Discovering charm in small town establishments has become more difficult in the last few years. The expense and multitude of regulations make starting a brick & mortar” business difficult. Surviving beyond start-up is an even more daunting challenge. I survived and thrived over 20 years in a small town.
I have always been drawn to unique, non-franchise style establishments. I understand the process of start-up, development, advertising, hiring, operating several businesses. A large gap exists between “cookie cutter” franchises and independent operations.
A chart and floor plan for where every item is to be placed — a standard for block stores — keeps employees from feeling connection to their workplace.
This Wednesday, I visited Pizza Phi in Lewisburg, PA. It had the standard look of a town pizza shop. The employees were at their job — pleasant, but there was no phenomenal friendly service. As a customer, I was also not engaged in the establishment.
There is a spirit of spontaneity that will never feed my soul when I walk into other establishments.
I will have to build a new place with personality again — someday.