Pay It Forward: Koontz Mercantile

I am happy to present to you our twenty-fourth local business spotlighted in the Pay it Forward feature – Koontz Mercantile.

Our recent Lake County business featured was Stellar Homes Staging + Design, and owner Whitney Brand chose to Pay it Forward to Reuben Koontz, owner of Koontz Mercantile.

The catch is that I will not choose the next business to interview, but the current spotlighted business will choose who I will interview next. Local businesses will Pay it Forward.

Koontz Mercantile is a locally owned and operated general store with a unique twist. They offer spectacular custom and upcycled home décor and gifts – everything from unique gourmet foods to lightweight backpack wear to one-of-a-kind, custom furniture, handmade goods, and so much more!

The focus of Koontz Mercantile is to bring affordable and unique products to the local community of Lake County.

1. Why did you decide to start your own business?

I worked in auto body for over 20 years in the city and decided to move back to my wife’s hometown. Once we were here, I decided to retire from auto body and start my own dream using my tradesman skills and passion for being creative.

I wanted to be able to give something personal back to our small-town community. I left cars behind and decided to build custom furniture using my metal fabrication, welding, and woodworking skills.

2. How do you deal with fear and doubt?

My supportive family helps me conquer my fears by standing by my side and helping me fulfill my dreams. They push me and always tell me, “You’ve got this!”

3. How does your business look different now vs. when you first started?

Well, now I have my whole community that supports and stands beside me. When I go to high school football games and see members of our community wearing my sweatshirts, it hits me with an incredible amount of love that is hard to explain. It is worth much more than money. It makes all the hard work worth it. 

4. How do you set your business apart from others in your industry?

My work is one of a kind. I want to be as unique as possible. I want folks to have something in their home that you won’t see in anyone else’s home; a real statement piece. 

5. What is the hardest part of being an entrepreneur?

The hardest part about being an entrepreneur is finding a balance between work and home. Putting all your energy into making your own living and still having the energy also to take care of everything else –

My wife, my daughters, my pets, and all the work that still needs to be done around the house.

There is non-stop action, and it is important to always find a balance. The work will always be there but it is also important to set it aside for a day off now and then. 

6. What is your favorite part of being an entrepreneur?

My favorite part is that I am my own boss. I get to build what I want and I have so much pride from seeing my custom furniture in local homes. Seeing customers even cry sometimes when I deliver one of my custom pieces to their home. 

7. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

If I could travel anywhere in the world it would be to New Zealand or Australia. I am a huge animal lover and I love surfing and the ocean. I would love to see the Great Barrier Reef. 

Koontz Mercantile

Owner – Reuben Koontz

21257 Calistoga Road  

Middletown, CA 95461

707. 809.8030

Store Hours

Tuesday – Friday 9-5

Saturday – 10-3

Website –    https://koontz-mercantile.square.site/

Facebook – Middletown Mercantile

Instagram – Koontz_707

Reuben would like to Pay it Forward to Middletown Antiques.

Stay tuned for Middletown Antiques!

Lori Armstrong

Lori began her career in the legal field, leaving that position to pursue full-time writing endeavors. Being a criminal court reporter for the Record-Bee, she balances the chaos in her brain by writing children's books and reflective pieces. When time allows, she publishes books for Amazon.


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