LAKE GEORGE, NY (NEWS10) – The Adirondack Outlet Mall is home to many stores, many of which are smaller locations associated with major chains such as LL Bean and PacSun. The outlets are a mass of activity during Lake George’s summer season – a fact that benefits every business there, big or small. This week, a family business signed a lease with chain-sized neighbors and is ready to spice things up.
On Monday, Rachel Dutra signed a new home lease for a new location for Winklepickers – a family-owned gift and novelty shop that has been operating on Canada Street in Lake George since 2021. In addition to home decor and souvenirs, the new store location will also serve another purpose that his sibling Lake George does: a physical location for Dutra’s other business, Rachel’s Spice and Tea Company.
“(The Outlet location) allows us to re-establish ourselves with the locals as the location is slightly more accessible than the village,” said Dutra. “We are working on reach and this is going to help us increase our reach.”
Rachel’s Spice and Tea Company began operations in Glens Falls in 2018 and introduced a cafe that operated from September to June 2022. Dutra closed the cafe earlier this year, largely to work towards a better work-life balance at a point where the company’s footprint had expanded. Winklepickers had already become another home for her signature hand-blended spices – ranging from classic Montreal and Greek spices to specialty blends, such as the popular Adirondack Sunrise and its blend of paprika, salt, pepper, garlic and a hearty serving of rosemary.
The problem: Dutra’s Glens Falls customer base didn’t want to travel to the village of Lake George, which becomes awash with traffic in the summer when tens of thousands of tourists come from out of town. The new outlet location is closer to Glens Falls and closer to the Northway, which Dutra hopes to use as a way to reconnect with its base and reach even more new customers.
Winklepickers’ new second home is 3,200 square feet. That’s a big space for the company, enough that Dutra doesn’t even plan to use it all when it first opens. The new location is located near LL Bean and Eddie Bauer. It’s also a great place to work, a few months after her brand got a big boost from a locally linked celebrity, opening new doors to the online portion of sales.
“It used to be that if we had one online order per month, I would kill it. Ever since Rachael Ray gave us exposure on her show on Christmas Eve — and since we moved to Lake George — it’s been a few times a day. For me that’s a 9,000% increase,” Dutra said.
Dutra’s herbal blends are sourced from supplies she purchases in quantities as high as 25 pounds at a time. The Adirondack Sunrise is her most popular—enough that the care she once led got a sandwich named after it. Other big sellers are condiments for burgers, dips and soups. When Rachael Ray used some of the Rachel’s brand on TV, it was a simple mix of salt, pepper and garlic that did the job.
While she can’t source all of her ingredients locally, Dutra prioritizes other businesses on a similar scale to her own. She works with three wholesalers and does most of her business with a family business. The prices aren’t always the lowest, but the quality is the highest, and the kinship makes it all worth it.
“I’m not going to make a really niche spice that you’ll use once a year. I want to make things that I would always use in my own daily life.”
The new Winklepickers outlet location is scheduled to open on November 1. Meanwhile, Dutra also plans to launch a YouTube channel, showing how some of her homemade blends can be used to make someone’s favorite recipes shine brighter.