If the size of the crowd at the Sept. 30 grand opening of The Little Wine Shop in Avondale Estates is an indication, owner Rebecca Hadj Taieb has a hit on her hands.
By the 7 p.m. starting time parking spaces were tough to find and people were squeezing into the little space on North Avondale Road to participate in the wine tastings and examine the vast array of wines and wine-related items the new business is offering.
“I think everybody in Avondale Estates is here,” a visitor in the crowd commented.
“And Decatur and Oakhurst,” her companion added.
After years in corporate sales, Hadj Taieb left to have a baby. When she was ready to return to work, she decided she didn’t want to return to the corporate environment. “I wanted something with more flexibility, I thought it would be nice to own a retail business, so I started looking at franchises,” she recalled.
She couldn’t find a franchise that quite suited her and was about to give up on the idea when childhood friend Marty Shaver told her about what he described as a beautiful building on the main street in Avondale Estates. “I’d put a wine shop in here,” said Shaver, a certified wine specialist.
Hadj Taieb told Shaver she’d do it if he would curate the inventory and come on as the general manager. He agreed.
From the day Hadj Taieb first looked at the retail space on North Avondale Road to her “soft opening” on Sept. 15, was only five and a half months. The 1,400-square-foot shop has an inventory about 300 labels from around the globe and about 1,000 bottles of wine. There also is a selection of artisan breads, cheeses, meats and specialty gift items. “We can put together a lovely gift package with the wine, maybe a bucket and some items to make a nice presentation,” she said.
“We have been careful to select good wine, but in this economy we are sensitive to price,” Hadj Taieb said. “About 50 percent of our wines sell for $10-$15. About 30 percent are between $15 and $20, and we have some special selections that are a little higher.”
She said that the city of Avondale Estates, from city officials to residents, have been very supportive. “People keep telling me that they are so happy to have us as part of the city, and we are excited to be part of a growing, vibrant community like Avondale Estates,” Hadj Taieb said. “Wine is something that brings people together, and we look forward to being part of many of our neighbors’ celebrations in the years to come.”
She said The Little Wine Shop will be home base for a wine club and is available for rental for such private events as wine tastings. “We’ve already hosted a wine tasting birthday party. Isn’t that an interesting idea for celebrating a birthday? It’s also a great way to celebrate other things or just have a girls’ night out,” Hadj Taieb said. The Little Wine Shop, she explained has a tasting license, “which means I can pour you a taste of wine—about three ounces—but not a glass of wine.”
She said the shop also will host its own special events from time to time. For a listing of upcoming events, visit www.thelittlewineshopatl.com.