Two make-your-own-wine businesses have come under new ownership and are looking to expand into younger clientele.
The Shuswap Wine Cellar in Centenoka Park Mall in Salmon Arm and Cork N Cap U Brew at the Blind Bay Marketplace were both previously owned by Patricia and Mike Zuniga. Ownership of the Shuswap Wine Cellar has now been transferred to Steve Allen and the new owners of Cork N Cap U Brew are Don Bolen and his spouse Laurie.
Allen worked for the Zunigas for a few years before buying the business from them. Allen balances his work at the wine cellar with his career in sound engineering. It was due to slower times in sound engineering that Allen looked for part-time work and found it with Mike and Patricia at the wine cellar.
Both the Shuswap Wine Cellar and Cork N Cap U Brew sell wine kits, complete with non-fermented grape juice, chemicals, yeast and the necessary equipment involved in the wine making process. For a fee, customers can keep the wine at the store and come pick it up once the process is completed and bottle it themselves.
In light of the new ownership, the Shuswap Wine Cellar is running several discounts during October.
Allen says he’s excited to take on the business and hopes to expand the customer base.
“It’s a nice clientele here and I’m just hoping to grow it and get some younger people interested in it.”
At the Cork N Cap U Brew, Don Bolen has had no previous retail experience but he likes the work.
“I really enjoy making wine; I didn’t think I would but I do,” Bolen said. “I really enjoy the people that come in. It’s kind of like a fun thing to do and I needed a challenge.”
The challenge Bolen enjoys tackling is making sure the product is perfect.
“You don’t want to make any mistakes because that’s people’s wine, they’re pretty particular about it,” he said with a laugh.
Bolen worked with the Zunigas for 10 months before purchasing the business. Before wine, he worked in information technology for 25 years and was introduced to wine-making by his brother.
Cork N Cap U Brew also sells kits for making apple cider, mixed fruit cider and pear cider.