Total Wine & More, America’s largest independent retailer of fine wine, spirits and beer, opened the doors to its newest location on Thursday in the Long Beach Towne Center, replacing Staples. This will be the company's 116th store and first time setting up shop in the city.
Members of the community, Aquarium of the Pacific staff and city dignitaries attended the ribbon-cutting on Wednesday for a first look at the more than 8,000 wines and 2,500 beers, including hard-to-find labels and locally-produced products now available in this one, giant location.
“We’re happy to be in the community," Jim Weiland, regional vice president of operations, told the Post. "It’s got a great population and great numbers that should make our model work very well. We’re happy to be in a very densely populated area, and that’s Long Beach.”
The family-owned superstore is not your typical run-of-the-mill big business chain, but seems to truly pride itself on how much it can give back to the community. Total Wine & More has partnered with the Aquarium of the Pacific and will offer patrons the chance to give back during this grand opening weekend, with 10 percent of all beer and wine sales to be donated to the local marine institution.
“The local community is at the heart of all that we do,” said David Trone, co-owner of Total Wine & More alongside his brother Robert, in an earlier press statement. “We recognize that the aquarium is a source of tremendous economic and educational value to Long Beach, and we are pleased to partner with this important charitable organization to bring increased recognition and support to its worthy endeavors.”
Fifth District councilwoman Stacy Mungo thanked the business for creating 35 new jobs and up to 20 million in gross receipts (three times the revenue of the previous businesses occupying the 7575 Carson Blvd. space).
“Please tell at least five friends, because the more people that shop here, the more roads I can repair and the more sidewalks I can fix, so spend your money in Long Beach, thank you for opening up this business and go beach!” said Mungo during the ribbon-cutting.
Alongside using innovative technologies such as state-of-the-art tasting bars and in-store iPads to assist customers in choosing food and wine pairings, Total Wine & More trains their employees for over 100 hours to ensure their patrons are provided with the most thorough and updated information about each of the brands carried. They also train employees to maintain the reputation of a personable and “neighborhood store.”
“It’s a different class of wine store,” said Douglas, a local fan of the business, who attended the grand opening on Wednesday. Douglas and his partner, Cindy, who used to frequent the Tustin location are especially excited that Long Beach will finally have a locale.
“You know you’re going to be able to find what you’re looking for here,” said Cindy.
The company is a four-time national retailer of the year award winner for its vast selection, low everyday prices and unique shopping experience. Total Wine & More was also recognized by Beverage Dynamics in 2008, MarketWatch in 2006 and Wine Enthusiast in 2004 and 2014.
Total Wine & More has nearby stores at the South Bay Marketplace in Redondo Beach and one in Huntington Beach.
For a full list of grand opening events and tasting hours, click here.