Friday, May 25, 2007

The End

photo © Linda Blakely 2007

This week Tom wrote this in our weekly email newsletter:

"After four years, Southside Cellars is closing its doors. Our last day of business will be June 30, which is a Saturday. We'll have an all-day event on that day, to say good-bye to our loyal customers and good friends. We've had a lot of good times here with many of you, and we'll miss those good times (and you.) We sincerely hope that some of you will stay in touch.

We know that many of you will miss our twice-weekly parties (that we called "wine tastings"), the wine and food events, the wine clubs, Divas, Tom's bread and maybe even this newsletter. We are happy to have had the opportunity to share them all with you. We wish we could do it some more.

Unfortunately, it's harder and harder for small retailers to compete in a market that is increasingly dominated by big-box stores. We find that we no longer can. Maybe it's the way of the future, but we'll miss the personal touch, interacting with our customers, sharing the good times and becoming friends. Linda and I will always look for small, locally owned stores and restaurants and give them our business and support.

All of that said, we've got a lot of wine we need to sell. We are open for business our usual hours until the end of June, so don't be strangers. And this isn't the last newsletter, either, although there won't be too many more.

Our wine tastings will stop at the end of May, mostly because it's hard to get support from our suppliers when they know we won't be buying anything from them, but we'll have three more: two this week (Thursday and Saturday, as usual) and one next Thursday. Each of them will be hosted by the reps who have given us the most support, and stuck by us through the lean times this past year."

I can't tell you how angry I am. Not only at the big store that's putting us out of business, but also at those customers who left us to shop there. You know who you are. Go ahead, shop there. You won't get the personal service you got here. You won't get the passion for the product that you got here either. What you will get is some uninformed flunky who has no vested interest in the company trying to tell you how good their private-label shit is that the company makes a huge profit on. And you know what? You deserve it.