Ask Kate Baker or Suzanne Schalow, the owners of the Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont, how they’re doing, and without skipping a beat, they’ll answer: “Living the dream.” And as they revealed last week, that dream is only getting bigger.
Last Tuesday, Schalow announced to a crowd of about 30 brewers, brewery reps, beer geeks, and loyal customers that they are going to franchise Craft Beer Cellar and plan to open three stores by the end of 2013. The initial focus will be on Lowell, Swampscott, Chelsea, and Needham, Schalow said, and after that, they will concentrate on the rest of New England.
Since opening the store in 2010, Baker and Schalow have created a craft beer destination and a hub for all things local beer, selling more than 1,000 different brews. The challenge will be duplicating the same convivial culture and environment that they have fostered in Belmont.
“We’ve got to find the right people. And they are out there; we just have to find them,” she said. “We want the community to grow. That’s important.”
What won’t be hard, Schalow said, will be getting people in the door.
“We know one thing: if you make it and it’s good, people will come.”