of everything so people don’t have to drive into town and waste the gas,” Tina said. She added that she is “racking her brain” to think of how to bring people into her store, recently adding the Powerball national lottery and video rentals. She anticipates bringing in a Slurpee machine this summer.
“I can’t compete with the Walmarts and WinCos of the world,” Tina said. “I don’t get the same pricing as the big guys and we can’t compete pricewise, but people support us.”
Tina and Valdez are grateful for their loyal customers, the friends and neighbors that help the General Store stay afloat. Local artist Lorien Powers, relying on local support herself, says she “pops in there” almost daily for her coffee on her way to work, or any ingredients she may be missing for dinner on the way home.
“It’s convenient and they have organic options,” Powers said. “Tina puts a lot of heart and soul into what she does. (The store) is an asset to our community.”
Glenshire General Store sells art from local artists and supports community events. With the area’s recent tragedies, Tina has offered her catering services for the memorials. “The community is really great,” she said. “When things happen, everyone is willing to come out, the community support is insane.”
Raised by a master chef who escaped Germany, Tina says she was raised to “work your butt off and save your money,” trying to always do her best and think positive.
When the weather is nice, the athletic blonde rides her bike to the store from Sierra Meadows. She loves the area, owning Glenshire General Store, and has no plans of leaving.
“If I can hang on, I want to stay,” she said. “I’d like to be here for another 20 years.”
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