John’s Small Batch

Welcome to “Crafted News” and I also welcome you to our “CRAFTED” store. With this being our first publishing, I thought I would start with answering a simple, but significant question.

Who are we?

CRAFTED, as with my daughter’s store, Wicker Park Home, is a personal venture of a Plano family. Both stores reside in The Shops of Willow Bend, a Plano mall. Our first venture, Wicker Park Home, was an opportunity for my wife, Celeste, and I to assist our daughter, Julie, to establish her dream and showcase her talent of choosing and displaying beautiful products while utilizing her trained skills in home décor and merchandizing. As all parents understand our children’s success provides us with extreme joy. Well, after I spent over 33 years in the high-technology business working at Texas Instruments, I realized that I’d prefer to hang up my suit and tie, give up my world travel, and just find a way to spend more time with my family.

I know, you are saying, “A liquor store in a mall?” Yes, that’s right. It’s allowed. At first, I thought it must not be, since I’ve never seen one in Texas. So, in June 2016 with liquor license in hand, I waited for the former tenant to vacate the space of our new venture, CRAFTED. Well, the right home for our venture finally revealed itself, after we “ping-ponged” among some options, and the one we found came with a store manager! That’s right, I got real lucky that through the closure of the former tenant at our site, I could acquire our manager, Michael Donohue. A young man, who is gracious, kind, and someone who I believe can lead the day-to-day activities and aid me. Just recently our team expanded to aid Cristian Olave, who enables this reach to you the consumer and someone I leverage heavily due to his deep knowledge of spirits. You will see his influence as our product choices focus on special and well thought out spirits.

Well, upon inquiry at other liquor stores I continued to get feedback on my key question which was, “Why are there no liquor stores in malls?” I came across two common responses. The first was that men were lazy and preferred to park at a curb, walk in to a store 10 steps, purchase their liquor, walk out and go home. The second was, “You will fail!”

This feedback guided us in our strategy and mission. We don’t want to be a liquor store! We want to be a store for entertainment, for gatherings ranging in size from the private nightcap or evening unwinder, to a couple’s date night, or the family gathering or party with friends. CRAFTED is what you need, “When you need more than just a liquor store.” We don’t want you to be intimidated by rows upon rows of bottles of liquor, wine, or beer. We want you to walk in and then pause and realize you just walked into a store that sells liquor. Alcohol comprises only about 50% of our SKU’s. Whether you simply want a bottle or any accessory that aids your moments of joy, we want to be a part of your experience.

Whether connoisseur or novice, come on in. We will focus on education of all and we accept training from the experts out there in our community. We strive to find you fine spirits, wines, and beers each of which, I’m sure, will be topics for further discussion in, John’s Small Batch. I will also describe how we wish to fight those big box stores and low-touch internet sites, both which depersonalize the shopping experience. So, now you know our names: John, Michael, and Cristian.

Come in and say Hello!