By Jennifer Thomas, Charlotte Business Journal
WineStyles Tasting Station is seeking Charlotte franchisees as part of a national initiative to grow its brand.
The West Des Moines, Iowa-based company wants to expand to nearly 50 stores over the next several years, up from the current 20 in nine states.
That includes one shop in Greensboro.
“We’re embarking on an aggressive growth strategy to capitalize on the rising consumer interest in fine wines, craft beer and specialty food pairings,” Bryan McGinness, chief executive, says in a news release.
McGinness and his wife, Andrea — former WineStyles franchisees — purchased the WineStyles concept in fall 2012 and are seeking to revitalize the brand. He says the Charlotte market could potentially have up to five locations.
WineStyles looks to simplify the wine and craft beer shopping experience. For example, wines are categorized by style and taste, rather than varietal or region.
The company sees “great potential” to expand its brand of shopping experience to additional cities, McGinness adds.
That list includes Charlotte and the Raleigh-Durham markets. The company also will target Greensboro for expansion.
WineStyles is seeking entrepreneurs with retail experience. It intends to add locations through single-unit or area-developer agreements.
The total investment for one store is about $229,000 to $380,500, depending on the site. The initial franchise fee is $25,000.
Most locations feature craft beers on tap and a full wine bar, as well as small plates of artisanal cheese pairings, handmade chocolate truffles and other gourmet items.
WineStyles locations also rotate unique labels and hard-to-find wines from both small and large vineyards around the world.
Each bottle is accompanied by a description listing the wine’s characteristics, flavors and suggested food pairings.
Stores offer a variety of gifts and wine accessories, including customizable gift baskets, monthly wine, beer and cheese clubs, and a frequent-buyer program.
Weekly wine and beer tastings, private event opportunities and education classes are also available.