I started PKG in July 2010, solely online and ran the business out of my house. I put the inventory in the basement on shelves that lined the concrete warehouse with the book collection upstairs to avoid any dampness absorbing into the paper. I bought a $500 laptop – that I am currently typing on – and jammed the boxes behind the shipping table that was a leftover from my old house so I didn’t have to buy another one. It was a little messy, but it kept overhead low, really low. There was a good amount of inventory and I learned a lot over the 15 months we were online and now things – capital and location – fell into place for a brick and mortar to be a reality.
The brand of PKG – connecting the professional chef and the home chef – would not have been completely envisioned unless we had a brick and mortar location. We wouldn’t be able to carry some of the products that our competitors carry and more importantly wouldn’t be able to engage our incredible customers in a face-to-face setting.
I am more than glad that I was able to have the online store and feel out everything from my vendors to my costs to my shipping to my customers before planting ourselves in Greenville. It was a learning experience and risk mitigation factor. It literally cost me less $100 a month to run the business. The money we spent was put into the things that mattered, like the products. This was one of the most important things from the way I saw it.
On October 29th I opened our doors at 4021E Kennett Pike in Greenville. It was a fast and aggressive build-out. The opening was phenomenal thanks to family, friends and great new customers even though it rained and snowed, but every day I learn something new: what products to carry, when deliveries come and are picked up, which vendors are aligned with our brand and those that aren’t.
While there are moments that I shake my head with W-T-F moments; everyday I have been so happy with the results of the store. My team that works with me gives me great feedback and it is a relief to know while I am at the helm, I have the best group looking out for the metaphorical iceberg.
So, to memorialize the W-T-F moments and the incredibly awesome times I had opening the store, I made a daily video blog on our YouTube Channel. If you don’t watch all of them.. watch Day 1 and Day 40. Oh, and come into the store and say hello. You won’t be disappointed.
Cook Well & Eat Great!