Cinnamon Tree celebrates 30 years in downtown

Published 12:05 am Sunday, August 16, 2015

For 30 years the people of Vicksburg have been shopping at The Cinnamon Tree. The store’s size, location and products may have changed, but the hometown feel remains the same.

Owner Karen Ruggles started off with a business partner, but has since become the sole owner. Opening the store was something Ruggles had always thought about doing.

“It was always one of my interests to have a store,” Ruggles said. “Because I loved decorating.”

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Today, The Cinnamon Tree boasts kids’ apparel, women’s apparel, door hangers, cards, lotions, decor, paintings, accessories, purses, picture frames, and other collectibles and gifts.

She said her top sellers are usually the jewelry, clothes and the collegiate gear. Other items seem to come and go in popularity over time. Right now she is looking to provide more pottery as its popularity has risen.

The one mainstay of the store has been fudge. A friend recommended they sell fudge when the store first opened and it has continued ever since with chocolate, peanut butter chocolate, caramel pecan, vanilla pecan, and more.

In the beginning, the store sold country store items with just a few candles and foods.

“It’s changed a lot,” Ruggles said.

When the store first opened, it was located a few doors down where Paper Plus is today. Ruggles said they only used the very front portion of that location at the time.

“It was little,” Ruggles said.

Then as the store grew they moved to their current corner location where Crawford Street meets Washington Street, and a few years later they expanded to use the space next door as well.

“[We] Pretty much tripled in size,” Ruggles said.

Ruggles attributes the store’s success to keeping up with the styles and listening to the customers wants. She has gotten to know her clients very well and has a pretty good sense of what they want; however, that doesn’t prevent the occasional dud.

“You get a feel for what they like and want,” Ruggles said. “Sometimes it doesn’t work, but usually it does. I haven’t had too many flops. You’re always going to have a couple when you have as much stuff as I do.”

Twice a year, she goes to market and really enjoys picking out items for her customers. Whenever she doesn’t have what customers need in stock, she can often times make special orders to get it in for them.

The store now employs about two full-time and three part-time employees. They are open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 1322 Washington St.

“I enjoy all of it, I really do,” Ruggles said. “I enjoy the people, I enjoy going to market and I do a lot of the displaying and the ordering. There isn’t anything I really don’t enjoy.”

The Cinnamon Tree celebrated 30 years in Vicksburg last weekend with cake, tea, sales and giveaways.