Audioburst Search

Berkley Local Episode 3


You're listening to the PODCAST DETROIT visit. WWW dot I'd passed introit dot com for information. All right welcome to the Berkeley cle- local podcast episode. Three were kicking off the year of twenty twenty with two great guests here so the local podcast is a podcast spotlight and businesses and the Berkeley community. And on this monthly podcast we bring in on a couple of guests each month and we're going to interview them. We're going to hear about their stories and today taken off twenty twenty. We got two great guests. That are going to do a little intro and we're GONNA jump right into the show with that. So Andy Walsh you kind of introduce yourself and tell us about your business sixty seconds or less. Hey Steve Andy Gilbert with Berkeley eyewear. We opened up About ten years ago ago on Coolidge highway downtown Berkeley well. That's a really fast intro. Okay thank you. And Jeff launch you give me a little overview of your business and sixty seconds. I'm Jeffrey Milstein. I run the atomic dog which is across the street from Berkeley. I aware we've been in business since June. Two Thousand in twelve and we have gourmet hotdogs and the best hamburgers in Berkeley grilled cheese. We're we're just a family restaurant with a bar a family restaurant with a bar. Well could be more more family than sent a family restaurant with a bar. The kids get milkshakes. Parents get Margaritas right. You can't beat that away will those are two great intros. So that's easy easy. All right you can figure those two out pretty fast and Coincidentally you're right next to each other here and beautiful Berkeley on Coolidge Avenue and in the studio and in the studio studio too yeah very good right so yeah joke Amagai lots of jokes and we're just getting rolling so andy. Why don't you tell me me kind of what got you guys start Berkeley I wear? What got you up to Kinda where you are now my wife's been doing Optical for about forty years She's been a buyer she's been an optician she's worked for ophthalmologist. So she's been doing it for a long time and as you know she was getting seasoned in the industry as she was starting to kind of tap power in her pay and she wasn't loving where she was at. So when you don't love where you're at you gotta change and Berkeley Eyewear was Oh born from that. And when did you get involved in it. I've always been involved. I've always been back room. I I have a twenty year. Plus twenty plus year career on the mortgage industry The last ten years kind of sharing it with Berkeley the eyewear and I. I kinda retired from the mortgage industry about five years ago and went full-time time because Berkeley I were was demanding a lot from us. So what made you guys pick Berkeley. At the time we were living in Huntington Woods and we drove down cool July. Coolidge wasn't looking real lively at the time and honestly it was as soon a for sale sign in one of the buildings windows one of those little for sale signs that you buy it at home depot the orange ones and just tiny one one and other windows were blacked out and we call the phone number and the guy hung up on me and that's a great way to start. Well Yeah Call back again and said you know I'm con about this building you know that you've got and turns out long story short The guy lived around the corner and UM MHM was more than happy to sell us the building and and really that's where came because You know we just needed to do something a little bit different Lisa needed. Turn your job up and She's kind of gotten into her own there at Berkeley eyewear. She's she's killing it. She's count it excuse right so jeff. Speaking accounted Going I don't know I didn't have a good leader on that did I I So tell me a bit more about atomic dog and Kinda the preface of why the the owner kind of came into starting there. And then how you got there so I'll I'll start with how I got there. I I was kind of just doing my own thing back in two thousand sixteen two thousand seventeen figure out myself and I got to find yourself. Basically I got really lucky. I've known the owner since I've been a child. My aunt went to high school with him. he's a pretty Pretty the big time music producer in the Metro Detroit area and she got me in touch with him. I started working for the studio and then he told me he has a restaurant and he he would like me to work at it and I did and just things kept going. Well we did you start as a manager no different role. I just started as going in there for a couple of hours a day. Trying to get the lay of the land down CR. Everything went and one day he was he goes. I'm GonNa make you manager. I said okay sure. Have you worked in management. Before in the restaurant industry. I've worked on all new. I was a server growing up for like five five years at a at a restaurant chain that I will not leave nameless but it's Australian but decided Australian so boy this. It's pretty pretty easy to figure that out. Okay Chili's Yeah I was GONNA say. TGI Fridays but okay. Tgi Friday's is there. We go perfect op so I honestly. I didn't want to go back into the restaurant business. I I was just so demanding but this place. This is different. This place is tell me how it's different. It's very family friendly oriented it's really laid back We Eh restaurants are all about corporate like they. I don't know where I'm going with the Steve but we're we're just really laid back to me about the name. The atomic nick does so the name comes from George Clinton Song Right Homework. I did have youtube and I. I think I did a search about atomic dog and I've read a a couple old articles that talk about the music career of the founder and I was like whoa boom video pops up of George Clinton's famous song and then I read a different article that really stated that's where he pulled the name in from was his industry experience and and and that I can't really go much further into that due to me signing an NDA but yeah that's that's where the came from. It's an awesome name was one of the first businesses. I noticed when I moved to Berkeley about four years ago and Dan I've been in multiple times had great experiences with your staff and obviously great food. Our food speaks for itself. Our food is good food. So what's your what's your favorite favorite there Andy You must go there on a somewhat regular basis every day. I'm not going to have to make you say I'll at that is but what do you have a favorite item item. You get when you go on. Now they're hamburgers are unbeatable. I don't care if it's just the plain hamburger or you know that It was atomic onic blue the blue cheese ring the hamburger itself. I mean I could eat it just alone. It's good tastes good flavor. Their mixture their grind between between fat and beef is is good and I love it whereupon the the meat from it. That's a question for another episode new. ooh Okay no that. NDA part of the. I sure I could figure it out go to Easter market. We thought you guys I I get the real deal from a guy named fat. Mikey oh that's great name. Yup Right so we get our meat there we We get ready for the week and service fresh as we can So for a place with atomic dog in the name and the first thing he said was the barriers are awesome. I haven't had a burger the yet I've had dogs every time I've been in there. Who Dog 'cause I love? Pineapple is probably my favorite. But everything I've had has really been good. Let's talk about the chips Are slipped so the slips said chips but design it taste potato slips Chicago slips not the name yeah that's the name name so we I believe it was our wish had some right now. I should have brought you some episode to the the Chicago slipped part of this definitely so we just decided French fries where everybody does French fries. Let's do something a little bit different. But keep it in the same ballpark As the French fries do potato family. BAR CHICAGO SLIPS WE We get potatoes. I get these big Nice Idaho russet potatoes and we cut them. I'm in house. We have a little secret recipe that we soak them in. And then we I am in corn. Oil Chicago's known for I have no idea. I don't think it is I. I lived in Chicago for ten years and I had lots of hot dogs in Chicago. Obviously but I remember having slips me. I'm just I don't know maybe I just wasn't paying attention in my ten years there but I love the name and I love the product. You guys are doing a real good job with that are good add on our burgers have taken off more than we ever imagined really. We just started burgers. Maybe two years ago we've always had burgers correct. You you've been you've known about this longer than I have and I I run it but I think I think there's been burgers on the menu from the beginning If I if I think back I think I ordered hotdogs in the beginning as well But I'm I'm a sucker for a good Burger and so now I gotTa make sure I make that happen next week for sure. I remember the first time I actually went in there with the owner. He sat me down. He does get whatever you want. I got the Gouda Bacon Burger and that moment I was not sake. I'm not a big mustard fan either. But that mustard the spinach the bacon the beef is off complimented each other to get the fullest flavor potential out there and it was incredible. I think the fun thing about atomic dog is is that the home they sit in right. Yeah can you talk more about that building. Clean Anne since you've been in the area probably a little longer than Jeff here. It was a What what was the business prior to this this I know Oh okay? I'm sorry go for so. It was a farmhouse Bill Twenties Thirties forties. And then it was the Berkeley creamery in the fifties and sixties in and then Kinda sat vacant for a while. I believe it was some law offices in eighty nine accounting off county okay and then our you are fearless leader body. I WANNA say June two thousand eleven and turned it into what it is now. He did an re-use of of something that he didn't just rip apart. You know he he really tried to save. You know the old stuff if it was sable and if it wasn't you know try to replace it With something kind of looking so their ECLECTIC look inside. I think Kinda really goes along with their flavor and tasteless part of the. It's not a chain restaurant. Yeah right one of the other great things about living in Berkeley's we have a lot of businesses like that right and I think when you walk by it or drive by it you don't automatically pick up on that 'til you walk in there and then you see that like. Oh Wow. This isn't totally what I thought. It was going to be cool if I had a nickel for every time. Somebody's walked in there said. Oh I didn't know you had more rooms in the back right. I'd be right and money in a weird way but I would also have a lot of nichols so so andy did you Was Your building what do you. What was your building party? Are you guys buying it then. In the in the most recent you know years it will be fired. I wear store it was It was a bookstore God I remember those. Yeah Right. There was a A bakery a two day old three-day-old to you know Kinda Bakery Discount shop there for years. Then I think that is like the seventies okay other than that. I don't know What it was In Two thousand ten you guys came in there and and changed the world over right well originally That Berkeley eyewear started in two thousand ten and it was in a smaller building down the street. A couple of doors okay And then we went About five years after that after we opened we opened up a sunglasses store called local sunglass company It was really because the store. The original store was so small the end and we had such a large selection of regular glasses and sunglasses selection was growing they we were just kind of stacking things on top of each other so we had an idea to kind of throw you know. Oh the sunglasses out on their own And local SUNGLASS company opened up down there in two thousand four and two thousand set. Is that your own creation. Local SUNGLASS company or is that part of a No. That's that's our creation is your creation. we We merged the two stores together years later But the stores in between the two stores used to laugh at us because we would walk we would walk customers back and and forth Between the two stores. Meaning if you came into my regular glasses and then you decided you wanted a pair of sunglasses. had walked onto the store but we learned we learn fast on. We didn't have people walk down by themselves. If it was raining. Somebody would walk with an umbrella. Oh my God that's customer service camelot cleaners the ladies and the at the calendar would laugh at as we walked by. You know all the time I'm during the day but After years of doing that and We decided to You know to to merge the two together because the the local sung last is Thirteen plus hundred square feet. The other store was six hundred and fifty not so That makes a lot of sense really when you walk in your store now. So I'm a new customer. I walk in and is it. The idea is kind of I were at one side sunglasses versus the other and then toward the back you can do. The eye exams. Is that the premise of how you kind of laid out well. The premise is the eye. Exams are done towards the rear. Their Ability Chair But but when you walk in there really is no visual. Strategy to wear sunglasses are It's not it we've gotta by Brand Dan we got it by design My wife is hurry Conscious of how she markets and designs you know the the lay out of of the high wear But you'll see some of the sunglasses group together like you know it's grouped together but some of the other ones are kind of spread out all over but we've got close to a thousand pieces. A thousand pieces. Wow Yeah we teeter. But it's a huge variety. We teeter between the low eight hundred fifty two. You know a little over a thousand pieces at any given time. So what point did you decide that you we needed to add the eye exam aspect too. I think when you first met we talked a little bit about this and I think that wasn't really the original business plan. Correct talk when Berkeley I were opened up You know in two thousand ten My wife was looking to sell. Eyewear work with you on the fashioned side of it She She she loved. You know the I wear the hardware if you will side of the business and you you know less love for you. Know the eye exams and but She saw that we had to eventually do that. The original business plan had it in there as a model it. Just we didn't WANNA pull that trigger until it was the right time and You know After being open eight years we had a pretty sick clientele list and It was easy at that point to reach out to them. And say you know how you loved us for you know buying your eyewear how come in you know and seeing our doctors and we have to really great doctors. Has that helped your business. Then you feel like doing that doctors and that way. Yeah Yeah. We're now where we can kind of do it. Full full service Sometimes people were a little bit surprised maybe even a little bit put off when you call up and said I wanNA make an appointment. You said we didn't do eye exams but you can buy your eye. We're here well. I had one lady years ago. Hey well that's silly well. It wasn't socially because thousands of people did and We just knew that eventually it was going GonNa come down to that. I'd like to retire one day and I'd like to think that you know a doctor will come in and you know in May to happen for us. Sure right right now for a while but you come in and Ri- big check and then you can go down to key west and live the Margarita. Ville Life Sane. Maybe I don't have to go as far as key West I can stop in Fort Lauderdale. Oh Okay Hollywood. Yeah okay. That's realistic. I was sick with Key West. But that's me you okay. That's where you you WANNA go. Once I mean I rarely go there. The Fort Lauderdale. Okay wow you could have like a whole episode on this probably right away so jeff tell me a little bit about the the kind of business strategy side or kind of how are you guys are trying to have atomic dog look in the local market versus other restaurants. Well our liquor license has definitely played a big part in so what was the reasoning of adding a liquor license into it. I'll admit I don't i. I know you ever license. I haven't had a drink there because I probably mainly done it. From what lunch perspective was that to try to grow your dinner business correct we expanded our our. There's an added a liquor license. We were only opened for of M- eleven to two. Yeah I think that was my challenge. The first couple of years I've been in Berkeley a little over four years now when I first I came in a lot of times I would i. I work from home and I don't always go out for lunch and then my wife and I would go out and be like oh I wanna go on atomic dog sometime but the now for dinner and and I think of the six times I've been in there five of them now have been at the dinner time frame good at the time the come yeah. We are venturing in music. We have have shows now. We have a poetry event tomorrow night with M. L. Liebler. He's a very well known. Metro Detroit poet and professor We have a great museum. It makes you more a better way to market self as a poet if you say you're a professor doesn't it sound smarter professor poet. Yeah he's a he's a garbage man poet I must small business owner and I on the side. I've taught marketing so I'd always say like when I'm running my beer to her business monitor with drunk the people and they're like what else do you do do. I'm an adjunct professor of marketing. And then they look at you totally different when you say it that way so okay so you guys have a poet coming in and you're doing some music poetry and I believe this time is I'll look it up until your assistant. Look it up as your as your on live on his eerie. WE'RE NOT GONNA ask Siri because I don't know her and I aren't friends right now so anyway. We are having a great night tomorrow night. Is I forgot to tell you. That's the s the theme. So they're gonNA just. I'm not sure where to go from that. But it's hosted by Shelley Lions Mack. Okay Okay and it's anybody who wants to come up there and talk. They can't we do open MIC nights. So if you have play instruments this is relatively new since we started this in say September or novell cry. Oh yeah very recent than very cool. It's great business for us and we we stay open later. So how do you guys stay open when you're doing that. This'll be from seven PM until nine PM. Scabby Open tomorrow from eleven to we'd take a little break remember. There's only six employees police who at the atomic dog and then we'll reopen from five until nine or nine thirty. I mean if people are so they're having fun at nine nine thirty. I'll stay open for a little bit. So are you seeing Seen people respond to that are they starting to come at night starting to get a feel for it. Yes it but every day is evident mystery. He never know. Unfortunately our location isn't the best for people who if you want to see a building you're just you're GONNA die. You're not really looking for it. You're not gonNA see it But people have been coming in the door more and more. We've been doing advertising doing so. In what ways are you advertising through. Ferndale friends we've thrown a few ads in there with some coupons through I I did a radio radio broadcasts last year. I think the Chuck Bennett Show. It was okay and then we did something on Channel Four live in. Did you do live in the region. Do Live with Jason Kerr. Yeah I've done live in the DEA a couple of times on air of Beer and candy paring back in. When was that like October? uh-huh oh you totally. I had An October fest beer with peanut butter cups. Subways listen to this. Go try that when October. Fest Beers come around again. The the Maltese of the October fest. Beer plays really well with the peanut butter taste and the chocolate taste of a resistant. buttercup sexually did that. Live on air. Jason Kerr and what's what's the not taty but the other one. That does the Blonde Kim Thinking Kim. Yeah it was those two that day and that was a lot of fun. That's a that's a fun format Matt. It's an interesting format because when you go on their ten to eleven. Am so you go down to that studio in the city. Don't you and it's not like you're getting up at five in the morning to get to the studio to do like five minutes on air. Yeah you gotta go there and like when we went there. I went with our chef. Gary they brought this huge huge mobile grill to us. It was on my goodness is it was. It was incredible. It's unreal. I was watching the weather. Report live like ten feet away from him. It was a different experience as you're sitting in that green room there and you kind of watch the stuff happen And I was like I was super nervous. Oh first time I did a live on TV type of appearance of Don Lots podcast shows and radio shows and that's improve type stuff. This is totally different though. When you do it live and you see stuff that you normally see on TV and you see it? There is is because of the video camera right. Yeah see I'm acting like I don't even see it like I'm just so natural right. You've ever had to do that. Any you've done some live on air interviews before if your business a couple couple not too many but You know every time is a new experience with that it is kind. I never know you never know what they're gonNA say my thing always if they get my business name right in my name right. I'm pretty content with that. I could give so many stories over the years. Where where it's like today we're GonNa Interview Blah Blah and his business Blah Blah Blah and? Then they totally say the name wrong just like Oh man like. Did you read anything anything or are you in a position to correct them. Yeah that's always what. I wonder right because it's like the first time they're going to hear you talk now on that interview. What do you say that like? You said my name wrong. Business Name. Wrong Jennifer's kind of Nano had like you can okay okay. It's so rare that it gets done correctly. Luckily that I I'm excited when it does happen correctly. I'm more surprised when it happens correctly. Live in the totally professional was all great journal line. Yeah Yeah but when I'm on like Bob's beer show or something I think was one I was on before like the knows what they're going to say so or like a local podcast Haad cash show like you never know what they're gonNA say local podcast show right. I know I've always walked away wondering why didn't I say something different than what I said. The best thing and you should do is should always listen to it again and go Okay next time I do that. I'm going to try to sound like blank right i. I got taped a lot of times. I listened to myself on video a Lotta Times or on a recording La Times before I felt like I sounded a little more Official and Professional. And but you have those good days as in bad days like it comes in waves like nerve wracking. It's cool when you guys are talking and then you look at me and asked me a question like oh no all right. What are in the room? Oh my gosh. That's what's going to happen in my mind. Yeah it's just always good practices kind of the more you do it the more. It seems natural. Maybe easy for me to say that since I I work as a tour guide ride but even tour guides when you put a camera in front of us. Kind of sit there with the headlight. Look a beer guide. Usually the beer tour guides drunk so so then he's a little more at ease. I remember one time I was at a beer festival in grand rapids in the data. Winner the winner. Beer will Michigan. Bruce Kill does every year as a bunch of friends. And right at the end of this five hour drink fest. I don't know how a camera got put in front of me but it did and they asked me some questions and I walked when I go. Oh my gosh. I can't believe like why did I even start talking. Because I had to be very intoxicated at the time and now have this rule of friends. I call them handlers. At that point at a beer festival like if I ever get between like that again and we're more than two hours into the beer festival just make me walk walk. Walk Me Away right because that Acre handing. Yeah Yeah just move your way all right. That's kind of the rule of thumb anything short of that. You're probably going to go. I would probably talk. Just laugh at it later. We'll yeah because that's what good good friends do. Isn't it by clearly at the time. Didn't stop me and I'm sure have a good laugh right. And then he told the whole bus about it when we got back on this bus because I was running bus out Granados at fifty people on a bus all had a good laugh. Did anybody get hurt in the process. No one got hurt go. I don't even think I swore so. At least I had that going for me. I'm just sure that like my facial features made it look apparent that I've been drinking a beer festival for five hours right so today I'm totally sober. And we're having a nice conversation with Andy and Jaffer So Andy How long have you been part of the Berkeley Berkeley DDA and town talk a little bit about that for me no I signed an NDA FDA for the DA. I didn't know that was a thing. Go spend not over three years. Okay and what. What kind of Well obviously you have to be a member of the DA. If you're a business in Berkeley on twelve mile or coolidge right. That's part of the GIG. Explain that to me a little bit so as as I'm one year into being Berkeley Chamber member but I have a home home. Base business saw him not a member of the Kinda always. Give me that like if I didn't know any of this. What's the difference between having a chamber? Dda a Chamber Arisen Organization to is meant to promote itself in its business members that it has the DA our mandate is to work R D district which happens to be Coolidge from eleven mile to twelve mile and from twelve mile. All the way up to all the way up to Greenfield so we have a large large amount of of businesses. That are you're in that district and We just try to promote Things that are happening in their you know along with way finding signs signs crosswalks the road diet Different different things but again in the DA district and and What what so then? What's your current role Dan with the DA? And and how does Does that I do. Do you find that as a as a business owner it helps you bring a different perspective as being part of the DA As as a part of being in this role that you have my current role with the DA is is The the Board Chair So I That's I've been that for about a year take a little bit last As far as perspective on the DVD. A I mean I think it all starts with kind of complaining gene about what's wrong and your significant other looks at you and tells you to you know put up shut up you know kind of thing and I think I was suggested demeaning you might as well get involved if you WANNA help make change. I promise absolutely yeah. Yeah you know complaining to your loved one or a CO worker or your partner doesn't You know doesn't doesn't change anything. Actually they want you to do something or stop talking to them about it. Let's kind of I'm married. I understand how that works a LO- my wife life but I'm sure she gets sick of me complaining about certain aspects of business at times where I should say go do something. Go Talk to a while. Right right I get at the time So but what you find out once you get involved is that You see not a how it works be you can help move that Alon. And it is fulfilling. It is satisfying to be able to. You know help and and do things for You know the the city that you do business in the city that you own property end on and just a correct Iraqi You don't have to be to be to be a recipient of our services. Sure you have to be in the district if you want to be involved in the Ddat ah some of our board members are not business okay. Da they are Residents of the Da Ontario residents of Berkeley But you don't Pathak a business owner in the DD you don't have to have property and the DA You can be on our committees we've got actually some silent tears. Don't even live in the city of Berkley that work on our team marketing team and they just want around here. I think one of them's Southfield. It's always interesting to me when I learned things like like that and I'm always like what what made them have that interest in being involved in that way wanting to learn right. Yeah we always were kind of lifelong long learning. I'm ten years in with my over ten years in my business and I'm constantly looking for new ways to learn from other people and get more involved and and part of the appeal of me moving to Berkeley. I lived in Troy for tenure. Love that community. But it's definitely more suburban and how it set up and it doesn't have a central business business district right. It's just the big beaver district where there's a lot of you know large buildings with a whole bunch of restaurants Jason. Yeah it's a big area and I never felt like I was part of a community there and when when I my original business partner when I started motorcity Brew Tours with him back in two thousand nine a brand Hausky he lived in Berkeley and I'd come to his house and he also owned a couple other homes that he rented out in the area and I just fell in love with the area for the tighter. Knit Business District and the walkability of it that that appealed to me right away as an area that I wanted to come to try to become part of a community in the last year as I joined the chamber. It's Kinda that same promise. I wanted to meet eight New People and yes I wanNA benefit my business. That's the point of joining a chamber. Isn't you network of people benefit your business but also wanted to meet interesting people right right like I want to know the story behind atomic dog and I want to know why I should start with an eye exam and hopefully by eyewear from Berkeley eyewear as part of that. And that's the promise Thomas Really of our show here hopefully throughout the next year. This is what we're gonNA find. We're going to get more of these stories and hopefully folks listen to this podcast and get that feeling feeling from it. That folks like both of you are getting involved in the community and doing great stuff that we should all be supporting it. It's really changed. My attitude have to admit in an each where all we see is Amazon prime vans everywhere. Right we're all. Don't get me wrong. I got an Amazon prime account but I have changed. He's my philosophy of certain things on buying right. Now I could tell you that. What did I do yesterday? I went to ace hardware I went to rite aid. Did you know I went to the post office. I get my haircut locally now right. I've Kinda change a bunch of that around my wife like walking up to certain restaurants in the area nice. It's a beautiful thing even in the cold and our joke is a love. Clark's ice cream and live off Buckingham North at twelve smile and some kind of a street over and a few blocks away from Clark's ice cream. They're off twelve mile and the first year I was here I remember. We were walking back from The the former bar a Patrick Jays and my wife's like that'll ice cream places open and it's like the data winner super cold icy everywhere piece. I no no no doubt right. Yeah no doubt but Clark's while they're open in the winter they're open year round like who the thought that they. They just started doing that a handful years ago. Because they're not me there was. There's a point where I think they closed. That's what I would have assumed even even I think the The frosty place on Coolidge even stayed open a little bit later later. But I'm always a little surprised when I am and my brother-in-law own dairy Queens Up North and that's like the total model title. Isn't it well to close your business down four months five months of the year. It's like really still gotta Pay Electric Because you've got to keep the bill. Yeah you got insurance you. You can't be kind of letting staff go staff my find new jobs. Potentially people want ice cream in the winter but it is. That's kind of my point. My wife and I would walk back back that far and we would get ice cream and then walk back home with said ice cream at Emma. gloves-on had on whole deal. I don't care I'm doing it right so again. It's this great appeal of this locally and in the summer I'm biking a little more around the area and Have you know I. I wish I had walked into atomic dog sooner the first time. It's funny how 'cause I live off twelve mile not coolidge how I lean toward twelve mile businesses. A little more at first and now I'm figuring out there's all this great stuff on coolidge gotta find those hidden gems. It's so true isn't that there's a lot of them. I mean Berkeley again. I think surprises a lot of people and they come down and check it out. I mean just that big that big district that goes twelve mile mile long and coolidge a mile long main between eighteen restaurants gift shops opticals. I mean we've we've got a little bit of everything going on so we'll talk a bit about some of the kind of DA related events events that bolt your businesses would be part of the kind of shopping night the lady shopping nights in the other. Themes they tie into that I've now participated in the last so many of those my wife brings girlfriend her girlfriends. Come over and they all do it and the last couple of times. I've set up at the chiropractic place Nova Chiropractic and and then it will. We've done taste free tastings out of there when folks come in there and that's been a lot of fun and it back to what you said. Andy like I meet people that are out shopping and a lot. I Times as there is sample simply like well. Where are you from? And it's amazing like seventy five percent of the time it'll be from a community outside of Berkley when ask him that question. And that's neat. That gets me excited that those events draw in people that aren't necessarily live in right in this community as a way to expose oppose them. Definitely there do you guys like those events he got kind of two different perspectives. Here because once food and WANNA service Do you find it benefits benefits you being open. Even if you're not automatically sewn a ton of things does that make sense it. Does it gets the word out. More young people see a we did ladies night and couples night and unfortunately we didn't get too many patrons coming in for that. The guys had an event over the summer. What was that event an on July the Berkeley street that Berkeley streetfight huge for us? We had a beer tent or a beer truck parking lot. who was the beer? who was the beer? What was his beers? Had Coors I had. What was the good beer modell? Oh Blue Moon Stock Parade 'em forty-three okay. Now that Berkeley Street art fast is a great A great event and that's a chamber event The DA definitely Sponsors is that But I can tell you that that I sit on that board committee as well so a couple years in with that event and as a chamber event and that's been pretty successful the threes were. Were already planning our fourth year. That's pretty exciting. We came we were one year behind Hind Behind Berkeley I were In the alleyway there okay. That's what I thought. Yeah in the first year was in that alley back in the back Between the the football field in the buildings And we knew we were going to outgrow that after the first year Our tendons Put the petition and the clothes coolidge down which I think a lot of businesses myself. Wow I thought that Who would never be shut down for any event and We got it to shutdown just traditionally. We've done that with twelve mile but not with coolidge. What you're saying? Yeah you know I think we all thought maybe I think the misnomer was that the ambulances and the the traffic between you know Beaumont and expressway. You know It was GONNA be an issue but greenfield but when it was done so sure it was a great event the for the first year out some pretty good weather for I think the one in two thousand nineteen had some pretty nice weather very easily sell beer. That's for sure. What a good idea having a beer truck where you guys you guys were happy with the results you had of that? Yeah we were we were. We got definitely we got the word out more It could have been planned a little bit more smooth We were doing wristbands. And then there's some people who wanted to buy beer who only have credit cards so they have to go inside. I'll share hollow in there. Make make sure they paid and then come back out and then give him a beer. Those are all those type of things you learn after you do it. Yup Ten years of running offense for a living. I can tell you every time I run into that I go back doc. Look at that guy art these three things I need to have smoother next time and then just rock and we got we got huge canopy tent blackout the sun and people just hanging out and are they. Once they had a beer they could only stay in our lot on Foca. Yeah that's the way the laws laws we we don't WANNA break laws. We go through many hoops to get the permit it to sell the beer in our own parking lot but when it was all said and done it was pretty successful we. We had a very very successful day. I do a charity bike. Event in the spring hang out in Oakland County and off the pink re-trial we go to a cider mill the CIDER mill pinker experimental which is owned by Oakland Township and the township owns the building and the property right in there and it's tied to a nonprofit and we would hand everyone a can of beer and two donuts when they get there right and the it and it's so simple well isn't it and people like to Donelson Beer. My it works especially when the fresh CIDER DONNA SPLIT my point for explain all this is it's a six month process to get get all that stuff set up that way. The sheriff has to show up and sign off on the plan. I'm sure you went through the same exact thing I think to the average Joe. They don't really know any of that that so that they're like why can't I just walk around everywhere with this can or like people would want to buy more beer and that wasn't the way our license was set up because it was a nonprofit licensed a little different than how yours was and I think people who don't have to organize those things don't realize the steps involved in how you guys start planning really far out to do these great type of events and they need to be one Air Yeah the day after the event it's so true like I launched my entire counter of public tours for twenty twenty twenty. I had the whole year setup by November the sheer. And what I found is by Thanksgiving. I need to pretty much be Rockin for a whole year's worth of commitments because people do it for holiday gifts in even bikers. I know it's winter and you're thinking I'm not out there biking but I've already sold. I don't forty forty tickets tickets for my spring bike event for example and because that's how people kind of planet out there like okay. That's going to be the weekend do that right. And that's the fun thing and says no different in here with Berkeley and follow. The Great Offensive D in Berkeley Chamber are both involved in So Andy as a Let's talk about the competition side of it for a bit here with Your Business As a as a great local business with their desire to see lots of chains do I care. I examined all the like what. What really such you guys apart from that? I think what sets US apart is experience experience There's you know forty years worth of experience you know sitting behind those walls Were were not sales. People were not Having you walk in and trying too hard sal you or Push you into buying something I think we kind of Leave it from an experience standpoint point you know we want we want every customer that comes in to see the best they can see And sometimes that's That's different you know for every single person so you know we take the time to figure out you know what you're you're doing what your problem is. I mean you know the eye exams that first step sure on but once you come out of there there are so many different Different designs of lenses and and styles of frames. I mean You know computer. Lenses workspace lenses a single vision lenses just for your distance so whatever your problem whatever. You're struggling with you. Know the we you know you listen a little bit and and then you start making recommendations so why should we should all jaap locals that we can get that type of expertise in that more hands on approach. Sometimes I wonder you know when you walk into that provision or the big box store or You know when when that's elsewhere the optician or salesperson you know is on commission. You know Are they really thinking about. What's best for Steve? Steve Struggling at the computer. And you know I am. You know you're when we when we start to get a little bit older you know we we start to struggle with certain things that computer pewter is definitely one of the you know the the the most common talked about troubled area. You know whether you're a single vision winter weather your by focal progressive where Where that reading portion is thank you for explaining that to me? Are you typically as we get over forty okay we start to have a hard time reading that That smaller I could barely see it now. I'm the one who wrote it so okay. If you're not seeing that very well you need glasses right okay. I hope family has glasses. The fact that I'm I'm I'm getting closer to five. Oh and don't yet is probably amazing or a problem. I'm not sure which I WANNA glad my my my dad had an extra guy was an autonomous and my dad had had an exam room in the basement and family if they wanted to get their eyes checked by glasses it was cool if they wanted to pay full price. They came to the store if they wanted. Ah discounted or free. They came to the house I always wanted my eyes checked. 'cause I WANNA glasses my whole family work glasses wearing glasses for me. was you know last five six six seven years phenomenon. But I got over. Forty and seeing the print is hard when you're struggling and you're trying to redecorate shooter and you know your closing one eye or screen for me. It's been the last couple years I felt more like that. And I'm sure it's all because of the screens right. We're all addicted to screens. And that that that only bodes well better for your business. Honestly doesn't it. Oh it does I mean and we're you know come on the I wear sunglass industries. What a sixty plus billion dollar industry The the Lens Industry has definitely Examined and responded to the whole blue light which is the the the the light source. The raises come off of screens that we use whether we're hand-held phones or laptops or desktops desktops He the screens They've they've accounted for these things. The whole industry has directed you know their technology to help aid and You know assist you in and reading that computer that everyone seems to struggle at so jeff not totally on that note note but in terms of like changes in industry the food industry. And and more importantly the GRUB hub side of the world world. An Uber eats Do you guys participate in any of that At this juncture we use Uber is right now okay and would I guess Without calling out who reads or anything would you has. That helped your business herded your business. Would you guys think of it. It's staying neutral neutral okay. Some weeks will get five or six ten orders and then some weeks. We'll get none it all just depends on the consumer I personally I I. I like those services because I'm I'm lazy and I'm home. The Lazy Person Service to some degree. Yeah I I don't don't eat fast food. You're agreeing with that. You're going to that guy. There was a time five nights. A week GRUB. Wow Oh okay I just hated to cook. Okay I've I'm so that's a that's another beep besides our is. I'll go back. That's obvious trend. That's I don't see see where that part of the world that we're that partner is going away anytime. A is here to stay for the last two to couple two years. I've done a sideline gig. Occasionally I work as a ship shopper. Yes familiar with ship. She does the company that Target bought but they work with Meyer and target in this market. where I'm just a freelancer dislike? An Uber driver would be and I go to a Meyer store or a target store and I shopped this order that a customer has placed and deliver it to their house else so instead of just going to the restaurant your restaurant to pick up food I would pick it up at Meyer. Have a credit card that I pay for and do all that. It's interesting seeing the wide range of people that that helps or and or utilize services like that that reads falls right into that. And GRUB HUB and and door dash and kind of all those fall into that same. He's right at General being lazy. I it's like I said before. It's a blessing and it's a burden is you're really is kind of destroying humanity with with laziness and and it's also helping people so from a business standpoint from a strategy standpoint as a restaurant though you guys need to kind of know where you stand on that because you're going to have customers coming in asking you about it. What was that? What got you guys to start using ubereats customers are coming on Hayes? This an option for us. Can we do this with you. Yes us as the new millennia has taken place Technology and people just want to People want convenience and they wanted us to be a part of that they like our food so much and finally I said all right. Let's let's try it. Let's try it. We're GONNA try a different one than I started using Uber eats and I can i. I liked it so what we started with. And that's what we're using right now. I think over the next say five years. I think we'll we'll. We'll see how all these players kind of shake out since we have three the almost four players in the market that are kind of doing similar things. I guess we'll see if it's Yubari store. Dash whoever post meets GRUB right we'll have to kind of see how they all play as post me. Close mates is another thing similar to that. They're just not prominent in this market. I don't think you're gonNA ever see Berkeley. I wear on any of them. You don't think so I you know. Somehow I just find it hard to believe that. We're going to deliver sunglasses that way. You don't think so you can do like. If somebody's glasses are broken shipping to you through a carrier true I guess you know Other aspects of technology though that have really changed your business or your industry for that matter. Andy I guess staying on that No. I like his Amazon Alexa. Whenever I go in this store I would say Alexa? Play this and I leave. Oh I didn't know that I'm going to do that next time. I go into Berkley. I never said anything since you having head your eyes examined and anyone had there is examined in the last year. I'm two years out so I'm doing. That's partially why I was asking you some of those questions member. The puff the Glaucoma test. Where they puff your eye with the air? Yeah we don't do the puff anymore for black home. We scan your eye interesting sort of digital scanning. It's a hand held device that yeah but tha technologies definitely changed our industry. I mean not only the computer you know I mean just the way we order. I mean when when somebody orders you lenses. I you know I'm putting we're putting a prescription into Into a software and sending it to the lab. The Lab's Mary Nat up with the frame. Aim later on and where there was a time when you probably called in things like that. We can still do it. Lisa likes to do things old school sometimes. So yeah there. There's still a lot of paper and stuff off but technology is definitely on the on the on the medical side technologies definitely You know come in. So there's nothing evasive about an eye exam anymore. No no path of air in the eye. So there's I mean everything is just looking you know. There's there's nothing to be apprehensive about so anybody who's definitely thought about right and I was putting it off. Because they don't like that puff of air so I think this is everybody's homework assignment. That's on a computer right. Now are staring at a phone or a screen China so they need to go to Berkeley. I were and get an eye exam and then to celebrate that they did something they should be doing. This should literally go across the street atomic dog and get something to eat or go on open mic night. Get entertained right so I want to thank you guys both coming on the Berkeley local podcast today. Episode Three Right. If people want to get more information about Berkeley I wear. Where should they go WWW DOT Berkeley eyewear dot com. By what you don't you decide. WWW anymore so don't don't sound all set so Berkeley our DOT COM and Jeff. I want to get more information about atomic dog. What should they do? They can go on our facebook page atomic dog. Da WG W joining www dot Berkeley. I WEAR DOT com. Jeff and Andy Allan thank you both for coming on the show Stay tuned for more of these shows. Coming out monthly will will have to great local businesses in the Berkeley area. And I'm your host Steve Johnson. If you you WANNA learn more about my business motorcity DOT com. That's where you go for that. If you WANNA get more of these episodes of the Berkeley local podcast please go to the Berkeley Chamber. Dot Com website right or the socials. Were working obviously share this for both of these businesses and the Downtown Berkeley facebook account. Where we'll have links to this as well so when I thank everybody ready for coming on I want to thank the D._A.? For sponsoring the show and the Chamber for allowing me to help produce it and I stay tuned next month to migrate businesses on. Thank you thank you thanks.

Coming up next