You may want to try searching the AHA, or just googling for some small neighborhood supply shops that are far away. Most people who want to run a LHBS are the types who like to give advice and help grow the community. Since you obviously wouldn't be directly competing with someone far away, their willingness to provide advice may extend to running the business.
Honestly though, I think only having gear, and not ingredients will make the business less viable, not more. How often does one buy a new pot or burner? Malted barley is pretty stable, as is DME. Yeast and LME are good for months, at least.
I have 2 shops within driving distance, neither is particularly convenient for me, both are higher priced than what NB says, but they look better once shipping gets added to NB's price. I have never gone to either shop looking for gear; only ingredients. I have bought gear from both, but it was always an impulse while shopping for ingredients. "Oooh, line cleaner, I think I may be low, better get a bottle while I'm here..."
Both shops I go to also sell raw coffee beans as well as roasting/grinding equipment, so they tap into tangential markets; never a bad idea. Given California's recent ballot initiative, there may be people interested in supplies for yet another tangential market... gardening supplies, pots, hydroponics, fertilizer, ... hookahs. Personally, that would be a turn-off for me, but I'd suspect I'm in the minority on that point.