Yesterday I went to Fish's Eddy on 19th and Broadway to look for some dishes, glasses, teapots, etc. for the cafe. What I found was a whole lot of inspiration. I love that store, and part of why I want to have a cafe at all is so I can buy all my dishes there. Of course they will be mis-matched. Who do you think is writing this thing anyway?
Fish's Eddy buys up entire lots of dishes from defunct restaurants, country clubs and the like. It's all pretty much Homer Laughlin or other "sturdy-ware" china, and you can find great patterns from different eras. Lots of vintage stuff. Many of my dishes at home come from there and I've found some cool items there. It's perfect for someone like me who wants to open a cafe, needs sturdy dishes, but wants them to be interesting.
I picked up a 2-cup teapot; it's just plain white. I have a 2-cup Tetsubin here at home, but that's my only teapot. I want to have a 2-cup regular ol' porcelain teapot because I'd like to develop a line of tea cozies to sell on Etsy. I will knit these cozies and use a little crocheting in there, too. But first I have to learn to crochet. It shouldn't be that hard. So the new teapot will also serve as my model.
Anyway, once I get the tea cozies on Etsy, I can link my Etsy page to my (soon-to-be) online cheese and tea shop. Cross-merchandising Baby, gotta love it!
Also, as much as I am positive my shop will be successful, I also know in the beginning of the storefront's existence there will be quite a bit of downtime. After I've made all my orders, made sure the cheese is all taken care of, etc., I'm going to need something to do. So, I'll bring my knitting needles and yarn and make some handicrafts I can also sell and use at the shop.
So yeah, I got the 2-cup teapot at Fish's Eddy. I also bought two different tall, sturdy drinking glasses for the iced tea (and for water). One is tougher but plain; the less-tough one has a nice graphic on it that looks like an old milk bottle label. I'm going to use them at home and see if the dairy-label one is sturdy enough for cafe use. Of course I could have both kinds at my cafe, but I'd love to have a bunch of the dairy ones, for obvious reasons.
I also got a vintage colored glass cow figurine. It will sit on my stovetop with my Holstein creamer until I have my shop, at which point it will be part of the decor.
If I had more money I would have just bought boxes and boxes of dishes and glasses and cups and such last night, but I also would have had to carry them around, and I need to wait until it's a better time to do that with my business's money.
I asked the clerk if Fish's Eddy does any kind of volume discount for restaurants and cafes. Turns out they do! You just have to bring your Tax ID (shoulda done that yesterday...) and some sort of business card or something and they won't charge you sales tax (whoops), they'll give you at least 10% off, and maybe more depending on how much you buy.
This may actually make more sense than buying my dishes from a restaurant-supply place like Hubert (as much as I love Hubert) because this will save me on shipping.