This is a tough post for me. It’s not often that a business owner gets to write about the closing of his/her own business. As much as it saddens me to write about this, I feel that I have to for a variety of reasons.
First and foremost, I want to thank all of you who have shopped at Thunder Bay over the years. This was my first business endeavor in Buffalo.
Thunder Bay carried some pretty crazy stuff over the past twelve years. The store went through a series of gradual changes, mostly in the types of lines that it carried . The shop started off selling mostly Southwestern merchandise in ’93. Zapotec rugs, Pendleton blankets, Oaxacan Creatures, etc. Then we moved into a mechanical direction carrying whirligigs, solar sculptures and motion lamps. We then incorporated a bit of an Asian feel into the mix. A few years back I hooked up with Michael Morgulis and the Buffalo trend began. And then came the wrestling masks, the Elvis busts, and the recycled products. But the Buffalo merchandise really struck a chord and remained the backbone of our sales.
Thunder Bay was also a place for folks to meet up. I’ve met a lot of people through Buffalo Rising, but the number of people I met through the shop was staggering. I have twelve years of incredible memories. My fondest memories were the days that my yellow lab named Loco would accompany me to the store. Customers would drive many miles to come visit him. Days after he passed away Thunder Bay was literally flooded with cards. I guess that was about four and a half years ago.
I have a list a mile long of people that I would like to thank and wonder if I should even try to list them all. Family first. Thanks guys for all the help, encouragement and support. Also, my highschool buddy Sam for helping me to get the ball rolling. Loco, of course. Jen for all the support. To all my friends (you know who you are) that helped me move, brought over coffee, came to visit, and so on. To all of my employees that helped to hold down the fort… I am indebted to you. I’d like to thank the local shop owners who helped show me the ropes… especially Ward and Maureen from Urban. Thanks to all the local artists that taught me about ‘the finer things in life’, namely supporting the arts and small business.
A few years ago I would have felt extremely guilty closing Thunder Bay. But with all of the new shops opening in the area I feel that it is the perfect time to let go. Thunder Bay will be closing the first of the year. Thanks again for a great run.
Oh, and to those few shoplifters that I did not catch… you can thank your lucky stars.