Since Cheers re-opened its doors here back in June, new owner Josh Leatherdale is in the process of making a few changes.
Leatherdale, who always has had a hobby for home-brewing wine, said the decision to buy the Sixth Street West business just made sense.
It all started last November when he was buying supplies for his own brewing projects.
“I wanted to buy a wine rack for drying bottles and then Linda [the previous owner] was talking and she mentioned the place was for sale,” Leatherdale recalled.
“So I ordered the wine rack [but] I came back the next day and I said, ‘Forget the wine rack, I’ll take the whole place.’
“I had been thinking about being an entrepreneur the whole time,” he noted.
“And I had been making wine on my own, and in my own house the whole time, and it was something that I enjoyed doing.”
But as a first-time business owner, Leatherdale said he’s had to learn a lot the last few months.
“I’ve learned how to manage inventory,” he remarked.
“And I used to make wine all the time at home just by myself, but now I’m doing it on a much larger scale.
“I’m just learning how to manage my time and try and keep things going in the front, and try to manage my own books and do accounting—things I’ve never really been exposed to before,” he admitted.
Although Leatherdale said he’s trying to pick up where the previous owners left off, one goal of his is to reach out to home brewers and cater more to their needs.
“I was always looking for something that fit my home brew needs,” he explained.
“Because I made wine at home, I wasn’t looking to make wine at Cheers, so I want to make that available here to everyone at home.”
Leatherdale will be bringing in wine and beer kits that customers can take home, as well as selling a selection of home-brewing supplies.
“If there’s a specific type of brand of kit that people would like to make, if it’s possible for me to get it, I can do that,” he said.
“I can get anything they need.”
Other changes consist of bringing in more two more wine product lines, selling glassware, and renovating both the interior and exterior in the next month.
With more than 50 different choices of wine at Cheers, Leatherdale said the interior renovations will make the selection process more user-friendly.
He added all of the wines and products in stock can be found on Cheers’ website (www.cheersff.com), with wine-tasting notes and flavours to provide information for novice customers.
Even though he’s in the process of making changes, Leatherdale said the previous owners helped him make the transition to business owner.
“It’s the same great wine that Cheers has been making for a long time,” he pledged.
“I just want to kind of expand the business and grow the customer base, and just turn it into a successful business.
“I’ve been so busy but I really like taking care of it and making it my own,” Leatherdale said.