Old Town Rootbeer Company
28545 Old Front St. #103 Temecula, Temecula, CA, USA
www.oldtownrootbeer.com - 951.676.5088
Old Town Rootbeer Company Temecula Reviews
Old Town Rootbeer Company Leaves a Flat Taste. Dec 19, 2008
During a trip to Southern California to run the Disneyland Half Marathon in September of 2008, I wound up venturing around Temecula and some of my old stomping grounds where I grew up. While on a quest to find a magic shop called The Trick Shop, I stumbled across a small store that appeared to cater to my favorite frosty refreshment, rootbeer. What I actually stumbled across was an awkward shopping experience, a glimpse of rootbeer/soda heaven and a gatekeeper who might want to consider another line of business.
Old Town Rootbeer Company's little store is a mecca if you're into tossing down unique liquids just to try something new. They claim to have about 99 types of rootbeers and over 800 unique sodas. Looking at the in-store stock is just eye-boggling. There are SO many different types of sodas crammed into the place that it almost hurts your eyes trying to focus on a single bottle. While I was fixated on trying to process what I might want to try, I couldn't help the feeling that I was being watched...intently. I was.
Two women were also there before I entered. One woman was apparently the cashier because she could go behind the counter and lean on the register while commenting on something that must've happened concerning the other woman, who was leaning on a table toward the back of the room. The awkwardness that permeated the store was coming from the fact that these two ladies obviously had their conversation disrupted by a damn customer. That'd be me.
When I asked if I could take a couple of pictures of the inside of the store (I always ask), all I got was a sharp, but twangy, "No. We don't allow pictures."
Hoping to sort of break the awkward tension of them wanting me to make a purchase and leave so that they're personal talk-time could continue without me being privy to it, I asked the lady leaning against the register so that it didn't fall if she could recommend a rootbeer.
Register lady had gone to the cooler behind the counter, rapidly slid open the door, set a cold bottle of Sprecher Rootbeer (they don't even suggest their own brand or retell the interesting story about how the recipe was found in an old bible) down on the countertop, told me the price, asked me if that's all, waited for my affirmative reply, rang me up, bagged the bottle and told me to have a nice day. Done.
Old Town Rootbeer Company gets kudos for having an almost overwhelming selection of sodas and rootbeer on hand. It's hard to have dated stock like that just sitting there hoping that someone's tastebuds steer them to one single bottle before it expires. What Old Town Rootbeer Company was missing that day was just the most simple, most powerful tool any company can fire at potential customers...good customer service.
Having been in retail for well over twenty years, receiving numerous awards for individual as well as overallstore performance in customer service, it KILLS me when I see poor customer service. Most businesses who've decided to go into 'niche' marketing like a store that specializes in rootbeer, need to really make shopping in that store an enjoyable, friendly experience from the minute they realize that someone may walk in the door to five minutes after that customer leaves. Opening a business means trying to create a brand, creating a brand means building a reputation, building a reputation means networking, networking means communication and communication requires people skills.
Those never materialized at the Old Town Rootbeer Company.
Upon returning home, I checked out their website only to realize that they just didn't care to begin with.
As of this writing (December 2008), their site, which looks like something from the mid-1990s, BEGS you to check back DAILY for new updates. That just makes me shake my head since on the homepage it clearly states that the site hasn't been updated since March 13, 2006! Too bad I couldn't take pictures. I'd have more than their own website does AND help promote their business...for FREE!
From my own research, John Montgomery (the owner of the store), had gone through a serious personal tragedy. Even though I know the backstory, you'd think that someone would care enough about the business to insure that it prospered regardless what the setback might be.
Here's the verdict on the Old Town Rootbeer Company.
If you're in Old Town Temecula in Southern California, it's hot, your thirsty, could care less who the hell serves you something to drink, then definately check out Old Town Rootbeer Company. On the other hand, if you're in Old Town Temecula in Southern California, it's hot, your thirsty and would love a friendly person to help you make a selection that'll satisfy your thirst, just keep walking...there's a less awkward place up the street.
And let me know if that lady ever had to stop propping up that cash register.
Thanks for your time and take care,
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