Crushed Grape owner sells deli to focus on gift shop

kleslie@thetribunenews.comJune 5, 2014 

Gretchen Gonyer, owner of Crushed Grape in San Luis Obispo, opened a wine and gift shop at 491 Madonna Road across from Bed Bath & Beyond in 2013.

SANDRA DUERR — sduerr@thetribunenews.com

After more than 27 years in business, Crushed Grape is going back to its roots: Owner Gretchen Gonyer recently sold the deli portion of the business, so she could better focus on the store’s wine and gift shop.

This change brings the business closer to what it was when Gonyer first opened it in 1987, she said. At that time, Crushed Grape was a 4,000-square-foot store in the mall off Madonna Road, selling mostly local wines and gift baskets.

Then in 1999, after the mall was torn down, Gonyer decided to combine one of her other ventures, a deli, with Crushed Grape in a 900-square-foot space.

Gonyer split up the businesses in 2013 (but kept ownership of both), with Crushed Grape deli located at 319 Madonna Road in the SLO Promenade, and the gift shop — renamed Little Grape — at 491 Madonna Road across from Bed Bath & Beyond.

Both businesses were showing steady increases in revenue and profits, Gonyer said, but soon after the switch, she decided she was, once again, ready for a change. So she sold the deli to former Staples manager David Cummings for an undisclosed sum at the beginning of the year.

“It just flowed really well,” Gonyer said of the sale. “I didn’t have to spend time looking for someone to buy it; it just happened.” (Cummings has since renamed the deli Breezeway Deli.)

Gonyer said she is enjoying returning to what she calls her “creative roots.”

“I like to think of myself as a creative person, and the wine and gift shop, with all the baskets and displays, really gives me the chance to express that,” she said. “Food service is 24/7. You can never really divorce yourself from it.”

Gonyer said she will continue to sell gift baskets and local wines and had added more San Luis Obispo-themed souvenirs — “It’s basically a big, giant SLO store,” she said.

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