Evelyn Hill Inc., a third-generation family-owned business, has been managing the concessions at both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island for 84 years. That makes it one of the oldest family-owned-and-operated concessionaires in the United States. (You can read about its fascinating history — which began with a returning World War I veteran — here.)
For the past two years, the company has been using Square to sell Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island souvenirs, as well as food and drinks. So ahead of the Fourth of July weekend (by far the busiest time of the year), we caught up with Evelyn Hill Inc.’s Director of Retail Jose Sepulveda to learn what it’s like to sell at one of the country’s most iconic monuments.
Square: How many visitors do you get every year?
Sepulveda: The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island National Monument receives over 3.5 million visitors annually.
How many visitors do you get a day (on average)?
We average approximately 10 thousand people daily, but during the summer months we can see close to 20 thousand a day on the weekends. Last year’s attendance approximately four million in total.
What’s usually your biggest visitor day of the year?
Undoubtedly Fourth of July weekend. Memorial Day and Labor Day attract huge crowds as well.
What’s your top-selling merchandise item?
Everyone wants to take home a miniature of the Statue of Liberty, so we make sure to offer those in different sizes and price ranges to meet the needs of all of our customers. We have a replica for just about everyone.
What’s your top-selling food item?
Our food menu is pretty extensive and delicious. Our customers seem to love our specialty burgers and panini.
Are you doing anything special for the Fourth of July?
The very essence of Lady Liberty is independence, so every day here is like the Fourth of July. For the Fourth of July weekend we dress up our stores with banners and flags and bring out an old-time band to play patriotic songs throughout the day.
How does Square help you run things?
We’ve been using Square on Liberty Island for over two years. We find the Square tools easy to use, which makes it really simple to train our staff. Square makes the transaction process simpler and faster for both employees and customers. Setup is easy and using an iPad on Square Stand makes things look professional.
Happy almost Fourth of July, everyone.
Head to the Seller Spotlight section of Town Square for more profiles on unique independent businesses.