Friday, August 7, 2009

Meet Amy Garman

This is one in a series of articles focusing on small businesses and entrepreneurs in the South Loop.

“I enjoy educating people about wine without being pretentious; I love encouraging customers to try new wines.”

That’s part of Amy Garman’s mission at South Loop Wine Cellar. Garman, hails from West Bend, Wisconsin, and remembers taking day trips to Chicago with her parents in her youth. “If you wanted to go to a ‘city,’ Chicago was the logical choice,”she said.

Garman has created a warm and comfortable space at 1442 S. Michigan Ave. The exposed brick interior walls are complimented by warm wood cubbies for the South Loop Wine Cellar’s wine inventory. A former athletic trainer, with a B.S in athletic training. and a master’s degree in secondary education, Garman worked at Elite Physical Therapy across the street from her wine shop’s current location. It was her former profession that brought her to Chicago. But even while she was studying for her master’s degree, Garman dreamed of opening her own wine shop.

A South Loop resident for the last five years, Garman saw the area as the logical place to launch her business. As a resident, she noticed the abundance of condos and other living spaces, but also noticed the dearth of local businesses. “Small businesses help balance the character of a neighborhood,” says Garman. And character is something everyone wants in the neighborhood in which they live, that and convenience. The South Loop Wine Cellar offers customers free delivery, on orders of $25 or more, “Roosevelt to Cermak, State to the lake.” Garman also offers her customers custom gift baskets for both personal and corporate gift giving. Wine tastings start at $5.

South Loop Wine Cellar is a place wine experts and novices can feel at home. With great-tasting wines starting at just $10, there’s a wine for every taste and budget.

The South Loop has more small businesses than it did five years ago, but Garman would like see "an artisan sandwich place and a cool coffee shop south of 14th." We say "amen" to that too! For more information on the South Loop Wine Cellar, be sure to visit her website or stop by in person.

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