The Quiet Cricket


Store Name The Quiet Cricket
Keeping Small Town Downtowns Alive One Store at a Time

Business Type Furniture anf Home Furnishing Stores

NAICS Code 442

Location 124 Main Street, Vergas, MN 56587

Nearby Businesses A bank, grocery store, three other gift stores, liquor store, funeral home, hardware store, a bar and two real estate offices; All of which are located on Main Street

Owner/Manager Marlette Otto-Anderson

Special Store Activities Demonstrations by Local Artists

Year Opened

Website n/a

Phone 218-342-2700


Community Profile Vergas, MN (Population 300, 10-mile radius population 10,350) is in the heart of lake country. This small Minnesota town lives by the adage “We are small enough to know you, but big enough to serve you!” Located in the center of 25 lakes within a five mile radius, Vergas offers scores of lakes surrounded by woods and natural environment. With many resorts, bed & breakfasts, Vergas is often seen as a great get-away destination to enjoy outdoor amenities. The city is best known as “Home of the Loon” due to its giant 20 foot replica of the Minnesota State Bird, located on the shore of Long Lake in the center of City Park. Interestingly, the city is also the western-most city to produce maple syrup and commemorates this specialty with its annual Vergas Maple Syrup Fest which is organized by the owner of Quiet Cricket.

Products Sold & Niche Developed

Quiet Cricket is an independently-owned home décor and gift store. Offering décor items typically for family living spaces, the products range from prints and mirrors to a wide variety of lamps as well as tabletop items such as placemats, centerpieces and candles. The décor products have an urban-type style that can easily be incorporated in lake homes or lodges. Having a natural talent of displaying decorative home items, Quiet Cricket employees enjoy interacting with customers and explaining new, creative ways to use decorative pieces. The store also features local artwork typically from up-and-coming artists in the area. Pieces vary from photographs or watercolor paintings to pottery and many other styles. On occasion, the local artist will come into the store and perform demonstrations of their art as well as explain their work to interested customers.

Market Segments Served

The products at Quiet Cricket are catered toward the many lake home owners and tourists in the area who often are decorating their second home at the lake. Items are mid- to upper-price range in comparison to other stores in the area, yet competitive and often lower than comparable stores in larger urban areas. Often, the Quiet Cricket is found to be quite affordable to the middle to upper income tourist crowd it serves. Shoppers often come north from Minneapolis, southwest from Fargo & North Dakota or west from the other small, surrounding communities near Vergas. Being a home décor store, customers are predominately women, ranging from the 30 to 60 age-range.

Contributions to the Business Community

The owner of Quiet Cricket takes pride in being on Main Street in a small town that is just trying to survive. Stating that “most people are surprised to find us out here,” she is a big believer in small towns and refuses to see them die. Her store contributes to that effort of keeping downtown Vergas alive and she’s always asking “what more can we do to make not only the store but our downtown community look better.” For one, the store has worked hard to fix up an old building on Main Street, making the town a bit cleaner, inviting and aesthetically pleasing. Quiet Cricket also adds to the community by being conscious of the other boutiques nearby. When going to market, she makes sure the other Vergas gift stores are not offering the same line of products. As the owner stated, “Our downtown is so small, there’s only so much money to go around. We have to try and stay out of each others hair so each of us can look unique.” Quiet Cricket is also an active Community Club Member, an organization that promotes commerce and the community spirit of the Village of Vergas through event planning and volunteerism. Planning Vergas Maple Syrup Fest and promoting local artists, Quiet Cricket is an active community member, setting a good example for any small town business.



Review by: Carissa DeCramer, UW Extension CCED