Power duo Samantha Smith & Adam Fleischer, owners of Grain & Grape, are building upon 40 years of tradition. By continuing to work with local suppliers, Smith and Fleischer hope to maintain a neighborhood feel while also inviting guests to explore a treasure trove of the fine wines and craft beers inside.
Samantha Smith & Adam Fleischer
Grain & Grape
3. Describe your business:
Our business is a neighborhood bar and shop with some flare. We’re nestled at the terminus of Bexley, Eastmoor, Berwick, and Whitehall. We’re jumping off the long history of wine shops that came before us in our building. We’re trying to be familiar and comforting but we also want to delightfully surprise you. It’s simple- we have a diverse and solid collection of wines, beers (craft and domestic), apéritifs, and spirits. You can either take them home to enjoy or come into the newly renovated bar to enjoy.
4. Everyone in business has that moment when they know this is what they’re supposed to do. When and what was yours?
Grain & Grape was a pre-existing business that we live within walking distance to and would frequently pop in to shop. We loved the vibe and saw so much potential in it that we couldn’t stop dreaming about all the possibilities. Then a miracle happened – it went on the market! We took this as a sign and knew we had to jump on it.
5. What were the first five action steps you took to turn your dream into a reality?
- Adam got me on board with the idea
- He contacted the broker that listed Grain and Grape for sale
- We made a plan and submitted everything to a bank
- We got blessings from the previous owners
- Adam quit his job at the Reynoldsburg Post Office to focus on this new adventure
6. When did you know you had something special that people loved?
COVID has done one good thing by showing us how much our community supports and cares about our business. It’s no small feat to run a business right now or anytime and we couldn’t do it without all the local love. We really took note when we did some modest renovations to the bar and patio. The response was humbling, to say the least.
7. What current company or entrepreneur do you admire?
Collin Castore from Seventh Son Brewing and Antiques on High is the epitome of leadership, vision, and collaboration.
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8. What are your plans for future growth?
We’re always cooking something up! We’re in the midst of putting the finishing touches on our curated wine and beer boxes on our website. We’re putting together some special items that Adam and I love. We are trying to make it as easy as possible by offering free delivery and you can order/ pay straight from our website. That way you don’t have to leave the house during the winter months and if COVID cases continue to go up. We want to make great beer and wine as accessible as possible.
We also have high hopes to open our own food truck to permanently stay at Grain & Grape.
And maybe one day even a record shop upstairs.
9. What are the top five things you keep on your desk?
We both float around the business so much that we’re rarely at a desk. However, Samantha’s top five things she tries to always have around are post-it notes, a giant bag of colorful pens, my daughter’s drawings, my laptop, and of course plants – because who doesn’t love plants? Adam’s essentials are a solid stapler, good jams, scotch tape, post-it notes, and bear spray – because you never know when you’ll need it.
10. Behind every entrepreneur are people who support them and help them get where they are: who are your people?
We are each other’s main support systems in this business. It can be really great to have your life partner also be your business partner. We couldn’t have done it without the help of many family members. Adam’s mom and my folks are huge reasons why we stand here today. Our amazing staff, local breweries, and small wine distributors are really the backbone of our business. We couldn’t do it without them. We definitely can’t leave out our landlord Ann King. She has been so supportive throughout this entire process.