How rare is it for someone to say those three words while they’re working a long day? Probably akin to confirmed sightings of UFOs or Over The Mountain joggers running down Graymont Avenue on a Monday morning. Rare! Non-the-less, Mamanoes owner Antonio Boyd will probably say that phrase several times if you talk to him long enough about his unique new store on 2nd Avenue North downtown. It probably helps that he’s been at the start-up game for a long time.
A serial entrepreneur, Mr. Boyd first showed his aptitude for business in elementary school when he sold well-fed, “fat” earthworms he’d find under old, decaying oak trees to the bait shops in and around his native Dallas County, Alabama. Later he sold candy apples in the mornings before school to his fellow elementary school students using a corn syrup recipe he learned from his grandmother. That work ethic has served him well in the opening of Mamanoes. Mr. Boyd has acted as his own contractor in getting the country store themed retail space to be renovated to his vision. Opening July 1st, a combination of good press attention, good timing, good location and good will from many residents of Birmingham, Mamanoes seems to be on it’s way to success.
The store currently serves a wide variety of both unique and commonly available items with a definite skewing toward the upscale. This is downtown of course. Mr. P’s Deli Meats are available. So are Praline Candies made in Tuscaloosa. Like organic beef or even buffalo? A trip downtown to this store will allow for you to cop those items. Mr Boyd hopes to save some downtown and near downtown residents an inconvenient trip to larger grocery stores on the Southside by keeping very convenient (the store is open until 10pm most nights and until 11pm on Friday and Saturday) hours and keeping a wide selection of items. Need washing powder? Mamanoes has it! Looking for Boylan real-sugar-sweetened Sodas? Mamanoes has it. Looking for a wine tasting on any given Thursday? Mamanoes has it. High gravity beers and unique wines? Mamanoes! The loft area of the store, a new addition executed by Boyd during the three month rehab process to get the store open, has attracted dozens of visitors for the Thursday night wine tasting the store is doing every week at 6pm.
Future plans? Jazz music on Thursdays in the loft area, DVDs for rental and an expanded beer and wine selection are all either in the works or being explored. Online ordering and home delivery from the store’s website are also part of near future plans. One can sign up for the store newsletter by visiting the store and entering the necessary info onto the Mac computer located in the front for that purpose. You’ll get brownie points if you figure out how to look cool in the computer’s webcam. “Great customer service is what (Mamanoes) will be known for”. Mr. Boyd says with the confidence you’d expect from a man with his background. Yet another rarity in today’s business world.