If you need one more excuse to make the trip to visit Mariposa Baking Company in Oakland, here you go:
Mariposa remains the one spot in the Bay Area that I can sit and have coffee and a pastry and feel like a normal human. While there, I noticed three bottles of Green’s sitting on the counter with a note stating that they were available for sale next door. I asked about ’em and they said the Wine Mine would open at 11. I’d definitely wait around for that.
I’m a fan of good, cheap wine finds, and it just so happens that The Wine Cave specializes in this realm. Awesome – I now have two reasons to come to this part of Oakland now. Met Dave, the proprietor, and he gave me a brief description of where things were at in the shop. Saw some of my favorite Shiraz varietals and picked up a Cab/Shiraz blend from Jip Jip Rocks of Australia on Dave’s recommendation plus a few bottles of Green’s of course, and had a nice look around. The shop is full of great finds, and a quick scan found many of the excellent and inexpensive wines that I have identified through prior trials.
Apparently Dave is hosting wine tastings from 2 to 5 on Saturdays. This sounds like a good opportunity to discover some new wines and maybe grab a slice of gluten-free pizza and a week’s supply of bagels next door beforehand. Time permitting (cough, cough), I’m going to try and make some of these events.
It occurs to me that when one business advertises the relevant products for a business next door, both benefit. A symbiosis is created – a hyperlink from business A to business B – and I now have all the more reason to visit both stores. I think more of these “real world hyperlink” techniques should be employed in neighborhood business networks, because I think there is a model here to help small businesses thrive through active cooperation. Brick-and-mortar shops are almost by definition stovepipe solutions for commerce. Active cross-pollination of each others’ relevant products could rekindle the local small business concept. Even direct competitors could benefit: Highlight what each other is lacking and fill in the respective voids to build and refine your niche markets. [How’s that for a bunch of annoying, vapid marketing buzzwords?!? Get out your Bingo cards… ;-)]