How to own an island liquor store

Gary Moses
is trying a second time to give somebody else a second chance.

Later this month, he will launch an essay contest in which the prize is his five-year-old Mixology Warehouse. The entrance fee is $100, and each 100-word essay will be reviewed by a three judges.

"They’ll get an operating business, fully stocked, money in the cash
drawer, and four months’ rent paid in advance," Moses explained.

"This is a good opportunity for somebody who wants to start fresh," Moses said. "Somebody who feels they can’t go any further in the job where they are now." His motivation is also that of a person who wants to do good, who feels that after 19 years on the island it’s time to enjoy life while giving somebody else a chance. He suggests entrants be familiar with the films "Pay it Forward" and "Spitfire Grill" to appreciate what he’s trying to achieve.

The Mixology Warehouse is in downtown Cruz Bay, near the Lumberyard shopping center. It does a retail business in beer, liquor and wine, wholesales to island restaurants and makes deliveries to villas for parties, weddings and other events.

If all goes well, the Warehouse could have a new owner by October. Moses will accept essays, only from mainland residents, for 90 days.  He hopes to attract 10,000 entrants. The minimum is 9,000. The judges will take 30 days to make their decision.

Moses ran a similar essay contest for the business last year, but it didn’t draw enough interest. He blames himself for not marketing it well and says he’ll do better this time. "This is Gary’s retirement plan, too," he explained.

After 19 years on island, and having started three businesses (including Noah’s Little Arks and the Banana Deck," Moses said it’s time to go sailing. But he already has plans for another venture which he describes as an "eco camp" on another island. "On 10 acres, with nine little huts. We’ll run it six months a year, and then Gary can go play for six months."


In this week’s St. John Podcast, Moses explains how you can win a business on St. John.

To listen on your computer, click the play button below.

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8 thoughts on “How to own an island liquor store”

  1. Another good one Frank! As a business owner and a prior small business analyst (for a bank), I find any St. John business news very interesting. When I see businesses listed for sale, I always wonder what is behind the numbers.
    I hope Gary is successful – Interesting approach to selling/raffling off a business.

  2. I remember this contest from last year. I love your website and St. John, but this is a bit too much, Frank. Let’s see – $ 100 X 10,0000=$ 1,000,000 for him. This IS Moses retirement. IF he EVER gets this many entries ( well, OK 9,000 minimum) the new owner will last 6 months, if that. You don’t buy or run a business on clever words – anywhere, including lovely St. John! Ha Ha !!!

  3. Unreal,
    Ok I think i might start a small business on St. John and offer a “contest” each year where I can collect $100 x 899 entrants = $89,900 and then you can call the contest a unfortunate failure because it didn’t meet the minimum 900 entrants and keep the entrant money. Good work Gary. Bad work to all that continue to “market” this contest, you are only adding to the “wool over the eyes”.

  4. Josh, I believe in these situations they will get back their money. It’s been done on selling of homes albeit not very often.
    That being said, if it was as you described it would be a scam. Moe is not a scammer.

  5. Gary told me he refunded everybody’s fee when he ran the contest last year, even though the entry rules didn’t require him to do so.
    Gary is a Vietnam veteran, a very hard worker, and very trustworthy, I believe.

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