As most of you know, Rich, who has been managing our winery for almost 15 years has retired. Rich has done a great job. He has established connections, forged relationships, he made friends, some of them for life. What he started as a wine and beer making shop morphed into something I don’t think any of us expected back then. He made the wine for winemakers to taste before they bought their kits. Then many customers wanted to buy the wine, so Vino Aquino became a winery.
Since those early days, our business has expanded. We still have the wine and beer making equipment. We buy grapes, sell merchandise, help non-profits, create personalized labels, hold events, and sell distilling products as well. The majority of our sales come from our wine sales. Why am I telling you all this?
I’ve taken over the winery. I worked at the shop about ten years ago, and now I’m back to let Rich ride off into his retirement sunset, which he so greatly deserves. Some of you know this. Some of you know me. All of you should know that I’m not Rich. I strive to keep the welcoming, family spirit within the shop that Rich created. I have and plan to continue to establish connections, forge relationships, and make friends. However, changes need to be made. This is because I came into the shop while it struggles to survive.
People don’t like change, I know this. I don’t like change. But to keep the shop going, that is what needs to happen. My plans are simple. Nurture the areas that bring in the most money while still satisfying our entire customer base. As I said, our wine sales keep us afloat. To sell more wine, a few things need to happen. I need to produce more wine, hold more events, and participate in more festivals. With the help of my Aunt Francie and Uncle Stan, this is happening. I’ve cut down the wine list to produce more of the ones we make. We’re adding many public events to our calendar. Eventually, I’d like to start a wine club.
Developing this area of the business means there is less money for the other sections in the store and I know many of you have noticed this already. Unfortunately, this is a necessity in order to stay open. Believe me when I say this though, all of our customers are important. Whether you are buying wine, wine kits, turbo yeast, beer bottles, whatever, every customer is essential to our livelihood. I’m trying to keep wine making kits and equipment as well stocked as possible. However, I still may not be able to keep as many kits and equipment on the shelf as I’d like, but I’m willing to special order anything you want or need.
The same goes with beer making and distilling. I will be carrying the things that sell the most, but if you need something not on the shelf, please tell me and I will order it. It usually takes less then a week to get an order.
Also, keep in mind, I’ve only been back since September and I’m still learning. I’m learning about every aspect of the business including the ordering of product. Trying to figure out what we need, when we need it and how much - it’s a learning curve. I’m trying. I’m doing my best. Please be patient with me.
The most important part of my mission is to keep Vino Aquino open. I want to make it a lovely, classy, but comfortable and relaxed venue for people to have a glass of wine, to hold wine tasting events, to come for our public events whether it’s music, art and wine night, cooking classes or singles night. Vino Aquino will still make quality wines (hopefully with the help of Rich), both traditional and unique, for purchase. We will still carry the wine making kits and equipment for our home winemakers. We will order what all of our customers need if it is not on our shelves.
Change is hard. It’s true. All of us involved feel the change at Vino Aquino is a positive thing. It allows Rich to retire, allows us to stay open and hopefully thriving, and allows us to serve our customers as best we can, with quality products and the spirit of friendship and family. That is something not easy to find in business these days.
My name is Megan. I’m your new neighborhood winery manger. Come in and say hi.
Megan Bostic is Gaspero Aquino's great granddaughter. She worked at the shop about 10 years ago, and is back so Rich can finally retire. She's also a marketer, freelance writer and novelist. You can find her books on Amazon, and her novel Dissected is being sold at Vino Aquino.
4417 6th Avenue, Suite 1
Tacoma, WA 98406
Tacoma, WA 98406
Copyright Vino Aquino 2015