Friday, September 4, 2009


You never know when inspiration will strike you. I sift through wine blogs and wine magazines, wine texts, as well as just stroll through the aisles of the store, just looking for something, on the rare occasions when my mind is nothing more than a blank sheet of paper, balled up next to that great big trash can of Life.

And then it hit me.

Soon, the stores for which I have worked the past 7 years will be changing their names from Liquor Direct Wine & Spirits to D.E.P.’s Fine Wine & Spirits. “Why?” is the question I am sure we will be getting a lot in the weeks and months to come, most likely because most people don’t do well with change. I’ve never been sure why that is, but there it is – I said it. However, change is good, and keeps things new and fresh, and with our name change, we wanted to reflect the direction we have been heading for the past several years, which is more wine sales. Our owners, Greg and Mark Depenbrock, have been at it for a long time, and both of them often go by the nickname “Dep” – short for Depenbrock (get it?). Also, our mantra has always been “Discount Everyday Prices.” D-E-P, get it?

It’s not much of a stretch, and the fact that when you walk into our stores, Liquor is certainly not the first thing people see, although we still sell spirits. Yet our growth has been in selling wine, which is why, after several years of deliberating, our owners have decided a moniker change is needed.

With the change, there will be the standard questions: “Are you under new management?” “Who bought the place?” “Are you part of a chain now?” I am sure that many questions will come. But what’s in a name, really? We aren’t replacing our staff – arguably the best damn wine staff in the Midwest if I do say so my damn self – and our pricing and selection won’t change. Sure, the Web site will change, the signs out front, the logos on our shirts, etc., etc. – sure all that will change, but not “us.”

I thought about the name change when one of the staff recently brought up the negative side of it. The questions – the new management thing – I could see their point of view, yet all things change over time. It is an evolution of things, morphing into a newer, more focused wine store, still growing, still striving to open up people’s minds and palates, getting them to be more adventurous, and exploring the ever-burgeoning world of wine.

Life is change. The good and bad are all in the way you look at it.

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