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Vinously Speaking – A Wine Shop You Can Build

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By Cecil Flentge

Vinously Speaking is a small wine shop in the medical center area powered by two dynamic women.  Veronique ‘Ceci’ Barretto and Melissa Unsell formally opened the successful shop a year ago and they want to do more – and they want you to help.  They are using crowdfunding, a method of asking for financial backing online and in this case donations (with perks).

While speaking with Ceci Barretto about their plans for expansion and innovative push for funding, she spoke of her excitement about all the new, big wine retailers in San Antonio.  More than competition, Barretto looks at them as helping to raise the awareness of wine in the Alamo City, which can only help her business.

But she insists that small retailers have to ‘up their game’ to offer their customers something more, something like – a wine bar.

That is the object of their funding campaign, to add on to their existing shop and offer better ways for their customers to enjoy wine.  Like wines by the glass, by the flight, some deli items to match their wines, and private event rooms.

Their goal is $30,000 — and they have raised more than $5,300 at the time of this writing.

Oro is pairing wine with a special dinner. A few more things on the wish (or “need”) list posted on the funding site include — alcohol license, furnishings, decor, paint, lighting, bar build out, wine dispenser, stemware, utensils, updated computer system, additional water closet, wine storage and “a few other items to get the ball rolling.”

Those are the current goals and they want you involved in making it happen.

On their funding site (click here), you can donate whatever amount you want and they list the “reward levels” where they acknowledge your commitment to the project.  It ranges from getting a T-shirt to the impressive naming of an event room after you with your picture on the wall.

Sounds like an endowment to an Ivy League college — but does it work?

The two women have already raised thousands of dollars and you can track their progress on the site.  If this sounds ambitious and intriguing, visit their shop during one of their weekly wine tastings and meet Unsell and Barretto. Maybe your plans can include theirs.

Vinously Speaking An Eclectic Wine Shop & Blog is at 7271 Wurzbach, Ste. 117,  210-793-4078.

Cecil Flentge is a San Antonio wine educator for professionals or novices and a restaurant/bar consultant. Restaurant events or home tastings. Questions? Email

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