Barley, Malt & Vine Co. Ltd. has had an interesting road to become the successful store that it is now and it starts way back in 1993!
As an extension of a part-time job maintaining the brewing sections of twelve grocery stores and my interest in making country wines from fruit and flowers, I opened a little hole in the wall home brewing supply store, Brewingcentres, at Westmorland Place in East Saint John, N.B. That was October 17th, 1993. I worked hard to overcome the learning curve of running a small independent business and build a reputation as the place to go for good products and excellent service, treating customers the way that I would want to be treated if I were a customer.
I quickly learned that my first big obstacle was winning the trust of ‘the old boy’s club’, after all “what does a woman know about makin’ beer?”. Never mind woman’s role in the history of brewing!! As the business back then was 100% DIY, my mission became to educate, to help anyone who wanted to make wine or beer. Their success was my success too and a badge of pride for me.
I’ve outgrown three locations and incorporated the business, changing the name to Barley, Malt & Vine Co. Ltd. and finally settling in 2010 into our current location on City Road or ‘the old Daley’s’ as some locals still call it. Buying, gutting and completely rebuilding our lovely store was a much bigger project than I’d anticipated but it’s been so worthwhile. Everything has been about making it better for the customer experience and a brand new store was part of that vision.
We started on-premises wine making in 2005. Or was it 2004? A long time ago at any rate. Our wine kit supplier has remained the same through all these years, although they’ve gone through their own growth changes too, changing their name from Brew King to Winexpert and updating their own premises making improvements to their processes and kits, raising the bar for the entire industry. Their wine kits are the best, hands down, in the world with a range of styles and varieties to satisfy even the most discerning palates. Our Limited Edition program, which we’ve been proudly offering since we opened in 1993, offers peeks into small and sometimes rare vintages. Definitely not something to miss.
But we aren’t just about wine! With an impressive range of beer kits and supplies to accommodate beginner level up to all-grain aficionados, whatever your tastes, we’ve got it. With the burgeoning interest in craft brewing, the sky’s the limit with our range of grains, yeasts, hops and equipment. There is also a whole section of supplies to keg your brew. Oh....did I mention our ciders?
Or our pet food? Yes, pet food. Tuscan Natural. Incredible food for your cat or dog. But that’s a whole story onto itself. Ask me if you’d like to learn more or discuss your pet’s condition. Or click on our pet food tab to learn about the world’s healthiest pet food.
In store you will be greeted by wide open spaces, not the small, cramped quarters of most brewing stores. Not to brag but that’s part of the plan – to make you, the customer, feel comfortable in a welcoming, bright, clean and airy space with fully stocked shelves and enthusiastic staff who have been just waiting for you to show up!
Our ferment-on-premises facility is state of the art, as are our bottling stations with the most modern and convenient equipment available. But, not to forget our home-brewers, we stock all the chemicals, cleaners and additives needed to make wine, not to mention rentals of equipment for ease of use at home. Use of the self-serve bottle washers which clean and sanitize your bottles in four minutes just makes life SO easy. Plus, our custom labels and crazy range of shrink top colours are the crowning glory for your carefully crafted wines.
Over the past three decades, the business has gone through many changes but one thing has always remained the same – commitment to our customers!
Life is funny though; despite my passion for customer service, I cannot be in the store every day anymore because of an issue with reactivity to (of all things!) yeast. But, Barley, Malt & Vine isn’t about me – it’s about the customer! Although I am never far from the action, my crew reflect the values Barley, Malt & Vine has always stood for. Their enthusiasm, their knowledge and willingness to help you with your choice of wine, beer, cider or flavourings for alcohol bases is proof.
The sale doesn’t end at the sales counter; we are here to help you after the sale too with any issues, questions, special orders, whatever you need. Barley, Malt & Vine has always been about the customer experience. Welcome to Barley, Malt & Vine!