I recently met a guy when I walked into a small store with interesting items.
I'm thinking, specifically, of a store called the Spanish Table. This place imports items from Spain and Portugal. The flavors and some of the equipment they use in that part of the world to make regional dishes are in demand by people from there or who have visited.
Paella is a favorite rice and seafood dish flavored with saffron. They must buy the spices in bulk and separate them out into smaller containers. They're adding value by repackaging these spices into affordable quantities.
If I were to work a job as a specialty retailer, I'd be quite curious about the vendors. I'd want to know about their business models and which parts of the business are the most profitable. I'd have an active email campaign and a weekly survey to see what they are up to.
I'm especially curious about people in other parts of the world. How do they survive so well. I probably should have been an anthropologist and put my curiosity to good use in a mix of teaching and learning. Instead, I'm curious about local retailers. What am I here to learn? What am I here to teach?