The owners of a new business set to open soon in Nocatee Town Center gave a presentation on their plans to members of the Nocatee Business Networking Club last week, sharing their vision for creating a more adult-oriented gathering place in the burgeoning master-planned community.
Held April 5 at the Coastal Oaks clubhouse, the event attracted more than 50 people, to enjoy refreshments and a selection of fine wines provided by husband-and-wife team Steve and Shaun Lourie, who updated club members on plans for their new business, Coastal Wine Market & Tasting Room. Slated to open in late spring at 641 Crosswater Parkway (next to Dunkin Donuts), the new Nocatee business will include a retail shop featuring wines and artisan foods along with a tasting room where wine tastings will be held each Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.
“We call it a retail store with a twist,” Steve Lourie said. “Our vision is to create a seamless blend of retail store and tasting room.”
In addition to bottles of wine, Lourie said, the shop will sell beer by the bottle and wine by the glass along with a selection of artisan meats, cheeses and breads. Craft beers will also be available at Coastal Wine, which will feature seating for approximately 20 people. Store hours will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
“We want the atmosphere to be very comfortable and very personable,” Shaun Lourie said. “We hope people will come to think of it as their own personal tasting room or wine cellar.
“People tell me, ‘We’re looking for a place where we can go after dropping the kids at soccer practice and just relax for a bit,” she continued. “There’s a need in Nocatee for an adult-oriented place where people can meet, have a drink and enjoy some good conversation.”
The Louries moved from New Jersey to Nocatee’s Coastal Oaks neighborhood in 2013 to be closer to Shaun Lourie’s parents. While Shaun’s background is in marketing and medical education, Steve had enjoyed a long career in the hospitality industry.
“I got into the wine industry through the restaurant business,” he told attendees. “I just fell in love with the energy and with working with people.”
The Louries decided to take their shared passion for wines and start a business together.
“This is our first business – we didn’t want to say ‘What if?’ for the rest of our lives,” Shaun Lourie said. “Nocatee just seemed like the right place at the right time.”
It was a sentiment that resonated with members of the Nocatee Business Networking Club, many of whom are also entrepreneurs. Group founder Adam Drake noted that he started the club after moving to Nocatee two years ago from Wisconsin and being unable to find an existing networking group that met his needs.
“I wanted to connect with other businesses but in a more casual environment than other business groups that meet weekly to pass referrals,” Drake said. “We’ve gravitated toward a more quarterly schedule, where neighbors can network and share referrals with one another in a more organic way.”Currently, the Nocatee Business Networking Club has more than 100 active members, who stay connected via the group’s Facebook page and email list (NocateeBizPros@gmail.com).
“I think bringing in fellow entrepreneurs as speakers has helped us build a following,” he said.
During the Louries’ presentation, attendees not only asked questions about the couple’s plans for their business, but also offered suggestions and advice on everything from product selection and signage to marketing. Attendees also predicted success for the Louries’ vision.
“What brings people back to a place is the ambiance, the atmosphere and an overall good feeling,” noted Terry Machaby, a Del Webb resident who owns Art 4 Charities with his wife Diane. “It sounds like you’ve got the total package to create that good feeling.”