The Lounge

The Beato Lounge at The Porch Gallery
The Beato Lounge.

The Montgomery House where Lisa and I lived and ran our gallery was 3,300 square feet, 50 of which were designated to closet space, and 49 of those 50 were filled with dog toys. We were storage challenged. Lisa had seen too many horror films to feel comfortable using the basement. I had seen too many Harry Potter films to feel comfortable using the closet under the staircase. Our solution was to pick a random room and stuff it with everything Lisa refused to let me throw out.
Our initial idea when we started Beato Chocolates was to sell the product in the gallery. To do so, we needed to clear some space, which meant relocating Lisa’s precious wheelbarrow, six birch logs from her childhood home, and fifty boxes of junk into the gallery’s kitchen. We moved in a Chesterfield sofa, stenciled Beatrice’s famous quote on the wall, added some custom glass tables, a bar cart, and called it the “Beato Lounge.”  Blatantly selling the product was too gouache for our taste. We wanted people to feel like they were in our living room, not a retail store. Lisa and I thought that luring clients in with a homey comfort would be a dignified way to add a commerce element to the gallery. It worked…mostly. Customers would come in, sit on the couch, have a nip of whiskey, tell us the extended director’s cut version of their life story, and leave. We had reached ninety percent of our goal. Unfortunately, the missing ten percent involved sales. A shop without a cash register is as useful as a business newsletter used to tell personal stories. Lisa and I were discovering that coyness is not always the most profitable strategy for running a business.

Stay tuned,
Co-Founder of Beato Chocolates

Back to blog