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I am usually one of those folks, chomping at the bit to get started on a new challenge (unless of course you ask my wife, at home, I epitomize my spirit animal – el gato perezoso).  So here I am, new year in new digs, yet discovering the much more calculated approach of my bosses at TPS.  Usually, I would imagine this being true for most retailers, you do your inventory, take stock of all the statistical data – inventory, sales, etc. – and you spend the next few weeks calculating and forecasting what it is you will do in the coming year.  My modus operandi was always assess the battlefield quickly, and strike surgically at the heart of the wine consumer with some of the craziest deals I could find, plying customers with varying degrees of exuberant e-propaganda and firing up the in-store tastings.

Well, in a lot of ways, my M.O. remains the same.

Yet I am learning the fine art of patience here at TPS, and I recognize I am not the one on point – that honor in this department falls on my beloved boss, Mary.  And while the twisted little egoboy that occasionally rears his ugly head in my world stands up to say a few inappropriate words and charge the gate sword drawn screaming inaudible expletives, I can honestly say I relish my new role of co-conspirator and Mary’s chief-of-staff (or perhaps that would be more like chief-of-staph).  Needless to say, the times really are a-changin’.

In this New Year, the mission is clear:  assemble the best F’n wine department in the area.  Yet there is definitely more to it than that.

  1. With our impending expansion, tastings will be the primary focus in the stores.  Product knowledge is always key and when dealing with any type of adult beverage, you have to know what you are selling and what you are buying.  I feel like I have joined the most innovative team in the Midwest as TPS will soon have its own microbrewery and its own microdistillery.
  2. Personality is a problematic thing when putting together the right group of people for any department.  The pieces have to fit, and compliment.  I think we are almost there.
  3. The focus cannot be on just one person.  To have one rock star on staff and the rest serving as mere lackeys is counterproductive.  It isn’t my show or Mary’s show, we are all rock stars here at TPS, and it’s time the market knew it.
  4. We plan on stepping up our SM game, not just by simply tweeting our brains out, or posting countless posts over at our Tumblr blog, we have plans to launch a Party Source video channel early Spring of this year, bringing to you the various internal goings-on, and taking our love of wine, beer, spirits, food and more to the streets, visiting our local wineries, breweries, distilleries, restaurants and festivals, and interviewing the folks that make us love this business exponentially, filming it all for your enjoyment/edification.

Of course, I’ve a lot of big ideas, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.

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