Back to Work
Grammatico says he tried "to hold on by credit cards, to keep the wolves away. Then I had an equity line run out of money in '09. All I had left was a half-empty shopping center.
"I had to make lemons out of lemonade."
The "lemon" was Scio Town Center on Zeeb Road. His biggest tenant, Kitchen Port, had closed during the recession. With no new tenant in sight, Grammatico--hearty looking, with a wide smile--decided to open his own store. A friend was storing furniture in the Kitchen Port space, which turned his thoughts to a high-end furniture consignment shop.
"I don't know a lot about the furniture business," he admits. "I do know a good deal." He began checking out Craigslist for high-quality furniture in good condition and soon was driving in a truck around Metro Detroit, picking up chairs, tables, sofas, and other items.
He opened Westside Furniture Consignment three years ago. Because he didn't have to buy any inventory, startup costs were minimal. And "right away I had people coming through the door. I remember selling a couple of couches the first day."