started, six years ago on Main Street in downtown East Greenwich, with a fairly simple goal: to take pressure off buying a bottle of wine, offering down-to-earth advice.
“In 2006, the whole idea and goal was you could educate people about wine, that they could feel comfortable and not intimidated,” said Jessica Granitiero recently. She and husband Nino Granatiero own the wine shop. She was talking last week, however, as the proprietor of a new business, The Savory Affair, an event planning and design company that launched this summer.
The Savory Grape is, no worries, quite alive and well, doing what it does so very well – educating Joe and Joanne Consumer about different types of wine and making them feel good about their choices.
But helping out with events became an early and integral part of the business. While some customers just wanted help picking out wines for an event, others asked about food pairings, and still others about possible caterers and locations.
Sabrina Solares-Hand joined SG in 2007 as the store's first intern and she planned the now-annual Fall Wine Festival. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Solares-Hand was hired on by the store following her internship there and gravitated to helping plan events. So it's not surprising that she is the event director for the new Savory Affair venture.
"We started a separate company to focus solely on events, coordinating events, pulling them together," said Granatiero. She handles corporate accounts and Solores-Hand does the social part.
"Sabrina Solares-Hand has been the point person for any events that we do for the past five years," said Granatiero.
She recognizes there are a lot of event planners out there. So what is it The Savory Affair can offer that's different?
In addition to good relationships built over the years, Granatiero said the staff's knowledge of wine provides a real distinction.
Granatiero said the corporate business has helped to boost their profile. "A lot of the corporate stuff that we’ve done over the last six years, we’ve shown them that we have the ability and make things happen," she said.
"As demands and needs changed, other t"hings evolved. We are still what we started out as, but things have evolved," said Granatiero. That was part of what we wanted to do when we opened, to create and manage wine events."
If you would like to look at website for The Savory Affair, click here.