Williston Economic Development (WED) has released another episode from the third season of its Williston Works Podcast. Episode 2 features Shanna Zaste of Walt’s Market. Shanna and her husband Zach own Walt’s Market in Williston. They purchased the corner market located at 922 University Avenue in 2018.
“Walt’s Market was actually started in 1942,” Zaste told Shawn Wenko during the podcast. Wenko is the Executive Director of WED and the host of the Williston Works Podcast. “What I was told was Walt and his wife started Walt’s out of their home originally. This is the third location. He was retired when it was moved to the building we are currently in, but he still worked with (co-owners) Duane DeMars and Dave Slais.”
The Zaste’s decided to purchase the corner market and bring it back to what it was when they were growing up in Williston.
“I grew up down the street and I would go down there as a kid for penny candy and who would have thought I would own it how many years later,” exclaimed Zaste.
The couple felt confident buying the business due in part to their relationships with expert butchers.
“My dad (Mike Hollen) has been in the smokehouse business for close to 30 years,” said Zaste. “My meat cutter has close to 50 years of experience and that’s experience in a trade you can’t find anymore.”
The Zaste’s turned to the professionals at the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Dakota Business Lending and WED to help get their business started. Shanna said Keith Olson, Regional Director at SBDC, helped them significiantly.
“Working with Keith (Olson) was great,” said Zaste. “He helped us develop our business plan and he was so helpful with things.”
“A lot of people don’t know Keith and I work very close between the two offices,” said Wenko. “Keith does a lot of the business planning and initial consultation up front and then we (WED) take it to what’s called the STAR Fund board. The STAR Fund is a 1 cent city sale tax where a quarter of that penny goes into what we call jobs creation.”
Walt’s Market utilized two programs from the STAR Fund, the Flex PACE Interest Buydown and Mini Match.
To learn more about Walt’s Market in Williston watch the podcast at https://youtu.be/uN3et8khwag.