First to Wisconsin: Total Wine & More in Brookfield
Welcome to the series "First to Wisconsin" featuring articles about businesses that we finally have in our state. Although there may be more locations to come, OnMilwaukee and the Corners of Brookfield celebrate these strong premiere places and suggest everyone "Shop. Dine. Live. Be Entertained."
Last November, Total Wine & More – the country's largest independent wine, beer and spirits retailer, with more than 130 locations nationally – opened its first Wisconsin store in the Calhoun Crossing Shopping Center, 17300 W. Bluemound Rd., in Brookfield.
The store is huge, with nearly 30,000 square feet of selling space. Long aisles of shelving holding more than 8,000 different wines, 3,000 spirits and 2,500 beers. There's a humidor full of cigars and a vast array of miniatures.
There is a tasting station at the store, but the number of samples it can provide each day is limited by the City of Brookfield.
"We are far more than a retailer, offering our customers the ability to engage in all that is fine wines, spirits and beer through regular tasting and pairing events, educational classes and a growler station offering local and craft beers," said Edward Cooper, the store's veep of public affairs and community relations in that news release.
A second area location is planned for the 84 South retail center in Greenfield.
If a superstore is your kind of experience, you'll fall in love immediately. There are broad avenues, criss-crossed by side streets all packed full of wine.
Whether or not you think a place like this can match the kind of intimate, knowledgeable service you'll get at a smaller indie is up to you, but Cooper acknowledges that service is paramount.
"Exceptional customer service is very hard to find, especially in retail," he said in the statement. "To ensure our customers are served by the most knowledgeable staff, team members participate in extensive training programs throughout the year, including 70-plus team members annually participating in an educational trip to wineries in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys and every other year in educational trips to wineries throughout Europe."
Total Wine operates 164 stores in 20 states, according to its website. Word is that a Madison location is also being considered. The company was founded in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1991 by brothers David and Robert Trone, who continue to own the business.
Here are some more photos from a look inside:
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