Today is last chance to invest in Quimper Mercantile general store in Port Townsend
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Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News
Quimper Mercantile sales clerks Shelly Carlson, left, and Dottie Martin stock the shelves with new clothes. Investors have until midnight tonight to purchase stock in the store.

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — Those who want to invest in the Quimper Mercantile Co. have until midnight tonight to buy stock and become part of the publicly traded general store that opened in October 2012.

“This is the last time we will be going to the community for funding,” said Peter Quinn, chief executive officer.

“From now on, we are going to make it on our own.”

The 15,000-square-foot store — which occupies the old Swain's Outdoor location at 1121 Water St. — has raised about $659,450 so far, short of its $750,000 goal but enough to operate comfortably, Quinn said.

Stock in the initial offering was made available in January 2012 with a $950,000 limit. Half of that was needed for the store to open successfully.

The store met the $425,000 goal in April 2012. The offering closed Jan. 1, 2013, having raised $617,000.

In February, the company received approval from the state Department of Financial Institutions to reopen the direct public stock offering through today.

During the extension, about another $42,000 has been raised.

Each share costs $100, with a $50,000 maximum investment per person.

The store now employs five full-time and two part-time people, and has refined its inventory, Quinn said.

“We are now at the point we have figured out what people need, and we are giving it to them,” Quinn said.

“So people who haven't been into the store for a few months should come in again because it's very, very different than what they may have seen before.”

One “need” that the store plans to fill is a local place to buy Seattle Seahawks jerseys, with 36 scheduled to arrive in the store by Friday, according to sales clerk Dottie Martin.

Quinn said the store has set an example for others who seek to open a publicly owned community store.

“People across the United States have noticed this effort as a way for small communities to create something that's important and necessary for them,” he said.

“Our community has stood up and made an investment in our future.”

Quinn said a stockholders meeting will take place in mid-March; the date has been chosen but has not yet been announced to stockholders.

Financial information will be presented at that time.

Quinn would not reveal any details but said “stockholders will be very pleased with our results.”

In March, Quinn said managers of the company expected it to lose money in 2013.

QMC was formed after Swain's Outdoor, which was in the same location, closed in early 2011 after having operated in Port Townsend since 1996. The store, which aimed to fill a gap in consumer offerings in Port Townsend, opened in October 2012.

For information about buying stock, visit http://tinyurl.com/PDN-QMC-stock.

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Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: January 22. 2014 9:32AM
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