entrepreneur ditches corporate job, opens beer and wine shop in the heights

Adam and Susan Fleischer of the Wine Spot in Cleveland Heights have opened a boutique wine and craft beer store at a time when many big box retailers are vying for this same business. Yet, spend a few minutes with them and you'll realize that their infectious enthusiasm and love of wine is also backed up by creativity and a solid business plan.

Adam Fleischer first developed the store concept as a way to ditch his fast-paced corporate lifestyle, spend more time with his family and do something he loves.

"My wife and I came back to Cleveland from Washington D.C. after our son was born, but my job had me traveling 100 percent of the time," he explains. "I got burned out on the corporate scene and really began to miss my family. So we decided to take our passion and hobby and turn it into a business."

Fleischer freely admits that opening a retail wine and beer store is a "high-risk proposition" these days, yet says he's identified a niche market that is a unique destination. The Wine Spot is more than just a run-of-the-mill beverage store; rather, it's a place where one comes to learn about wine and beer, sample new favorites, and simply enjoy the company of others in a great atmosphere.

Once patrons discover the gorgeous interior, most won't want to leave, Fleischer adds. The store is filled with custom-built wine racks, tables built from repurposed wood by A Piece of Cleveland, an authentic tile floor from the days when it housed Bruder's Dairy, and a large, comfortable bar area. For more than 50 years, the space housed neighborhood favorite Seitz-Agin Hardware.

Fleischer says it's perfect for his diverse Cleveland Heights clientele, who are all passionate about the history represented in the community. "It still feels like an old Cleveland Heights shop, but with all of the modern conveniences."

Source: Adam Fleischer
Writer: Lee Chilcote