Today our Main Street Malls interview is with Allen of AB Cooks Corner.
Viviene: Have you always been interested in the restaurant business and have you in the past owned any restaurants?
Allen: NO! When I got discharged from the Navy the country was in a recession and there were no jobs to be had. My Father wanted to open a Restaurant, so we became partners and opened NY style Deli. Later I opened a Delivery Sub Shop that did very well.
Viviene: How much of a difference does a quality cooking implement make in a chef's or everyday person's life?
Allen: In the Restaurant Business, your equipment is used a lot more than in your Home Kitchen. It is also used by employees who don't always take good care of it. So if you purchase ordinary implements from the Grocery store, you often have to replace them within days. A good utensil is constructed to take the day to day abuse in a Food Service environment and will last much longer. They also tend to be better designed making them easier and more comfortable to use.
Viviene: How do you select the vendors you purchase your items from?
Allen: My major vendors sell quality implements built for the Food Service Industry. I generally look for suppliers who carry sturdy, quality built merchandise that is not easily found. If I wouldn't use the product, I can't expect a buyer to be happy with it.
Viviene: Is there any item that is not available in cookware now that you would like to see in the near future?
Allen: Not that I can think of offhand, but new and better implements are introduced all the time. If I feel there is a market for the item, I will try to find a supplier so I can stock it.
Viviene: What is the best thing about being in business for yourself?
Allen: I think it's being the primary decision maker. I am a success or failure based on the decisions I make and not someone else’s. That keeps me learning and gives me a feeling of accomplishment when I succeed.
Viviene: You're a successful seller with an Ebay store? Why open up on Main Street?
Allen: eBay is actively trying to discourage listing in eBay Stores, they have reduced the visibility, raised fees tremendously and are actively discouraging the Store Inventory Format listings. Their current contest specifically excludes eBay Store listings. So I needed to diversify and start generating sales somewhere else. Main Street Malls Online offered a good price, Great Customer Service and a place to sell my goods with Marketing Support.
Viviene: What goals do you have for your business at Main Street in the future?
Allen: My main goal is to become successful enough, that I am not dependent on eBay for my livelihood. eBay has their own vision which is anti-business and to unstable to base a successful business. Main Street Malls gives me the freedom and stability to implement a long term strategy.
Viviene: Allen’s stores are located at:
Allen's Slideshow code