Green Country small business closes doors due to inflation, worsening economic situation

SAPULPA, Okla. — As our economy continues to grapple with record inflation, it’s causing one Sapulpa small business to make a tough choice, to close its doors.

FOX23 introduced you to Rudy Pinehaupt and Jen Fertig back in November.

It was small business Saturday, and the grand opening of their ‘Finn Knows’ soap store in downtown Sapulpa.

“We’ve been busy, people coming in and out as you can see, business is wonderful,” Pinehaupt told FOX23 in November.

At that time, they had high hopes for the future as they and their town were roaring back from the pandemic.

“It’s just awe inspiring to see people supporting small businesses again,” he said.

But come seven months later, those hopes are gone.

“It’s just really hard and kind of raw,” Fertig told FOX23 on Monday. “Friday was the last day of the store being in business.”

A lot has changed in those seven months.

“Just the economy, and the gas prices,” she said.

Business costs have skyrocketed alongside inflation.

“I quit making bath bombs entirely, because citric acid has gone up 300 fold,” she said.

Consumers have had to change their spending habits.

“People just don’t have the disposable income,” Fertig said. “When gas is five dollars a gallon, that’s a bar of soap.”

It was a difficult choice.

“I have moments of relief and then moments of dread,” she said.

But life is about priorities.

“This is self-sustaining, but there’s not enough income to make car payments and utility payments and things that are happening in real life,” she said.

The business will still live on, just not with a physical store.

Fertig says the Finn Knows Facebook page will still remain active, and will continue to fulfill orders for customers from home.

They will also continue to set up booths at events, including the Sapulpa Farmers Market.