Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ruby Peak Naturals Shares the Wealth

*Bloggers note: Wouldn't life be a lot better if we all took this approach? Read on...

Jane Harshman, of Ruby Peak Naturals, offers a healthier lifestyle to the citizens of Wallowa County while she increases revenue for roughly fifteen other businesses from Oregon and Eastern Idaho.

Supporting local business has been a priority for Harshman, since opening Ruby Peak Naturals in 2005. “I want to work through our local vendors and provide products that promote green lifestyles”, says Jane Harshman. And she has done just that!

Since the inception of Ruby Peak Naturals, Harshman has worked with such companies as Bee Crow Bee, Backyard Gardens, Thiel Potatoes, Hozho Shopping Bags, Sei Mee Tea, LLC, Mary Jane’s Backpacking Food, Prairie Creek Farms, Aziza Essential Oils, Wildflouer Bakery, and Hidden Springs Eggs. She also sells whole bean coffee from Strictly Organic in Bend, Oregon, Fireworks Pottery, local grass fed beef and lamb, two types of gift cards made locally and honey made in Wallowa County.

She has no intention of stopping there.

“I’ve begun negotiations with a Rock Creek Nut Company and have also been talking with June Colony”, says Harshman. “June is a past county commissioner candidate who started the Generations Project. One aspect of the project is to refurbish used items and, with proposed grant funding, will provide low income women with sewing machines an avenue for income by producing a recycled fabric line of dish towels and aprons.”

To support progression of this business, Harshman has recently applied for an Individual Development Account (IDA) through the Northeast Oregon Economic Development District (NEOEDD) and Connecting Oregon Rural Entrepreneurs (CORE). “I have my application in and I’m just waiting to hear back”, says Harshman. Harshman heard about the IDA through Lisa Dawson at NEOEDD. “I call Lisa often to learn what new programs are available through NEOEDD and CORE”, says Harshman. “This looked liked something that could help my business”.

The IDA Program is designed for business owners with a proven record of success in saving money. Once qualified, business owners such as Harshman can open a separate savings account where the amount a business owner saves will be matched three dollars to every dollar saved.

Jane Harshman is looking to replace some of the bulk bins that cost $165 for each new one. Currently the store has 30 bins. She is also hoping to expand the store’s inventory of green living products with items such as water purifiers as well as build the base of local organic products.

“I would like to carry more products as they become available”, says Harshman of working with local growers and entrepreneurs. “It just makes sense”. Harshman says she will also continue to call CORE to learn about new business opportunities for rural entrepreneurs.

To learn more about Ruby Peak Naturals, email Jane at or call 541.426.4042. To learn more about whether or not you may qualify for an IDA through CORE, contact Lisa Dawson at 800.645.9454.Digg!

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