In the few days before lease signing, we checked to see if there was another hot sauce store anywhere in our vicinity. There wasn’t. That was good.
We needed a license, but first we needed a name. I thought there was an advantage to having a Tecumseh store address and that Tecumseh should part of the name.
Tecumseh Hot Sauce Company and Tecumseh Hot House were contenders, but boring. We tried to find something that rhymed with our last name and made sense with what we would be trying to sell. That didn’t go well. It was impossible.
Jeff suggested Jeff & Jodi’s Joint. I debated whether or not that could be misconstrued for a bar or a head-shop. It also didn’t say anything about what we were trying to sell. For example, The Chocolate Vault in Tecumseh obviously sold chocolate. They sold other stuff too, of course, but at least it was specific enough.
We decided to keep working on the name game, after dinner. Over Jeff’s homemade tomato sauce and pasta, we dream-talked about what would make our store wonderful. A frequent buyer card, taste testing, grand opening mailing list, a good variety of product.
It was also important to get a solid idea of what kind of up-front cash we would need.
In retrospect, I don’t suppose it matters what type of retail space you have, if it’s only 10 x 10.
There are many advantages to limited size: cheap rent, not a lot of room for fixtures, limited stock space, and one person can cover the whole store by themselves. I know some of these don’t seem like good things, but when you have small, your expenses are small.
Sure, only 2-3 other people could fit in there at a time, but that was good for conversation, which Jeff was very good at. Because I’d worked in retail in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York City, I happily declared that this would prevent shop-lifting stock loss.
“But,” Jeff tsk-ed.,“…this… is… Tecumseh…” he finished with obvious hometown pride.
Clearing the table, I pitched another possible store name. “Hey, how about Jeff & Jodi’s Hot Spot?” I proposed. “Boy,” he exclaimed on a burst of laughter, “I don’t think of hot sauce when I hear that …. sounds like you’re talkin’ ’bout your lady parts!”
“Eek!” I giggled. “Fine,” I volleyed back. “How about just Jeff’s Hot Spot, then?”
“Nah,” Jeff said. “I don’t like that. We’re doing this together.”
Quote for the Week:
Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:
Choosing a Business Name: Don’t
Choosing a Business Name: Do
Choosing a Business Name: Licensing