The Marietta Daily Journal did an article about our shop today. I was pleased to see that Katy gave our 29 Gifts in 29 Days Challenge for May a plug. Karen
MARIETTA - The Marietta Wine Market on the Marietta Square is serving up a good dose of wine and betterment as the shop gears up for two community challenges next month and continues its charitable wine tastings each Wednesday and Saturday.
Karen Heard - who owns the shop by the Marietta Pizza Company with her husband, Randall - said working with charities to promote their causes, as well as the shop, has been a business model for the market since it opened in May 2005.
"We encourage people to host a wine-tasting party if they're going to have a bigger event to kick off the event and promote their charity, or just to create awareness of their cause. And a lot of people come in for the tastings who have never been here before, and end up coming back later for another tasting or to buy things," Karen said.
The way it typically works is this: The charity will approach the shop about doing a tasting, then the shop will schedule a date for the tasting - almost always on Wednesdays from 5 to 7 p.m. or Saturdays from 2 to 4 p.m. The charity will then promote the tasting through its contacts, and ask for a specific donation to be made for the event. The shop will pick out four to six wines to be tasted at the event, Karen said. The number of bottles of each wine that is opened depends on the number of people who show up to the event. The shop donates a spread of food, staff service and the facility for the tasting, and the charity pays the shop enough to cover the wine that is used. Everything else goes toward the charity.
Karen said the shop helps 75 to 100 charities a year, whether it is through a tasting, private party or other event.
Proceeds from Wednesday's wine tasting went to the Adoptions by Homeless Pets Transports, a smaller charity out of Marietta's Homeless Pets Foundation that helps to transport shelter animals who are in danger of being euthanized to other rescue groups or homes where they can be adopted. Homeless Pets operates out of Town and Country Veterinary Clinic off Gresham Road in Marietta.
Betty Herrman, president of AHPT, said she hoped to get at least $100 in donations from Wednesday evening's tasting and also had a number of items donated to the group that were being used in a silent auction during the tasting.
"They have been very generous to us, and it seems as though the tasting is going well," Herrman said, as she mingled with the nearly 25 donors at the tasting.
Rose Wing of Marietta said has been a "regular" at the shop since it opened, and comes back for the friendly atmosphere as well as the good wine.
"The wine tastings are very good and I like that they're always for a charitable cause, too. But the shop itself is excellent, and convenient. We often come by here ... to pick up some chilled wine, good meat and cheeses and we're ready to go," Wing said.
Darren and Wendy Friberg of Marietta said the charitable causes are what originally pulled them to the shop, but have now made them regular customers.
"It's a good chance to taste some great wine but also give back to the community," Wendy said. "And we like that it's a smaller place so we can talk to people and have a friendly atmosphere. So many places are just too big, and people don't recognize you like they do here."
As the market comes up on its six-year anniversary, the Heards are launching two challenges for clients and residents. Both begin on May 1, and the first is a six-week fitness challenge to get residents out and active for 30 minutes a day for at least five days a week. The second is being dubbed "29 gifts in 29 days," and Karen said she was inspired to do the event after reading the book "29 Gifts" by Cami Walker, which detailed Walker's idea to conduct random acts of kindness. Walker's journey was inspired by her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis at age 33 and her advice from an African medicine woman to give away 29 gifts in 29 days. Karen is encouraging participants to sign up at the shop and detail the impacts the altruistic actions have on them.
"Marietta is so vibrant and there is so much to do, and the people are really what make it. They're very genuine, down-to-Earth people. So we feed on that. That's why we have a television and couches and music, and people can bring their dogs and come taste a few wines we always have set out, meet up with someone, relax. We want people to feel like this is home," Karen said.