It’s hard to appreciate how big an impact a single person can have on a business. I have written many times about how lucky I was to live near Beltramo’s, since they have such an excellent selection and (importantly) knowledgeable staff. I didn’t know it then, but the staff is way more important than the selection!
The primary guy who dealt with whisk(e)y — Ken C. — had to move away. His wife got a job in Southern California, so they moved. It was very sudden. I had really enjoyed the rapport we had built, since he knew what I liked and could point me to new things I might also like.
No matter what you might think by reading this blog, I’m not in there every day, or even every week. I happened to stop within a couple weeks after he had gone, and asked why the shelves were relatively empty (compared with overflowing). That’s when I was told that he had moved.
It was apparent that the impact had been felt almost immediately. Within those couple weeks, the shelves had gone from their usual levels of fully stocked (at overwhelming levels, normally) to sparse. Not bare, but I have never seen so much empty space in that department. It was sad to see a formerly thriving business in that state. I hope Beltramo’s can recover from this loss.
I just wanted to say, for the record, that I wish Ken C. all the best! I didn’t realize until after he was gone that it wasn’t Beltramo’s that I was purchasing from…it was Ken.