The Wine Corner jumps on opportunity to expand to Lahaina
LAHAINA — The rough economy led to the demise of Mr. Wine, but opened the door for The Wine Corner to expand to Lahaina.
“Years ago, we had attempted to purchase Mr. Wine but were unable to do so,” explained Susun White, who owns The Wine Corner in Paia and Lahaina with Gregory Brown in the company Soleil & Gaia, Ltd.
Founded by Trav Duro and sold to a new owner, Mr. Wine at 808 Wainee St. struggled in the economic downturn and eventually lost its lease.
“The distributors on Maui let Gregory know that Mr. Wine was going out of business, and we approached the landlord to see if we could have the place. He welcomed us to take over,” said White.
The Wine Corner West was founded in May 2009.
“We hope to continue the tradition of the original Mr. Wine. We have a temperature-controlled cellar with the high-end wines you can only get at a small wines shop. We are a boutique wine store; we are staying away from what we call ‘the usual suspects’ — those are wines that one can purchase at the general grocery stores and Costco,” White explained.
The store also carries items that pertain to fine wines, such as glass wear and cork screws, as well as cigars, a small selection of high-end spirits and some micro-beers.
During the holiday season, The Wine Corner West will offer a variety of gift baskets.
Brown, who manages both stores, and White have been a couple for 24 years. They have two children, Soleil and Gaia.
White has served as executive director for the Paia Youth & Cultural Center (PYCC) for the past 16 years.
In 1999, John Berg, a past board member of the youth center, sold The Wine Corner Paia to the couple.
“Under our ownership, we expanded the wine selection, and in 2006 relocated the store to the old Paia General Store Building. The Paia store won the Paia Main Street award in 2007 for best interior design,” she said.
“The Paia store has a temperature-controlled wine cellar and is also known statewide for its amazing selection of micro-beers. It is a very popular store known by both tourists and North Shore residents.”
The couple changed the Lahaina store’s décor and colors to synchronize it with the Paia store.
“Basically, we hope to bring it back to what it was, featuring many of the smaller boutique wines. We have expanded the wine selection to feature more of a complete spectrum of wines as to cost. We have value wines and allocated wines. We want everyone on the West Side to know whatever your budget, you can find a wine at our store,” White commented.
The Wine Corner seeks out rare, interesting and popular wines through clientele, magazines, travel and the distributors.
Through October, the Lahaina store is running a special for all residents with Hawaii ID. All cash purchases will receive a 10 percent discount on
wines, and credit card buys will receive an 8 percent discount.
For industry workers with Hawaii Liquor Handlers Cards, the special is extended until Nov. 20.
“We are also offering to all of the public who order large purchases — by the case — a substantial discount,” she concluded.
The store is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and closed on Sundays. Call 667-5511 for information.