Chip’s Wine and Beer Market carries more than 2,000 wines and 500 craft beers. The store owners, Laura and Phil Wayland, understand that wine can be intimidating, so one of their goals is to take the pretentiousness out of their industry. Therefore, client education and customer service are two of their company’s core values. Laura and Phil have created a friendly, helpful atmosphere so everyone from newbies to connoisseurs can find products they will enjoy.
Chip’s Wine and Beer has one of the best selections of wine and beer in their region. They have grown their business and added an in-store craft beer bar and a wine station so customers can sample products. A strategic push of the Chip’s Wine and Beer website resulted in Laura and Phil doubling their online sales in only one year.
Additionally, Laura and Phil have been able to expand their operations by opening two new stores called the Outer Banks Olive Oil Company. These spaces carry more than 40 olive oils and vinegars. With these products they are diversifying their brand while remaining true to their roots of providing gourmet products in a neighborly atmosphere.
Laura and Phil wanted to purchase Chip’s Wine and Beer from its previous owner during a time when banks weren’t giving out many small business loans. They worked diligently with their SCORE mentor, Tom O’Brien, to generate a sound business plan. Laura and Phil also developed a PowerPoint presentation regarding their five-year projection strategy and presented it to their bank. They were then able to secure a loan.
Laura and Phil encourage others interested in starting a business to “do your due diligence” by getting advice from others with business experience, including SCORE mentors.