When I walk into a wine shop, I’m like a kid in a candy store, so buying a liquor store seemed like a good idea at the time. I started my adult working life as a musician and piano teacher and knew that the entrepreneurial spirit was within me. As a late thirty-something, an opportunity for a corporate-type day job presented itself and I changed my career path. For a while there were places to go, people to meet, and new things to learn, but eventually I grew restless and needed a change.
Since the 1980’s my husband, the engineer, has operated a side business developing, selling and supporting Point of Sale (POS) and inventory software for local liquor stores. Through his business relationships with his clients he gained familiarity with the liquor business. As he had reached the same lack of excitement in his day job as I, we began discussing the idea of starting or buying our own business. Our common interest in wine and spirits made a liquor store seem like a good fit.
We researched liquor businesses that were listed for sale by going on reconnaissance missions posing as customers. Some were too large, others too small, but eventually we found the right size business in a prime location in the corner of an “L” shaped shopping center anchored by a supermarket.
Our first step inside was like exploring a creepy cave. The large window in the front of the store was completely covered with old beer posters and blocked by a shelving unit straight from an employee’s basement. A beautiful cherry wood cabinet across from the checkout counter was covered in dust and “decorated” with oddly placed bottles and superfluous knickknacks. Meager lighting cast gloomy shadows on the merchandise. The store had its share of eccentricities, but given the size and location, it showed as a diamond in the rough.