At last we are getting closer to securing a location for the Ice Cream business!! We have been looking for weeks all over town for the right spot and we've struggled to settle on a location. At least I (Justin) have learned a lot more about the city and my language abilities have expanded as I try to learn all the business lingo necessary to navigate this endeavor. I have also gotten more than my share of exercise walking the streets of Urumqi.
Then - last week (out of nowhere), we found 5 new options!! I met with landlords, old tenants, contractors, consulting companies, officials - and anybody else who just wanted to stand around and find out what the foreigners are doing in their neighborhood. We also wrestled with different business strategies (ie. wholesale vs. retail) during this time, seeking to figure out what would be best for us. By the end of the week - we felt a huge peace about this one tiny location, where we could open a base of operation & manufacturing. This cuts out the parlor/cafe services and keeps our costs at a minimum - yet still more than we originally anticipated. This little spot will be where we make the ice cream, store it and move it for delivery to other stores, markets, restaurants & hotels in the city. While wholesale will be the bulk of our business, we will also sell out of the window to the passersby as we are right in front of a large High School.
Tomorrow, if all goes well, we will sign the contract with the Landlord and secure the location for our site! We are really excited about these humble beginnings and eager to see the opportunities expand.