Venice store sells only "Made in the USA" products

11:37 PM, Jul 4, 2013   |    comments
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Molly Kraut, a veterinarian who had a hard time finding products made in the USA during a pet food scare, decided to deal with her debacle by opening Venice, Florida's "US Mart" and only selling American-made items.
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Venice, Florida- How many times have you been shopping and look to see where an item is made to find it says "Made in China"? 

Well, one Venice store has more than 5,000 products all with one thing in common; they're made in the USA.

"Made in the USA," say two female customers as they walk into US Mart.

They're are four words that are hard to find, four words drawing people like Korean War Vet Bill Middleton into the US Mart on East Venice Avenue.

"It's important to me; I served my country," says Bill Middleton.

From kids' toys, to cleaning supplies, they are all American made.

"It makes me feel proud of the US. I believe in this country," said store Owner Molly Kraut.  

Molly is a veterinarian who started noticing where things were made during the pet food scare a few years ago. She quickly realized finding American-made products is a challenge. 

"My daughter said to me one day, 'Stop complaining mom- or do something.'" 

Molly did do something about it- she opened US Mart this past November. It's a challenge to find things made within the nation, but according to Molly, the most challenging items to come across are clothes. 

"We have Texas Jeans made in North Carolina for 30 dollars. Shorts are less," said Molly. 

She carries some children's clothes made by a Miami company called "In Gear,", and she found another line of clothing out of Orlando called "Breath like a Fish." 

Among other products are artisan soaps from a woman in Tampa, and sandals made by a company in Georgia. 

"I believe in fair trade- in free enterprise," said Molly. "I know people are on a budget, and that they want to shop affordably. I want to try and give that option- I think American can compete."  

If it's not made in the land of the free and home of the brave, Molly said the item is shipped back. 

"A lot of times, underneath the labeling says "China", even if they say 'Made in the USA' on the outside. They keep sneaking in."

And US Mart customers say each time they buy an American-made item, they are helping their country.

"Put some people in America to work," said Bill, the proud Korean War vet.

Molly said she's always looking for products made in the USA, and with a store that is 3,000 square feet, she can double her stock and give customers more of a variety.

Here are some links to American made products from Consumer Reports.

Isabel Mascarenas

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