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Help Us Grow!

posted Jan 27, 2016, 7:45 AM by Old Lex Mercantile, LLC   [ updated Mar 23, 2016, 11:12 AM ]
Greetings from Old Lex Mercantile,

As we’re nearing the two-and-a-half year anniversary of our opening, we’d like to share our version of an “annual report” with you.  This level of disclosure may be somewhat unorthodox, but we consider every one of our customers to be a stakeholder--with a vested interest in the success of our business. By sharing some results with you, we hope to inspire input that can help shape the future of Old Lex Mercantile, LLC.

When we opened the business in November 2013, our primary mission was to help breathe new life into the block of West Nelson St between The Palms and Blue Sky.  With our offerings of bottled extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pasta and sauce, we sought to fill a vacant niche in the downtown retail market.  And we sought to create a business that would appeal to locals and visitors alike.

With time, we expanded our offerings to include wine, cured meats, duck breast and other poultry (by special order), pate, crackers, antipasti, condiments, specialty dips/sauces, cookies, the ever-popular babka, and more.  From hors d’oeuvres to dessert, we offer everything you need to create a delicious, yet simply-prepared gourmet meal.  

Without a doubt, we have filled an unmet need.  We have a loyal following of customers who frequently stop in to pick up fresh ravioli, salami, cheese and crackers, or a bottle of wine.  And we recognize “the look” when a customer comes in frantically needing to replenish their supply of our white balsamic vinegar!  

There’s nothing more gratifying to us than helping folks find just what they need.  Putting customer service above all else, we happily open the store after hours when customers call, we encourage special requests and do everything we can to fulfill them, and we make home deliveries.  We even have personally delivered a case of vinegar to a customer in Pennsylvania.

Here’s a sampling of feedback from our customers:

  • “I love this store! I'm so glad it is in Lexington, my hometown. My husband is absolutely obsessed with the white balsamic!”

  • “You both are so helpful and always have such good ideas and products. We are fortunate we have you here in Lexington!”

  • “Outstanding products and great addition to the Lexington community. Helpful, happy assistance always!”

  • “Who could ask for more than personal delivery?! We enjoyed your hospitality last July during W&L Alumni College. Thank you for your kind service.”

  • “Thank you for allowing me to sample items and thank you for the suggestions. Also, do REALLY appreciate the free gift wrap!”

In 2015, we had over 1,500 sales transactions.  More than 60% of our revenue derived from wine, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and pasta sales, and our profit margins were within industry targets.  This certainly validates our hypothesis that there’s demand for these premium products in Lexington. We recognize, however, that we need to increase our sales volume to ensure this business will be sustainable over the long run.  So, we’re seeking ways to expand and grow -- with offerings that establish Old Lex Mercantile as the premier shop in Lexington for gourmet food.

Can you help us grow?  We have some thoughts…

  • We know that an expanded array of offerings will help drive more foot traffic and increase sales.  Please bring us your ideas!  What else would you like to see on our shelves?  If you’re a local customer, what new items would entice you to stop in on a bi-weekly or weekly basis?  If you’re an out-of-town customer, what new items would make Old Lex Mercantile your must-go-to destination each time you visit lovely Lexington? Share your input with us via email (contact@oldlexmercantile.com), a phone call (540.319.4180), a post to our FaceBook page (Old Lex Mercantile, LLC), or a visit to our store at 113 West Nelson St.

  • In our little corner of the world, we’ve discovered that word of mouth is the most effective form of advertising.  Please tell all your friends about Old Lex Mercantile and encourage them to shop here. We strive to offer products that are not available anywhere else in Lexington and are competitively priced with what you can find online.  Shopping with us and helping us grow is a great way to support our local economy!  

  • Please “Like Us” on Facebook!

We’re having a great time sharing our love of delicious food with each of you and doing our small part to help bring new vibrancy to West Nelson St.  We appreciate all you have done to bring Old Lex Mercantile this far, we appreciate your support going forward, and we appreciate any ideas you may have to help us grow this incubating business into a full-fledged, sustainable market in downtown Lexington!  

Your friends,

Lai and Betsy Lee