You always learn by watching others.
When we first started Beekman 1802, we always tried to work with first-in-class retail partners. Not because of prestige and not because it meant moving more volume, but because as a young company, we had a lot to learn (and still do). By working with companies like Anthropologie, Henri Bendel, Williams-Sonoma, John Derian. Murray’s Cheese et al, it was like taking a retail master class every time we delivered an order.
These are companies that focus on the details and on delivering something extra to the customer when they walk in the door. They deliver an experience.
Take a look a tour of the Beekan 1802 Mercantile flagship store in Sharon Springs, NY.
We hope that we’ve learned our lessons.
The building as it appeared in the early 1900s when it was used as the town firehouse and meeting hall.
This is the building on the day that the sale of the property went through.
Final renovation pictures of the Beekman 1802 flagship mercantile
When we originally designed the front of the building, we had not included a hand-rail. This was a last-minute design that we literally sketched out on a napkin and handed to the contractor
A bit of whimsy to point out the store entrance.
The main entry hallway on the day of closing
To conceal an old water pipe that was still functional and could not be moved, we built an arch that mimicked the outline of the window on the entry door
To create the dramatic effect, frame moulding was placed in a chevron pattern
With literally thousands of mitered cuts, the hallway took one of our craftsmen, Cody Alabach, nearly 4 weeks to complete working 5-6 days a week
And what you see now when entering
The concealed door at the end of the entryway opens up to provide access to the second floor.
There was originally no access to the larger rooms from the entry hallway
So we created one!
We even designed the shopping baskets
…became this view. We used faux ceiling tin on the back wall to create a dramatic focal point that would draw people into the room
Upholstery tacks used over the seams of the tile wall
These front doors were re-purposed as the entry doors off of the back porch
At some point in the building’s history, the large front windows/firehouse doors had been removed and walls built in the open space
New windows were built to mimic the old firehouse doors. They open up the front of the building.
Old meets new. The new crown moulding and the buildings original bead board ceiling
We love the lit display niches that we see in old department stores like Henri Bendel. Do you see one here as you pass from one room to the next?
The front room is used to display beauty, home & garden items.
So…are you going to stop by this summer?
Carl is a wood turner, and he hand-turned the legs for this inset table we designed
To display our hand-woven linens, we created a “linen cabinet” and use porch screen instead of glass. Linens are draped over rods to look like they are hanging on a clothesline
For the handles of the cabinet we used the handles that were on the old barn doors that used to be on the back of the building
As well as our new ice cream!
We finally get to display our cheeses in the manner they deserve.
One of our B. 1802 artisans, Carl Stoner, took on the task of building all of the cabinetry. And he had never built a cabinet before! He rose to the challenge, we’d say!
“Mortgage Lifter” gets its own display shelf.
Jars of honey stacked in the shape of a honeycomb
Carl designed the top of the shelving units in the pantry room to accommodate the galvanized tin lighting we found.
As the focal point of the pantry room where we house all of the Beekman 1802 edibles, Carl constructed this elaborate wall of cubby holes that we use for displaying product and atmosphere pieces
If you take the time to look at the cubbies, you can see some surprising design elements, like this old faucet designed to look like it was coming from the wall. We used an old piece of chandelier crystal as a water droplet
The cubbies surround the door that leads to the main office. We found this old office door at an architectural salvage yard in Albany. Across the bottom of the glass we printed William Beekman’s actual signature that we lifted off of a historic document
Behind the door is the office of “Hipster Ryan” our new Director of Retail and e-commerce.
The back room was used as the village library for several years.
Now we use it as our inventory, packing, and shipping area. This is where we add the extra love to your packages. (No, we don’t know who’s in the portrait we placed over the door. But it reminds us to smile before heading into the storefront.)
And as clean as a whistle.
Our inventory is as neat as a pin.
What lies behind the door. (P.S. this is a new tenant…so don’t go barging in!)
The back of the building on the day of the closing
The back of the building now with ADA lift and an area for shipping and receiving