Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarah Pierre.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I realized pretty early on that I had a bit of an obsession with food. I loved it. I watched all the PBS cooking shows, scoured all of my mother’s cookbooks – not necessarily to cook, just to look at all the photos of the dishes. I also became fascinated with food from other cultures. Food was beautiful. And of course, delicious. I remember traveling up north every summer to go visit family and it was always the highlight of the year.
Summer vacation meant family time and good eats. Being from a Haitian family, “throwing down” is an understatement for what we would do. They pulled out all they pulled out all the stops. Needless to say, we ate very well. But what I will never forget is the day my Aunt arrived with pan after pan of Paella. All different types! She had Valencia Paella, Meat (chicken) Paella, Mixed (meat & seafood) Paella, and Black Paella. I remember thinking that it was one of the best dishes I had ever had. Every summer she went to the same Spanish restaurant in her neighborhood and always got me the Paella. It was an unforgettable dish. The start of many unforgettable dishes/meals.
Fast forward some years, and I get a job in high school as a hostess. My first taste of the restaurant life… and I’ll tell you what, it was a lot of fun. I continued working in restaurants while I finished college, but for whatever reason, I couldn’t let it go. I also realized that as a server/bartender, I could work a ton of shifts for a few months, then use that money to travel. So that’s what I did. I went to Asia, backpacked across Europe, and traveled around the US. It was pretty amazing.
The next step, of course, was restaurant management. I was probably the youngest person to manage Twist Restaurant & Lounge in Buckhead, and when I was 25 I packed my stuff and moved to NYC. I continued working in restaurants and was fortunate to work at two hospitality-driven restaurants. I worked for the Hillstone Restaurant Group (Houston’s) and Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (Maialino). Both of those experiences really shaped the way I looked at hospitality.
At Twist (Here to Serve Restaurant Group), we used to say “The answer is yes, what’s the question?”. I thought that was hospitality – if someone wants it, we will do EVERYTHING in our power to make it happen. We did everything for our guests and we did not mind. We really did enjoy it. While working for Hillstone then Maialino, I learned it’s not just providing exceptional service to guests, it’s also about being an expert in your trade. Pretty much just being the best ambassador of the industry you can be.
I moved back to Atlanta in 2010 and got my dream job managing Bacchanalia. I worked with the best in the industry – the smartest, most talented people I’ve ever worked with/for. It was amazing.
At some point, I did start to feel the burnout of restaurants. I couldn’t handle the late nights anymore, reckless behavior, long crazy work hours, and missing important events and milestones for myself, family and friends.
I left Bacchanalia and decided to take some time off. And then Voilà! In 2013, 3 Parks Wine Shop was born!!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it was an overly hilly road, but a slightly lumpy, maybe a random pothole here and there kind of road. It was a journey. It should be a journey.
I wasn’t experienced in retail so I had to really focus and pay attention to what I was doing. I was self-taught. I’m actually really curious to talk to some of the people who I met the first year the store was open. This is where I insert *smack hand on face* emoji. Haha. Some maybe didn’t come back and some are very dear friends now. I wouldn’t even call my lack of retail experience a struggle, you know? It made me work harder and I’m glad I did. Heck, I’m still teaching myself every single day. I would say, however, managing my emails might my biggest struggle. Lol.
I love what I do, so every struggle is a little battle scar that I don’t mind glancing at every once in a while. Helps me remember.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about 3 Parks Wine Shop – what should we know?
3 Parks Wine Shop was established in 2013. We’re located in Glenwood Park right off the EastSide Beltline Trail on Bill Kennedy Way. We are a retail wine shop focusing on wines for everyone! We have a little bit of everything. I sell small production wines, wines that are family owned and operated, and all the best bang for your buck wine while still giving you a quality product. It really is all about quality. I don’t want to sell bulk mass-produced wine that I would never drink.
We are mostly known for our casual, fun, non-intimidating atmosphere. We really do like to have a good time when we are selling wine. We have great music playing, great staff, wine tastings all the time, and are always down to teach someone the basics of wine. We have the most savvy wine buyers and collectors visit, and those who are super green and finally decided to stop buying wine at the grocery store. We have wines in every price point so nobody is alienated. We also have Wine Growlers! That’s right! Wine Growlers!!
I’m really proud to own a store that people truly love going to. I think that’s what makes going to work every single day amazing. We have a great time in the store and we have the best customers.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Whoa! The list is long so I won’t be super specific. You guys will have to start playing the music to get me off the stage like at the award shows. Haha.
I have a slew of supporters and cheerleaders and without them, I would not be where I am today. My friends, my amazing family, my business partners – Cindy Shera & Todd Martin who never let me give up, my regulars, definitely my regulars, my sales reps, my vendors, my former bosses, my beloved staff, my creative/marketing director, media/press, and my workout instructors for keeping me sane.
- We have wines as low as $9 and as high as $300!!
- Address: 451 Bill Kennedy Way SE
Atlanta, GA 30316
- Website: www.3parkswine.com
- Phone: 678.349.7070
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/3parkswine
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/3parkswine
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/3parkswine
Kate Blohm, Trace Taylor, Ned Stressen-Reuter