Business for sale

The business: A 31-year-old treasure, comprising an art gallery, three craft shops, a home site, and a restaurant based in a Big Sur location with breathtaking ocean and canyon views. The current owner has pushed revenues into the seven-figure range, thanks to his savvy pairing of affordable fine arts, priced from a few hundred dollars to $7,500, with high-quality crafts sold at lower price points that appeal to the 3.5 million tourists who drive past each year on California's famous Highway 1. The owner, an English professor turned entrepreneur, is ready to make his own contribution to the canon of American literature, but his staff should stick around for the next exhibition.

Price: The gallery, shops, and restaurant (including $300,000 worth of fine-art and crafts inventory): $500,000; the commercially zoned real estate (four acres and two buildings): $3 million; the art collection (4,500 limited-edition prints bearing the original signature of artist and writer Henry Miller): $8 million; the home site (three acres with an ocean view and a coastal permit for a 6,000-square-foot home): $1 million. The owner will consider offers for any pieces of this deal.

Outlook: This business's prospects are even more outstanding than the views. Sales probably could be eexpanded through the addition of a glitzy E-commerce site or a high-end mail-order catalog. The restaurant, now an espresso cafÉ, also has grand-master potential. A lot will depend on how deep a buyer's pockets are: The gallery is a turnkey operation that shouldn't require further investment anytime soon. But if you want to create a restaurant worthy of this exquisite setting, that will cost you. Ready for the big, big picture? This owner is convinced that a buyer's investment of $500,000 -- mainly in marketing-and-publicity efforts -- would triple the value of the Henry Miller collection.

Price rationale: This deal is priced so well that one valuation expert called it "a gift." Here's why: the combined earnings of the gallery, shops, and cafÉ basically cover their selling price. (And there's all that salable inventory as well!) Since location is a big part of this business's draw, a buyer should probably ante up for the real estate (with or without the home site). An added plus: a buyer could break the purchase into multiple pieces and finance it through more than one loan.

Pros: The businesses, the location, and the bottom line -- California-dreamy.

Cons: You can't spend more time staring out the window than at the bottom line.

Gross revenues EBITDA* Owner's
1998 $445,615 $65,434 $0
1999 $917,671 $221,116 $50,000
2000 $2,009,313 $510,086 $150,000

*Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.

Inc. has no stake in the sale of the business featured. The magazine cannot confirm the accuracy of financial or other information offered by the seller. Inquiries should be directed to Gary Koeppel at 831-625-8688.

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