Retiring IBM software engineer Craig Henkle opened TheGreenSpace in the Rondout District of Kingston about six months ago. The small shop sells high-quality food and drink, with every item available something that was produced in New York State.
The one-man operation is currently open afternoons only, from about 12 noon to 6 p.m., because Henkle is still working half-days at IBM. By the end of the year he’ll retire, and in 2014 he plans to increase the store’s opening hours when he’ll have the time – although he does plan to continue to run the store solo. “Yes, because simplicity is key for me,” he says. “I want this to be simple and straightforward.”
Henkle originally wanted to open a magazine store and newsstand at the site featuring environmentally oriented publications. He has run a bookstore in the past, and enjoys that business. Ultimately he decided not to try to compete with booksellers on the Internet, and with an interest in buying and selling locally produced foods, decided instead to open TheGreenSpace to build upon that.
“I recently started getting in a lot of hot sauces,” says Henkle. “It seems to be a popular item. I have over 30 different kinds right now.” Most of the hot sauces he carries are lower on the Scoville scale (the measurement of the heat of chili peppers) – “quite palatable,” he says – but he did get in a few small bottles of superhot varieties Night of Hell and Bad Blood, which are “not the type you take teaspoonfuls of,” according to Henkle.