The Oconee Cellar will celebrate its 14th anniversary this week starting Thursday, Aug. 9 and continuing through Saturday, Aug. 11. Super sales will be going on throughout the store on some of the most popular spirits and wines, including a 15 percent discount on purchases of 12 or more bottles of wine. Saturday Dock 103.9 will broadcast live from the store, and there will be free refreshments between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. There is always some sort of surprise The Oconee Cellar likes to spring on its customers, so be sure and stop by and help them celebrate!
It’s hard to believe owner Matt Garofalo started his wine shop back in 1998! Back then there was no Publix, no Ritz-Carlton, and very few small businesses in the Lake Oconee area. It was a big leap of faith and foresight that seems to have paid off.
“When we first opened the store located in Salem Walk across the street on the left towards I-20, we just sold wine and beer. As the area grew, we added a full line of spirits and cigars. Then I heard that Publix was going to build a shopping center and I knew that was where I wanted to be,” said Garofalo. The Oconee Cellar moved into its current location on Publix’s opening day in 2002, and two years later expanded into a 3,600 square foot space filled with a variety of wines, liquor, cigars, beer, gifts and gift baskets.
“We have been blessed with wonderful loyal customers and our business has continued to grow and expand over the years due to their support. It makes it fun to go to work each day! I am very passionate about wine as well as educating my staff and myself about all the products we sell. My wife and I were fortunate enough to travel to Spain this year, spending three days in the Rioja wine growing region. I was able to appreciate what goes into the wine making process, from growing the grapes, to sitting down with the winemakers and understanding their passion for what they do.”
The Oconee Cellar offers a monthly wine club where customers receive two specially selected bottles of wine at a discounted price as well as receiving special discounts on spirits and cigars. The Cellar also has a Customer Loyalty Program called the Cellar Reward Card. It’s free and gives customers a chance to receive special pricing on selected items which change every two weeks. Members also receive points with their purchases.
To help educate its customers, The Oconee Cellar conducts monthly themed wine tastings at Corrado’s Italian Restaurant, enabling wine lovers to taste over 20 different wines along with great Italian food. Sign up for the Cellar’s Newsletter by going to www.theoconeecellar.com. The Oconee Cellar was honored by being rated the No. 1 Wine and Liquor Store in the Lake Oconee Area this year in the Readers Choice Award competition. With its great customer service, Atlanta competitive pricing, convenient location, as well as its friendly and knowledgably staff, it’s no wonder The Oconee Cellar has been successful for 14 years and has a bright future ahead!