Started as a pipe dream two years ago when we went to Reims, France and were hanging out in the little champagne bars and bistros and thought we wanted to be in the business too! The idea stared with “Let’s start importing wine” and morphed into “Let’s open a wine bar” and the idea was born. We enrolled in the Wine Certification course on our return, got our certification and then came the need for gaining experience. Enter Wine and Vino – a wine store had just opened in our neighborhood, we shopped there frequently and the owner Tsevtan Troshnov was extremely friendly. So I thought maybe I could train with him and started begging him to let me do so.
Who knew then that he would turn out to be the answer to our dream…….
Tsvetan finally gave in to my begging and let me start volunteering at Wine and Vino a couple of times a week. I was responsible for running the store on those nights. I loved my experience there. I loved the store, loved the clients and just loved spending time there surrounded by those bottles of wine. And then it happened…….
A text from Tsvetan “I want to sell the store, do you know anyone who wants to buy it?” My heart skipped a beat…He and I both knew he was asking me if we wanted to buy it…”How much?” I asked. The answer was way beyond what we could afford. I forgot about the text and continued my two nights at the store while he kept working as the manager of Sushi Garage. We were friends – Rob and I went to his birthday party, he came to the blind tasting at home, we occasionally ate the Sushi Garage.
A tasting at our home – from L to R : Kenny , Gustavo, Tsvetan and Sneh And then one night when we were eating at the Sushi Garage, it happened again. He was selling the store, he said and had listed it with a real estate agent. Except now his price was something we could work with. We still could not afford it, but we could negotiate it to something affordable. And thus began the dance.of trying to agree on a price. First strike, second strike and a third miss and I stared coming to terms with the fact that it was not going to happen. I called Tsvetan to tell him to sell it someone else. We had made him our final offer and we could not go higher. But no he said that he would rather sell it to us, he knew we loved it and would take care of it…..It was done …. we were going to be the new owners……
I will spare you the details of the paperwork, except to repeat the words of the invitation I sent out for our reopening party:
“We bought Wine and Vino a month ago
We passed the fire inspection three weeks ago
We got our occupancy license two weeks ago
We got our liquor license two days ago
It was a long stressful journey, but it is over and we would like to celebrate the reopening of Wine and Vino……..