Gunn’s shop will also offer pop-up shops.
Businesses will have the ability to rent out her space to find out how the community will respond to their food and services without having to invest a lot of money by buying a restaurant in the area.
“If I were going to open a restaurant, I would be doing pop-ups,” she said.
“It’s quick and easy, and you find out immediately what the response is. It’s a way to sort of get your food out there without having to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in a restaurant. It’s low risk.”
The Durham Storefront Project is another shop that has used this pop-up model, and according to co-owner and co-organizer Jessica Moore, it has been a worthwhile venture.
“We did a pop-up shop last holiday season,” she said. “It was really successful, and it gave great exposure to everyone that was involved.”
Moore said when it comes to the location of the shop, it all depends on the type of model that you implement.
“You have to model it around where you are,” she said. “There are all kinds of different models. The kind of pop-up you would have in Charlotte would be different than the kind of pop-up you have in a small town.”
Nikki Whited, owner of East West Vintage Rentals in Asheville, has hosted pop-up shops as well, and she said she and her partners have learned a great deal about the advantages and disadvantages of running these types of shops.
“It’s a lot of work to put on the pop-up shop,” she said.
“But if you have a retail shop, you have to be in the shop daily, where the pop-up shop is a temporary thing.”
Despite other challenges that Gunn could face, she said she is staying positive and looking forward to this opportunity and what it means for the community as a whole.
“I think marketing is going to be a challenge because a lot of people don’t know about pop-ups,” she said.
“But I think this market is ready for something like that. This will be a great way to reach out to people.”