Waters Edge Wineries, an innovative urban winery system bringing the cultural experience of wine to communities across the country, announced it has signed a new franchise agreement that will introduce its concept, Waters Edge Winery & Bistro, to an ideal high-traffic retail center in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. This new location joins nine others already operating throughout California, Colorado, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas.
The new owner franchise group, Waters Edge Winery & Bistro of E-Town LLC will be led by father-daughter team, Charlie and Tiana Watkins, and set to open in Elizabethtown, Kentucky later this year.
“We are excited to debut our concept in the Bluegrass State, introducing Kentuckians in Elizabethtown and in nearby communities to a truly unique wine tasting and cultural experience,” says Ken Lineberger, president and CEO of Waters Edge Wineries. “With the addition of Charlie and Tiana, we know they will share their passion for wine with their local community and provide a destination for friends and families to connect over a glass of wine and small bite.”
Following a military career spanning two decades, Charlie was interested in operating a franchise concept that would bring an unforgettable experience to the city and allow him to pursue his passion for winemaking. His daughter, Tiana, will manage the day-to-day operations for the micro-winery, overseeing customer service, marketing initiatives and F&B management.
Combining elements of the traditional winemaking experience with the popular wine bar concept, Waters Edge Winery & Bistro locations serve as a lively hub within its communities, offering bistro-style artisanal selections including appetizers, flatbreads, sandwiches, salads and desserts, custom bottling and labeling as personalized gifts, private tasting areas for groups, a wine club and more. This gives guests the opportunity to engage intimately with what has, historically, been a somewhat exclusive lifestyle limited to select regions.
As an emerging franchise concept, the Waters Edge Winery & Bistro model is ideal for entrepreneurs who are passionate about wine and seeking a way to share their love and knowledge without being in the agriculture business. Franchise owners receive comprehensive training on the micro-winery tank system and are provided with pre-opening training courses, both hands-on and classroom based, to help prepare for the launch of their winery. The company also offers social media and marketing support to help franchise owners realize success.
“I am excited to bring the Waters Edge Wineries concept to a town looking for a central meeting place that offers the opportunity for guests to unite over their common love for wine and winemaking,” says Watkins. “Over the years I’ve developed a true love for all semi-sweet wines and knew that with the help of my daughter, we could bring something special into our community. I’m thrilled to be part of this exciting franchise concept’s expansion in Kentucky and look forward to treating guests to a relaxing atmosphere with high-quality wines that are bottled locally.”
In May, Waters Edge Wineries announced three new franchise agreements to introduce its concept in Madera, California; Toledo, Ohio; and Richmond, Texas. On August 2, a new location is planned to open in Davidson, North Carolina, a suburb of Charlotte, and a later this summer a new flagship location showcasing an updated design footprint is preparing to open in Long Beach, California. Waters Edge Wineries currently operates nine locations in California, Colorado, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas with expansion in North Carolina, Kentucky and Montana.
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