116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - First Avenue Wine House has its own reason to raise a glass, as the store marks its 15th anniversary of opening this month.
Part of the reason for that success, owner Traci Weber believes, is her commitment to being present in the shop day in and day out.
'I get to know my customers and I get to know their price point and what they like,” she said, noting that most customers are looking for bottles in the $10 to $15 range.
'I pretty much know what you want before you walk in the door. And my customers know I won't upsell them to $50 if that's not their price point.” Weber opened the shop with her husband Ron, who has now branched off into running a separate wine distribution business.
Weber said she is very proud of her 15 years in business milestone, especially given all the construction that has been happening in front of her business for the past five years, on First Avenue in Cedar Rapids.
'While that infrastructure work is necessary, it has provided a lot of trials and tribulations,” Weber said.
There's not much Weber would change about her shop as she reflects on her years of doing business.
'If we had it to do over we'd call it First Avenue Wine House and Gift Shop because a lot of people don't realize we have so many gifts to offer,” said Weber's mother, Carolyn Taylor, who runs her custom gift basket business out of First Avenue Wine House. '...
There are floors of gifts.”
Taylor, who creates all the gift baskets for sale at First Avenue Wine House as well as corporate gifts and other custom order gift baskets, said she kind of fell into her work.
'I kept getting asked to put together gift baskets for fundraisers and it just kept getting bigger from there,” Taylor said. 'I really like to keep the items in the baskets as local as possible. And what sets my gift baskets apart is that I like to use unique containers such as ice buckets, planters and blankets.”
Working with her mother - and sometimes with her dad, who fills in on holidays and at busy times - is just another element of what has made the business successful over the years, Weber added. 'I'm here six days a week, so when people come in they know it's a family business. It has a family feel.”
' Know a business in operation for more than a year that would be make an interesting 'My Biz”? Let us know. Email email@example.com.
At a glance
' Owner: Traci Weber
' Business: First Avenue Wine House
' Address: 3412 First Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids
' Phone: (319) 298-9463
' Website: http://1stavenuewinehouse.com