Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Restaurateur Barbara Lynch learns from the failure of her produce store

There's a lot impressive about this interview with Boston restaurateur Barbara Lynch in the New York Times, but Lynch's crisp summary of her biggest failure, including what she learned and a bonus lesson, stood out to me:
Q. What failures have you learned the most from?

A. I haven't had many failures but one was to open a produce store called Plum Produce in the South End of Boston. It was basically a beautiful little storefront in which we had porcini mushrooms, heirloom apples, all sorts of produce from the local farmers who supplied the restaurants. But when I opened it in 2006, the South End was filled with young professionals who didn't like to cook during the week. My lesson was to do more research and understand the challenges of retail more.

Q. Anything else you would do differently?

A. My advice would be, try to own the property. I don't care if it's a garage but buy it because with me, nine restaurants later, I don't own any of my buildings. I lease.

Lynch owns several restaurants, two bars and a catering company in Boston.

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