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Once upon a time...

When I was very young my family would go into the city at Christmas to see the windows and the tree at Rockefeller Center. We would always visit FAO Schwartz but my family couldn't afford to shop there so we would end our Christmas adventures at a bookstore and I was always allowed to pick something out, making the bookstore as magical as the day. There was also a sweets and gift shop at our local mall called Farrington Square Apothecary that we would visit because my dad and brother worked nearby. I always loved the apothecary style jars and old-fashioned feel to the store. Originally, we wanted the business to be call Broadsides Apothecary & Brews but NC still considers the word apothecary to mean a distributor of medication and medical devices so we had to take that out. I still love the idea of apothecary jars for the loose tea and coffee.

Once I got older I began performing and would regularly visit The Drama Bookshop in NYC (recently closed after 100 years but was purchased by Lin-Manuel Miranda, of Hamilton fame, and was due to open in May 2020 having been redesigned by the set designer from Hamilton). It was the only place I knew to go where I could browse scripts for monologues or look through sheet music for audition songs, there's still no place like it anywhere that I am aware of. The Drama Bookshop is my inspiration for the book/retail portion of Broadsides. I intend to carry books that you can't find on a shelf elsewhere. I would also frequent Don't Tell Mama's, a cabaret bar on restaurant row in NYC. there was always a piano player playing, the bartenders would sing, they had books of musicals that you could hand to the piano player and have live musical theatre karaoke long before karaoke was a thing! I loved it there!

For the past seven years I have owned my own event production company, Duezy Productions. I have produced large scale events in NYC, new vehicle launces and races at a private racetrack in upstate NY and the Taste events in Durham for the last two years. I pride myself on not just producing an event but creating an experience that stays with you when you leave. Broadsides & Brews is my chance to create a sustainable experience with elements that change and excite guests regularly. I envision a whimsical, Alice in Wonderland feel without being obvious, you almost have to look carefully to know those elements are there but I love the idea of "changing perspective" that is a running theme in those stories. The cabaret space will be hidden behind moving bookcases and mirrors to literally take you through the looking glass into yet another magical experience where you can program the player baby grand piano to accompany you or hear an intimate performance from a Broadway star who has stopped by to see an old friend.

Welcome to Broadsides & Brews, Wake Forest’s living room.

~ Joni

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