The classic neon LIQUOR sign stays put. But the interior of the store is evolving. In a great way! Though the neighbors and new owners cherish this neon sign that lights up the corner as the evening progresses, they also welcome the interior shop changes.
How did this young couple come to buy this business at 1111 MacArthur Blvd in Feb. of 2016?
“I wanted to leave the apparel business, “ claims fashion designer and now liquor store owner, Stacey Tingstrom. “I have always wanted to run my own business. Something I could call my own.” Stacey has been working at North Face in design and production (which she loves) and is still there part time, though most of her heart is at her new store. How did she pick this business?
“Well, this store is close to my home and seemed like something I could manage. I looked at franchises – like LEGO’S® and SUBWAY®. But it still was not my own business. I had to follow their branding rules. I had to use their signage and verbiage to perpetuate their brand.”
Being a passionate designer with her own creative spirit, Stacey kept looking. And what spurred her on was the change happening in her San Leandro neighborhood – houses were selling for over $800,000– very close to this possible business opportunity on MacArthur that she had stumbled upon in her research.
”This business stood out. It was close to home. When I learned more, I knew exactly what business it was. And we just wanted to run our own business.” When she asked her husband, “How about we buy the liquor store? And he said to me, how about no!” Simon finally came around. He had been in the restaurant business in the past and is a craft cocktail mixologist in the present, so he brought that customer knowledge and expertise to the table.
Stacey made an offer in July and it was accepted in August of 2015.
Escrow closed Feb. 16, 2016, and that month they went in and dismantled one set of shelving and moved their new freestanding display shelves they had created. The next month they took out another layer and Voila! – it was a changed place. Now, it is the Cordial Bottle Shop, exuding nuances of conviviality, and friendliness – a warm, beautiful and jovial place to spend time and find what you were looking for or something close to it.
It’s all about community. You will find neighbor Traci Ramos there working the shop or helping pull the visual displays together, as Traci is an interior design specialist. Cordial Bottle Shop’s strategy is to transform the store into a boutique shopping experience, yet maintain the corner store spirit with conversation and the lottery tickets! Stacey also aspires to becoming a boutique BevMo!, offering cheeses, deli meats and crackers. “I am trying to represent the neighborhood the way it is – we have craft beer and IPAs as well as Bud Light in the 24 oz cans. Our neighbors have a wide range of tastes and we hope to have something for everyone. I want to embody the neighborhood.”
Stacey and Simon live in San Leandro.
Cordial Bottle Shop
Address: 1111 MacArthur Blvd in San Leandro
Store hours: 1-8pm
Phone: (510) 686-1585