Table talk: June 2017
by Sally Mitani
From the June, 2017 issue
Mary Campbell, owner of Everyday Wines, is bracing herself for a recurring summer conversation, when vacationers returning from the Upper Peninsula inform her that her Kerrytown store has a twin in Marquette. Everyday Wines on Marquette's Baraga Ave. has the same logo and the same clean, uncluttered look and gives away the same six-compartment jute bags when you buy six bottles. "Sometimes they'll say, 'Wow, someone's ripped you off big time.' But it goes in reverse too"--instead of crediting Campbell with the store's conception, they'll think they've discovered that she's merely a franchisee of a larger network of Everyday Wines.
It's neither. Campbell has a small stake in the Marquette store, but it's mostly owned by Daniel Rutz, her former manager, and his wife, Betsy. Rutz was instrumental in helping her open the Kerrytown store in 2004. "You know how sometimes you talk to someone, and you know you have the perfect fit?" Campbell asks. Rutz had worked for Partners in Wine, which preceded Everyday Wines in Kerrytown, and Betsy worked next door at Hollander's. When the Rutzes left Ann Arbor a few years later so Betsy could study at the Savannah College of Art and Design, they kept in touch and talked about Daniel opening another Everyday Wines wherever the Rutzes finally settled.
That turned out to be Marquette. "They love the outdoors--canoeing, kayaking, the snow, and all the winter sports," Campbell says. She looked into franchising, but it was complicated and expensive. Instead, the Rutzes pay her a "management fee" for using the name and logo and for advice on picking wines (in the U.P., she notes, "you don't have access to a lot of tastings").
After seven years, the Marquette store has found its own rhythm. "Certain wines take off there that don't do well here. He sells a lot of beer too. In some ways Marquette is like Ann Arbor--a university town, with people willing to look outside major brands, who like wine and food and like to know where their products come from, but Marquette is its own beast."
Last fall, the Rutzes opened the Zephyr Bar around the corner on Front St. "I have nothing to do with that," Campbell says. "It's a great little wine bar with food. The food is all local. Betsy's mom makes the desserts."
[Originally published in June, 2017.]
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