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County’s largest wine store opens

Farragut Wine and Spirits, the only liquor store to take advantage of the new Town ordinance passed last May, has opened its doors for business.

Co-owner David Purvis said the store’s location, in the Kroger Shopping Center off Kingston Pike, was attractive because of its size.

“Total square footage is 12,882. We have 6,000 [square feet] being used for retail space with another 4,000 behind the faux wall. The idea is that we can just move that wall back and expand the retail space,” Purvis said.

“From what we are hearing this store is one of the largest in the state. It is definitely the largest east of Nashville.”

Purvis and manager/co-owner Hugh Kaserman offered assurances to parents and concerned citizens that the store’s proximity to Farragut High School will not increase the likelihood of underage drinking.

“Children are not allowed in the store without being accompanied by a parent,” Purvis said.

“Hugh grew up in Farragut, he went to Farragut schools. I have lived here as an adult for 19 years. I have two teenaged children. We are sensitive to the issues of the town [concerning its] children,” he added.

“Just the fact that we are right here, under their shadow, it’s going to be something we are thinking about. On a Friday night when there is a football game going on we are going to know we are sitting here right in front of the high school,” Kaser-man said.

“Truthfully, I would be more concerned about someone in a grocery store selling beer to an underage kid than I would be about someone in a liquor store selling them a bottle of liquor. This is what we are trained to do here,” he added.

Kaserman is dedicated to making the store the best in Knoxville.

“The Alcohol Beverage Commission laws are so strict that it is really hard for any one store to say it is different than any other store. You have to offer everyone the same deals, you cannot have exclusives or [wine] tasting, there is so much that you cannot do that as long as you are willing to give that customer service and offer a wide selection you can be as good as or better than any other store,” Kaserman said.

“It’s hard to be special but we do push for employee knowledge and customer service,” he added.

Purvis and Kaserman agree that selection is going to be one major key to success.

“When you just open up you can’t buy everything there is out there. [Our selection] is not extremely unique right now, but it is very powerful. All the quality hitters in the market are here. Once we get going we will probably have one of the larger selections in [Knox County] just based off the space we have to put it in. There are not many stores that have the luxury of having this much floor space,” Kaserman said.

The store also boasts a computerized archive of customer purchases.

“When someone comes in and we establish them as a customer, they can give us their name or telephone number and we can pull them up. That way we can track buying patterns and we can contact customers about what specials we are running [based on] the kind of products they buy,” Purvis said.

The partners also believe the added scrutiny of loading all customers into their computer system will be an added deterrent to underage drinkers.

For additional information on Farragut Wine and Spirits, call 865-777-2001.


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