We had the good fortune of connecting with Greg Ferguson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Greg, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Well, that is an interesting question! I used to work for Pandora Jewelry as a regional manager and every week I was on a plane going somewhere. Just over two years ago I decided the travel was just too much. I wanted to be home. The original plan was to focus on our other store, Decor On The Hill. The dream (uh, fantasy!) was to work 2-4 days a week at Decor On The Hill with remaining time spent on back office, social media, and such. Then, in a couple of years once redevelopment of the old lumber yard across from us was complete, we would open a second store…AKA Cedar Hill Market…or something similar.

Then reality set in. Our neighbor next door at Houston Street Outfitters decided to retire. That opened a spot for retail or a restaurant. But the space was going to be leased to a cell phone repair store or used as office space for a local charity. We decided that would not be conducive to our business. So that is how Cedar Hill Market was born!

We opened in July of 2020. In the middle of the pandemic! This was a good thing in retrospect. We originally planned to go to the Fancy Food Show, a trade show for the food industry. But the show was cancelled due to the pandemic. Then online marketplaces for wholesale products boomed. Because of that, we found a lot of smaller businesses to showcase. Businesses we would not have found if we had gone to the Fancy Food Show. So the thought process happened somewhat accidentally. And we couldn’t be happier with the result. We now have food products from smaller mom and pop/family-owned companies. Over 50% are from woman owned businesses. And some are local like Providence Preserves based in Cedar Hill, Big Toe Seasonings in Desoto, and many others.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have always had a passion for retail! That has been my entire career in some capacity or other. I started at Pier I Imports. It was really an impulse to apply. Within three days I was promoted to an assistant manager. Probably out of needs rather than my abilities! But the retail bug got me. I was a Pier 1 Imports for 13 years, and it was the best retail education I could ever hope for. I have only worked for three companies. Pier 1, PVH, and Pandora Jewelry. Do you see a pattern? What I have learned is that you must know your customer. It doesn’t matter if they are a retail for wholesale customer. And you must know your business. Part of what sets Cedar Hill Market apart is we are a part of the community, part of Historic Downtown Cedar Hill. We love bringing something unique, that you can’t find at a chain store, to Cedar Hill.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The first thing we would do is go eat at Sam’s Pizza and Pasta which is across from Cedar Hill Market. I am there every week! Even before we opened Cedar Hill Market. It’s nothing fancy but they have the best pizza. They are still family owned and they go by the honor system…there are no tickets. You just tell them what you had to eat when you are done! Then we would probably head to Midlo Scoops in Midlothian for the best ice cream. Cedar Hill State Park is one of our favorite places. Well, it’s the favorite place for our dogs so we would have to go there to hike and check out Penn Farm. And even though I don’t drink, we would have to visit Ash & Ember Brewing Company and Saviana, our local winery. Of course, we would have to visit Joe Pool Lake and go boating.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First, our customers deserve a huge shoutout! They have been so supportive from the get-go. They helped us navigate the pandemic with online orders that we delivered in person when local, shipping the rest. We might not have made it through with without them!

Second, the Cedar Hill Chamber of Commerce deserves a shoutout too. They launched a Farmers Market in Cedar Hill last year which enabled us to gain so many new customers. For the most part these were people unfamiliar with Historic Downtown Cedar Hill and the shopping and dining options we offer.

Lastly, I would like to give a shoutout to Ginger Melia. Ginger was my boss at Pandora Jewelry and prior to that, she was my boss at PVH. We have a lot of history together! She was such an important mentor for me. I was always given freedom to try new things and brainstorm ideas with her. I remember one example where we had an employee that was recently transferred back to me. We had gone through a restructure or sort and this employee wasn’t feeling valued like she once did. So I created a role where she could mentor others. This developed into a program for the entire department. If I didn’t have the guidance and support from Ginger we likely would have lost a great employee.

Website: https://CedarHillMarket.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marketcedarhill/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarketCedarHill

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