Business partners (and married couple) Chris Schutte and John Libonati opened Social Wines on West Broadway in 2012, and it is quite possibly the best decision they’ve ever made.
These guys are no newbies to the business of owning and running a business. John has enjoyed a long and successful career in the restaurant business (and holds a culinary degree) while Chris spent the earlier part of his career in the corporate world. The jointly owned a bar in NYC for many years.
They made the move north to Boston when Chris accepted a new job up here, so they sold their bar and landed in South Boston.
Not too soon after their relocation, Chris realized that his new gig was not really what he wanted, and John kept mentioning that he’d like to open a store.
“We live in the converted church on West Broadway next to Mul’s, and we saw the vacant retail space at 50 West Broadway and thought the location would be a great spot for a shop,” explained Chris.
Chris and John have traveled far and wide to experience new cuisines and wines. The idea to open a wine and spirits store seemed like a perfect idea for the neighborhood.
“Our business approach is, if you want a big mass produced alcoholic product like a mainstream beer or wine, you can get them anywhere. We are focused on offering products from smaller producers, ones that are still family-owned. You don’t need a MS in wine to feel comfortable here– we are not snobby wine sellers, just interested in offering good products from small producers in a friendly and welcoming neighborhood shop.,” said Chris.
Social Wines crew at 2015 Boston Magazine Best of Boston Celebration
Social Wines offers tastings every week with craft beers on Thursday and wine on Fridays after work. “We’ve designed the store to be a place where people would come in and chat and socialize, come with kids and dogs – that’s how we think wine should be experienced and enjoyed,” he added.
When Chris and John get the rare chance to travel these days they always work in a vineyard visit. “Last summer we made it out to Oregon to check out the food scene and visited some vineyards, and we found a wine maker who wasn’t distributing in Boston, were able to work with a distributor to get her product here, called Day Wines by Breanne Day. She offers some wonderful all natural wines, raised organic and not overly manipulated grapes. There’s no add additives or chemicals.”
Oh, and Social Wines love dogs, so bring your pooches for a visit anytime – They have a “Dogs of Social Wines” Instagram account just for their furry friends.
Social Wines offers craft beer, wine and spirits.