Hangers For My Business

You probably already know but I am a French man living in Portland and absolutely loving it.  As I have gone through my journey I have started and opened up a French boutique organic market.

Something that I love to talk about are my adventures in starting and running this business and how me being French is a total advantage.  Being French in America is awesome.  The ladies love the accent and we French people in America tend to stick together.  Plus being French and having impeccable good taste in everything makes me an unstoppable force here in Portland.

When I was starting my store I wanted everything to be the best.  When I mean everything I mean everything from the best food to having the best door knobs on the doors.  I wanted to show the public that when they shop at my store they are going to be getting the best with no questions ask.

So after the store was up and running and I got all my sources figures out for the food and wine I needed to start looking at the fine details.  And when I mean the fine details that is when I started to get real picky about the looks of the place.

I figured I could go the crusty organic look or the chic organic fashion look.  Needles to say I went for the chic look.  I figured being in Portland everyone was going for the crusty organic look and I have some self respect so their was no way I was going to do that.

The first item I sought out was hangers.  To you that might sound like a weird time to go all out on but the hanger is the first item people really notice.  Since I actually do have an area for people to hang up their rain coast while shopping.  So I went on an all out search for the perfect hangers.  I did not want the plastic or the plain wire ones.  Eventual I found some online.  They are copper hangers.  And let me tell you they are amazing and look extremely stylish.  You would be surprised at how many compliments I get for my hangers and don’t kid yourself people always do notice the hangers you are using.  They can essentially be the first time to judge you on.

The next item I really wanted to impress with was the door knobs.  Believe it or not but everyone notices your door knobs and you have door knobs all over the place whether you know it or not.  I counted 15 door knobs in my place.  So again I did an extensive search for door knobs and found the perfect ones.  Believe it or not after all the searching I did I ended up at Home Depot for door knobs.  I know that is kind of lame but that is where I ended up.  And again you would be amazed at how many compliments I get for my door knobs.

I have to admit that my styles and are pretty amazing.  I am very detail oriented and I thing that is a huge advantage for me over my competition.  People want to come to a place and they want to feel like they are shopping at the best place.  When they feel they are at the best place then they are willing to spend more money and that is what I want.  I am not your run of the mill crusty organic market.  I am an upscale organic market and the people of Portland love that and they love that I am French.

They get the best meat, produce, groceries and wine.  My shop is the best and everything about it is the best down to the hardware and toilet paper used.  No one is ever disappointed when they come.

Welcome To Portland Mold

If you ever hear me complaining about Portland please do not take it the wrong way.

I absolutely love Portland and everything about it but like anywhere you will live there are always things that drive you absolutely nuts.  Like if you live in the South you are always complaining about the excessive humidity and heat in the summer but in the Winter you are loving life because it is warm and not snowing.

Here in Portland we have to deal with the wet damp winters.  And guess what loves wet damp winters?  It’s the worst thing ever for a building or basement and it is mold.

Mold absolutely sucks.  It even has health hazards attached to it.

It’s not one of those things you can ignore and hope it goes away.  It does not go away and the more you ignore it the more it will cost you to fix.  So even if you do not have the money you have to fix it right away because it will end up costing you a fortune in the future even if you plan on selling the house because the inspections will force you to fix it.

So with my little French market I ran into a mold issue which was caused by some water leaking into the rafter or trusses and then spread to the ceiling which is how I noticed it.  Now since it is a food market I had to deal with it right away.

But at first I did not know what I was dealing with so I need to have mold inspection.  I first contacted all of my French contacts and I found a french mold inspection company in Portland.  They are http://moldinspectionportland.net

Thank goodness I found a reliable inspection company because I was ready to call a contractor and just have them tear the whole roof down right away.  I found out that a large portion I could just take care of myself with bleach and a strong bristled brush.  But the other half I had to hire a professional that had the proper training and equipment to take care of the mold because it was hazardous to your health if dealt with directly.

I don’t know much about mold but from what read about on the CDC’s website.  I don’t want to mess with it if it is a hazardous mold.  That stuff can be nasty if not treated with the proper respect.

But again I am so glad that I found a French comrade again that was really able to help me out and get me going on the right path.

Later I found out that the mold was growing in that particular location for a while and the previous owners just did a number to hide the problem so the building would pass inspection.  I was able to prove that they hid the problem therefore I was able to get them to pay for the repairs because I took them to court.

Pretty much the lesson learned is to take care of you mold problems right away.

Keep on keeping on Portland

French Portland Towing Company

You might be wondering what is a post about a tow truck company doing on this blog about my amazing bio friendly organic grocery shop in Portland.

If you read my other posts you will know I am going to be telling you about some of my adventures as a shop owner and starting my amazing business here in this city that I love so much Portland Oregon.

When you move to a foreign country to start a life for yourself you naturally gravitate to people and stuff that you know.  You also become loyal to business owned my people from your country.  Its not just like that here in America but its like that in every country.  In France I noticed that Americans were like that and so were every other nationality that decided to move in.

It not people being exclusive or prejudice its just people gravitating towards something they are familiar and comfortable with.  Their is nothing wrong with it, it’s just the way it is.  Plus its really nice to talk to someone in your own native language sometimes and just talk about back home.  Whenever I get homesick I will do that.  Which does happen sometimes believe it or not.  I do mis my parents and siblings even though they come and visit often.

A unique part of my shop is that I will deliver groceries to the elderly within a certain mile radius.  So I have to have a delivery truck.  I deliver groceries because its old country and that is what I want my store to fell like and when you deliver a unique service to people that really need it you create loyal clients for life.

One day my delivery truck broke down and I needed a tow.  So naturally I called one of my French friends in town that is very well connected with everything and everyone in the city and asked if their was a French owned tow truck company in town and he directed me to http://towingportland.org which as you can imagine is a tow truck company owned rom someone from France.

I called and immediately we started to talk in our native tongue and I come to find out that we grew up in the same village.  Not as the same time but he knew my family name and I heard of his.  What a small world it is.

So he came and took care of me and brought my truck to a French owned mechanic that he said would be fair and honest with me especially since I was French.

But the best part was that they did not know about my shop and were delighted to learn about and now they are some of my best customers.

Don’t just think that if you build it they will come because they won’t.  You have to get out and start talking about your business and use your connections to get people to your business.

Their is no shame in promoting your business to friends, family or anyone that you strike a conversation with.

So was intrigued by the idea of networking to get business so immediately I went to the old trusty internet to look for ideas of networking for business and came across an awesome article in wikipedia.  And then I clicked on multiple articles from there and now I am a savage networker where ever I go so watch out.

Portland Bio Wine

As you read from my earlier posts.  I am from France and very proud of it.

My little boutique grocery store is doing really well.  In fact it is doing way better than I ever thought it would.  But what I have found really amazing is the surprising wine culture that is sprung here.

Everyone knows that they have a flourishing micro brew scene here.  It seems like everyone has beards and pretends to like fine beer.  Some actually really do like the fine beer but I noticed most just pretend to like it just to act cool and different.

But the wine scene here is really surprisingly strong.  With me being French people are always coming to me and asking for my advice on wine.

So I decided to make a big section of wine in my store.  And of course I have a lot of French wine but I also cary a lot of the local Pinot Noir wine from the Willamette Valley in Oregon here.  Their are even some of them that are produced by some French people and I try really hard to push those in my store because we have to stick together no matter what.

But the wine is almost but of course not quite as good as out Burgundies.  The area is absolutely beautiful and I could easily spend a whole week just discovery new wineries.  It reminds me of back home so I try to spend as much time as possible out their.

What I am really surprised about is that a lot of the people have created a really good taste and pallet for fine wine.  I actually get people that come in on a daily basis that can actually talk intelligently about wine.  I love that.

But with this being Oregon their are some wineries that are trying to make their wine be all certified organic.  Now that is difficult to do with wine but some of them are doing and are producing excellent wine.  Those ones I try really hard to push in my store because I know the work and dedication that goes into producing that wine.

If you ever get a chance go to Oregon Wine Country.  You will not be disappointed.  I guarantee that.

If you ever want some good suggestions of where to go then please stop in to my store buy something and then I will open up to yo about where to go and where not to go.  I am an open book especially if yo buy something from my store.  I love to talk and tell stories.

Stay tuned as I tell you some more epic battle stories about my amazing store.

Weird Organic Portland

Weird PortlandYou can learn my story in my about page.  But I am a French man that moved to Portland Oregon and opened a French boutique organic grocery store.

My life passion has always been eating healthy and eating organic.  I try and live as close to the earth as possible.  I guess you could say I am kind of a hippie.  But I am a French hippie with style that gets gorgeous ladies because I am french.  I am not into the whole dread lock tie die thing, again I am French and I have style.  I wold not lower myself to live that type of stinky life style.

With me being kind of a hippie I did not fit in well in my little town in France.  In fact my organic grocery store absolutely bombed.  I guess you could say it was a lesson learned in business.

So I picked myself up and moved to Portland Oregon because I heard the hippie organic scene was huge and very welcoming to anyone.

When I got to Portland I was absolutely shocked.  It was really weird.  Everyone was all about organic and they in fact went out of their way and paid a lot of money just to get something that was local and organic.  This place was what I have been longing for my whole life.  It was weird and funky and accepting of anyone even French people.  In fact since I was so different it actually made me even more noticeable and popular.  The wine scene was actually pretty good.  There Pinot Noir wines were almost as good as our Burgundies.  Of course nothing will ever beat a French wine but these are pretty good.

The beer scene was actually awesome.  I was never a real big beer person until I moved here.  I love it.  It is local and people support each other here.

With all the vibrant weird businesses I decided to open my own.  I found out the weirder more unique the business the better it usually did.  So I decided to open what I knew.  Anything French and organic.  So I am now an owner of a French organic grocery store.  And to my surprise when I opened people came flocking in because I was weird and different.

And I named the store “Epicerie Bio Toulouse”

Hardly anyone knew what it meant but it looks weird and different so it attracted people like crazy

I made a lot of mistakes with this business but I also had a lot of success.  I plan on telling you all about my failures and successes in this blog.  I want this blog to be sort of a journal for me so I can come back to this and laugh or some day pass my wisdom off to my kids and grandkids.

My stories are epic and my view of other people and business doing well and not so well is also pretty amazing and funny.  So stick with me here and you will laugh and have some fun.