Category Archives: Pre-Opening

The Whine

Everything’s done and ready to go.

And I can’t open the doors.

The deck has to be done tomorrow, doesn’t it? If it’s done and the inspector approves us, then I can open the doors. We won’t have any wine until Thais goes to Raleigh but I can sell books before then!

Check back on April Fool’s day. We will see who’s the fool then!


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Permit is a Four-Letter Word!

Something I learned very quickly on the road to entrepreneurship is that just about the time you’ve put all of the pieces into place, you find out there was a permit for piece placing and now you have to start all over.

Permits? We don’ need no stinkin’ permits!!

Okay, we do, but why does it have to be such a long road? The building inspector was at the store this morning when I arrived at 8:45. The ramp isn’t done yet and we need to have a welder out to finish the metal hand rails. It was a damp day in the beautiful South and no welder in their right mind would think of throwing out an arc in that weather. So, no approval means no permit means we can’t open yet.


Thankfully, the ad that promised we would be open started running on tv today. The ultimate joke’s on me! So, we’re shooting for Wednesday, March 31 as our opening date.

Otherwise, I will be such an April Fool.

But, the store is beautiful and ready to go. At least everything except the wines which we can’t stock until we get our permit. Which we can’t have until after the building permit. Which we can’t have until after the ramp is finished.

So how is May looking? You guys busy then? Maybe I can have the doors open by then.

Until then, browse through the rooms electronically.

The Front of the Store

The Best Sellers Room

The Children’s Room

The Stacks

The Kitchen

The Best Cellars

Back of the Store

Come visit me on Wednesday. I hope.


Filed under Building, Pre-Opening

What’s a Couple More Days?

So, bad news…

We won’t have everything done in time to open on Friday like we hoped. Even if we rushed. We just can’t get everything done in time and get the permits. So we’ve moved the date back to Monday, March 29.

We have planned to have the Grand Opening from April 9th through the 11th.

On the plus side, Adelle and Cindy from Casanova’s Coffee and Fudge came to see me first thing this morning. Not only are they both really wonderful people, their coffees and fudge are amazing. Their store was the first place I ever did a book signing. We are going to have Casanova’s coffee for sale by the cup as well as ground in bags to take home. We will also have a variety of their mouth watering fudge prepackaged for sale.

Just as Adelle and Cindy left, the ABC training class started. That’s the neat little class where we learn how to not sell to minors. It was actually a very interesting class.

While we were paying attention to the instructor, all of us sitting in chairs in the middle of the kids reading room, a big truck pulled up in front of the store. They unloaded a pallet of my books! Everyone in the store who wasn’t taking the class unpacked the pallet and carried the books inside.

The store is really coming together and the echoing has ceased since we are filling up the shelves. The big bookcases are mounted to the walls and we are sorting out the books.

We have lots of nice baskets to make into gift baskets and the pegboards on the walls display Xelene jewelry.

Artists have been coming by and bringing artwork. Daphne Chipman and Margie Thomas brought some beautiful work over and they’re going to let us hang it on the walls.

Yesterday, my buddy Bob came by again and brought a couple more of his pieces, too.

Not bad for a colorblind guy. Here are some of his smaller pieces:

Just after the artists left, Lori with NC Wine Press stopped by. Her magazine is very informative for the wine connoisseurs and novices both.

After that, as my day was finally winding down, Kathleen stopped by with 2010 calendars for us to see. She’s going to bring us a couple of boxes that we can give away.

So, if you’re in the area – I have books to read, art to adorn the walls and tables (And the floors too. Don’t forget Renae’s floorcloths), a nice hot cup of Casanova’s coffee and a sweet taste of fudge, and please pick up a couple of calendars on your way out!

Can you wait until Monday though? Maybe by then, I will have wine too!


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Moving Forward

When I arrived at work this morning, I was greeted by the hammering of a deck and wheelchair ramp being built! They’re assuring us they can get everything done on time, so we have our fingers crossed that we can open the doors on Friday. Even if we can’t we are planning a grand opening from April 9th through the 11th. This event will coincide with J. Conrad Guest appearing along with his debut book, “Backstop: A Love Story in Nine Innings“. We are also going to have Bolt from the Winston Salem Dash come out on the 10th. I’m looking forward to it!

Renae from came by today and brought us some beautiful floor cloths to sell in the store. It may  be difficult to get the idea from the website so you really should come see them in the store. I love these. They are gorgeous hand painted floor pieces that are flexible and easy to clean. It’s art for the floor. My only worry is how to display them because no one wants to walk on them. It’s ok. That’s what they’re for. Special thanks to Becky for getting us in touch with Renae. Renae also does special orders on the floorcloths.

My buddy, Bob, “the colorblind artist”, yes really… and he’s fabulous. He brought me a sampling of paintings today as well. We put a small one on an easel in the front window. It’s very small. It’s on the window sill. It’s purple. We should get the tracks up and be able to hang some of the art that’s coming in and then I will post pictures.

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Word is Spreading!

Just for fun, let’s share a little:

We love the downtown Winston-Salem blog for keeping our name out there while we work on getting open. Thank you!

This article is cool too because they are also supporting Gusto who is in the fabulous building on the corner from us. If you look at the picture, you can see the corner of our blue awning behind the Gusto store.

We’re mentioned in there along with the fact that our building has vinyl siding on it. We have no idea what it looked like before the siding but we have no control over that. That’s a decision for the building owner to make, not the tenant! It doesn’t detract from the charm of the inside of the building and I hope they will come visit us anyway! This was a little blurb that showed up in Yes Weekly.


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Then Again, Maybe Not

I got to work early and climbed the ladder of success – right into the back door of the store. I’m not doing it tomorrow. After lunch our “volunteers” took the lock from the front door to a locksmith and had it rekeyed so we can use it to get in.

We waited all morning for the hammering to begin but the back of the building remained silent. Finally, we got a call back from the guy building the deck.

His crew can’t come until Monday.

It will take 3 to 5 days to complete and we can’t get our permits or final inspections until it’s all complete, so I don’t think we will be able to open on Friday either. Maybe on Saturday… or Monday… or sometime in July.

But at least tomorrow I don’t have to climb the ladder.


Filed under Back of the Store, Building, Front of the Store, Pre-Opening

The Count Down Begins!

Today, several volunteers also known as “husbands” ripped out our back deck. It’s going to be replaced by a new deck with a wheelchair ramp and this pile of lumber is what’s been holding us up from being open. There’s only so much we can do with the inside of a 104 year old building, but we can certainly revise this addition to the building. The deck was built securely and it took a lot of muscle power for our volunteers to get the deck down. It also took a full size truck (not mine, thankfully) to pull the supports and bottom braces down.

I used a ladder to climb down to get out of the building and tomorrow, I have to get in the building before the construction crew shows up to start building the new deck or else I might not get in! So back up the ladder I will go in the morning. It will take 3 to 5 days to get the deck finished.

My first book order will show up on Wednesday.

I get to practice and train on the POS system on Thursday.

And… (insert drumroll here)… we are planning to open the doors and have our first sales on Friday March 26, 2010! We are planning to have the grand opening in April.

I forgot to take pictures of the store without the deck but I will try to remember and post them tomorrow!


Filed under Back of the Store, Pre-Opening