I don’t really care to think back to how long ago high school was for me. It sometimes feels like just yesterday while a million years ago all at once. Maybe I’m thinking more about high school because The Bachelor franchise feels so fixated on it this season. (can we be done with that please? We’re in our 30’s). No shame in my game, I’m obsessed with that show. However, this is not about the show but rather who we started out as and who we’ve become today.
I grew up in a small town that really isn’t so small anymore. The cost of living and great schools have drawn a lot of people to the area. Back when I attended HHS though, it was a small town. I’ve known Tom since 7th grade back when my friends and I TP’d his house. You know, when there was no toilet paper shortages and your parents footed the bill? Anyway we all went away to college and then life, marriage and babies and a few summers ago Joe and I bumped into him at a local wine bar in Grand Rapids. Tom and his wife Kim had moved back to the Grand Rapids area and Tom was studying to become a Sommelier and over the pandemic, passed.
A few weeks ago Tom and Kim reached out regarding the new wine shop they were about to open, Grand Vin. It’s located in a historic building on Ionia in downtown with incredible creaky wood floors and beautiful ceilings. The shop is warm, quaint and cozy with Tom and Kim’s influence throughout. I love wine but Tom LOVES wine. Ashley and I paid them a visit the day before Thanksgiving to grab a few bottles for the holiday season and it was so fun talking to them about the shop and their favorites. (which btw have their own display as Tom and Kim’s favorites)
The wines on the shelves are extremely approachable with many of the prices ranging from $20-30/bottle. There are also amazing selections for those special occasions. I’m someone who gets overwhelmed easily when it comes to picking out the perfect bottle. I have a hard time describing what I like in “wine terms”. After a few minutes talking with Tom we had it narrowed down.
As we skimmed over the bottles on the shelf you could get a sense about how passionate Tom was about what he’s selling in the shop. He knew every bottle on his shelf and spoke on it like he’s known it for years. This right here is why it’s so different buying wine from a small shop like Grand Vin versus a big box grocery stores. Not only are the wines unique, but you don’t waste your money on something you are not going to like.
A lot of the wines at Grand Vin are small vineyards, family owned and unique, you are not going to find these on the shelves of Target. I’m putting together a small wine tasting game for Christmas night and you can bet that I’ll be paying Tom and Kim another visit.
If you are in the area, they are located:
15 Ionia Ave SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
If you would like to make a day out of foodie shopping might I suggest a route?
- Cheese Lady Grand Rapids for Cheese
- Nantucket Bakery for bread and other carb delights
- Lyon Street Coffee
- Martha’s Vineyard for deli goods and produce
- Mokaya Chocolate for desserts
- Louise Earl Butcher for meat
- The Local Epicurean for bags of homemade pastas
- Grand Vin for Wine
I’m so proud of Tom and Kim for taking a leap of faith and opening their own business. If you get a chance go check them out, you will be so glad you did.6