The Compass - December 2010 - Click here to download PDF.
ENTREPRENEURIAL DREAM WITH LOCAL FOCUS
To make a move on your dream, especially in business, requires passion and a willingness to change and develop over time. For Carlos and Sarrah Torres, their dream was to go into business for themselves, and to follow their love of fine wines. They love sharing their passion for wines with the public, and now through their shop, Winestock, located in downtown Oregon City, they are making new friends through their business.
Winestock is the fruition of many hours of preparing a business plan and taking some evening classes focused on small business concepts. The business is 100% focused on wine - tasting and education and the selling of good wines. They feature weekly wine tastings; exploring wines from the states and other countries. When you hear them talk about wine, their knowledge, enthusiasm, and expertise shines through - which makes it hard to imagine that Sarrah was once a community banker and Carlos was in bridge construction. Together they both took a chance to try something new.
"We enjoy watching people evolve," added Sarrah. "They are learning to try other styles of wines. Our palates change as we mature. Our customers seem to be always reaching for more. As they become more knowledgeable, they are learning to pair wines with different foods. They are experiencing the savoring of different layers of wines."
"We taste every wine before we purchase it for our store," commented Carlos. "We do a lot of reading and research and then work with importers and distributors to sample it." Sarrah and Carlos say that wine itself is "constantly in motion. Wine itself changes in the bottle as it matures."
Their favorite part of their business is getting to "share our passion with our community." They are quick to point out that this is not a restaurant. They serve small cheese plates, crackers and other small plates that will compliment the wines, but wine is their expertise. They even have varietal wine glasses made specifically for each wine they serve. There are chairs for 50 people in their storefront, located just off Main Street at 820 Main Street, Suite B (around the corner near the railroad tracks).
When the Torreses first drove by the Lewis & Clark Bank they immediately thought that a community bank would meet their needs and desires and have that "local" Main Street approach. "We weren't very happy with our previous banking relationship," said Carlos. "Like many, we got caught up in the general idea of convenience and the big box concept."
As trite as it may seem, the Torreses said that they don't feel like a number at Lewis & Clark Bank. "The bank is a part of this local community, as are we. We like that. It follows along with our business theory that if you treat your customers with respect and make them feel special, they'll come back and bring their friends. Lewis & Clark Bank is personable that way."
The Torreses also share that good wines are not necessarily expensive wines as many might think. "Our selection of wines is well curated. We are very selective. And many patrons are surprised to discover that most really well crafted wines are $30 or under."
Their story shares much of the Lewis & Clark Bank spirit. The Torreses moved to Oregon City about 8 years ago. They like the Main Street concept - recapturing those days when customers would visit their local bakery, meat shop and more. "We're kind of dreamers," remarked Sarrah. "We thought how cool it might be to have that experience down here in Oregon City. The ambiance has not quite changed down here yet, but they are working on it with more small shops and even a weekly Farmer's market."
Sarrah and Carlos have put their heart and soul into Winestock, which is fast approaching its five-year anniversary! They love being in business for themselves, they love the customers that grace their doors, and for them, their "dream" is being realized.
The Torreses also cater events. Recently they attended a five course event, where they served five different wines to compliment each course. Forty-two people attended the event for a cost of only $49 per person.
Also, Winemakers often come the shop for wine tasting events. Winestock has hosted dozen's of winemakers from Washington, Oregon, California and New Mexico. But also, many from France, Italy, Spain, Germany and Argentina, too. Carlos and Sarrah travel to visit many wine producing regions through out these areas to see the properties and facilities first hand. Often, the winemakers they visit make trips to Oregon City.
Their website is www.WinestockOC.com, and their phone is 503-656-Wine.
Wine enthusiasts are welcome to stop by the shop on any given day except Sunday, between 3 pm and 10 pm. Or you can even register with them to receive a weekly newsletter informing you of upcoming events and new wines they are featuring.
The end of the year is a time of reflection as well as a celebration of the start of a new year. Most importantly, the holiday season is a time to give thanks and share our appreciation to those who make our lives and businesses thrive. 2010 has been another successful year for Lewis & Clark Bank and we owe much gratitude to our clients.
Our focus since the economic storm hit the Portland area and the rest of the country has been to position the Bank to emerge even stronger than before. Part of this effort has been to focus on core customer relationships. It also meant broadening our loan offerings into owner-occupied, commercial real estate, business expansion (including SBA and State guaranteed loan programs) multi-family properties and residential real estate.
Looking ahead to 2011 we will continue to lend and invest in local business, and let's not forget our home mortgage program. As mentioned earlier in the article about our branding we are also excited to introduce our new message, Partners for Business, and a new website. We are committed to providing clients the highest level of banking expertise and will continue to be here if you ever have any questions.
Again, thank you. Have a wonderful holiday season and a
Happy New Year!
Trey C. Maust & Jeffrey D. Sumpter
NEW YEAR. NEW LOOK.
Have you seen some of our recent advertisements? You may have noticed a difference in the logo. As the Bank has grown, we have further developed our message and capitalized on our core values.
Our new tagline, Partners for Business, positions the Bank as a valuable resource for Northwest businesses. It also speaks to your personal banking goals, your "personal business", and partnering to get things accomplished. It implies a meaning and name beyond an adorned historical or geographical reference. Partners for Business also speaks directly to our relationships with our valued customers as a primary difference and benefit of banking with Lewis & Clark Bank.
We are excited to announce that a new website is currently being developed and applying the new brand to the site - keeping in mind the positive attributes from our current site such as, simplicity, easy to find rates and login, and information about our staff. We hope you visit www.lewisandclarkbank.com regularly as we transition to the new site.
Be on the look-out for announcements regarding the rebranding and new website. We will keep you informed as we get closer to these changes and are very excited for you to see them.
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
We love hearing from you. If you have stories about your successes or would like to share how Lewis & Clark Bank has helped you, please contact Colby Schlicker, Marketing Officer, email at email@example.com or call 503-212-3111.
Some information contained in our newsletter is based on sources we believe to be reliable, but its accuracy is not guaranteed. Bank rates quoted are subject to change and current rates should be verified with the Bank. This newsletter is intended for clients and shareholders of Lewis & Clark Bank. Equal Housing Lender. Member FDIC.