We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephen Murray and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephen, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
This business is a lifetime in the making. For all of my life I have been drawn to small delis, specialty grocers, and food centric retail shops. My love for food and wine led me to culinary school. Now after over 15 years in the restaurant industry working as a chef my wife and I decided to make a big change. In 2010 my love and interest in wine drove me to become get my certification with the Court of Master Sommeliers. My passion for wine was always through the lens of a chef. Instead of focusing on the intellectual details, my focus was always on the flavor experience of wine. Particularly how wine interacts with food.
For the past 5 years, prior to opening our shop, I was working as Executive Chef of Terroni & Dopolavoro Los Angeles but of course Covid-19 changed everything for the restaurant industry. Our restaurant group permanently closed one location and there were changes in the ownership. These changes pushed me to consider starting my own small business.
My wife and I are Long Beach residents with deep family ties to our neighborhood. I wanted to take my knowledge and experience in the food and wine industry and invest it back into my own neighborhood. We crafted a wonderful selection of wines, cheeses, cooking ingredients, cookbooks, snacks, sweets and treats. We have also partnered up with some wonderful local artisans like Ficklewood Ciders, Wotz Ceramics and Janzy’s Candles. We are a great spot to put together the perfect gift box or picnic basket for any occasion.
Our wine club and private tasting events offer the neighborhood a great opportunity to try our newest selections.
Our customizable cheese boxes are perfect for any gathering. High quality cheeses and charcuterie, beautiful presentation in a gorgeous box ready for the table.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We are unique because our concept has a little bit for everyone. We are not just a wine shop, cheese shop, gourmet market or gift store. We have a unique blend that I think sets us apart especially considering our size.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Long Beach is an amazing city with some wonderful dining options. My wife and I don’t do anything but eat and drink so here are some of our favorites.
Nothing better than a walk on the bay or the beach. Renting a Duffy Boat and getting out on the water with a tasty bottle of wine is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My wife Kerri for her endless support of my career in food. She has always been flexible as we bounced around California for work while I was coming up in restaurants. She stayed by my side and encouraged me to dream and chase ideas to own my own business. I truly couldn’t have done any of it without her.