Liane Fu: Certified Sommelier, General Manager, President
Liane was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. She graduated from the Kamehameha Schools in 1977, and worked in the bookkeeping department of Villa Roma, a women’s retail clothing store owned by her mother Audrey Fu, before flying off to college in New York City. She was a physics major at New York University (NYU). In her first semester, she attended a concert that was interpreted for the deaf. She became fascinated by the idea of communication through movement which for her was kind of like hula on steroids. She decided, on the spot, that she wanted to be a sign language interpreter. She left NYU and started studying sign language at New York Society for the Deaf, Cal State Northridge and Gallaudet University for the deaf . Within a year and a half she was working as sign language interpreter for the New York City Board of Education and as an independent contractor interpreting in college classrooms. She interpreted a concert for Prince and a Broadway musical. After four years of being an interpreter, she decided to go back to college and major in pre-med.
She attended Brooklyn College where she encountered the first class of their core curriculum. It was called Classical Origins of Western Culture. She immediately re-immersed herself in the first love of her childhood, the study of ancient Greece and Rome. It felt like a refreshing drink after a long drought. She and her Brooklyn College friends would sip on wine during meals and talk about the topics of the day. Many of her friends worked with her as tutors in the Brooklyn College Writing Center. She worked her way up the tutor career ladder at the college and coordinated many tutoring programs under the purview of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. She wrote grant proposals for the Dean’s office and did some free lance grant writing too.
She felt the tug to come home and moved back in 1996. She got a job working for Bank of Hawaii. She worked as a manager in Proof of Deposit and then Remittance Processing for Bankoh. In the meantime, her passion for food and wine continued to grow. Her entrepreneurial family encouraged her think about starting her own business. In 2003, she and Kim Karalovich opened The Wine Stop. She started seriously studying wine and in 2006 passed the Sommelier exam in February then the Certified Sommelier exam in June of the same year. In 2007, she started writing for the state’s premier industry publication, the Hawaii Beverage Guide. She is currently its senior staff writer and writes a monthly column called Tapping the Trade.