Focus on Black-owned businesses: New wine shop, tasting room in Cuyahoga Falls offers unique brands, education
Magna Wine Boutique located at 2115 Front St.
Brittany Wiley and her husband, Dre, are offering unique brands of wine and educating customers inside their new Cuyahoga Falls wine shop and tasting room.
Magna Wine Boutique opened for business last week at 2115 Front St., Suite 115. It is the second shop that the Wileys have opened. Their first store opened in May in Bedford.
The shop sells more than 30 varietals of wines that come from six of the seven continents. The Wileys also launched their own wine label, the Magna Wine Collection, which consists of Gateway Red, Chardonnay Select and Final Course Red.
Brittany said she and Dre, who have been married for six years, grew up with parents who enjoyed wine.
The couple share "a passion for wine and what it does as far as bringing people together," she said.
The Wileys like to feature minority-owned and female-owned wines, as well as wines that are "farm, not factory," and "craft, not commodity," Brittany said.
She noted minority-owned wines are "very underrepresented." Among all wineries and wine brands in the U.S., Brittany said about one-tenth of 1% are Black-owned.
"It means a lot to us, also, of course, being African-American, that we highlight these amazing wines from amazing families," Brittany said.
Magna Wine Boutique is "one of the few, if not only Black-owned wine shops or retailers in the state," she said.
The core mission, Brittany said, is to "take the intimidation out of wine," "make it friendly," and "make it not scary to come pick out a nice bottle of wine."
She said a wine novice may walk past the Front Street boutique and think they won't know which brand to select or how to make a good choice. Customers venturing inside will find the shelves organized by continent and from white to red wine.
"It's very easy to navigate," Brittany said.
Brittany said one of Magna's missions is to educate people about wine and Dre added he enjoys helping people learn about the brands they offer.
If the Wileys decide to carry a new wine, they meet with the owner to learn more about the product so that they can, in turn, educate their guests.
Patrons can learn about wine through conversations with the Wileys and their three employees. They can help someone find the right wine to give as a gift or to take to a dinner party.
"Those are some of our favorite conversations to have," said Dre. "[Talking with] people who don't drink wine, really, and people who are trying to give it as a gift…I really don't want to hear that this is your favorite particular wine. I'd rather have a conversation with you because wine is more of an experience than it it is just a drink."
Another component of the boutique is wine tastings. With the shop following all COVID-19 guidelines, reservations for a tasting session are suggested but not mandatory.
For a group that comes into the boutique for a wine tasting, Brittany said they will work with the customers to steer them toward brands that "we think you may enjoy."
"That is one of our most favorite things to do," Brittany said. "Show you something different and show you something new."
"You're spending your money on a bottle of wine that you want to enjoy," Dre added. "We're just there to really help you."
The Wileys said they liked the community spirit they've found in downtown Cuyahoga Falls.
"We really loved that downtown, family-oriented feel," Dre said. "We really wanted to be part of something that was historic and did have great life to it, and something that had a nice energy to it."
Brittany said they enjoy having a business set up in a historic district and like the fact that the area's walkability brings people together.
Dre said the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Jan. 29 was "absolutely amazing," with Mayor Don Walters and chamber of commerce leaders in attendance. Many people who live nearby stopped in to check out the business.
"They all seemed to have an enjoyable experience," Dre said. "They all said they learned at least something about wine and that's really what we try to gear toward, is having you leave with a little bit of knowledge."
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.
At a glance
Name: Magna Wine Boutique
Owners: Brittany and Wiley
Description: Wine shop and tasting room
Established: Jan. 30
Address: 2115 Front St., Suite 115
Phone number: 330-849-5946
Hours: 4-8 p.m. Monday; 2-8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday . The business is closed on Sunday.
About the series
Throughout the month of February, the Beacon Journal is profiling Black-owned businesses in Summit County. Read more of these profiles at https://bit.ly/3jb0h1e. The Beacon Journal will continue to highlight minority-owned businesses as part of its ongoing regular coverage.
Have a suggestion for a business to feature? Email us at email@example.com.