Friday, July 22, 2016

How We Went About Bringing Business In.

The first thing that we were counselled to do was to put up a bulletin board for ideas, no matter how harebrained, no matter if we knew that we could or would ever to be able to execute these ideas; the point was that an idea is an idea and from little acorns big oaks could grow OR squirrels could be fed.
 Next we went about networking.
We did weekly Happy Hours
Yard sales
Took the free classes offered

The Cost of Doing Business

            After ten years in the same location, making a name for ourselves, building up business to a point of profit and getting comfortable in our skins as book sellers; it came as a shock when the landlord in conjunction with the property management company decided to increase our rent 115% take it or leave it (they both said that it was the other entity's idea). We were also told to expect another 3-5% increase per year after that. And it looked like we would have to 'move it (the shop) or lose it'.
          And so after searching for another location we eventually settled one our new one. Close to home, more space, indoor plumbing and off street parking, what could go awry? Money.
       The reality of staying in business is this: you have to take in as much, if not more, money that it costs you to run your business.
      We found a spot that would cost us not much more than our old (we now call it our 'old') shop a,d closed down (losing money in sales) and moved. We went from $2,000.00 a month in rent to $2,500.00 a month with an increase over the first four years until we will reach $3,000.00 a month. After paying first month and last month, we were in.
      And then comes turning on the lights, the phone and computer, the internet service, the insurance, the alarm system, office supplies and the moving expenses. Well, the moving we did mostly on out own. We opened up almost immediately.
    We make our own signage we do our own networking, we do everything we can to save money; but again, you have to take in money, and that is not happening at this point.
   Picture it: we lose $5,000.00 in sales while we're closed, we spend a few thousand moving, we plop down five large to secure the space, pay between 3 and 6 a month for utilities, the computer and printer need replacing, we have business insurance (per lease agreement) burglar alarm system, the air conditioner blows a motor, taxes, Blue Cross, the cost of the car to keep running, inspected, gassed up and insured not to mention our living expenses.  Our sales took a hit immediately; our sales dropped 70% and our expenses increased by 25% and we we're lucky. Those few months were traditionally our 'busy' months. The the slow months came and our business went down to 10% of what it should have been. Not so lucky. The question that you may ask is: well where did the money come from to keep your doors open while you worked seven days a week with no pay?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Who is Kitchen Witch Cookbooks?

Kitchen Witch Cookbook shop as it is, was started in 1999 on Rampart st. in New Orleans by Philipe and his daughters who soon found other men that they were more interested in. The Rampart location was a disaster for growing a business and closed after four years.
Philipe and Debbie went through a huge hurricane and other growing pains as a couple, and chose to further test their relationship by reopening the shop at 631 Toulouse St upon coming back from Hurricane Katrina evacuation.
After ten years of working to make the business a success,  lease complications rendered us a new location at 1452 N. Broad St. as our front door and 2526 Bayou Rd, as our back door, see?           Front door, back  door. this is the back door and the front door, they are both open from 10:30 in the morning to 5:30 at evening time (give or take a few minutes) seven days a week.     The phone # is 504-528-8382


Well, you're on page one of our new blog for the shop. Why a blog, when we have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, website, email and the ability to send smoke signals? Good question. The answer is so that our interested, those that are interested, friends, clients, neighbors, relatives and other loved ones can keep up with what we're doing as a business, read tidbits about food and events.
This page will serve as an introduction to us,  Debbie Lindsey and Philipe LaMancusa, the owner operators of a unique brick and mortar cookbook shop in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hopefully we'll be able to link our other venues (electronically speaking) to this site and visa versa. Bear with us.
In blog posts to come we will introduce ourselves to you, personally, privately and politely.
See you  on the next blog and thanks for tuning in.