Yesterday I stumbled across a bookstore that sells pickles.
I immediately flashed back to an episode of Shark Tank I’d enjoyed in a hotel room a few weeks prior. A man had invented a hummingbird feeder face mask (see HummViewer). His target market was birdwatchers who wanted to get up close. It was a ridiculous looking contraption and the investors, while intrigued, clearly thought it was a joke.
Over the course of the conversation, however, it became clear the HummViewer was a serious endeavor. The inventor even pulled up a PowerPoint with some charts to illustrate the highly lucrative potential of the birdwatching industry.
For a moment it seemed like none of the sharks were going to invest. Until one started to bite. The hummingbird enthusiast market, while small, was larger than the shark originally anticipated. Plus, existing sales of the HummViewer pointed toward continued growth. One of the sharks was all-in.
Now imagine a Venn diagram. On the left there are people who like books. On the right there are people who like pickles. Both circles are very large because a lot of people like books and a lot of people like pickles. And in the middle we have folks who like books AND pickles.
If I were to walk into a bank and try to get a loan to start a hybrid coffee shop / record store, I’d likely be met with some skepticism, but the pairing would at least be understood. Customers could listen to music while drinking coffee and the coffee would also draw people into the record store. Plus, two revenue streams may prove better than one.
But what about books and pickles? Is there a symbiotic relationship there? It sure doesn’t seem like it. I’ve never read a book while eating a pickle. Have you?
Maybe the relationship is this: books and pickles are such an odd pairing that you simply must investigate. Maybe it’s advertising. Or maybe the founder of Sweet Pickle Books just really liked books and pickles, found themselves in the middle of the Venn diagram, and figured there had to be others who felt the same. Either way I appreciate how none of it makes sense. That’s what makes it such an original idea.
I came for pickles and stayed for the books. Perhaps you’ll come for the books and stay for the pickles. We’ll both be right and we’ll both leave satisfied.
Ive been to this spot too and, I recognized this place from the photo, that says something too!