Late last year I realized we couldn't go through another busy holiday season in our current space. Our store's kitchen, which does triple duty as our stock room, break room, and shipping and receiving station, was so crowded that it was a constant struggle to make sure it wasn't a fire hazard. In December we were often building boxes on the retail floor because it was the only place in the building with adequate space. My office had long since been taken over by African baskets. Clearly we needed more space and a better layout.
|Oh, no, not the UPS guy again! Where are we going to put this stuff?|
Early this year I began looking for commercial space for lease around North Kitsap and even in Seattle. I soon realized that I wanted to stay put in Port Gamble. The town is as sweet and appealing as can be, and we have a tight-knit business community and supportive landlords. Rent is relatively inexpensive, and in the nearly three years I've been here I've seen the town get steadily busier. I've also worked hard to get established here, and it would take a very compelling set of circumstances to compel me to start over elsewhere (I am open to expanding to a second store eventually.)
|The Morrill Pope House, our new home as of March 25th.|
Fortunately, in February I got word that a building just two doors down from our current location would be available in April. The Morrill Pope House is about 30% larger than our current space, and also a large, sunny deck and a dry, secure shed. Its layout is better for both retail space and for back-end operations. We're moving later this month and hope to be fully relocated as of March 25th.
We plan to keep our doors open for business throughout the moving process, which will be a huge challenge. We'll move the operations rooms first, and then the retail spaces will be done after hours.
Looking a bit further ahead, our three year anniversary is May 8th, and World Fair Trade Day is May 11th. We'll celebrate those along with our grand opening at the new place the weekend of May 11th-12th. More information to come later. Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the final days of our time in the New York House.