Black Enterprise: The beer shop, Bed-Stuy Brew, has also earned rave reviews and is a central hub to the new Tompkins Avenue developing in Brooklyn. As one of the local cool spots to be – what are the team’s thoughts about the growing business area there? Also, can you and the team speak about any obstacles you faced while building the business?
Bed-Vyne Wine: We are incredibly excited about the growth of that brand. It is painfully overdue for Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. There are other businesses developing in that area, such as Sincerely Tommy, which is a clothing store, and a restaurant called Eugene & Co.. Those spots have recently opened and joined us right on Tompkins Avenue. We’ve faced tons of obstacles that most new businesses face. From meeting company payroll to covering one’s expenses to just getting the word out about your business, we have gone through the gamut and continue to exceed all expectations.
Black Enterprise: Overall, what do you think Bed-Vyne’s impact is within the Brooklyn community? Also, speak on the growing trend of developing business for the non-black consumer? Will that make a dent in what other black entrepreneurs hope to be able to create within the area?
Bed-Vyne Wine: Our impact within the community goes above and beyond just having great sales. We are very dedicated to the community. Being part of the creation of positive change within the neighborhood is important to us as individuals and as a company. Like we mentioned before, all consumers want to be respected and appreciated, so our philosophy is that we respect all who do business with us and provide all with the best experience we possibly can.
Black Enterprise: Speaking of black entrepreneurs — are there any differences in how black businessmen can create a brick-and-mortar establishment in New York City than other races?
Bed-Vyne Wine: Honestly, we do not believe that there’s any difference when it comes to race and building a brick-and-mortar establishment. The rules to the game are the same for everyone. Our suggestion is that any entrepreneur going down this path should be absolutely be prepared to answer any government agency questions. Be extra, extra prepared. Even if that means that you believe that question won’t be asked, you should be prepared for it anyway. It is incredibly important to make sure that all your T’s are crossed and all your I’s are dotted.
Black Enterprise: For those who aren’t well versed in wine or have never experienced a wine tasting — what is some advice that you and the team can offer when it comes to selecting a wine for the upcoming holiday season?
Bed-Vyne Wine: It’s very important to make sure you buy and drink what you like. There are concrete rules in wine and established protocols, but we think that it is key, first and foremost, that you pick what you enjoy. Ask questions of your wine shop to help select the best wine for the occasion. Don’t be intimidated. There’s no such thing as a bad question when it comes to wine. Bed-Vyne Wine is designed to educate each and every customer about what is the most dynamic wine for their palate.
We organize wine by taste which eliminates the guess work about picking a wine. This also allows you to experience wines from various regions within your preferred taste category. If you like big and bold wines, then we’d suggest something like a Super Tuscan from Italy. If you like buttery whites, then we’d recommend a Napa Valley chardonnay. Of course, if your palette just likes something sweet, then we’d propose picking a moscato or a Riesling.
Black Enterprise: Last question: With the amount of success that Bed-Vyne has had over the past few years – what keeps you and the team going through it all?
Bed-Vyne Wine: Our company and the businessmen involved are all blessed to still be here and be able to serve this wonderful community. We love it so much. It is what keeps us going! Knowing that we provide a service to Brooklyn, to the people on Tompkins, and the surrounding areas is an electric feeling. The service that we provide to our customers is needed and appreciated by them. There’s nothing better than having our customers tell us that they love Bed-Vyne Wine and that they are proud of us as an institution. It is very gratifying every single time we hear that!