“The Sip” to open in Premium Outlets in Williamsburg
WILLIAMSBURG – A new café is slated to open in mid-November at the Williamsburg Premium Outlets.
The cafe, named “The Sip”, will have light lunch and breakfast options on its menu in addition to espresso drinks, specialty coffees and teas.
The store’s name derives from the owner, Nancy Lee’s, other James City County-based businesses, The Flipping Flea, and The Sipping Flea.
“When I was looking at the flea market I would try to make it fun and I would say, ‘We’re just going to go to the flea market flipping’ and then I was struck by how fun it looked. Flipping Flea Market, “Lee said in an interview with WYDaily.” Then I thought, ‘Okay, now I need a logo with a little chip and it needs to be floating in the air.’ So found this girl online doing logos and designs. We chatted and designed the Flea. So Chip has costumes if you look at our social media. It’s so fun. Sometimes we call The Sipping Flea, ‘The Sip.’ So I said to my husband, “Why don’t we just call it the sip?” “
Some of the drink options are those that The Sipping Flea customers are familiar with. Espresso options such as “The Puppy Kiss”, “The Belly Rub” and “The Bulldog” are currently featured at Sipping Flea and will be available at Sip when the store opens later this month.
“We have two English Bulldogs, so we’ve changed the names of our menus around that,” Lee said. “So Maddie loves belly massages. So we have a drink called Maddie, and we have another drink called Willow. There is a drink called Puppy Kiss because puppies love to kiss, and another called Bull Dog because we have bulldogs. So people are having fun with our menu, but the best part is the belly massage because people just laugh when they say it.
Lee’s group of companies debuted in 2018 with the opening of “The Flipping Flea”; a concept of shared retail where people can have both, start their own businesses and share the expenses.
“The Flipping Flea was going to be an indoor flea market and we were just going to run the stalls on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Well, people started to come and want permanent spaces, ”Lee said. “The next thing I know is that I go from an indoor flea market to an indoor store that I fill up quickly. People kept coming in so I added two spill chips a year later and then it filled up so I added three spill chips last November.
Lee decided to open The Sipping Flee between the first two Flipping Flea locations as they are all located in the same plaza. The company has grown in popularity ever since. After being approached by Old Hickory Buildings and Sheds, the company’s products are now also included in the Flipping Flea.
“So now we have hangars here, three stores and the cafe. So it just kept growing and now we are becoming that destination mall that our customers come back to every year, ”said Lee. “We just brought our first little tour bus here last week. I was so excited because it was my dream. They came from New Jersey, someone else who visited here told them their church group had to come here and they did and it was fantastic.
Next June will mark the fourth anniversary since the opening of the first Flipping Flea. However, with all the growth and expansion, there have been challenges. Lee’s business is involved with over 100 vendors / booths and they had to figure out how to navigate the business during the peak of business closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
“For the stores, we kind of swam in murky waters together. All the salespeople got together and we remained stubborn. We knew there would be tough times. We got very creative doing online sales. We made videos because people couldn’t get into the stores. Well the rent goes on and your overheads too, so we stuck together as a team, all the traders, ”Lee said. “The cafe was a bit more difficult as we were due to open in April and we know what happened in March. So in April we ended up not opening our doors and we sat here until August paying the bills and then I finally said, “We have to open. So finally in August, we decided to open the doors.
Lee and her group of merchants were able to navigate in 2020 and now she is eagerly awaiting the grand opening of The Sip. It was originally planned to be a coffee cart that they were going to put in the mall about eight months ago. However, they eventually decided to go with a brick and mortar store. The Sip will be the only high-end point-of-sale store where you can sit inside and have a drink or something to eat.
“In our cafe you can sit at a table inside, sheltered from the elements. We gave homeschool, high school and other students our coffee shop as a classroom space. We had a table of eight students from Warhill. They were here all day and they were here to do their homework, ”Lee said. “We were very accommodating and they were very gracious when they left as we offer free WI-FI. It’s been going on since we pretty much opened the Sipping Flea. People could come here without worrying about having to leave or disturbing my regular clientele. So it was just cool to see the different groups of home students who came here, or the parents who brought their kids, or the people who worked from home who needed to go out and work elsewhere. They would come here and put on their helmets, and they would work here rather than at home just to change the environment. Some of them felt so good that they were able to leave their homes. They could go out and do all their work here.
Lee says The Sip plans to open an hour before normal mall hours to give employees a chance to grab coffee or something before they go to work.
For more information and updates, people can go to The Sipping Flea’s Facebook page.
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