Psst. Don’t be afraid. Contrary to what you may be hearing, it’s all right to go shopping. I actually shopped in broad daylight Saturday and guess what? I wasn’t a bit embarrassed. You can really get good bargains (try the 3 B’s on Broadway or the Grocery Outlet, you’ll be surprised and amazed — good deals on Zeppole bread and decadent Dellalo dipping oil at 3 B’s, Norma Jean merlot at G.O. ).
And guess what? It’s not all shuttered doors and “closed” signs out there. Yeah, some retail stores and restaurants have closed and others may join them, but — there are many out there, open for business and weathering the storm. Some are even seeing growth. Seriously.
Here are a couple to cheer for, send me more so I can pass the good news along:
• See Jane Run Director of Marketing Deb DiFanti said that in January, the stores’ sales actually grew by 20 percent. Plus, the store is launching a local See Jane Run Half Marathon and 5K “I run for chocolate and Champagne” in Boise on June 20. A portion of each registration will go to Boise Komen for the Cure. http://www.seejanerun.com/t-See-Jane-Run-Half-Marathon-and-5K.aspx
• Locally-owned and operated Goodwood Barbecue Company
http://www.goodwoodbbq.com/ was founded in 1999 by Steve Cooper and Mike Mantooth and is still going strong. Recently, I spoke with Kevin Hughes, area director for the Boise market, about Goodwood’s ongoing success in the current economy.
“Sales-wise, we’re maintaining,” Hughes said. “We’ve reduced our management levels at each of our stores, but no one’s hit the unemployment line.” Hughes said it’s important to pay close attention to the numbers and monitor your business accordingly.
One of the first things the company did was bring staff members together and talk turkey — about what was happening with the economy and the affects it would have on everyone, including employee AND customer, or “guest” spending.
“It’s an overall education that we’re all in this together,” Hughes said, adding that more and more, he’s seeing the dining-out experience become more special. “It’s become a conscious decision. People can’t afford to do it five times a week anymore and when they do go out, they want a special occasion. We want to provide the best possible experience. We’ve always stressed the value of our staff, but out of a pride factor, a sense of community factor, we owe our guests the best possible experience when they come through our doors.”
And, Goodwood has not raised menu prices, reduced portion sizes or substituted ingredients to save money. “We make things from scratch,” Hughes said proudly. “We view our business as building relationships with people.”
Hughes said Goodwood customers are pulling for the restaurant company
“People come in saying, ‘gosh, we’re so glad you’re so busy.’ It’s remarkable,” said Hughes. “It almost brings tears to your eyes.”