MADE IN NEVADA: Buy Nevada First Gift Shop

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -- A store in the Reno Town Mall, Buy Nevada First Gift Shop, only sells products from Nevada-based businesses.

It features 5,000 items from roughly 300 suppliers.

"All the money stays in Nevada. All the jobs stay in Nevada," said Dave Asher, who opened the store three years ago. He says he opened the store out of his love for the Silver State, its people and the local economy.

"I have a passion for the Buy Local Buy Nevada campaign. I want to turn the economy around and keep the jobs here. Keep the money here," Asher said.

According to the American Independent Business Alliance, on average 48 percent of each purchase at a local independent business was recirculated locally compared to less than 14 percent of purchases at chain stores.

"Well, this is our local tax base. So we want our schools to get back to where they're good schools again. We want to keep the money here. Keep the jobs here. It keeps the profits here," Asher said.

In our Made in Nevada report we're introducing you to the people behind the top three selling items in this store.

Each piece of Tahoe Toffee is made by a married couple in Gardnerville. They're the owners of "Tahoe Toffee". This candy literally saved them. Larry and Melinda Miller lost their jobs during the recession.

Melinda used her own recipe and placed ten bags of her homemade toffee in a UPS Store.

"That was Friday and by Monday it was all gone," said Larry.

In 2009, their candy was in one store. Now, it's in 65 stores and they make about 100 pounds a day to keep up with demand.

"It's like crack, ha-ha," Larry joked.

"I just love that we were able to be on our own. Independent from a boss. It's just nice to be able to do our own schedule. We do a lot of vacation and come back and get a bunch done go camping. Go boating," said Melinda.

Another top seller in the Buy Nevada First Gift Shop is the metal art. Every piece is made in Robert St. Clair's garage in Washoe Valley. He's the owner of "Custom Metal Graphics".

"Yard art. I love yard art. I want to beautify people's property and I want to give them good art for a good price and I want them to come back," St. Clair said.

He designs all the art on his computer and programs his CNC plasma cutter to craft each piece with precision.

His art is thicker than a nickle, which is something you won't likely find from his competitors in China. His biggest selling piece is a quail, but he says he thrives on variety.

"I like to design things like scenery. Not just one or two objects, but yet something that has layers so that you can see trees, a mountain range. You can then turn the mountain range into a trellis like deal like with vines that grow through. My motto is to go big or go home," St. Clair said.

Another big seller in the Buy Nevada First Gift Shop is raw honey. Albert Sindlinger collected every ounce. He owns Al Bees Sierra Nevada Honey.

"I've been doing this about 20 years," said Sindlinger.

It started with a couple hives to pollinate the vegetables in his greenhouse. Today he has 200 hives in Washoe County and in the Carson City region. He expects to harvest 440 gallons of honey in 2017.

He says money is not his motivation. "It's a labor of love, but I mean for me too. It's help you get outside I love the outdoors," said Sindlinger.

The Buy Nevada First Gift Shop is moving from its 4,000-square-foot space to 20,000 square feet in another space inside the Reno Town Mall in July 2017. There will be room to add items from another 50 to 60 suppliers.

"If you have something that sells and you live in Nevada that's what it takes to get something in here," Asher said.

He says his goal is to keep money and tax revenues where we live.

A gift shop in Carson City is similar to the store we just showed you. The only difference is that it sells products that promote Nevada. You can find this store in the legislative building at 401 South Carson Street in Carson City.

Inside you'll find a large selection of books about Nevada, along with items like pens, jewelry and clothing.