It’s happening! We have a tentative grand opening of our first store. Just three months ago we relocated to Reserve, NM. Our family moved into a tiny two-bedroom adobe house, that I’m pretty sure was never lived in before. I think our house was always a retail space. It has been a restaurant, an antique shop, real estate office, and a gift shop. Now it houses Dom, me, and our youngest daughter Simone. The house is somewhere between 600-800 square feet, and we were determined to make it work for us.
Directly next door to our little adobe home is where we are building our roastery. In previous blog posts, I’ve talked about how we were going to build our roastery, but we ran into a chicken/egg situation. In order for us to build the roastery, it would mean that we need MONEY to make that happen. If we don’t have a place to sell our coffee, how do we make money? The main way we sell coffee is through online sales, mostly via Etsy, but for corporate accounts or anyone who is not comfortable using Etsy, I work via PayPal.
In the middle of February, I watched in horror as my Etsy shop went from having visits and views to almost nothing at all. With the exception of a few baby showers and wedding orders, we’ve had almost no business. This forced me to add a shop to our website which I was very apprehensive about. I consider anything e-commerce to be above my skill set. Let’s put it this way, more than a few times I’ve blown up my own websites. POOF! Made everything go white. The stress of building an e-commerce platform on Buffalo Mountain’s website caused me a great deal of grief and sadness.
I know that most of you don’t know me personally, something I’m hoping to remedy by writing on this blog. I’m human for sure and flawed most exquisitely (that’s not a bad thing!), so I can say with all confidence that while I’m really great at roasting coffee, I suck at e-commerce stuff. That’s just how it is. So, as you browse through my website (which I built…I take full responsibility for that too) hopefully it won’t be too unsightly or a jumbled mess. I’ll be adding new things to our online store as well as to our physical store over the next few months.
Back to the story of our grand opening…
We started selling coffee locally a few weeks ago and putting out the word that Catron County now has it’s very own coffee roaster. Prior to us putting out the word about our coffee, people would just try to walk into our house thinking it was still a gift shop. It’s a little unnerving to come out of the bathroom to see random people in my living room. It got Dom thinking about how we could make this dilemma work for us.
Dominic says to me, “So, honey, I have this idea! You are either gonna love to hate it, or hate to love it!” You see, I am a hardcore introvert who cherishes one on one time, quiet reflections, the sound of silence, and the need to recharge regularly since I live my life with two stunningly extroverted humans. Yep! Dom and Simone are both extroverts who love loud music, moving constantly, dancing, laughing and joking, and they soak up conversations like a solar array in lockstep with the sun. You might be asking yourself why I would hate his idea? Well, because it involved taking our tiny little adobe house and shrinking it down to even LESS living space, which means that my two favorite extroverts are sitting that much closer, my personal space is that much smaller, and there is nowhere for me to retreat to silence and to recharge.
Is this wood cool, or what?!
Dom wanted to put a wall up and create an actual storefront for our coffee company. It made sense to me, and so we moved our living room and dining room furniture out of the house, painted the walls, built a new wall, and BAM! we’re in the midst of creating a store. Are we cramped? Yes, but I gained an area to put orders together, and we’ll have a store.
One feature in our store is this new wall. I fell in love with the weathered wood that was sitting outside in a pile behind the roastery and another old building. Dom wanted to use the wood to build compost bins and garden beds, but there was too much beauty in that old wood.
I love the story these old wood planks tell of neglect, loss, extremes, and abandonment.They remind me of forgotten dreams, lost hopes, hard times, and lost moments.They are redeemed with new hopes and dreams and will add character to the shop.
We could have gone with drywall or something boring, but we felt that Buffalo Mountain is all about rustic luxury. Its rough, smooth, gilded, constantly moving, and at times, refined.
May 1st we’ll be opening the doors, if we can get everything accomplished that still needs to be done.
The things left to do:
- Finish painting the trim
- Finish building the wood wall
- Add two interior doors: one for our bedroom and one for my studio/kitchen space
- Paint the floor
- Hang chandelier
- Hang shelves
- Bring in the display cabinet
- Paint exterior entrance door
- Order new business signs
- Add products
That’s a LOT to do in just two weeks.
It’s coming together. There is a piece of wood in the photo that is leaning up against the wall. That larger piece will go over the top of the doorway. It was a piece that spoke to Dom, and as he was building the wall, he kept wondering where this one wood plank should go. Then he realized that it needed to go above the door.
In front of this wall will be a set of shelves we saved from an old abandoned building.
Dom still needs to build the door jam and install the doors leading to our kitchen and also to our bedroom.
Keep us in your thoughts because two weeks is going to go by so quickly! I fear we won’t be ready, but we will do everything we can to be as close to ready as possible.