Island Wine Experts in Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island) has two new owners who are about to toast a new plan for the future of the business.
© (Photo: The Guardian)
Alex Stewart, 21, is the new owner of Island Wine Experts at 238 University Avenue in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and he has a number of things planned for its future.
Alex and Gerry Stewart purchased the business from previous owner Nick Loupelle last month (January) when Loupelle decided he was going to retire. Loupelle approached Alex with an offer, so Alex ran the numbers by his businessman grandfather who said the deal sounded like a good opportunity.
While both Stewarts own the business, it is Alex who runs the day-to-day operations and he has a plan to take the business into the future.
Recently, the store has undergone renovations to expand into a “brew on premises” service. The space allows for up to four brewers to come into the store, make their wine and bottle it at the same time, Stewart said.
“Along with that, we are also looking at opening up another store,” said Alex.
The new store will opened outside of Charlottetown in a year or two to expand and appeal to a new Island market, he said.
“Maybe not around Souris way, but into Summerside. Summerside and Charlottetown have a different taste in wine. It’s funny, we have people coming down from Summerside and the trend we see is they are buying a different kind of wine than what people in town may be buying. Different grape varieties and the like.”
He bought the store because he likes to see people just as passionate about making wine as he is, he said.
“I just enjoy seeing the people coming in and getting what they like and changing it around to what they like doing with it. Everyone’s taste is different, so it’s neat to see what they like.”
Loupelle said Stewart seemed like a natural choice to sell the business to, especially since Stewart had been working at the store five years already.
“It’s only been a month or two since he’s opened up, but people (those who may have been lost to competition) are coming back. He’s a very intelligent young man, very hard working and very talented with wine making.”
In fact, Stewart could likely do well in wine making and brewing competitions, Loupelle said.
“I think he’s at the state now where he should be competing in these competitions. It would be nice at his age to nail down some awards. He’s a very good wine maker now.”