Tiara Curry always knew she was meant to be an entrepreneur. She graduated in fashion merchandise and tried to run an online store, but it didn’t work out.
One day, Curry was packing her house in Florissant to move to Saint-Charles when she found old papers for an idea then abandoned, The Wine Cafe (703 S Main Street, St. Charles; 636-410-8002, thewinecafe.biz). She talked about the idea to her husband, Terrence. He was ready to go.
Since putting up the sign on Historic Main Street and opening the Wine Cafe in early March, Curry realized that’s what she was meant to do.
The menu offers red, white, sparkling and rosé wines as well as cocktails. There are also wine flights and tastings. The food consists of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, flatbread pizzas and wraps, as well as charcuterie boards. One of Curry’s goals when looking for menu items was to not have the same wine as everyone else on Main Street, and that’s something she accomplished, Curry says. Wine for the cafe comes from a local winery – McKelvey Vineyards – and other states like Oregon and California. They even carry a New Zealand label.
The company set up quite seamlessly. Terrence likes red wine and Curry likes white, so they split the sampling duties when selecting what they would take. Curry came up with the ideas for the food side of the menu, and Terrence cooks it. Curry designed the vision for what the cafe’s interior would look like, and Terrence executed it.
They created a dynamic space with indoor and outdoor seating. The shop is adorned with signs, splashes of orange on the walls and wine glasses. The patio is complete with bright orange umbrellas to shade guests. A guest told Curry that every time she walked past the cafe and saw the bright orange umbrellas, it made her heart smile.
When asked to describe the first few months since opening, Tiara has only one word: exhausting.
“I couldn’t complain,” says Tiara. “Going to work every day for someone else, I was complaining every day. I hated every day. I hated waking up in the morning, having to clock in. But I’m leaving here, and I’m exhausted and tired, but I can’t wait to wake up the next morning because I know this is mine. I come to my own business. I’m super excited, but I’m super exhausted.
Tiara says feedback on The Wine Cafe has been overwhelmingly positive. Customer service is of utmost importance to her, and although growing pains have temporarily run out of some items, customers keep coming back.
In a way, returning customers create the best problem for Currys and The Wine Cafe – they’ve already outgrown the space they’ve moved into. The indoor cafe seats about 28 people, while the patio seats 40. Tiara says she doesn’t know what the future holds, and while she wishes they could expand, she doesn’t. isn’t ready to open another Wine Cafe yet. But she plans to eventually organize barbecues and offer special dinners.
The Wine Cafe is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. On Wednesday and Thursday, it is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
See more photos of the Wine Cafe: