Cathie Anderson

Cathie Anderson: Second generation to reclaim William Glen name

Published: Thursday, May. 23, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Tuesday, May. 28, 2013 - 8:27 am

Bill Snyder's kids have been waiting two years to tell you this: William Glen is back.

Siblings Amy Guthrie and Mark Snyder didn't have an ownership stake or a say-so in the retail establishment that their late father built in Town & Country Village, and like its customers, they were caught off guard by news that the store would close in December 2010.

Guthrie and Snyder didn't want their dad's legacy to be lost, so they opened two stores in Old Sacramento in October of that year, listened to the customers who came through their doors and waited for the day they could reclaim the William Glen name. The day has come.

"We had to wait two years after that name had not been in use by other businesses," Guthrie said. "So after it had been two years since the store closed, we filed with the (California) secretary of state to change our corporate name."

Now it's out with the corporate name of C & C Merchants. The stores in Old Sacramento will keep their current names – Christmas & Co. and Chef's Mercantile – but each store's sign will add the tagline: 'A William Glen Boutique.' The web address, shopwilliamglen.com, gets customers to the right place.

Guthrie and Snyder hope to one day open a William Glen store elsewhere in the city. They'll maintain their operations in Old Sac, where sales are growing steadily, as much as 24 percent last year.

"We took the two things that our father was most passionate about, which was Christmas and cooking, and put them in old stores in Old Sacramento," Guthrie told me. "… We listened to the customers, and we've changed tremendously from the day we opened our doors as far as our mix of products."

They have largely eschewed big electronics and high-end merchandise at Chef's Mercantile, Guthrie said. Instead, the two partners scour household goods shows for novel but practical products such as Charles Viancin's Lily Pad silicone lid covers.

"We are the No. 1 independent single retailer for that line," Guthrie said. "… You can put it in a microwave oven, dishwasher, refrigerator, take it outdoors to cover your food, and they're adorable, and they actually seal in airtight. You just lay it on.

"You don't even have to clip it on anything. You just literally lay it on your bowl, the way you would a paper towel, and it literally seals it airtight."

Psychic payoff for Ross

Sacramento lobbyist-cum-filmmaker Tommy Ross released "Church: The Movie" through an independent studio back in 2011, so why is the soundtrack just debuting?

"The main reason, to be candid with you, was I just didn't know how, and I consulted with several people in the music business who advised me it would be too costly, complicated and legalistic," Ross said. "So I just set that aside."

Then along came Vacaville music man Marshall Tubbs with Big V Entertainment Group. He suggested that Ross distribute the soundtrack electronically through outlets such as amazon.com, cdbaby.com, itunes.com and even at Ross' own website, www.pinnaclestrategy.net.

He told Ross that it would be fast and cost-effective, and within months, Tubbs had the tracks up and ready for download.

Because it had been so long since the movie was released, Tubbs and Ross decided the best way to market the music was to use a cast member who was a big draw for the movie, gospel singer Daryl Coley. So, the soundtrack is called "Daryl Coley & Friends At the Church."

"Daryl Coley … has fallen ill," Ross said. "He's blind now. He has diabetes and several other medical conditions, so I got in touch with him a while back and said that I wanted to continue to push this project as a tribute to him."

Ross said the album or singles from it have been downloaded 500 times in the two weeks they have been available.

The film venture hasn't proven profitable yet, but Ross said he received a nice advance from the distributor and royalty checks began arriving in December and will continue for years to come. Now he's raising money for his third film, "Erudition."

Investors should be the sort of people who can appreciate psychic income.

Call The Bee's Cathie Anderson, (916) 321-1193. Back columns, www.sacbee.com/anderson. Follow him on Twitter @cathiea_sacbee.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

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