Wausau Driver and Review
This week’s featured business is Lil’ Ole Winemaker, 602 Jefferson St., which is under new ownership in downtown Wausau. In business for two decades, the store was purchased in October by Paul and Lisa Stuttgen. Together they have worked to maintain the strong traditions established by the previous owner, while breathing new life into the boutique, which attracts residents and visitors alike. Shoppers enter to find a warm and cozy space with a fireplace and sitting area, a counter with stools for tasting and sipping wine while enjoying a snack, and plenty of unique gifts for just about any occasion. Whether you’re new to wine and want to learn more about its production and range of flavors, or you’re a wine expert who likes to try new things, Lil’ Ole Winemaker has something for everyone. Made on-site from grapes sourced from carefully selected producers across the country and beyond, their traditional offerings, from Cabernet to Shiraz, Merlot, Chardonnay and more, rival some of the finest wines available. But beyond the standard wines you might expect to see, this local producer also offers a delicious range of specialty wines that will tantalize your taste buds, from mango citrus to white cranberry swamp, ice wine from fall gold, raspberry dragon and more. In all, you will find 35 varieties to taste and savor. Appetizer plates are also available for purchase, which include combinations of Harmony Dairy Golden Age cheese, Nueske sausage, and breads with Ariston Gourmet dipping oils. In addition, they offer comfortable meeting spaces for organizing small parties and events. But the real fun of visiting Lil’ Ole Winemaker Shoppe is seeing the genuine enthusiasm in Lisa’s eyes as she introduces customers to new flavors and styles. This is a true Wausau gem! Here Lisa talks about her new adventure and her hopes for the future.
When was your business started and what inspired you to get started?
The Lil’ Ole Winemaker Shoppe has been in business for 20 years. We are the third owners and are proud to say we took over in October 2021. Paul and I bought the shop to give our family a chance to be part of a successful business knowing it will be passed on to all. our generations.
How did you choose the name of your business?
The company name was a name that was chosen from the previous owners and will be the name that will be retained to honor the loyalty of our customers and the history of the company.
Tell us about Lil’ Ole Winemaker Shoppe. What will customers find when they walk through the door?
Our business is a unique day getaway that offers artisan wine made in our boutique, a specialty gift shop, an inviting atmosphere and great hospitality. We always want to make sure all of our visitors can enjoy our wine experience by offering free wine tasting with options to enjoy our wine flights, a glass of wine with meat and cheese boards, and pizza and cheese fries – all sourced from local businesses. .
What makes your business unique? What sets you apart?
The special thing about our company is that we produce our wine here in Wausau and offer our customers more than 35 wines.
What are you most proud of having accomplished?
What we are most proud of is giving our family the lifelong knowledge and stepping stones to build their own future for success – as well as giving our community and visitors to our Shoppe a place to go that feels like at home.
How have you changed and evolved over time? What is different now since your debut?
Being new to the business, we are constantly learning day by day, the best knowledge we have learned is that we listen to people for their desires, their advice and strive to give them what they expect. Brian and Sue Larson have given us the perfect mentorship, confidence and knowledge to ensure we can and will accomplish this and more.
What challenges did you have to overcome? Basically, if it had to be done again, Would you do anything differently?
The challenges that have come before us and that we have had to overcome are to reconcile family, friends, work and self to ensure a perfect balance. We would do nothing different choosing this company as our family’s and their future’s business.
What are your hopes and dreams for the future? Where do you see your business headed?
Our hopes and dreams for the future are to ensure that we continue our loyalty to our family, friends, community and surrounding communities by providing them with a consistently positive experience of our wine and hospitality.