Valerie, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. Almost all entrepreneurs have had to decide whether to start now or later? There are always pros and cons for waiting and so we’d love to hear what you think about your decision in retrospect. If you could go back in time, would you have started your business sooner, later or at the exact time you started?I absolutely would have liked to start my business sooner, but with that being said, you have to wait for the right opportunity that matches who you are.
I have done many different roles for others but always thought that I should be doing something for myself which is one of the main reasons I decided to jump into real estate. Real estate allowed me to learn so many things about myself and grow but there was still a missing element to that as well. Fortunately, in 2022 the perfect business found me! I was looking for a business to buy and had found a small jewelry store to purchase and was beginning to start the process when my partner came across a really fun unique business that seemed to be perfect for me. Being from Bordeaux, France and my family and I being involved heavily in the Wine Producer and Vineyard business, Time for Wine was a great fit for me. It has been a wonderful experience and yes, I do wish that this opportunity had come to me earlier.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.Bonjour,
My relationship with wine started early as I was born and grew up in the Bordeaux/Medoc region of Southwest France.
Winemaking has been part of my family for generations as my grandfather began his professional career as a “vigneron” (winegrower) in Pauillac just after the second World War. He worked up to 70 hours per week to support his family of 6. Over the course of his career, he worked in the globally renowned Chatea Croizet-Bages, Chateau Plantey and La Rose Pauillac where he retired. He was also able to purhcase his own vineyard in Pauillac and supplied grapes to the wine CO-OP La Rose Pauillac.
I began harvesting grapes with my cousins and siblings at the age of six and continued working the harvests until I came to the United States in 2005. Today many of my extended family still works in the industry including my sister. She continued the path of our family and tends over a vineyard.
In addition to my grandfather, my mother and stepfather had a vineyard in Medoc called Chateau Gaumaran which won a gold medal for their 2014 vintage in as well as several silver and bronzes (2002, 2016) over the years.
One of my jobs as an adult was to manage a family bed n breakfast/gites/camping located on the vineyard. Frequently I would set up experiences for guests to visit and learn about our family and the winemaking business.
My family still lives in the Bordeaux/Medoc region, and I am fortunate enough to visit them regularly to see them and learn about the wonderful wines and productions each year.
I am most proud of being able to continue my grandfather’s legacy and bring his wine to the United States. Since owning Time for Wine, I have worked with many distributors and importers and finally later this year will have my grandfather’s wine La Rose Pauillac available in the United States. It was one of the first thoughts that came to my mind once I heard about this business being up for sale.
A little about Time for Wine and what makes me so proud. Time for Wine was started in 1980 by German immigrants. The built a wonderful business based on wine tastings of European traditions. The continued to grow the business over the next 20 years and sold to next generation of Time for Wine. A Wine loving couple continued that tradition for the next 20 years but decided they wanted to pass on that torch the next couple. So, in July of 2020 my partner and I purchased Time for Wine. The clients and the products were amazing, but the business needed a little updating the be ready for the next phase. Over the past 18 months we have met so many great people and continued the great service and expertise that you would have expected but just made some investments in additional storage space, computer technology, website and social media. All of these things were needed for growth.
Time for Wine is a wonderful Bordeaux wine that has been stored on the shelf for many years, “pour vieillir” (to age) but is now ready to be opened, poured, sipped and enjoyed by many more wine lovers. We have loved to build this business and hope that each and every one of you that come across Time for Wine see the passion that we have to reach as many people as possible with great wines from great regions around the world.
We’d love to hear a story of resilience from your journey.Growing up in France, I never wanted to visit the US and never thought I would live here. After several visits to the Tampa area for vacation, I was hooked and wanted to move here, but I did not speak the language, yes, I took English in school but that was many years ago and I lost any sense of the language. So, in 2005 I moved to the Tampa area with a vocabulary of 5 expressions. Hello, Goodbye, Please, Thank you and (don’t judge me, blame the person who taught me) $h*t. So, with 3 suitcases and my dog Rumba I came to Tampa Bay. The only way to stay was to become an international student. So, at the age of 40 I entered into the St. Petersburg Community College as an international student learning English as a second language for four years. Let me tell you, Tears and $h*t were frequent as I learned English, and it was not easy to do. Also, trying to go through the US citizenship I had to return to France whenever school was not in session. Leaving my country behind, learning a new language and culture was strange, scary, and extremely difficult. But I would not have done it any differently. It has been a wonderful experience, and I am glad of all the people that I have met and helped me along the way.
How did you build your audience on social media?I was fortunate enough to purchase a business that had an existing social media presence but not as effective as it could be. We have a really cool business and we needed to update the social media to support it. We made several changes, and it has been growing ever since.
We love reels and live. They work best for our business. Post frequently and consistently. Post something, anything, just show up. Communicate with new accounts and followers. Prepare and schedule your posts. Make a calendar. You have to figure out your audience and give them what they want. Don’t pitch your product all the time. Give advice, tips and educate about the field you work in. Have fun!
- Website: www.timeforwine.net
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/timeforwinetampa/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/timeforwinetampa
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/timeforwineus
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/timeforwinetampa
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/time-for-wine-tampa
Valerie Lucey Time for Wine