Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fairwine

Today, Fairway Market opened up its companion Wine and Spirits Store (as aptly reported by my buddies at CTbites). The store, located at 689 Canal Street, is being spearheaded by Jed Simon who was kind enough to answer a few questions about the new local offering. I was pretty impressed with his unequivocal answer to Question 2. Good to know!

1. How will the store set itself apart from competitors like Bev Max and Stew Leonard's equivalent?

We have a focus on small artisanal producers as opposed to being dominated by mainstream brands. There are so many people in the world who make excellent wine these days. Widespread use of technology has allowed for more wine to be made, at cheaper prices, than ever before. We are all about finding the best value products for our customers. There is also a strong customer service element about our store. People come in and get greeted immediately. We have some incredible people here with deep wine backgrounds that will talk to you for as long as needed, regardless of the product and price point you are looking for.

2. How will prices compare to competitors?

No one will ever sell a product cheaper than us.

3. What sort of special products will we find at the Fairway store that we won't find elsewhere?

We want to have the largest selection of Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Whiskey in the area. All three of these products have incredible diversity to them and can justify a large selection. Pinot Noir especially has incredible typicity to it. We have almost 300 Pinot Noirs, from a dozen price countries. I feel especially good about our Pinot Noir at the $10 price point. Other varietals can make nice products at this price point, but Pinot can get really bad. Ours are delicious!!

[For the record, I had to turn to Wikipedia to figure out what "typicity" is...but I'm sure that's meaningful for palettes more refined than mine.]

4. Are there any promotional events consumers would want to know about?

Staring the day of the grand opening (December 15th) we will have at least one in store tasting every day throughout the month.

5. Jed, what is your background in wine and spirits? Do you offer any specialized knowledge?

I have taken the majority of my course work through the American Sommelier Association. I really like the individual who runs it(Andrew Bell). He has a great way of giving young wine enthusiast the confidence they need to pursue a career. That and the course load was enormous. I was studying wine for his classes 20-30 hours a week for almost 2 years. I also worked for the Four Seasons Hotel Company for several years and it really instilled excellent customer service skills. Both myself and Andrew(the other manager) have strong restaurant backgrounds. I love to help people out with food pairings. I use that a gauge when I go into other stores to see how much they care about the customer. When I visited all of the big stores in the area I would tell them I need a wine for dinner, I had one place recommend a wine without even asking what I was eating. Enough said. People who want genuine advice can come here and have a real conversation with someone.

6. What will the store look like inside - any interesting design features you think shoppers will be excited about?

One of the many things that set us apart from other brands are our incredible painters and graphics department. When we get this place up and going full steam, I'm hoping to see people starring at signs reading about Pinot Noir, Riesling, and the Scotch, then making an informed decision for what they are drinking that day.

Thanks to Jed Simon for taking the time to fill us in on the details!

(photo from green umbrella, flickr.com)

4 comments:

Amy said...

It's days like this I wished I lived in Stamford. I'll have to settle for a stop on my way home from work. Thanks for sharing!

Rob said...

I will continue to shop at BevMax and Three Seas. Both are owned by Stamford families that give back a lot to our community. They both also sell at the lowest prices allowed by the state.

Alex said...

It's impressive and comforting to know there that there is someone like Jed out there to help choose from so many different wines these days. Shopping for wine should be fun, and I definitely look forward to visiting the new store at Fairway.

Nathan said...

This is a fantastic store with a great selection and extremely helpful staff. I'm so happy to have it in the neighborhood. Andrew was an amazing help when I visited.