In honor of our fifth anniversary in business, we thought it might be interesting to share some triva about The Wine Stop.
To start, we came up with our name only three weeks before we opened. Originally, we were going to name the store Ambrosia Merchants Inc. (Ambrosia, because it was the food of the gods). I had thought it would be a lovely concept to be selling the food of the gods (which some might argue wine truly is.) To my dismay, as we talked with friends and family about our wine store Ambrosia Merchants Inc., it seemed that people did not know what ambrosia was.
So Kim suggested that I write about my trivia in a newsletter rather than inject it into the name of our store. I was not keen on the idea initially, thinking all history was written in books, and that there was nothing new under the sun. But, then she suggested that I could focus on the history of alcohol, wine in particular, and that piqued my interest, so Liane’s Corkey Trivia was born.
After golfing the Hawaii Kai course, we had dinner at Thai Valley Cuisine and started throwing out names for the store. We came up with some cool ones, but I loved the double entendre of The Wine Stop.
Our soft opening was on September 20, 2003. Our first sale was a 6 pack of Thomas Kemper Rootbeer. Our Grand Opening was on October 25, 2003.
In 2002, Kim and I went to France to study wine and terroir in the Bordeaux region in 2002. We almost missed our flight back to the states where Kim was scheduled to take her certified sommelier exam in Monterey. You never saw Kim panic like she did when we almost missed our flight. Kim was certified as a sommelier before we opened the store in 2003. I became a certified sommelier in 2006. At present, we are the only wine store owned and operated by two certified sommeliers in the state.
The landscaping of the store was created by my brother-in-law Ted Young, and all the plants are from his farm on The Big Island, where we get our Lychee.
Our Calendar of Events board above the beer cooler was supposed to have been a chalk board. Though I wanted a white board, Kim overruled and ordered a chalk board. What they actually delivered and installed was the white board. Kim rolled with it and resignedly said to me, “You got your way.”
Our first wine and beer club member was Edmund Kellett. Edmund signed up at our grand opening, and he has been a stalwart supporter ever since.
Linda Kekuna Mitsunaga has the longest tenure at our store. She is actually my classmate from Kamehameha. She was a star tennis player, (number one in the state!) in high school. She is so sweet and helpful; she graciously offered to help out during the holidays in 2004, and we have not let her leave since.
Without an endless stream of help and support from our family and friends, The Wine Stop would only have been a dream. Now, because of all of our new friends and terrific customers, The Wine Stop continues to be a successful reality.
We love you all and are very grateful to have you in our lives. Thank you for a wonderful five years in business.
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.