Preparing for a General Store

My parents and family are so good to me.  I often get some crazy ideas.  I’ll look at something and my wheels start turning.  Suddenly, I’m not sleeping at night and I’m making plans to execute my idea.  The ideas usually stem from observations I’ve made from places that I’ve visited.  Sometimes I fall flat on my face, where other times, they are great successes.

Enter.  The General Store.

As I’ve mentioned here, it’s hard for a small business to compete with larger ones simply because we aren’t offered the same bulk rate.  I’m purchasing one hundred shirts a year for re-sale where Golf Galaxy is purchasing shirts for all of their stores nationwide.  I don’t know how many, but I’m pretty sure it’s several more than one hundred.  That means they get a bigger discount which they can pass on to their consumer.

About ten years ago, some of the companies, like Titleist, offered an exclusive option where only the Golf Shops carried particular items.  Over the years, this practice is no longer in place.  That means that we have a lot of square footage of space that doesn’t get used as efficiently as it should because golfers buy their supplies at Wal-mart, Golf Galaxy, Target – you get the picture.

Then, I went to the Junk Jubliee and found Laura with The Rusty Pumpkin.

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I realized that I wanted our Golf Shop to look just like Laura’s displays with some golf supplies in amongst the mix.

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Theresa had already given our Golf Shop a fun vintage flare with her eye for display, like our Bridgestone Golf ball display she had made last year, so this was a natural transition for us.  We hope that this will be a better use of our space, plus it’ll be a fun new store for our community!

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I came home and talked to the family about my idea.  They were apprehensive, but the more they thought about it, the more they thought it sounded like a lot of fun.  Let’s turn our Golf Shop into a Golf Shop, General Store, and more.  Our General Store will also feature a Bakery where my mom (the kitchen guru) will be baking up lots of fabulous foods daily.  If you need your cinnamon roll fix, it’s coming.

Last week, I met Laura with the Rusty Pumpkin and our brains got turning as she looked around our shop.  She requested more wall space, if possible.  I started thinking about the flow of our operation and what we could change.  This is the wall of our main food computer.  It happens to be the main spot where golfers check in.  That wasn’t our original intent, but is simply how the flow naturally evolved over the years.  (Sorry, I didn’t get an official before shot with wall hangings and candy display).

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The trouble is that the golfer had to go into the Golf Shop to purchase tees, balls, or gloves.  It wasn’t horrible to get in a few extra steps, but it was something that could easily be altered.  I asked my carpenter if I could remove these upper cabinets from the Golf Shop without ruining them.  Before I knew it, the screws holding it in place were removed.

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It was carried (on a cart) over to our main food area.

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Then, they hoisted it into place.

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Next up, they needed to remove the wooden paneling which required loosening the counter top, so it could be slid out from behind the cabinet.

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Here’s how our Golf Shop counter now looks.  Kind of bare, but we have plans.  Oh yes.  We have plans.

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Here’s a peak at our new main food display.  There’s plenty more to be done to finalize everything.

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The best part about this big change is my mom and dad don’t know anything about it.  This post is their first glimpse because they left us to go someplace warmer for the winter.   Have you ever done a crazy surprise on your parents?  We’re known for them around these parts.

Post by Allison

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