Thu04172014

Business & Real Estate

Gifts with women in mind

Cranberry Scoop continues under enterprising new ownership

There's something magical about walking in to Cranberry Scoop in downtown Los Altos. It's a place you can go to search for a gift for a loved one, or maybe even treat yourself, because you aren't sure what you will find on display.

Ellen Biolsi, the current proprietor, has owned the Scoop just eight months, but in that short time, she has stocked the store with a variety of intriguing items. Customers can find anything from pottery to leisure dresses, dishes, novelty gifts, pen sets and greeting cards.

Mini Kalkat owned Cranberry Scoop for six years and sold it to her store manager, Mary Ellen Galver, in order to be a stay-at-home mom. Galver then sold the store 18 months later to Biolsi.

"When I found out Cranberry Scoop was up for sale again, I negotiated with the owners and after a couple of months, my attorney and I finalized the contract," Biolsi said. "Local people know me, and the women's response to the store has been great."

When Biolsi took over, the store inventory was nil. Her instinct told her what to bring in and it worked well because the store is now stocked to the walls with gifts drawing a constant stream of customers.

Perky Guilie, a Sunnyvale customer, said the Scoop represents a personal approach to gift buying.

"The music is soft, the atmosphere wonderful and the selection of colors extraordinary." Guilie said. "Ellen is warm, you know where she is coming from, and she knows what a woman likes in gifts."

Biolsi is a Los Altos resident and a graduate of Los Altos High School. She rented a nail salon in Los Altos for many years and kept looking for an opportunity to open her own store.

"When customers came in, I asked what they purchased at Cranberry Scoop before and I told them I would try to get it," Biolsi said. "Most of the sales reps are women and they offered suggestions on what would move."

Biolsi said she loves the business because there is always something going on, and she loves working with people. Many of the Scoop's customers drop in from neighboring cities like Pat Ferguson of Monte Sereno.

"I enjoy shopping here because I can find an appropriate gift for every occasion," Ferguson said. "It's surprising how often I come in here to look around."

Cranberry Scoop is located at 295 State St., Los Altos. For more information, call 948-2554.

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