Todd Smith St. Pete Winesmith Pt.3

If there is one thing about wine that you want to tell people.

Drink what you like, that’s it.

What was your job before the winesmith.

I had a lot of jobs. Right before this I worked at The Ale & The Witch for two and a half years in between wine gigs. It was nice enough of a job pouring beer. I made a lot of money there, place is crazy it’s like a circus there. Before that I was the wine buyer in American Spirits downtown for six for six years and that’s what really kind of gave me this idea.

This was going to be just a wine bar initially and I changed it at the last minute, because I have such a retail background. I wanted to do that as well. When it first opened it was just retail I didn’t have my by the glass license but then I changed it after a year. I should have did it from the beginning I screwed up made a mistake. Then I changed my license after a year so I could pour by the glass.

I just added my sidewalk permit so now people can sit out there and drink on the sidewalk. It’s coming together it has taken almost three years now so September… August.. September… September will be three years the 24th is my anniversary .

What made you leave your previous position.

Just quit one day. I was just pouring beer, I don’t even drink beer anymore.

I did when I started working at The Ale & The Witch and then I went gluten free so I had to stop drinking beer. It was really hard to do the job not being able to taste the beers and tell people about them, you know the craft beer is constantly changing as well  new stuff always coming out.

I  would have to ask my co-workers give me the low down on this new beer so I can at least know something to tell these people. That was hard  because I’m a very passionate person. That is how I sell the wine. Leaving was hard I made a lot of money working there. It was tough to walk away from.

Also I had a relationship that was ending as well things weren’t very good I was a little depressed .

I walked in and told brad I’ll work out the three weeks on the schedule but that’s it.

I had this plan on the shelf. I had a business plan, I had financing lined up, everything was kind of ready to go.

I was just kind of sitting there.

So, After I gave my notice I’m like well you are either going to go work for somebody else or you are going to do this thing.  

It was the hardest decision I ever made and the scariest decision.

I just put my head down and started doing it started doing it. Kept going. That’s it. So, I have been doing it for two years now.

So you said that you had it on the shelf with the idea how long from there to opening the doors take?

I started the business plan when I got fired from American spirits. I got fired because of Fiona, because I got a two month old puppy and started bringing her to work with me. I had been working there for six years we were kind of like family.

I should have asked. but I didn’t ask I just started bringing her to work. The owner didn’t like it and just blew up on me one night and they fired me the next day.

I said well fuck you I’m going to go open up my own shop where I can bring my dog to work with me, and it took three years to do it. Getting the money and the financing lined up, finding a viable space. Yeah so it was like three years.

I could have done it quicker, but I got used to that money working at The Ale & the Witch.

After I got fired I filed for unemployment which I’d never done in my life. I was pissed at them for firing me over a puppy. So stupid. So I had eight months of unemployment I trained her that’s why she is so awesome I spent every day playing in the park and training her basically.  

During that time is when I started writing the business plan and trying to get the financing lined up and like I said then it just got shelved, because I was making good money at The Ale & The Witch. It was just passionless it was just good money and I couldn’t live that way anymore I had to change it.

I was watching a wine documentary one night on Netflix and just lost it. Crying and I was like I can’t do this anymore I need to get back into wine.

What is the purpose or the mission. What do you want to give to the people that come in here?

Value is the main thing….


1 comment on “Todd Smith St. Pete Winesmith Pt.3

  1. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Part 3 of my interview by Gio Cerro includes how and why I got into the wine business.


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