To the community of Oakdale it may appear to simply be a welcomed new business, yet for Roberts Ferry Nut Company co-owners Stacey Kollmeyer, Kim and Nic West, it is a true full circle moment.
In their fifth year of ownership of the longstanding Roberts Ferry based company, the trio now serves two communities which were instrumental in their youth and into adulthood.
“We talked about being ready for the right opportunity almost immediately after we bought the business,” Stacey said of first acquiring the business with her sister Kim and brother-in law Nic five years ago. “It just made all the decisions easy.”
With family roots and childhood memories deep in the community of Roberts Ferry for the sister team, the initial business purchase seemed both surreal, as well as fitting. Embracing the Roberts Ferry community, as well as the thriving business of nuts, caramel corn and confections, the family learned the ways of the business as well as working with one another’s strengths and weaknesses.
Always with sights on a second location or “pop-up” the family team shared when the 150 N. Third Ave., Oakdale location presented itself it was an easy decision. So easy in fact, they opened the location in early September within five days of saying “yes.”
“When this came along, it really fit that bill,” Kim said of their plan and the ideal location they had envisioned.
“We really felt good about coming to Oakdale.” Stacey added. “We felt like part of the community here.”
Opening on the final Wednesday of Oakdale Farmer’s Market in late September, the owners experienced an Oakdale style welcome, selling over 100 of their signature milkshakes in three short hours. While a pandemic may not seem an ideal time to open a new business, the family shared they’ve experienced quite the opposite.
“I feel like we knew what we were looking for, so even though it happened during a pandemic, it felt like it was the right thing for us to do,” Stacey said.
“It feels a little bit like coming home,” she continued, noting that Nic was raised in Oakdale and all three are Oakdale High School alumni.
The new location does not replace the original shop still located in Roberts Ferry, also known by the team as the “country store.” It does, however, seem to have a different customer base, being embraced by the community as more of a pantry store or stop for hostess gifts.
With the existing space offering ample retail room, as well as a kitchen and eating area the Oakdale location offers food items for eat-in, take and bake, as well as beverage choices for the whole family.
“It’s like a soda fountain,” Kim said. “If kids are ever able to go back to school, they can come in and get a milkshake during lunch or after school. Later that evening their parents can come in and have a glass of wine and stroll and get a hostess gift for an event that weekend.”
Acquiring a liquor license with the new location has also helped check an additional box on the owner’s goal list, as they will now be able to include beer as well as wine in their popular gift baskets.
“Honestly, I can’t believe the number of people that have come in here, just walk in and say, I’m so glad that you’re here,” Stacey said of the community support. “Maybe today they don’t have time to shop, but they’re so excited we’re here. Who doesn’t want to run a business in a community like that?”
“It’s kind of like what we did five years ago in Roberts Ferry. They came home to Roberts Ferry and now we’re in Oakdale,” Nic said. “It’s definitely been welcoming, like small town Oakdale. Oakdale has literally opened its arms to us and I think we need to recognize that.”
Roberts Ferry Nut Company is sold in retailers and ships products throughout the country. The Oakdale location is open Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Monday and Tuesday. Items may also be purchased at www.robertsferrynutco.com.