Nov 30th 2010 Issue
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FINAL Old Orchard Update - We're Open!

Charles Cain - Nov 30th 2010

Front of store

Front of store (before)

Rear of store

Rear of store (before)

Adagio's second "Tea Experience" retail store opened on Tuesday, November 30th at Old Orchard Mall in Skokie, IL. The 1,200 square foot store features roughly 150 premium teas available both loose and also in pyramid tea-bags, and a broad collection of more than 100 tea accessories, including a range of tea brewing tools and teapots and tea cups in glass, ceramic, clay and cast iron. Customers are free to try any tea in the regular collection at our cupping tables, or create their own custom blend.

The store is the second Adagio Brick-and-mortar retail location. The stores designed to offer tea lovers a unique opportunity to cup and blend teas, and engage the "tea curious" in an unparalleled sensory experience. For more on our unique tea experience, see the Grand Opening Video of our Naperville store.

The complete renovation of the 1,200 square foot space ended up taking exactly 35 days. To tackle a project like this, including fabrication of the millwork (counters and fixtures), exterior signage and completely replacing the exterior facade, in just under a month was quite an accomplishment. And the process certainly wasn't without complication. For example, we had to engage a new millwork partner following the problems in our Naperville store. We also had about a week's worth of delays following a problem getting through permitting with the city. In the end we had to call in a couple favors and get the Illinois State Inspector out to rule in our favor and keep the project moving.

Sadly, after all that, we missed our target of being open for Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, by ONE BUSINESS DAY. To accomplish so much - replacing everything from the floor to the ceiling to the windows and walls - and miss by a few hours was incredibly frustrating. Even more frustrating was visiting the store on Black Friday and then over the weekend, but being unable to make much progress because the contractors we needed to put the finishing touches on the space were on vacation.

The customer traffic in the mall on Friday and over the weekend was stunning.

While missing the goal so narrowly was frustrating, I feel good about the overall process and the improvements we made following the Naperville opening. We've been incredibly blessed by a General Contractor who has been both dedicated and efficient. He did everything he could through the course of the project to stay on top of each of the trades and schedule workers from 6AM to after midnight in the final days of the project to hit our goal. At the end of the day we missed our Black Friday goal by only a day's worth of construction time.

While we're glad to have the store open, the truth is there are still quite a few minor pieces still in-process. For example, we're still waiting on a few design pieces to finish the exterior, art for the large white wall on the interior, and the feature light fixture over the center counters. I'll definitely post pictures of the store when officially "finished", but you can see the process shots here.

I look forward to posting pictures of the "finished" space in a week or so.

Adagio Teas