The retail store that I decided to visit was the Gnarly Vines Wines and Spirits store located at 350 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn. I enjoyed that the location was only a fifteen-minute ride from the school on the Ridgewood fifty-four bus. Though my map said it was a few steps away from the bus stop the store was difficult to find and easily missed. In a clean kept area, the cluster of stores and many banners can be confusing. I found that the store did not stand out at all, the signs font was small and there are no banners or colors that attract the eye. Upon entering the store the small lobby area was well kept and clutter free. I was greeted with a kind smile and pleasant greeting from the employees and manager at the front desk. The store is small and is well organized, even with a large number of selections it doesn’t feel overcrowded or overwhelming. Shelves of wines, liquors, bitters, and other intriguing beverages are lined along the walls, with one shelving unit in the middle. The shelving is sectioned and labeled by country, region, and type of drink with strips of paper, which with fading should be reprinted. Each wine is placed above shelf talkers that gave information based on producer, country, region and grape variety with a little description of flavor and food pairings.
After being allowed to take pictures and walking through the store, the manager though very busy took the time to speak to me about his store and how it came to be. He told me that he didn’t have vineyard experience and that wine had actually been a hobby, an experience he gained through friends. He decided to open this store for his enjoyment, something he didn’t realize would be as hard as it was. He spoke of having to work with contractors, lighting, hiring, liquor license and much more. I asked him how he advertised his business and he expressed his dislike for spending money on companies that help advertise. For his store, he found it a waste of money. He believes that by word of mouth and establishing relationships with those in the neighborhood he found as the best way to advertise. He advised that future store or business owners shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that all the profit will belong to them. That there are fees that are needed for many things like, repair and expansion. Though he finds himself extremely busy he enjoys his business, I thanked him for his time and left.