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Old 04-29-2007, 11:04 AM
 
53 posts, read 198,007 times
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Hello. I am brand new to this site. My husband and I (like so many others) are considering moving to Raleigh based upon internet research alone. Our decision was based on the top 10 best places to live and cites to open a business in lists, housing prices, and the beauty of the area. I am from Oregon, my husband is French, and we met in Arizona. We are currently living in the South of France (yay me! The plan is to stay here for probably just under a year, then move back to the states. We are trying to decide between Charlotte and Raleigh, but can only get so far with internet research. We are going to plan a trip, but it may be later than sooner as my DH has long work days/weeks. Anyhoo...our plan, if we move to Raleigh, is to buy a home, and to open a little French Patisserie/Boulangerie/Cafe. My DH of course is the French pastry chef. I have been scouring the internet for homes, and it looks like S. Raleigh is where we can afford. We are a young couple (late 20's) and are trying to be smart with our money. In the next year we will be selling a home in AZ and will hopefully walk away with $175,000 to just under $200,000. But, since we've owned the home for under 2 years we still have to find out how much of that we will have to pay out in taxes...anyway i am rambling and we want to keep our home buying budget under $150,000. My question is...What kind of opportunities are there to open a small business like this in Raleigh. We are thinking downtown? What are good areas for a place like this?

Also, am I being realistic with our home buying budget? Will I end up in a nasty neighborhood? We are open to townhouses.

thx!
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Old 04-29-2007, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
38,780 posts, read 67,117,585 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KThomas View Post
Hello. I am brand new to this site. My husband and I (like so many others) are considering moving to Raleigh based upon internet research alone. Our decision was based on the top 10 best places to live and cites to open a business in lists, housing prices, and the beauty of the area. I am from Oregon, my husband is French, and we met in Arizona. We are currently living in the South of France (yay me! The plan is to stay here for probably just under a year, then move back to the states. We are trying to decide between Charlotte and Raleigh, but can only get so far with internet research. We are going to plan a trip, but it may be later than sooner as my DH has long work days/weeks. Anyhoo...our plan, if we move to Raleigh, is to buy a home, and to open a little French Patisserie/Boulangerie/Cafe. My DH of course is the French pastry chef. I have been scouring the internet for homes, and it looks like S. Raleigh is where we can afford. We are a young couple (late 20's) and are trying to be smart with our money. In the next year we will be selling a home in AZ and will hopefully walk away with $175,000 to just under $200,000. But, since we've owned the home for under 2 years we still have to find out how much of that we will have to pay out in taxes...anyway i am rambling and we want to keep our home buying budget under $150,000. My question is...What kind of opportunities are there to open a small business like this in Raleigh. We are thinking downtown? What are good areas for a place like this?

Also, am I being realistic with our home buying budget? Will I end up in a nasty neighborhood? We are open to townhouses.

thx!
My mouth is watering and I just polished off a nice serving of fresh home made strawberry shortcake...
There will always be opportunity for quality food and good personal service in a quaint atmosphere.
Especially if you can serve my wife a great eclair.

There is a very nice little French pasty shop on Creedmoor Rd, in the shopping center at the corner of Millbrook and Creedmoor.
I don't know about other similar establishments.

IMO...You should be thinking townhome or condo at the $150,000 point, as a landing pad for starters. No exterior maintenance worries while putting in the extraordinary hours required in launching a small business. You should be able to find something within easy commute to your business.

Grow the business and move up!
It's the American way!
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Old 04-29-2007, 11:41 AM
 
3,021 posts, read 10,487,491 times
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KThomas, welcome to the boards! I think that a nice patisserie/boulangerie/cafe would be a splendid thing! Be warned, though, that I am a huge fan of baked goods, so my opinion may not adequately reflect the market. Location is going to be vital (as I'm sure you know). I suggest you find out the locations of the european-style bakeries in the area & give them a bit of space. I am not frequently in southern Raleigh so I can't speak for their needs but I can give you a brief list of your potential competition. Here are just a few that have sprung to mind.

Guglhuph - located in Durham, this bakery/cafe is an institution in the area. http://www.guglhupf.com/

Gourmandises de France - north Raleigh. Owned by a French couple. I've never been there myself, but I hear they're quite nice. http://www.gourmandisesdefrance.com/

Hereghty's - located "Inside The Beltline" near downtown Raleigh.
http://www.hereghty.com/

There is also a little pastry shop in Hillsborough that is owned by a nice Frenchman, but that's on the north-western bit of the Triangle, so he isn't really your competition. He doesn't have a website. I think they enjoy keeping things small.

So it looks like south Raleigh may be a good area for you, as well as Cary. I also think you could do very well in Chapel Hill/Carborro. There are a lot of hungry foodies there who pride themselves on avoiding chain restaurants at all costs!

As for housing, I'm sad to say that you may have trouble finding a nice home within your price range. I'm not saying that it's impossible, but they are few and far between & I imagine the competition will be fierce. What are you looking for? How would you feel about buying a townhouse or a condo? How do you feel about renting for a year or so before you buy?
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Old 04-29-2007, 11:53 AM
 
53 posts, read 198,007 times
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Default thx

for the posts so far... I knew about Hereghty's. not the others...it makes me a little nervous. yes, we are open to a townhouse for starters. i realize we are expecting a lot for $150K, but we are trying NOT to be like so many other excited young couples out there and buy the big, fancy home because we can. We want to pay cash for a home, because we have the business to finance. This will be our security. No matter what, we'll own our home. We haven't figured out all the details yet, and the business will not be something we'll open right away. We'll probably have to buy the home, and both work for 6 mo.to a year anyway, because we will probably finance the business with a home loan anyway. I can usually find work pretty easy myself (medical field, data entry, insurance, or even just plain ol' secretarial'll do for me), but if we don't open the business directly, the problem will be work for my DH. Are there any big hotels around that he may be able to work at to begin with?
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Old 04-29-2007, 11:55 AM
 
53 posts, read 198,007 times
Reputation: 26
Default also...

sorry, i tend to go on and on and on...i think i will post the same as my original post in some charlotte forum. since we are considering both.
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Old 04-29-2007, 12:26 PM
 
3,021 posts, read 10,487,491 times
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K, no need to apologize. The more information you can offer, the better we can help you. I'm only sorry that the "help" I'm providing may discourage you. It's true that your shop may not be a rare novelty in these parts, but that does not mean you cannot be successful. You may just need to spend a little time finding your niche & the perfect location.

I don't know about hotels that are hiring. I know that Weaver Street Market has been looking for pastry chefs to work the bakery in their new location (which will be opening in Hillsborough). And I think A Southern Season (in Chapel Hill) and Guglhuph were recently hiring pastry chefs. There's bound to be a few job opportunities around for your husband.

In December the local independent weekly ran a story about bakeries in the area. This should provide you a better list of what is happening here. http://www.indyweek.com/gyrobase/Con...id=oid%3A41456
Just keep in mind that they're talking about all of the bakeries (for heaven's sake, they even have Panera on that list). Also keep in mind that the whoooole Triangle is covered in this article - Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Morrisville, Cary, and a dozen other little towns in the area. When you consider how big this place really is, you might see that there is room for you, afterall.
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Old 04-29-2007, 12:36 PM
 
53 posts, read 198,007 times
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Originally Posted by MrsSteel View Post
K, no need to apologize. The more information you can offer, the better we can help you. I'm only sorry that the "help" I'm providing may discourage you. It's true that your shop may not be a rare novelty in these parts, but that does not mean you cannot be successful. You may just need to spend a little time finding your niche & the perfect location.

I don't know about hotels that are hiring. I know that Weaver Street Market has been looking for pastry chefs to work the bakery in their new location (which will be opening in Hillsborough). And I think A Southern Season (in Chapel Hill) and Guglhuph were recently hiring pastry chefs. There's bound to be a few job opportunities around for your husband.

In December the local independent weekly ran a story about bakeries in the area. This should provide you a better list of what is happening here. http://www.indyweek.com/gyrobase/Con...id=oid%3A41456
Just keep in mind that they're talking about all of the bakeries (for heaven's sake, they even have Panera on that list). Also keep in mind that the whoooole Triangle is covered in this article - Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Morrisville, Cary, and a dozen other little towns in the area. When you consider how big this place really is, you might see that there is room for you, afterall.


thx again

it is an overwhelming feat on its own...you have not discouraged me for us...we are young, planning on moving to a state and city we have never been to (yet), have an international move to make, a house overseas to sell, another one to buy, 2 jobs to get, and a business to open. Of course, if it's up to my husband, we'll move to NC and open the business directly. I'm sweating already...i appreciate any info out there. i, by any means, never want to be misinformed just so i'll like what i hear. i can't wait for our trip to raleigh/charlotte to help at least further that decision along. i should be hearing from a commercial real estate agent next week as far as that goes. also, to answer earlier questions about renting....we'd rather not rent. we'd rather not throw that money away when we have the opportunity to own....even if it's not our dream home.

I have kind of an off track question. I browsed the article on the link you provided...it said something about being mid-december and not cool enough to bake yet....is raleigh one of those places where the kids play basketball in their shorts outside on christmas? i hope the answer is no. i love a cold christmas.
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Old 04-29-2007, 12:52 PM
 
3,021 posts, read 10,487,491 times
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I must say that I found their comment about it being too warm to bake rather odd. But then again, I bake year-round.

How do you define cold? What are you looking for? If you're longing for piles of snow, you won't get it here. Indeed, that very fact is the reason why a lot of northerners move here! It can certainly get cool here in the winter and there will be a few days when it snows a couple inches. But this is the South, so a Winter Wonderland it is not. I spent most of this past winter in a sweater & a lined trench coat. No heavy, puffy parkas were necessary.
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Old 04-29-2007, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Wake Forest
3,124 posts, read 12,077,023 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KThomas View Post
thx again

it is an overwhelming feat on its own...you have not discouraged me for us...we are young, planning on moving to a state and city we have never been to (yet), have an international move to make, a house overseas to sell, another one to buy, 2 jobs to get, and a business to open. Of course, if it's up to my husband, we'll move to NC and open the business directly. I'm sweating already...i appreciate any info out there. i, by any means, never want to be misinformed just so i'll like what i hear. i can't wait for our trip to raleigh/charlotte to help at least further that decision along. i should be hearing from a commercial real estate agent next week as far as that goes. also, to answer earlier questions about renting....we'd rather not rent. we'd rather not throw that money away when we have the opportunity to own....even if it's not our dream home.

I have kind of an off track question. I browsed the article on the link you provided...it said something about being mid-december and not cool enough to bake yet....is raleigh one of those places where the kids play basketball in their shorts outside on christmas? i hope the answer is no. i love a cold christmas.
It's not uncommon to see kids outside without a coat in Decemeber. You aren't going to have many truely cold Christmas's here....cool maybe, flurries woudln't be impossible....just like likely.
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Old 04-30-2007, 10:46 AM
 
64 posts, read 240,469 times
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Hereghty's was the only full on patisserie that I knew of and its pretty damn good (will have to check out Gourmandisse, though). We learned of Hereghty's from the owner of St. Jacques (a very highly regarded French restaurant in Raleigh http://www.saintjacquesfrenchcuisine.com). In the same territory is a French bakery at the intersection of New Hope Church Rd and Capital Blvd. Its called Michel's Bakery (http://www.michelsbakerycafe.com/ (broken link)) and I know they supply baked goods to a very large number of restaurants in Raleigh, including St. Jacques. Raleigh is a great place for the food industry so the venture would probably be fine if you could find the right locale.

Last edited by FallsForks; 04-30-2007 at 10:47 AM.. Reason: link
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