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Storefront Diaries: The Outcome of Building C

I know the anticipation has been building for some time, so today I finally announce the outcome of Building C. In all honesty, I hope this post does not let you down, or leave you frustrated or feeling sorry for me. Instead, I want you to think of it as an adventure. Every step - whether positive, negative, or indifferent - has happened for a reason and has become part of the journey. This outcome is no different. [EDITOR'S NOTE: If you haven't been following this cliff-hanger of a tale, please check out Rebecca's previous posts to learn about her quest to open a storefront, and how she came to put an offer on Building C.] 

Building C was never meant to be mine. In fact, I didn’t even receive a response to my offer! I waited nearly five (painful) weeks before I retracted my offer due to no communication. Bet you did not see that coming, did you? Yeah, me either. Every other day I would call my realtor and ask her to update me on the status. In turn, she would email the other realtor and copy me on each correspondence. But still, no answer came. The only communication I received was, “We are still looking over all the details and will have an answer for you soon.” It came after one week of incessant emails from yours truly. After that, nothing.

BldgC with X

I found out much later that the lessor was actually going to agree to all of my terms and was confused as to why I backed out. I wasn’t sure how to respond to that. I waited for what felt like forever without any communication on his end. Was that not long enough? Should I have waited longer? If so, how long? I doubted everything at that moment, but for the first time, I felt as though I had dodged a bullet. If this was how our relationship was going to start, maybe it was not for the best. Would it be this difficult every time I needed to communicate with him? (On a side note, this situation re-emphasizes points in my earlier post about some of the downfalls of leasing.) In my opinion, communication is key to a healthy relationship.

Nearly nine months have passed since I put in my offer, and Building C still sits vacant. To me, it is an obvious sign that the lessor was and is not in any rush to lease. Every day I drive by and wonder what in the world happened. Was it something I did or could have done differently? Better question yet, what am I going to do now?

For months, I continued my search for that perfect place only to come up empty-handed. My desire to have my own storefront is just as alive as it was when I first started this adventure. But I suddenly feel the need to reexamine my motives and circle back to the beginning . . . Why am I doing this? What are my short and long term goals? Can I still achieve these goals continuing on this path, or is there another way in which I can be successful? [EDITOR'S NOTE: Coincidentally, Rebecca's renewed soul-searching ties in rather neatly with Michelle Green's recent post about defining business success.]

I choose to see this outcome as a learning opportunity rather than a failure. Remember, attitude is EVERYTHING! I have come so far and have learned too much to fold now.


So for me, it is back to square one. No biggie. I am glad I am here at this moment, because it is through this careful reexamination of goals, along with this experience (and a few others along the way), that I have decided to head down a different path. What is that path, you ask? Stay tuned for next month's post to find out!

In the meantime, I would love to hear from you and ask your opinion of the above situation. What would you have done? How surprised are you with this outcome and did you foresee it as a possible scenario?

Rebecca Litterell is owner of Litterelly Delicious Cakery. She started decorating cakes for family and friends in 2006 and eventually incorporated cookies into the mix in 2011. She is completely self-taught and passionate about teaching her skill and know-how to others, both online and in the cake and cookie classes that she hosts at her local community college. Before cakes and cookies, Rebecca spent most of her career in the medical field. She is a mother of three and a wife, and loves living in the country. When she’s not in the kitchen, she’s riding her horses. 

Photo credit: Rebecca Litterell

NoteStorefront Diaries is a monthly Cookie Connection blog feature written by Rebecca Litterell that chronicles her journey of opening up a brick-and-mortar business after years of baking out of her home. Its content expresses the views of the author and not necessarily those of this site, its owners, its administrators, or its employees. Catch up on all of Rebecca's past Cookie Connection posts here.



Images (2)
  • Building C with X: Photo by Litterelly Delicious Cakery; Edited by Julia M Usher
  • Recipe for Success Road Sign: Clip art from

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Comments (12)

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I thoroughly enjoyed your journey, and waited for every new post. I would have done the same thing, a lessor who is not reliable - this increases the risks of an already risky undertaking immensely. Don't give up, your time will come!

Though I have to admit I was not very surprised by the outcome, I cheated  As your facebook account still shows your business to be home operated this was what I had assumed anyway...

They say all things happen for a reason, even though we don't know or understand that reason at the time! Bigger and better things for you in the future then.... look forward to hearing about it! xx

When you have 4 people playing telephone and especially 2 realtors things can go south in a hurry.  In this case slowly to get it resolve. To bad you couldn't have had a direct meeting with the owner. Sound a like to me that person was ( a, not in country, (b, in another city in a very busy job, or was never going to rent it in the first placE. (c. maybe they never got their communication from their busy realtor who had a bad habit of not passing info along...Good Luck 

I TOTALLY did NOT see that ending coming.  You have such an amazingly positive outlook on the situation.  I am not sure I would be that "grown-up" about it!  I can't wait to see what's next on your journey!  

What a shame! But as you say, it's given you an opportunity to rethink your direction. I agree you may have dodged a bullet though, if the realtor is that unreliable. Can't wait for the next instalment!

Sorry to hear of your building.  I know exactly what you are going through because I am at the same place.  Spent months researching, asking questions, with only two persons supporting my decision to buy the building...the seller and an investor.  Decided not to buy at this time because there were too many unknowns that could add up in a hurry such as plumbing not fixed as promised and no way to check furnace and AC.  Kind of frustrating and not sure where I'm going to turn either.  Hoping the Chase Mission Main Street grant comes through!!!  Wished we live closer and could partner together on a building!!

If there's one thing I've learned in 63 years, it's always, always, always follow your instincts!  I've had 2 small businesses and, in the 1st one, had a horrible experience with the building owner.  The alarm bells were ringing in my head, but I felt pressured to get a store front and start moving inventory.  Big mistake!


It's hard, but just be patient and use this time to take care of all the things that mysteriously pop up when you're wanting to start a business.  The right place will open up when the time is right and you'll be ready!

You have no idea how lucky you are to not get into a place where the landlord or owner has no sense of urgency to rent. This is a blessing in disguise! 

I too have owned a small business with people that I should have known were trouble from the start, and I later regretted not following what my instincts were telling me. Sometimes our desire to reach our goal makes us ignore the signs of a bad landlord.

Always listen to your instinct and don't do anything that doesn't feel right! Don't get discouraged and continue your search...


I agree with others' comments - dodged a bullet, etc.  


Rebecca, go to your better business bureau and search this owner, look for his ratings...  Search your realty company too.  Your agent is partly to blame too.  She could have been playing both sides, looking for a bigger commission, etc.   If you aren't contracted to stick with her dump her,  contact another realtor company, get a new agent.  

An agent should be working on your behalf and should caution you.  Although you were given the impression that you are included in emails/communications, it doesn't mean that they were in collusion. 

Yes, I delve in the ideal scenario...  But we can be duped.  Once you sign those papers they'll look at you and could possibly say shulda, wulda, culda; you signed, etc.

Perhaps, if you don't already have, you should have a business lawyer on your side.  An added expense though but one I would have.  (Just my two cents!)

Lastly, don't let this deter you from your goals.  Be more careful, aware, and don't give the impression that you just have to...

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