Amid blue, GV stalwart Yuba Blue is expanding

yubablue_logoHere’s an economic bright spot: Mill Street retail stalwart Yuba Blue is expanding next door, capitalizing on the downturn to grow its business, according to my sources. Well done!

Yuba Blue was founded in 1995 by Sarah Lazard, a former neighbor of ours, and it expanded in 1997. Its popular with locals and tourists alike.

As I’ve said before, the upside of vacant storefronts is to provide space for successful businesses to expand at a low rent. Business 101.

I’m reminded that Tess’ Kitchen across the street also did this last year, expanding into a vacant spot occupied by Hedman Furniture.

Yuba Blue “gets” the Web: They have a successful online store at www.yubablueonline.com, complimenting the retail space.

This strategy reminds me of my favorite Grass Valley chocolatier, Dorado Chocolates, which also is expanding in the downturn.

Most merchants here still don’t see the benefit of marrying an Web site with a brick-and-mortar outlet. Despite the fears, the Web often compliments your retail business; it doesn’t cannibalize it.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

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