Meet Adam Fleischer, co-founder of the Wine Spot
in Cleveland Heights, a fine wine and craft beer destination with eight employees, where customers can purchase beverages for enjoyment on-site or at home. The Wine Stop hosts wine and beer tastings each week, private events, local music and student art.
How did you come to be an entrepreneur?
In one form or another I have been working since I was 14 in jobs ranging from paper routes to working with my dad in the summer, so earning a living is something that I was raised to do.
After four years in the Air Force and graduating from Cleveland State University, I took a pretty traditional approach and spent 20 years working for large corporations in healthcare information technology. It was an exciting place to be and offered me a ton of great experience.
Professionally, I was doing great. But I felt disconnected from my family and community. Although I was in a highly technical and innovative industry, the opportunity to really have a direct impact while working for a public company was minimal. I wanted something I could make my own.
At some point, I thought if I was going to work as hard as I was, why not do it for myself and my family? We can put our energy into something over which we have full control and are passionate about and we can do this in our own community.
What kinds of community activities/causes does the Wine Spot support?
Our success to date comes from the support our community gives us. We are lucky to be part of a community that supports local and goes out of its way to support us and we do the same. So being actively involved with community activities and causes is a priority for us.
We are particularly proud of our relationship with the Cleveland Institute of Art
as we host the Art Spot, a student art gallery. One hundred percent of the proceeds from sales go to the student.
We helped start the Heights Music Hop, now in its second year. And we recently hosted fund raisers for a variety of causes. Our collaboration with the CIA and multiple successful music events motivated us to create the Music Spot -- local independent music at no cost in a family friendly environment on the last Friday of each month.
How are you dedicated to buying and selling local?
When we built the store we sourced as much locally as possible, including labor, supplies, furniture and products first from Cleveland Heights, then Cleveland then Northeast Ohio. We recently partnered with long time Cleveland Heights businesses to create what we believe are the most unique gift baskets available.
How are you more than simply a wine shop?
We set out to create a destination spot in northeast Ohio. When you come in you will see what looks like a bottle shop -- we offer one of the finest selections of wines and beer available in the state. But we also have 4,000 square feet of space.
People come here with a book, a laptop or before dinner and a movie to enjoy a great glass of wine, a pint of beer or spirits from local distilleries. Families stroll in during their evening walk. We host wine and beer tastings, music events, PTA meetings, special interest groups, painting lessons and birthday parties.
How do you carry on the traditions of Seitz-Agin Hardware, the store you took over?
Seitz-Agin was a Cleveland Heights landmark for 70 years until they closed in 2011. Many people grew up coming to this building with their parents and it holds a very special place in their hearts. We are honored to be in this historic building. The Seitz Agin sign proudly hangs above our beer cooler. And the name Brueder’s is proudly visible on the original tile floor at our entrance from the family run dairy that opened this building in 1923. We are only the third business in this nearly 100 year old building.
I’d like to think we picked up where Joel Borwick, the owner of Seitz Agin, left off. We offer personal service, expert guidance and the best products available in a comfortable and relaxing space. We share many of the same customers as Seitz-Agin and they laugh saying that they still come here to get tools and supplies, but now its wine and beer and not hammers and nails.
Why is Lee Road in Cleveland Heights an ideal place for the Wine Spot?
Cleveland Heights is one of those cities where the majority of businesses are locally and independently owned. Coupled with a highly diverse community, it was a no brainer to want to open our wine shop in our hometown.
We like the fact that the Lee Road area is enjoying a big resurgence and an energy that is as unique and vibrant as any in Cleveland. So when the Seitz-Agin space became available we could not pass it up.