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A Concept for a New Kind of Gastronomy and Luxury Goods Business

This document is to outline a business concept that has been in the back of my mind for many years. The main reason that it is still in the back of my mind is that the project requires substantial commitments and financing and that I was always waiting to find a place where I wanted to settle down and for other projects to move forward to be able to start this one.

After postponing it for a couple of decades, I think that it is a good idea to bring it to the forefront and actually work on making it come through as the time seems right. This document is not a business plan, but a way to put all the ideas that have been turning in my head for so many years. I plan to present it to various people to see if the project makes sense and is worth investing substantial efforts in preparing a formal business plan and finding proper financing.

What is missing in most gastronomy business?

For a large part of my live I have been living in areas where the local availably of high-end or gourmet food, wine, beer, spirits and luxury items was at best spotty. You could find some of the things required for gourmet cooking and luxury items in some places, but availability was always difficult, so I normally did my ‘luxury’ shopping when I was traveling to cities where they were available. I remember when I was living in Sudbury, in Northern Ontario; I used to make infrequent trips to Montreal to load up on things from the wine cellar to the kitchen and more. In those days Montreal was always a better choice than Toronto as more was available and at a better price.

The main problem with these trips was finding the time to hit all the right shops in a reasonable amount of time. A typical trip to Montreal would start by me stopping at a large shop that specialized in tableware and cooking tools. I normally picked up some crystal glasses and a variety of kitchen gadgets there. The next step was to stop at the fancy wine, beer, liquor store downtown, the “Maison des Vins” and load up on everything I could find from champagnes, wines, beer, Armagnac, and whatever else I could find. While downtown I would stop at my favorite cigar shop, and also do a bit of shopping for luxury items. I would also visit Chinatown for all my Chinese cooking needs. On my way out of town I would pick up 12 dozen bagels at the Fairmont bagel factory. Next stop was my butcher to pick up some fresh vacuum-packed foie gras, and stop at a nice fish place where I would get some frozen scampi, assorted seafood, smoked salmon, some canned foie gras, oscietra and beluga caviar, truffles, and whatever else I needed back home. I normally drove back to Sudbury straight from the shopping trip several thousands of dollars poorer, but I had my luxury supplies for the next 3-6 months.

This was over 38 years ago and even back in those days I was always thinking that somebody should put together a proper gourmet, luxury item shop so that people looking for the best could have a one stop place to go for all of their needs. Some large department stores offer a lot of those items, but normally at a huge premium and choice can be spotty in periods outside of the holiday season. Another problem with most large department stores is that they do not normally group these various items in a way that is shopper friendly and you end up going up and down the store with heavy bags to do all of your shopping.

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