Winner of Small Shop Showdown
By Jim Martin, Erie Times-News
Posted Mar 2, 2020 at 12:04 PMUpdated at 4:37 AM
The prize, free rent for six months of a 660-square-foot storefront, is worth thousands of dollars.
Waterford farmer and businessman Mark Troyer, owner of Farmulated CBD, was competing against a couple of dozen other entrepreneurs, all of whom were trying to win six months free rent in the Millcreek Mall.
But Troyer won the attention of a team of judges and was named the winner of SmallShop Showdown, said Joe Bell, spokesman for the Youngstown, Ohio-based Cafaro Company that owns the mall.
Bell said the prize, free rent for six months of a 660-square-foot storefront, is worth thousands of dollars. It’s difficult to assign a more precise value because leases are typically negotiated individually, Bell said.
The winner of the contest was announced Monday morning at the mall.
Troyer, who grows and processes hemp and then retails CBD oil, will be moving into the former Pandora jewelry location, located in the mall’s center court, next to the interior Macy’s entrance.
“It’s exciting,” Troyer said. “It’s all about the foot traffic and getting in front of people.”
Troyer admits, however, that there was “a certain amount of mission creep.”
He entered the contest thinking that Farmulated might win use of a freestanding kiosk. Access to the former jewelry store was a bit of surprise, he said.
“We’re looking forward to getting a couple of cushy chairs in there and having a chance to sit down and talk with people about their health needs,” he said.
Farmulated, which bills itself as Pennsylvania’s only fully-integrated farm-to-retail CBD business, sells CBD oil, body lotion, roll-on, capsules and pet treats.
In addition to free rent, Troyer will receive mall signage, painting services and advertising on social media.
Bell said the judges of the contest, leasing professionals at Cafaro, were impressed by Troyer’s enthusiasm, experience and the viability of his business plan.
“This is something we don’t have,” he said.