Head chef and owner of the popular Santa Ana restaurant Playground, Jason Quinn closed two of his shops at the 4th Street Market. Quinn told the Orange County register that “no one” seemed interested in purchasing the specialty groceries and pastries available at his market, Honor Roll, and patisserie, The Dough Exchange. He went on to say that he plans to retail the popular items at a smaller location next to Playground sometime in the future.
Upon hearing this news, we foodies at RSG thought about how helpful market studies can be prior to undertaking a business venture. Quinn’s decision indicates that he believes Downtown Santa Ana may not be the right market for a specialty grocery store. A market study could have helped him arrive at this conclusion before he invested in the effort to open Honor Roll and Dough Exchange.
On the other hand, a market study analysis conducted prior to the opening of Playground might have also indicated a lack of the chic restaurant-attending demographic in Downtown Santa Ana. Quinn, and other entrepreneurs like him, took and continue to take risks based on their intuition by opening trendy businesses in nascent markets. In some cases, the risk pays off and the entrepreneurs reap their due rewards. Other times, businesses close and the entrepreneurs adjust their approach with another project. In any case, a market study is a useful tool for entrepreneurs to make an informed decision on the risk they take.
For those wondering, the Electric City Butcher will remain open, and the empty space will soon be occupied by another specialty grocer “with a twist.” In the meantime, Ryan Chase, owner of the 4th Street Market, will use the space for additional seating.
Written by Nicole Miller, a Research Assistant at RSG.