The Common Housefly, Black Mountain’s independently owned kitchen supply store described as “a toy store for foodies,” has a new look and new owners.
Mike and Marsha Liss bought the shop last November from former owner Kerryn Davis, “who built it from nothing nine years ago and did a fantastic job,” Mike Liss says. The couple was looking to make a move from outside Philadelphia, Penn., after living there for 18 years and raising two boys.
Buying the Common Housefly was “a life transition,” Liss says. A self-described foodie, Liss owned his own marketing company for about 15 years. His wife works for a small family business and could work anywhere, so they started looking around.
Black Mountain “was the right location and it was a solid business, so we pulled the trigger. We put our house up for sale, sold it in two days” and started moving around the the Thanksgiving holiday, the height of holiday shopping season, Liss says.
It’s been a matter of getting settled in ever since, Liss says, and the start of an effort to put his own stamp on the shop at 104 W. State St. in the heart of downtown Black Mountain. Liss has painted the interior and reorganized the layout to give it a less cluttered feel.
“The whole retail store is about service. We’re going to be better at that than a big box. We’re going to be more knowledgeable and approachable and helpful. The goal isn’t to make a sale – it’s to guide you to the perfect purchase,” Liss says.
The Common Housefly is offering more high-end cutlery in an effort to raise its profile as a go-to shop for knives. The shop has also focused on offering supplies for coffee enthusiasts. The shop plans to offer more tastings and training classes on topics such as how to master the pour-over, he says. (The Common Housefly sells coffee from Black Mountain’s Dynamite Roasting Co.)
The shop will also continue to feature a wide assortment of pots and pans, smaller utensils and locally made food products, Liss says.
“I think the ‘toy store for foodies’ tagline is appropriate. We joke that if we don’t have it, you don’t need it. And we have the expertise to help you find exactly what you’re looking for,” he says. “We’re a local independent store with a passion for food.”
Note: Yes, I totally wrote this for my mom.
Kerryn Davis really did just take an idea, applied lots of elbow grease, and made that shop happen! Glad the new owners seem equally enthusiastic!