This week’s member spotlight is Savour Wine and Cheese. The Savour experience begins with owner Kathleen Morgan’s singular sensory skill paring wines & food. This business was awarded Best of the North Shore, ’19-’20, for “Best Wine Selection” by North Shore magazine readers. They offer Complimentary Learning Wine Tasting, Most Saturday afternoons from 1pm. If you are a wine lover check out Savour Wine & Cheese at 76 Prospect st. Gloucester or online at savourwineandcheese.com.
- Describe your business in 1-2 sentences.
For over a decade we have applied a variety of skills, and engaging the all-important customer relationships, to established Savour as the go-to source for curated fine wines, select regional craft beers and culinary complements focused to artisan European and American cheeses and specialty foods . While I personally taste and select every wine including the over 700 available in our online e-com store, our customers can personally sample 20 wines, always complimentary, by using (it’s easy) the North Shore’s only digital wine machine during each visit, sipping a diverse selection of reds, whites, rose’, paired to food, using our imported Riedel stemware.
- How long have you been in business?
Savour has been welcoming Cape Ann, the North Shore along with visitors to Cape Ann spanning 11-years.
- Is there anything new with your business/coming up this year that you’d like to share?
While we regularly build Savor’s wine portfolio adding new offerings, from the time COVID-19 took hold, the primary focus became the safety, the well-being of our customers and staff, providing the safest possible shopping experience, most recently adding high quality Molekule air filter units throughout the store clearing the air of 99.9% of viruses, bacteria and allergens every hour.
- How and why did you start your business?
I grew up in Lynnfield and later attended graduate school in Chicago, where I lived for 32 years. Like most North Shore natives, I dreamed of coming back. Working for a boutique wine distributer in Chicago, I began thinking about owning my own wine shop. When I met my husband Bob, who is from Rockport, while working in Scottsdale, Arizona, we began thinking of a wine shop on Cape Ann. Few fine wine shops existed on the North Shore , and even fewer with our focus to education, quality, and value. I recognized a need and opportunity to offer wine education, expanding consumers’ knowledge and buying confidence.
As I taste-test and select every wine we offer, knowing their qualities I can assist each customer according to their interests and tastes. We specialize in food pairing with our wines that defines our persona, welcoming customers’ questions, a custom service for each individual’s needs. We offer classes and wine tasting machines with 20 unique wines to sample anytime, always complimentary, pleased for the many personal, loyal relationships we enjoy with the Cape Ann community.
A compliment I will always treasure came from Tono founder, Chef Anthony Cattarato. Thinking of bringing a fine-dining Italian restaurant here, much like his “Prezza” in Boston’s North End, experiencing Savour, thinking to himself, “If she can do this in Gloucester, I can too!” So Tono arrived, and so has Savour.
- What aspect of your business are you most passionate about?
Clearly, the opportunity to add to customers’ wine experience by being an active education resource. While the pandemic has curtailed our in store programs beginning with our 5-part Wine Series ”Becoming a Wine Expert…to special guest seminars hosting renowned vintners, regional wine specialists, we welcome providing wine-food pairing recommendations to customers and businesses, the occasion to explain the nuances in combining the “grape” with every type of food occasion. And, as Savour has recently re-started Saturday Wine Tastings and use of the our digital wine machines with all safety protocols fully in place, wine trend information is available in-store, on the website and though email advisories to our database, guiding our customers to make informed decisions about their wine purchases.
- Is there something unique about your business that you’d like to share with the community that most people don’t know about?
As COVID-19 has made travel abroad very challenging (Europe and the Americas), an important culture and educational experience has been paused. Typically, each year I would plan visits to classic and emerging wine regions to engage long-standing wine relationships with innovative, vintners, while making new acquaintances with the opportunity to represent their wines. Savour’s wine selection is unique in part because these select singular vintners trust us to represent their limited portfolios that require an understanding of their wines’ special attributes, recognizing consumers have limitless options.
- What is your best advice for small business owners?
In your marketing, promotion, PR/publicity and in person-to-person conversations, promote the sweep of the Cape Ann businesses to customers, visitors, the global marketplaces. In doing so you are giving the consumer a host of reasons to shop, play, vacation, dine, stay and return , again and again to our unique and dynamic seaside gem, a matchless marketplace, encompassing diverse communities where the nexus of land and sea delivers a one-of-a kind memorable experience.
- What other Cape Ann Businesses are you inspired by?
That’s easy…every business comprising the Cape Ann marketplace that reached deep into their marketing communications tool-box applying creative solutions, taking prudent risks, and importantly, relying on one’s intuitive know-how to engage shoppers,, learning / testing ideas along the way that both hit with some misses, surviving the pandemic, actions that will inform current and future initiatives. And, you can’t say “Thank You” enough…every time, to every customer who engages your services…purchases your products.
- Why do you love Cape Ann?
Bob and I are most fortunate to wake up everyday to the sights and sounds of the natural world …for us, our plot in the environs of Good Harbor Beach. Each day is like taking in this matchless experience for the first time.
- What do you value most about your chamber membership?
The quality and extent of interesting and meaningful communications about the Cape Ann experience that the Chamber staff produces daily, weekly… year long, consistently hitting the mark, an ambitious agenda that produces timely, well-constructed, useful, actionable information. I’m regularly learning things about Cape Ann, commerce to culture, that often informs our planning. Thank you Chamber staff, with a special pop-of-the cork to Olivia Perez-O’Dess, Director of Community Relations!
-Kathleen Morgan, Savour Wine & Cheese