An interview with Jeff Tichenor of Roxbury Wine & Spirits
Why did you decide to open a business in the Catskills?
When we purchased our home, it was primarily as a second home to escape from NYC. We quickly fell in love with the mountains and wondered how we could make it work to move up full time. We looked closely at what was missing in Roxbury and decided to open a wine and spirits shop.
What was step one in making your dream come true?
The first step was to develop a business plan and timeline for opening the store. We then met with various local financial and technical advisors to keep us on track. Some great resources in The Catskills for starting and opening a business are The MARK Project, NYS Small Business Development Center in Delhi and The Catskill Watershed Corp. There is lots of free help in The Catskills just for the asking!
How long have you owned your business here?
We opened Roxbury Wine and Spirits in late April 2014. The first year was a learning process and now we are focused on continuing to build our business and customer loyalty. The reception from the community has been great! Many people have expressed how happy they are that we are here.
What has been your biggest lifestyle change?
Slowing down and enjoying nature, a higher quality of life and not shaving everyday!
What are your favorite things to do here (when you aren’t working)?
Jeff enjoys singing and appreciates the many opportunities offered locally such as The Gould Church, Cantata Singers and The Phoenicia Festival of the Voice. Peter enjoys taking mushroom walks, kayaking, and photographing the amazing views the Catskills has to offer.
Name one thing you love about living and working upstate?
Meeting new and interesting people and really being part of a community.
What advice would you give to people who are beginning to dream about starting a business in the Catskills?
Come and visit and really look around to see what is missing and then ask yourself will this work with all demographics? Will your business appeal to the full-time local population and also the second homeowners and tourists? The Catskills are a great place to open and run a business. You don’t need a huge amount of starting capital. You must also realize that you are not moving to The Catskills to strike it rich. What you are exchanging for the fast paced city life and foot traffic is a slower pace of life where you really get to talk to and get to know your customers.