Interview with Candis Parker
AC: Tell us about your business.
CP: We were the first building to open and we are one of the only two businesses that have survived in our town (Mill Creek, WA) for the last 17 years. Extensive wine club that features different wines each month from all over the world. Word of mouth is how people know about us. They also do frequent tastings.
AC: Who is your target customer?
CP: 40years old to 70 years old. The younger crowd has been showing up to try out different wines lately too. Customers who have no problem spending $100 on a bottle of wine, then sitting down to enjoy it.
AC: What has been the greatest impact of covid-19 on your business?
CP: The biggest impact is the wine club numbers have increased. People aren’t getting out there, so I was able to keep the doors open with those increases. I had to let one employee go, but I also saved a lot of money on overhead.
AC: What are one or two actions you have taken to make a difference?
CP: I started selling beer in addition to the wine. I also let everyone know that I was available for curbside pickup, they could call at any time for what they need. We even started our own delivery service.
AC: What is one mistake you have made along the way that other people can learn from?
CP: I used to jump on purchasing a wine too fast, but then worried about whether or not I would be able to sell it. In the first couple of years, I bought a lot of wines I shouldn’t have. So, I took a step back, then learned how to buy smarter. Strategizing through which wines to buy, looked closer at margins, researching, then making decisions more slowly helped.
AC: What is inspiring to you today?
CP: I’ve been giving a lot of thought to retirement and am selling the business to new owners. I am a huge Peleton fan, so spent the morning with a cup of coffee and a good workout. Then I got to come in and do the books, so got to see how much income came in over the past three weeks, with only working 10 hours per week, which was exciting! The support that people who come through is just amazing, they support a female-owned small business, which has been thriving for the past 10 years!