Wednesday, 20 April 2011

You could have picked a worse locale...

... Paul could have tried to set up shop in Ester. That's my attitude towards the Goldstream General Store. About two years ago, you may recall there was a stink about the employees going on strike. The store used to be owned by some nice folks who decided to sell it quietly. So quietly that almost no one knew about it until it was done. The problem was the new owner had strong opinions about tattoos, religion, politics, and just about everything else. And they were 100% to the right of right. And he was rather vocal about them. Well, that's fine - that's anyone's right - but you have to question the business savvy of starting an outwardly conservative business in what's basically a valley full of hippies, dilettante dog mushers, unwashed students and university staff. The valley isn't as liberal as Ester, but it's pretty close. 

The problem, and the reason this  is back in the news, was because the new owner tended to talk to his employees about religion. A lot. In a hostile manner. Leaving aside the wisdom of talking about religion at work (there's a time and place, and that's neither), the employees thought the content of the conversation amounted to harassment at the least. Things to the effect of `Catholics are the root of all evil` and how they would go to hell. At least two employees have sued over this, and thus far, one has won. I'm surprised it's taken two years for the case to worm its way through the courts - this was about as open and shut as it gets, given the amount of evidence that Paul was saying those things. Getting redress for being obviously wronged through the courts is an incredibly slow process. I might have just said `forget it` and dropped the case myself.

What really gets me is the guy's business plan. It's terrible, to be blunt. This is Goldstream we're talking about here, no one wants to buy stuff they picked up at safeway, brought to the general store and slapped a mark-up on. You want to make bank in the area, open a store that sells local foods, or organic food, or anything of that sort. Make it a pick up location for those organic farm distributors that are so popular on campus. Sell to the clientele you can get,  not the one you wish you had. If they had even a little bit of local goods there, they would have many more customers than they actually do.

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