Before the holidays, Shannon and I made a couple of trips to Wilmington in search of our new location. My heart has been set on The Forum with a second alternative, LandFall Center. BTW, it is extremely difficult to get reliable realtors to "Work" in Wilmington. By work, I mean the decency to return a phone call. If you don't keep your potential clients updated with a simple call you are just unprofessional and I don't fly that way. I have an extreme pet peeve about phone calls and email etiquette. Even if its a call or message I don't want to return, I do. Not everyone has my work ethic and I really have to accept that. For those reading and "get it" you know what I mean.
I share the crazy above because it really caused us to "rethink" our focus on "where" we wanted to be located. On January 6 we closed our shop for the day in Kinston and we traveled back to Wilmington to pound the pavement and put some pressure on these "property management" guys who claim they are busy! We need answers today! I have the patience of a gnat. Seriously! We found out that Landfall has a non-compete and Food Lion would have an issue with our presence. Really? Really? Apple Annies, a full blown bakery just relocated to The Forum from Landfall. Did Food Lion have a problem with Apple Annies? No, they just have a problem with cupcakes. Oh jeez louise! The Forum, these folks are not worth my time any longer. Repeated phone calls and only once have we heard back from these folks. They do not have a non-compete but they need to find out if Apple Annie's has a problem. Well, being that Shannon himself is in real estate being 4th generation with his family business and a BIC/Broker himself, he says they are breaking the real estate law by doing just that. Well, rather than cause a stink if they did come back to say, "no", we decided to leave them alone. I already know it would be an act of congress to get an answer on anything should we lease a space from them.
After fine tooth combing all of Wilmington, our day felt uneventful. On our drive back to Kinston, I knew we didn't have any free days coming soon to venture back. Was today eventful or uneventful? Depends on how you see it. I always say things happen for a reason. The good Lord works in mysterious ways. What we realized is that we may have been looking in the wrong areas. Maybe the shopping malls are not such a good idea. Every place we were interested in had a grocery store chain and they all have non-competes. It gave us some closure, however. So, I thought we should close once again on Tuesday to come back and maybe rethink the downtown area. We love downtown but I was really apprehensive due to parking. Folks buy our cuppies by the dozen and I was really concerned about the lady in heels trying to get back to her vehicle 3 blocks away with 2 dozen cuppies before the buttercream melted. Friends strongly discouraged us from thinking this way. "They are used to this type of shopping and will cope," is what we were reminded of.
Tuesday, January 7, was a good day. We met a lot of great people. On foot, we searched every space looking for possibilities. Some places would be great but no contact info. It was on our last block that Shannon noticed a "for lease" sign and after walking in speaking with the gentleman, we had a great feeling this could be the new TPC location. I am trying really hard not to get too attached to the space until we get it in writing. It will take us a bit to get things lined up to present to move forward, but I have to admit, I'm already having a hard time sleeping at night because I can't help for redesigning the layout and such. Where the counter top will be displayed, what type of wall surface and moldings could make the place sparkle with a new shine!
Until then, we'll keep you posted!