Biz Beat

Knitters lose one shop, gain another – and taffy, too

Everyone has heard the old saying about when one door closes, another opens. That’s a fitting description for this week’s column, with one yarn store closing its doors and another opening up for business.

Knitters Square in Modesto’s Roseburg Square will close next month, unless a buyer or buyers can be found. Owners Nancy Saunders and Linda Mitchell, who opened the store in the former home of the Urban Sheep, made the announcement on the store’s Facebook page.

“We have had a great time continuing the knitting tradition in Modesto.” they said. “ We hope someone will follow our passion and Knitters Square will live on into the future.”

I couldn’t reach Saunders and Mitchell for comment. If I hear more about the future of that location, I will let you know. But in the meantime, there is another local shop aimed at yarn enthusiasts. Charlene Fry opened Needful Things in downtown Turlock a few months ago.

“I’ve wanted a store for a long time,” said Fry, who has experience helping a friend operate an antiques store in Oakdale. Needful Things, named for the Stephen King novel of the same name (“I remember when I read the book, I thought it would be a cute name for a store,” Fry said), has more than yarn – there’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that. This and that includes items as varied as soaps, loose-leaf tea and taffy. In addition to her own items, several vendors operate spots in the store.

A yarn room in the back is stacked nearly floor to ceiling with colorful skeins, and a separate room is dedicated to shabby chic items. Classes are scheduled in knitting and crochet.

“I wanted a country store,” said Fry. The taffy was an important part of that variety. “Nobody has taffy,” she said, adding that just on the day I visited she added a maple-bacon variety. Old-fashioned candy sticks also are available in the candy corner.

She also thought the candy might appeal to male shoppers, an idea that left her husband skeptical. He thought the store would be mainly appealing to the ladies.

“But I have men in here all the time,” Fry said.

Find Needful Things at 151 N. Thor St., Turlock, or on Facebook. Call 209-669-9009.

Elsewhere around the Business Beat:

CVS Pharmacy is trying to help us make healthier choices.

According to a press release that came in last week, the pharmacy is promoting “more than 50” packaged vegan snacks in 2,000 stores nationwide this autumn.

“As part of the company’s efforts to expand the availability of healthier convenience foods, customers will have easy access to a variety of affordable vegan snacks and can now skip that extra trip to a specialty food store,” the news release states. These “healthy eating trend zones” are not new to CVS; the pharmacy has in the past included paleo and raw foods in those areas.

So rather than picking up that candy bar, you might grab organic roasted seaweed snacks, or black bean chips.

“The expanded assortment of healthier food and beverages at more than 3,400 CVS Pharmacy stores nationwide is a critical step as the company continues to evolve into a premier health destination, making better health easy for millions of customers,” the release said. “Other initiatives include dedicating roughly 25 percent of front checkout space – traditionally occupied by candy – to better-for-you snacks such as KIND bars, Larabars and Vega One bars and adding more than 250 fresh, refrigerated and non-perishable healthy foods and beverages to store shelves around the country.”

According to a company spokeswoman, local participating stores include sites on Hatch Road, Standiford, West Briggsmore, North Carpenter, McHenry and Oakdale in Modesto; East F Street in Oakdale; Lander Avenue in Turlock; and Sperry Avenue in Patterson.