It was a gorgeous day in Charlotte today! After a trip to the Waxhaw Farmer's Market this morning where I got fresh, organic strawberries, some handmade soap (of course) and lettuce cut right out of the pot it was grown in (see video). I also enjoyed a cup of coffee with Mark Hernig, the artisan broom maker I told you about last week.
Yesterday, I spent the afternoon in Irmo, SC, at the Cookie TweetUp at Blue Flour Best Baked Goods. As a one-time retail storekeeper (and not a very good one), I am interested in entrepreneurs who open bricks and mortar locations when they could easily sell online and not worry about retail store overhead and security issues. I asked Teri Pringle, Blue Flour's owner about this. I recorded her answers on this video. If you want to skip all the cookie information at the beginning (and I can't imagine why you would), Teri's answer about retail stores begins at 2:15. In case you can't see the video, I've summarized what Teri said about retail below.
Teri needed a physical location where she could operate a commercial kitchen as required by local health ordinances, but it was never her intention to be open to the public. But within a month or so of launching her business, she received a surprisingly large number of requests from customers who wanted to come into a physical location where they could browse and chat with Teri. Even though it was totally unexpected, and not a part of her plan, in order to be responsive to her customers, she decided to establish some walk-in hours.
Today, Teri is open on Fridays only, from 10 to 4. She plans to increase her retail hours in the near future, and also offer coffee, tea and other beverages. She also plans to add a covered table and chair area where customers can stay longer, get to know each other and enjoy Teri's home-baked hospitality more frequently.
You can see all of the photos from the Cookie TweetUp at the FaceBook Page here.
Blue Flour is located at 7703 St. Andrews, Road, Irmo, SC, or you can call 803 407-3603. You can also shop online of course.