Teenagers as consumers

Small businesses see surge from teenage clients

Madelyn Kelling, Writer

Teenagers are one of the greatest types of consumers. According to Chron, in 2011 teenagers between the ages of 12-17 spend about 200 billion dollars per year. The great thing about teenagers is that they follow trends and share their ideas with other teenagers. Teenagers are also experts in the media giving small businesses the perfect opportunity to make websites that teenagers can stumble upon. Small businesses in Owatonna also get noticed based on word of mouth. Many of the businesses in Owatonna have been around for quite some time which means teenagers hear about all these local stores from their parents, teachers, and friends. Just by driving down town they can see all the endless possibilities. There’s something special about small businesses.

We have had more teenagers come in since we have hired more teenagers.”

— -Sue Pap, Owner Central Park Coffee

Walking by Central Park Coffee, the smell of coffee seems to wrap itself around you and invite you in. Not to mention the atmosphere of the place is relaxed and warm. Central Park Coffee is the perfect place to do homework or talk to family and friends. Teenagers live on coffee. Owner, Sue Pap, said, “We have had more teenagers come in since we have hired more teenagers.” Just walking through the halls at the high school, one could find quite a few teenagers with Starbucks cups, Central Park Coffee cups and of course their homemade blends. What goes perfectly with coffee, is of course food.

Crossing paths with Old Town Bagels and stepping inside is probably one of the greatest ideas any teenager could have. As soon as you walk in, there is someone at the counter smiling at you and ready to help you order. Co-owner, Gretchen Satterlund, said, “As the years have passed we have had to do more newspaper, radio, a facebook page and try to add choices on the menu that teenagers like. We sold our bagels to the high school, but we no longer do that.” The menu has quite a few suggestions on it, so the choices are endless. Old Town Bagels has many food options that are great for getting full while eating healthy.

For a more filling treat, ordering pizza is super easy, especially with Nick’s Pizza Palace. Teenagers love the zesty taste of pizza and Nick’s offers delicious varieties. Head manager Brad Nelson said, “At this point in the game, we are pretty established in this town. A lot of teenagers know Nick’s from their parents. A lot of the business we get is from word of mouth.” Pizza is fun, easy and tasty. Sitting down at a table or booth waiting for pizza with your friends at home can create a social vibe and your stomach will be anticipating the first bite of that delicious pizza.

Each small business has a unique way of catching a teenagers attention. They all seek to satisfy teenagers and provide the best experience. Teenagers love to spend money and the small businesses love the young customers and the atmosphere that they create.