- October 12, 2017
The Foodery bottle shops have been an institution in Philadelphia ever since they first pioneered the mix-a-six concept (selecting six, single-serve beers for one personalized 6-pack) in the 80s.With five locations in the greater Philadelphia area, The Foodery has finally ventured out into the counties, opening their newest location in Phoenixville this past April.
Heady Times journeyed out to this bright and spacious Bridge Street bottle shop for a sit-down with manager Nikita Borovik. We discussed the changing landscape of single-serve, how different drinkers research beers and why this location might just be the most innovative Foodery yet.
Heady Times (HT): Some of your locations date back decades. What’s the history of the Foodery organization?
Nikita Borovik (NB): Well, The Foodery is Philadelphia’s first bottle shop. A lot of people don’t know that. The 10th and Pine location was the innovator. There was no place at the time that offered carry-out beer. So when a new owner took over that location, they decided to start carrying beer.It was small, but it packed a punch. Our 2nd Street location opened in 2002, then Roxborough, then the Corner Foodery. Now we’re here.
HT: How is this Foodery different from your other locations?
NB: Each Foodery caters to their own demographic. They’re all a little different. But a lot of the innovation we’re starting here is going to trickle down to the other locations over time. Our kiosk system is a great example. All throughout our store, customers are able to use the kiosks to search for beer and educate themselves on what’s in stock. We’ve already rotated over 1900 beers at this location and we have 1400 in stock at any given time. Our goal is 1500, so we’re close. That’s obviously a ton of beer, so the kiosk allows shoppers to look up the specific location of the desired beer in the store, read a commercial description of the item and see a picture. It helps them find what they’re looking for, even if they’re not exactly sure what they want to drink when they walk in the door.
HT: How have you seen the landscape for single serve change?
NB: We’re always trying to adapt to the changing beer culture. Right now it’s tough because the laws are changing so fast and we’re all trying to catch up. Different shoppers come in for different products, and now they have access to different packages, so it’s about catering to each of those individuals. Younger drinkers are used to doing research on their own, and figuring things out for themselves, so they’re the ones who gravitate to the kiosks. Our older shoppers like person to person contact. They also tend to come in knowing which specific beer they want to purchase.
HT: What does The Foodery offer beer drinkers that they might not find at other bottle shops?
NB: We want to educate people. Each member of the staff has a style they enjoy and know a lot about. I’m into Belgian triples. We have someone else who loves ciders. We cover all our bases. We like to get our customers over to our draught area, where we have 17 taps, so they can try some free samples. This allows us to see where their palate stands. Through their likes and dislikes, we are able to narrow down which styles they prefer. We get Coors Light drinkers in here, but slowly we like to introduce them to different beers – open up their palates.
I’ll also say that our selection is second to none. We have a huge range, spanning from Yuengling to Heineken, to the rare releases that people line up out the door for. And we offer a ton of international selections – Belgian, Russian, Lithuanian. Because of our size, we have a selection that other smaller stores aren’t able to stock. That and the knowledge of our amazing staff are what really sets us apart.
Fooderybeer.com • 325 Bridge St, Phoenixville, PA • 610-933-1150