5 Things People Don’t Know About Solar (RTS #33)
Guest: Ran Bujanover and Barend Venter
Topics: Bluesky Utility, solar energy
Chris Ressa 0:01
This is retail retold the story of how that store ended up in your neighborhood. I’m your host, Chris ReSSA. And I invite you to join my conversation with some of the retail industry’s biggest influencers. This podcast is brought to you by DLC management.
Welcome to retail retold. Today I’m joined by Ron pajama lover and bar and Ventnor, the President and CEO of Blue Sky utilities. I’m excited to have them on the show today. There is a lot of noise and news about sustainable energy. And they are in the middle of it. They are in the solar business and the utility business. And they have a lot of great insights to share with us today. Welcome to the show, gentlemen.
Thank you for having me. Thank you for having us. All right, Ron. So tell us who blue sky is and what you all do.
Ran Bujanover 1:00
So blue sky utility is really the brainchild of our activity barn and eyes activity for more than a decade now. You know, we were in the solar space. And we’re looking for where we saw real opportunities specifically in the solar industry, given the high level of competition in it, and we felt that the retail, specifically multi tenant retail segment asset class is one that would be very attractive for a specific business approach that has not been actually executed before. And really focused on developing a business model to align a lot of the agency problems and the issues that are faced within the retail real estate setting. Since then, we’ve been really become a subject matter experts in application of multi tenant, retail real estate assets. And when we focus almost entirely on grocery anchored strip malls community based centers, that we do have one or two sites that are enclosed shopping centers, and really with a clear focus of developing partnerships with large REITs and then utilizing those partnerships to expand the solar offering across the as much of their asset base as we can. And over time, we’re also augmenting a lot of our activity with other energy efficiency and self generation applications, such as CO Gen. H, HVAC installation, energy efficiency, building controls, LED lighting retrofits and things of that nature. So I think in respect to our focus, again, we what we try to do is marry our business approach with large retail REITs. And then expand with them as they expand both in the marketplace into new assets or assets that they divest, and into new markets that the solar generation or self generation programs become available, given that it’s a very segmented market in which you have different markets, different electricity markets and renewable portfolio standards for each state.
Why evolve the real estate asset classes? Did you all choose to focus on retail real estate?
I think there’s quite a confluence of various elements that really drove us to focus on retail real estate. Before we came about, on that focus, we we did a fairly significant market search around the the various asset classes in real estate. There is within the general scope of non real estate based assets. And we felt very early on that retail real estate actually has a lot to offer us in the application of distributed solar generation. Specifically, we felt that retail real estate in itself as an asset class is very scalable for us. So you have a lot of REITs that have multiple assets. And it’s very easy to once you’ve developed a partnership with them to apply that our type of model across as many other asset classes as possible. We felt that, you know, somewhat against sentiment that we had from other people in the solar industry specifically, that retail real estate is a very strong asset class and there’s quite a lot of very, very smart people within the retail real estate marketplace. It’s a very well network. community. Everybody knows one another. And none of them are operating in this vacuum that online retail is going to wipe them out. They all understand online retail better than most people. They understand the effects of it. And they are well equipped and smart enough to manage it in a way that will make retail real estate and be successful. Not only today but in this future to come. And, you know, we felt that specifically in retail real estate, and then more focused on the way that retail real estate is predominantly owned and manage that REITs as an asset base as an asset class as a non taxable pass through entity, can I really take advantage of the tax equity, or the tax benefits that are created in this type of asset class, and therefore, it’s going to be something that creates an agency problem within this type of environment in which the landlord, which would probably be the most natural owner of the solar system, is not really the best equipped to actually be the solar system owner. And so from when we looked at that, as a market opportunity, we saw a great opportunity to build a company, a business model that works that can provide a flexible, flexible alternative to landlords in the retail real estate space, and really meet a lot of their requirements as it relates to sustainability. Because with institutional investment, the way it is today, the need to meet certain ESG requirements by all companies that want to be attractive to the institutional investment based is one that requires more and more implementation of both renewable as well as other social and governance type of applications. And I think we fit very well into that.
Well, thank you for that. That was interesting. I really appreciate the insights. What did you all do before you were in the utility business? Or have you always been in the utility business? Well,
Barend Venter 6:42
yeah, so I’m a mechanical engineer, and starting off in South Africa, in the mines, train there, you know. And then moving into the industry, and moving the industry, we always work with DC Drives DC motors, set up several power stations and stuff like, you know, in that that format, so the transfer into immigrating into the United States, you know, 16 years ago, the transfer into the renewable energy space was then easy, because I could apply, you know, all the attributes and all the components that I’ve learned over the years. And yeah, so basically come from engineering design components, and then meeting up with wrong, you know, locking in the financial component to make it work for the clients. And part of it is, you know, the systems that we use, is designed specifically for applications. And that it you know, some of the history and technologies that we use now is coming over years. And it’s just basically being implemented now.
What about you, Ron, what’s your background?
So I’m also an immigrant, in a sense, I’m originally from Israel. And most of my background, I focused on financing, the financial side of project finance, primarily on infrastructure, boats that have heavy civil infrastructure, like toll roads, and toll bridges, desalination plants, as well as energy assets. And, you know, about 10 years ago, maybe 11 years ago, I was largely 12. Now that I think, I was in the consulting space, and I wanted to move from consulting to asset development. And, you know, I really wanted to focus on traditional infrastructure, I wanted to stay away from energy infrastructure, specifically to stay away from anything renewable, and specifically not touch anything that has solar and, of course, ended up in a, in a solar company and been very happy to, to be active in the space, I think it’s an important objective for all of us. Definitely, I think in California, but I think as well in the United States, to try to bring about solutions that are both sustainable and and beneficial from an economic perspective and a value perspective to the various parties that participate in this market.
And I can add to you know, what really made our partnership work is the ability to from all different aspects and sizes from the actual engineering side, and then from creative financing, how to put a program together, which is actually a solution for a problem, then trying to sell a product that is, you know, I think that’s that’s quite a differentiator and something that we achieved is basically understanding the market first that we’re going to service and then provide a, you know, a product that’s custom made for that market to service that market, instead of just trying to provide a product into into space. To enforce the product onto a market,
I think that’s an interesting distinction because I am certainly no expert in solar. But solar has been around for quite some time. But a challenge for property owners from a cost perspective, and a return perspective. And you all have provided some solutions to tackle that. That challenge, which I do think is a good point that you bring up, let’s get to know you all a bit better. Before we get into the meat of renewable energy and sustainable energy. Let’s get to know you all a little bit better. So I’ve got three questions. What I’m going to do is I’m going to ask, I’m going to ask one person is going to answer two of them, one person’s going to ask one of them. And we’ll do the same at the the end of the show and ask those three questions as well. So Ron will go to you will ask the first question. When is the last time you tried something for the first time?
Yeah, so I think COVID Then a great opportunity to try new things. And so I think with with the stress and managing everything he I felt a little bit sleep deprived. And since it was recommended, strongly recommended the gravity blanket, which we’ve been trying my wife and I’ve been trying and I have to say that it’s it has improved our sleep dramatically. It’s a great product, and I recommend it for anyone who suffers from from mild to extreme insomnia.
I have seen these gravity blankets, I have not tried one. But that is a good little piece of information. And I’m gonna have to do more research on that. All right bar and what is one thing most people agree with, but you do not.
I guess from my side, people love bottled water, or water that comes that’s faulted. So I grew up, you know, in Africa, walking bare feet, you know, and I believe water should be free for everyone. It’s added right? That you actually breathe. So if you can breathe air, which is free, then you should be able to get water and I drink I drink water from a tap. I don’t drink water from you know, from a bottle if I don’t get anything else. I mean, but for me, it’s a principle thing. I feel like, you know, if I go into a restaurant that you know, it can be as fancy as anything. I asked for tap water, preferably without ice. So So for me, that’s one thing, you know, a lot of people, you know, ask cases in cases of water and they drink Fiji water. I’m like, hey, you know your tap water is just as good as it should be free by the way.
Oh, that that’s that’s great. Personally, I like my water at 33 degrees. I like it freezing cold just before freezing. I wanted ice cold.
33 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s perfect for me. All right, wrong. Last one. What is one skill you don’t possess but you wish you did?
You know, I wish I had a better musical skill, both instead of playing instruments singing, you know, I think my you know, my surroundings suffers too much from my inability to hold a tune. So but I think it’d be great if especially when you with with children, where you’re trying to persuade them to be able to take up an instrument and focus on practicing the instrument that would have been great if I had those capabilities as well.
I hear you I am not musically inclined. All right. Thank you for playing with me. That was great. Get to know you guys a little bit better. Let’s go into the meat of it. Give us an overview of the solar industry right now. If you were going to explain the solar business to somebody right now, that doesn’t know anything about it, give us an overview.
Sure. So, you know, solar is essentially an electricity generating assets. It’s among portfolio of generating assets or generating asset classes within the, you know, throughout the world, really, obviously here in the United States. It’s really currently a generation asset that augments the vast majority of other generating assets, which are primarily conventional, either coach and coal, various other sort of fire plans, but it’s a growing asset class. And it’s one that majority is actually being applied in the utility space, which potentially might not be the best fit for solar because the one thing that’s quite unique about solar is that it’s a steady state production mechanism. So there’s really not a lot of moving parts that can cause a lot of damage. And it’s actually very modular, so you can really put it anywhere at the size that you really need it to be. So it’s very well tailored to The type of generation asset that can be applied at the point of consumption. And we are very strong believers that when you do something, when you build something, you really want to build it at the point of consumption, as opposed to building it somewhere sort of off in the desert, or where people are not really hesitating and consuming that electricity. And then we lead to a position of use, particularly in urban settings. So here in the United States, the vast majority of, of incentives that exists for solar applications are predominantly tax base, which is obviously something that is a detriment a lot of times for most of the retail REITs and applying solar independently, because they are obviously, it is not a qualified income source. And it’s not a taxable entity as well. So the benefits of applying the tax credits and the tax depreciation that these assets generate is not something that can be readily used by a lot of the REITs.
Well, there’s a lot to unpack there. The first thing that I noticed when I said solar industry, solar business, you use the word asset class, I think if you went to somebody on the street, and you said solar, I don’t think asset class would be something that they would that would be a word they would associate with solar. So do you want to? Can you unpack that a little bit for us? Sure.
So when when we think of an asset class, you know, I think there’s several applications or several categories of asset class that we can consider. I think real estate being, for example, one asset class, you can talk about equities bond being different asset classes as well. But infrastructure in general is also considered an asset classes, specifically, the market for infrastructure investments, both in the bonds as sort of debts or equity, are things that have become quite attractive here in the United States across the world as well, it’s become an interesting investment thesis for a lot of private equity funds. So there’s been a lot of money being raised for infrastructure, in general. And then specifically, within the infrastructure space, you have the energy assets. So that would essentially include anything from a small residential solar assets into something that you know, a large LNG facility that’s situated on the Gulf Coast. And it really encompasses all the various elements within infrastructure within the energy space of infrastructure. That would include both the generation the on the sort of on the oil and gas who wouldn’t include everything from drilling, taking the asset out, moving it, moving the oil, or the to the refinery, refining and moving it from the refinery to the point of views. And then the the generating assets that might use some of that feedstock in order to facilitate the production of electricity. So to,
to add a little bit to that is that it’s coming back to solution. So the solution is not just, if you talk about solar, everybody just see a solar panel, that is one component of it. So in terms of the financing component, which around just explained very well now. And there’s a component of you’ve got a building component, which is structural component, with everything that goes on there, you’ve got a component that you work with tenants, and what is the value to tenants? And how do you structure it to the tenants? And then you’ve got a component that which is the landlord, and how do you structure those components and their values? And, you know, and then is the component of the utility? How do you work with the utility in interconnect with the utility per utility per state, then is the state you know, so if you start stacking all of this together, it’s about okay, how do you provide a solution for a specific industry? And that is, you know, I’m saying so all of those components is but basically put together to provide an actual solution, which is not a shotgun approach, but an actual silver bullet for a industry and that’s what we did.
When I think about solar energy in the United States, and I compare that to other energy, what percentage of electricity in the US do and I don’t know if you know, is produced by solar today?
I don’t have enough to top of my head I think. Give me a second here. I’ll take a look. Okay.
Okay. Very if we say the whole you know, because California is always the way
it’s under 10% I mean, I think so it’s unattained.
But I think around six or seven, something like that throughout, and but there’s going to be a huge push throughout, you know, the next, obviously, four years with requirements and mandates to meet that most probably will push solar hog.
And 2018. We’re talking about the total generation of about two and a half percent of the total consumption.
Yeah, there’s not it’s not a lot. What do you think the market size gets to? What percentage does solar get to? Yeah, so
I think there’s, there’s people that are probably better equipped to answer that question, then then myself and Barbara, and I think we are a very small sliver in the solar industry, I think you see a lot of utility scale assets that in themselves are larger. Sure. Is that worth considering, but I think the, the, the general consideration of solar, as I said, is, is the fact that it’s a very modular technology. And therefore it can be applied also, at the point of consumption, I think the vast majority of solar that’s being applied today is applied more on the utility scale side. So I think if anything, there’s really a good opportunity to Dr. Atkins standpoint of consumption based solar applications, like what we do, which is considered the the industrial and commercial environment. And, you know, I would say that in consideration of solar, I know there’s a lot of people talking about 100%, renewable and applying 100%, renewable type of asset, class sort of asset portfolio on the generation side, but I don’t think solar in itself is going to be able to offset a very large component of the base load, because solar obviously doesn’t produce at night. And so you need storage in order to facilitate that. But I think storage with solar, with some sort of augmentation of energy efficiency can be much larger, perhaps maybe 10, or 20 times larger than it is right now. From a just an application perspective, and obviously taking over some of the work traditional fossil fuel based energy generation products.
So there’s another component to it, which is not just our soaking in energy, which I agree with Ron is most probably at 10 to 20 fold, which will end up you know, somewhere to 20 to 40 40%, which is candy, but it’s also the reduction of the actual utility grid, load off the grid in peak times. So that’s huge. And that has been shown to work exceptionally well, in California with all the solar that comes on board. And what it does is it’s going to save the taxpayer a lot of money in upgrades future upgrades in the utility grid. So because the grid grids are getting overloaded, and you get black blackouts, I mean, you get different components. That’s happening now in Texas and other places. And what what this does is it actually reduces that component combination with poor battery systems is awesome. And over a period of time, there’s an indirect, huge saving for a taxpayer, which I mean, people don’t talk about, but all the utilities knows and people in our industry know that as well. So there’s indirect saving for everybody that everybody that based taxes or any state or pays for the utilities.
Fascinating. That’s really helpful. One last thing you have mentioned multiple times so far, Ron, that it’s modular, and it’s captured at the point the and it’s the point of consumption. And so why is that the point of consumption so important in this utility? Why is that important? So they,
you know, obviously there’s going to be various individuals, various companies that perceive the market opportunity different than us. This is sort of our personal philosophy. But we think that with everything going on specifically now, like Byron was talking about Texas, the fires that we have here in California, various other elements of uncertainty and limitations within the existing grid system, that having a more resilient grid and obviously having a grill a grid that can be much more decentralized, allowing you to be more dependent on yourself generation as opposed to the distribution and generation of other utilities, I think that is gaining in importance. And I think the movement of micro grid or energy, resiliency as its as its applied in various construct and is something that we see as a significant vector of interest both on our clients they side. And also something that I think the the benefits of this type of electricity this type of technology can provide. That’s something that that’s going to be more valuable. And we’ll have, I think more interest in, in the years to come. Think of a situation where, right now, if you were, let’s say, and in Texas, or even here in California, and there was a fire and the fire because of the fire, the grid had essentially been dropped, you’d be essentially sitting in a blackout if unless you had your own self generation and potentially a little bit of storage. And you do see that those that are able to benefit from those type of technologies right now, which are primarily, probably more wealthier individuals or companies that have invested in that, I think that’s going to be something that’s going to trickle down and sideways. And there’s going to be more of that across the the industries.
Another component to add is that the way we design these systems, which is building integrated, this additional value that comes out of it. So although yes, as we install the system on the roof, the way again, now the way we design it, you’ve got a brand new roof, which is reflective roofing, so you actually reduce the load of that building, the building is shaded in so without the solar system, you know that they will say 100,000 kilowatt hours, if we install a solar system, the usage will drop most probably to 90 to 85,000. So we see a 10% to 15% saving just by installing the solar on the roof and shading the roof. So we actually reduce, you know that system was in was in the middle of the desert, it could not provide that. And then it also obviously, if you need to transport all of this power from the desert to somewhere in the middle of the town, this huge amount of losses, every transformer, everything that can touch it. So the efficiency, providing the power right at the spot is much, much more then wielding power from in the middle of a desert. So overall, I mean, it’s a good winner.
Great. Okay, that’s a lot. This is the most technical episode I’ve ever had. This is great. I want to bring us to the next part, which is five things you don’t know about solar, let’s go around what is one, one thing the listeners probably don’t know about solar.
So I think in today’s market, and I think this is also something that obviously differentiates us is, you know, there’s a, there’s a, there’s a high value attributed to bifurcation of risk and limitation of flexibility. And I’ll explain what that means, essentially, is a situation where if we were to install the solar system, we would generally try to bifurcate any risk associated with the building with the roof with the, with the tenants actually acquiring the electricity. So we try to push all that risk to the landlord, and then obviously limit the amount of flexibility that landlord has in order to facilitate any changes in that type of structure, and apply any variation to the solar system as it’s been applied. I think that is what is sort of the status quo of today’s solar industry. I think what differentiates us is the fact that we are obviously, the extreme opposite on both ends, we do want to take a lot more responsibility. So we try to put a system that would be coterminous with the roofing warranty. And so we put a lot of investment oftentimes in the in the roofing equipment equipment that’s on the roof itself. And then we we do provide a lot of flexibility to landlords, because we essentially believe in the notion of relationship equity, and we try to amortize that relationship equity over as much acid base as we can with that particular landlord. And in doing that we buy brain flexibility by obviously understanding the limitations of both the landlords and the tenants on the site. We can provide more value for everyone in the in the agreement, so that would include landlord tenant and the environment.
Got it. So the one is, there doesn’t have to be a bifurcation of risk and limit and limited flexibility. It can be the opposite.
Exactly. Got it. All right. What is number two? This second thing people don’t know about solar? You know?
This is something we run into over the last 15 years and there’s no A lot of solar installed on old roofs, you know, and it’s just that, and I don’t know why, but it does happen. And it costs about two thirds of the actual install cost to remove a system, put it on the ground, put a new roof in and then rebuilt that system. And I don’t think upfront, building owners and owners of systems really understand that because most of you know, most of the solar people out there, they’re out there to sell a solar system. And that’s what they want to do. And it’s in and out. And we see a lot of landlords, you know, 710 years in, that effectively lose their whole investments, investment by actually have to pull that system off and rebuild it. And that’s a shame. So just something to keep in mind.
Number two is the cost of reinstallation by putting the first installation on an older roof. No bueno. Yeah,
definitely. Right. Right. The first time you don’t want to redo it is
exactly. Okay. What is number 3/3? thing people don’t know about solar? Yeah, so I think
the one thing, specifically in the applications that we we implement is that we don’t necessarily have to connect directly to the tenants or the landlord meters, a lot of that can be done virtually. A lot of people talk about whether it affects the stability of the grid, or their resiliency and getting the electricity from the utility, until a lot of the work that we actually do nowadays is done at the other side of the meter. So there’s really not any interruption or adjustments to their to their general consumption profile, or their actual interconnection position with the utility.
That is really interesting, actually. So you can’t you come in and you install anything, and they’re not down ever.
So there is usually shut down, specifically, that the utility requires not us, it’s something that’s required by the utility, but that would be very consistent with, you know, any upgrade that’s being done on their, on their grid, which they probably already have done a dozen times within their tenancy in that particular location. But other than that, there’s really nothing that affects their, their side of the meter.
Got it? Okay, so that’s number three, nothing that really affects their side of the meter. What is number four barn?
All right. So it’s, it’s, it’s a combination, because if we view if you look at a rooftop, you know, there’s activity on the roof, we found we finding a lot of rooftops of skylights. And so, you know, the tendency, you know, 20 years ago was, you know, without the LED that you create all the savings by pre installing skylights. So you know, that’s a thing from the past. So what happens now the same was the same, everybody turning over to changing over to LED. And with the heat loss of these, the skylights, that you there is a component of heat loss, you know, basically, what we’re doing now is replacing all the skylights, we take it out, and then open up the rooftop. And just the saving of the heat loss through the skylight already basically pays for the removal of the skylight. But we do that on our dime every now and then basically, then you can extend the solar system on top of it. So it’s, I think, a component is is you should look at the building envelope. I think that’s my, you know, each and every project is a little bit different. And that includes skylights old equipment or whatever, you got the rerouting equipment or rerouting or Yeah. So that that’s
just the skylights don’t help anymore. That’s my takeaway. Skylights don’t help anymore.
They don’t help anymore. And yeah, they basically now a safety hazard.
All right, last one, what is number five? The fifth thing people don’t know about solar?
Sure. So I think the one thing that obviously within this, especially within the retail real estate setting that is quite different than a traditional tenant because from for all intents and purposes, we are a tenant on that location, mostly just renting the room space, but different from another tenant. And what we’re really doing is investing a lot of money up front, which is essentially the equivalent of US parking a few Ferraris on your rooftop. And then it’s obviously beholden on us to make sure that we manage Engine, maintain that rooftop and make sure that it’s done in the best possible way. And so to some degree, we’ve now actually taking a piece of real estate that is not necessarily well utilized, but has now become it’s become sort of the apple of our eye. And are were 100% focused on making sure that it’s well managed, well maintain and operating at its best function.
All right. Well, that is great. There’s
a lot to unpack listeners, go back. And listen, again, there’s a lot of things in this episode, especially if you’re like me, and not a solar expert, which I think that is the majority of listeners here, I think you will learn a lot. And let’s just for one second, go to the basics of how this works. So just so people understand your panels are up on the roof, and you’re collecting the energy, who’s turning that into electricity, you or the utility company.
So you can you know, so what happens, you call it a photon. So you’ve got the rays coming from the sun, it offloads the electron. With the solar technology, it offloads the electron on the cell. And then that basically flows, it’s like a battery. So imagine a battery that’s always getting charged by the sun. That’s an easy way to see it. And that battery, they call a DC power got a one way direction. So you’ve got a string, it goes from the one side, but it goes through a machine, which we call an inverter, and the inverter what it does, that’s connected to the, to the grid, and it follows the grid and frequency of the grid. And it will actually allocate, it starts oscillating that, that electron that’s coming from that solar panel, which is like a battery, which is DC. And the inverter is like the brain. And how it works is that we call it potential, it’s like water pressure. So there’s a pressure, we are basically tapping into a waterline. And that inverter, put more pressure on that waterline. So our water is actually flowing into the grid. And that’s how we do it. It’s quite, it’s awesome. Obviously, I tried to keep it short, but we like it. So from our side, we produce power. Yes, the nice thing about our power is much more cleaner than what ever you can get from the grid. Basically, no noise, no anything, we’re actually cleaning out the grid and taking some of the grid frequency harmonics and components and absorbing it in our system. It’s really nice, really cool technology. So it’s a really cool technology, as as Ron said, is, it’s all static. So there’s no moving parts to it, which makes it amazingly reliable. And you know, so it’s a cool technology, and it’s free energy. It’s basically like what I’m saying, like water, but this time, you know, you have to pay for it. I’m sorry.
I’d be remiss not to to ask about this. So Elon Musk has this stuff out there where the roof shingle is the solar panel is what’s going on. You know, I always get concerned, right, you know, buying solar panels, and am I buying a horse and buggy? And I keep hearing about this guy, Henry Ford, who’s, who’s building cars over here. And I’m light years behind. What do you all think of the technology that the shingle is the actual solar panel?
Well, I just want to Yeah, so solar, I mean, started from the 70s. So it’s not new, by the way. So it’s not like we found something new. So it’s got you know, and yes, it’s being the efficiencies has gone up over time. But we’ve got, we’ve got systems that we designed 15 years ago that still operates and still exactly produce exactly what we plan in offsetting the power it should be offsetting and making the money that you’d be making. So it’s not absolutely obsolete, by any chance. And you’ve got to you’ve got about a 4045 year life in these panels. Yes, there’s a degradation. But it’s, you know, that systems produce. So first of all, I think, you know, from that point of view, solar panels by itself is quite robust in terms of technology. Can you wait and get something with 2% more output or 3% more output in a year? Yes, but is it going to but you’re only a year already, you’re gonna lose that years of savings. You’re I’m saying so there’s no point of why waiting for it. They technologies that they working on is more Much lower output in terms of per square foot that we actually using. So from that point of view, but it’s integrated, it looks nice, we on the commercial side, you know, so they using a different type of technology than what we’re using. And, you know, because, you know, if you don’t like to see the solar panels on your roof itself, you know, you can use, you know, Elon Musk’s technology, but that will not happen in that close near future at all in commercial. So does that answer your question?
100%. All right, guys, I’m going to take us to the last part of the show. It’s called retail wisdom, we’re going to do the same thing we did before is the fun part. We’ll start with you bar in what is the last item over $20 that you bought in a store?
Well, we’ve got a we’ve got a mom and pop restaurant here. Yesterday, I went with my kids and heritage cafe, they traveled all over the world and then brought all that food, you know, Napa, got great wine, and also got some nice food as well. So you know, just awesome. They’ve got all these different types of food that you know, we’ve got influence from Malaysia, from India, from some from Israel, Middle East, you know, so, and I love it. So yeah, so that’s, that was my last more than a it was a little bit more than 20 bucks, but it was worth a lot more than it cost.
Yeah. When I asked Ron where he was from a phone call a few weeks ago, and I said, I live in Napa and I said oh, and I guess he heard my tone and he goes that was a good one. He’s like somebody has to live here. Alright, Ron, what extinct retailer Do you wish would come back from the dead?
Yeah, well, I think I think our I heard my wish might be coming true that you know, like any child of the of the 80s and sort of early 90s Toys R Us is a great is a great store. And and it’s the rumor says that there actually might be opening up again. So that’s that’s would be my waist might might come
through. That will be. It’ll be interesting to see. I have heard it. I’m rooting for him.
All right, but bar and last question. If you and I were shopping at Target barn and I lost you. What aisle would I find you in?
I think it’s all 30 Is that? The barbecue section? Barbecue? Oh, yeah. No, whatever I mean, smoker whatever. Whatever they setting I’m buying
what do you like to barbecue?
Oh, now he’s gonna get me guy in. Yeah, no, no. So no. I mean, well, from brisket left some time in Texas, there are figured out briskets amazing. So and then we do sign off got Santa Maria barbecue as well. You know, so over the fire type of goals. mazing you know, we’re some oak. So that would be rabbi. I mean, it can be anything rabbi. So most of it is meat. Sure. That’s barbecue. If we want chicken, we’ll you know if we want vegetables. We get some chicken. Yeah.
All right. Well, listen, gentlemen. This was great. I really appreciate the time. Thanks for joining me today and we will be in touch.
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