Wine lovers combine talents in Clarendon Hills shop
Terrie Walker is the owner/wine consultant of All Wined Up in downtown Clarendon Hills. | Chuck Fieldman—Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 18, 2012 12:30PM
CLARENDON HILLS — Terrie and Brian Walker don’t have time to go dancing, see the latest play or even go bowling.
When everyone else is out for a good time, they provide the entertainment as owners of All Wined Up, a wine shop at 27 S. Prospect Ave. in Clarendon Hills.
“It’s frustrating sometimes, the schedule we have to keep,“ Terrie Walker said. “Our friends know if they ever want to see us again, they have to come here.”
But the wine shop she and her husband, Brian, bought in 2009 also has been a rewarding labor of love.
“We really added a lot. The store, when we bought it, was pretty basic,” Walker said.
Since taking over All Wined Up in 2009, the Walkers have doubled the number of wines offered; added a number of events, such as wine dinners, monthly Trivia Tuesdays and live music on Saturdays; and started a wine club she describes as “robust” with 110 members.
“I taste everything in the store. There’s nothing in here unless I’ve tried it and liked it,” Walker said. “I’m really big on trying new things. It bugs me to no end when people come in and say, ‘I only like Cabernet or I drink only Chardonnay.’”
As a marketing manager for a bank, Terrie Walker had never imagined owning a business. But about five years ago, when the bank where she worked was merged with another, she and her husband found themselves without jobs.
A graphic artist, Brian Walker, 43, was able to find employment pretty quickly. Terrie Walker, 45, took a part-time at a wine shop in Lisle, earning some mid-level wine certifications along the way.
“Neither Brian or I owned our own business before, and we didn’t know what we were doing,” Terrie Walker admitted. “The economy’s tanked, and we’re still drinking wine, so other people are, too.”
But the Walkers started out with an advantage many businesses don’t have: professional marketing savvy. Terrie Walker put to use her talent for developing products and events, and Brian Walker summoned his creativity for the shops marketing materials, including its Web site.
“This combines everything I love. I love wine, I love planning events, I love entertaining,” Walker said.
For instance, Terrie Walker teamed up around Valentine’s Day with her part-time employee, Danielle Kirin, owner of D’s Sweet Berries, to develop a unique treat, chocolate-covered wine bottles.
Retailing between $16 and $30, depending on the size of the bottle and the complexity of ingredients, Kirin said she was inspired to dip the bottles after seeing something similar at a liquor store.
The bottles drizzled in variety of flavors, including turtle and English toffee, were so popular, they are back for the Holidays and include a special peppermint bark.
“Terrie package them real nice, so you can give them to people so they are wrapped and ready to go,” Kirin said.
For more information, visit www.allwinedup.net.