We're open for business!
Chester River Wine & Cheese Co. is owned and operated by business and life partners Jennifer Baker and John Laucik. In 2014 we uprooted our lives as corporate management consultants and moved from Jenn's hometown of Philadelphia to the bustling arts and entertainment district of Chestertown, MD. In 2015 we broke every rule in the book. We opened a business, purchased a home, and got married...all in 3 months. Let's just say it was a hectic year, but we pulled through and five years later we're incredibly proud of what we've created.
Prior to opening our stores we had a first career. Formerly a consultant with E&Y and North Highland, John is an expert in technology and process. When we left Philadelphia, he jumped in feet-first to open the wine and cheese shop. Jenn continued consulting, frequently working with clients across the US. On the weekends, she joined John in the shop. Three years into our journey we added our sister store, Welcome Home, and Jenn joined our business full time. Previously a consultant with Accenture, The North Highland Company, and Aon, Jenn is an expert in change management and organization development. John's the wine guy, Jenn's the foodie and design nerd. Together we make things fabulous.
We're not formally trained, so we often refer to ourselves as the "everyman's foodies." We've participated in training programs with the Wine School of Philadelphia, Cheese School of San Francisco, and American Cheese Society. True to our professional background, we've leveraged our passion for academic inquiry to build the knowledge we've needed to run our business.
The wine and cheese shop opened in 2015. We just celebrated our 5th anniversary. In 2017 we realized that we did not have the tools here in Kent County to create amazing meals and thus we added Welcome Home, a specialty kitchen and home store. As we look toward the future we are exploring opportunities to bring our business concepts together. We are currently exploring opportunities to expand.
We are passionate about food access, public school education, cats and puppies. We're very proud supporters of the Kent County Food Pantry, Support our Schools (an amazing parents-led grassroots organization to improve education programs in Kent County), and the Humane Society of Kent County.
We're having fun and love living here. We encourage you to tele-commute from Kent County or quit your job and open a business here as your next career.
Ok, so you can take the consultants out of corporate, but you can't take the lessons learned out of the business owners. We strongly leverage technology and process to create a highly customer-focused business. We believe that our customer value proposition is based on the experience we offer you while you're in our store and the knowledge, recommendations, and support we can provide based on your unique needs.
We apply simple criteria to every bottle we taste. We must love it, the bottle should be unique to Kent County, and the quality for the price should be aligned. We have great $8 bottles, wonderful $25 bottles, and really really fabulous "special occasion" bottles. We focus on "how" you would enjoy a glass of the wines and spirits they select. Our offerings rotate seasonally to align with the food, climate, and entertaining styles of the season.
We love special requests. If we do not carry it in our store, please ask. If we can get it, we're happy to order you a case.