Deep Seeded: House of Pure Vin Shines Light on Michigan WinesBy Yvelette Stines on March 31st, 2016 /
When Regina Gaines, managing partner of House of Pure Vin, was contemplating her next steps in life and career, she knew she wanted to make a change. Having a back ground in marketing and luxury products she took some time off and went back to school.
“I received my Masters in Jurisprudence in Intellectual Property. My business partner just completed her doctorate degree and wanted to expand her horizons. I knew wine was becoming a trend and I had an extensive background in marketing and the spirit industry, so I knew wine was a great market to start a business,” she says.
Together, Gaines along with Terry Mullins and Andrea Dunbar opened House of Pure Vin. The great idea was highly acknowledged during their attendance in 2014 at the small business incubator through TechTown Detroit’s Retail Boot Camp. House of Pure Vin was selected as a Boot Camp Finalist and received a first-year rent subsidy as well as ongoing mentorship. In 2015, the store was one of the first five businesses that was awarded a loan from the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund. This program is supported by W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Detroit Development Fund, and the JP Morgan Chase Foundation. The purpose of the loan program is to provide economic opportunities for small businesses in Detroit that lack access to traditional forms of credit.
House of Pure Vin is a retail wine store in the heart of downtown Detroit that offers a great inventory of wine, education, events, and tastings. When coming up with the concept of the business she said they “combined thinking about putting Michigan first and being a part of the revitalization of Detroit.”
We felt a wine store was the best scenario. It is a great way to create something amazing in the city and become a tourism destination,” she said.
When people come to our location Gains wants customer service to come first and the plethora of unique wines and flavors. Customers will also have a plethora of wines from all over the world to choose, but the best part is the store has approximately 150 wines from Michigan. This brings a special edge to the store. With all of the options, Gaines picks Riesling as one of the top wines in the state.
“I think that our Rieslings are the best in the world, I know Germany is well known for the flavor but I am confident Michigan can surpass it once we become more renowned” she explains.
Working with the top wineries in Michigan, Gaines is excited to bring awareness to special wines that are harvested and bottled in the state. House of Pure Vin’s master sommelier, Claudia Tyagi works closely with the wineries in Michigan and all over the world to bring the best imported wines to the store as well.
With a successful business in Detroit and strongly supporting Michigan wineries, Gaines is also deeply fortunate for the team that supported her and her business partners along the way. She wants to highlight the untold narrative of people coming together to help entrepreneurs make their dreams come become a reality.
“There are so many people that supported us, they were truly committed, dedicated, and believed in our idea. They put their personal credibility on the line and I can’t take that lightly. If they didn’t agree to work together House of Pure Vin wouldn’t have happened,” she said. Gaines wants people to know that this collective and supportive energy is the essence of the “New Detroit.”
Gaines and her team are deeply grateful for many people including: Bryan Waldron of Bedrock of Real Estate, Regina Ann Campbell of Tech Town, Denise Hundley of Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Derek Edwards with Invest Detroit, David Rudolph of D. Ericson & Associates Public Relations, Mayor Mike Duggan, Erin Grant and Ray Waters of Detroit Development Fund, MIG Construction, Christian Unverzagt M1/DTW of design studio, attorney Ali Dagher, and Emerson Merkerson wrote the financials for the business plan. “We have to learn that you can’t do anything on your own and we have not gotten anywhere by ourselves.” Gaines wants to highlight the people that worked behind the scenes to also show that entrepreneurship is a team effort and Detroit businesses are open and ready to support a great idea.
In the future, House of Pure Vin will continue to grow, conduct more tastings, events and they are celebrating growth with a new team member Jena Scott.