"Location was very important to me. I didn't want to go into a location where our business would die," says Vic Brounsuzian, 44, about the small shop where he and his wife, Suzette, have been selling nuts and fine chocolates since 1995. Since then, the store's walnuts, pecans, pistachios and filberts have become the hit of their Streamwood, Illinois, shopping plaza.
"Because this was a new business and we weren't sure that people were going to embrace our product instantly, we figured the best place to set up our shop was near a movie theater, in a growing shopping plaza," Vic explains. "Since we're so close to the theater, we expected that people on the way to see a movie would stop in, pick up a little snack, stick it in their pockets, then munch on it when they got there. It's working out that way."
Before finalizing his decision, Vic examined community demographic information obtained from a local Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and considered how well his shop would fit in with the other shops in the area: "I learned all about the kinds of people who live in the area--their salary ranges, purchasing habits and all that--and I made sure to choose a location where other businesses were also coming in to provide a solid merchant mix."
As for the size of their shop, Vic admits that while it is far from huge, it's large enough to serve the couple's needs for the next few years.